Big luxury SUVs are everywhere. The most popular seems to be the Cadillac Escalade. It has been on top for years, offering a stylish exterior with a modern look even after five years or so with the same design.
Space is a big selling point for this supersized luxury UTE. It has three rows of seats and plenty of space for cargo. The third row doesn’t have very much leg room though. The interior is nicely appointed with optional Kona Brown leather over much of the cabin making it a pleasant space to eat up miles in near silence. The large screen offers a quicker-to-use CUE infotainment system. If you choose the Premium luxury trim level, back seat riders have an entertainment system with two screens in 2019 models.
The Escalade is powered by a V8 that provides plenty of motivation. The ten-speed automatic is a smooth operator and seems to help slightly with fuel economy. The ride is more trucklike than some other luxury crossovers but it is mostly comfortable. The large 22″ wheels seem to announce larger bumps a bit more due to lower profile tires.
Its size can be daunting when maneuvering in tight spaces. Still, the large Escalade handles with surprising confidence thanks to the Magnetic Ride Control, making the SUV handle with less roll for its higher center of gravity.
Cost: $91,195; as tested $96,490
MPG: 14 mpg city and 21 mpg highway; I managed 19.3 mpg in 337 miles of mixed driving.
Safety: Surround vision; rear cross traffic alert; safety alert seat; lane change alert with blind zone alert; forward collision alert; lane keep assist with lane departure warning; adaptive cruise control-advanced; forward/reverse automatic braking
Options: $2,000 Kona Brown with jet black accents; $1,750 assist steps, power, retractable; $250 interior protection package
Things to know: The Escalade ESV is larger than the regular Escalade adding much needed cargo space. This is the last year of the current version so it might come with a handsome discount before the new 2021 model.
- Big space inside with a luxury lined interior
- Powerful, V8 provides plenty of power and can tow over 8,000lbs
- Modern style has plenty of curb appeal
- Fuel economy lags compared to crossovers
- Large size can be tricky to maneuver in tight spaces
- No knobs for infotainment system