4.5 out of 5
3 out of 5
14 city, 23 highway, 17 combined
(no current inventory)
Big, brash, and bold, the 2018 Cadillac Escalade is a full-size three-row SUV that layers a heavy dose of luxury upon SUV underpinnings shared with the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon. Quiet, leather-trimmed and with comfortable seating for eight, the Escalade is also surprisingly quick thanks to its powerful V8 engine and new-for-2018 10-speed automatic transmission. Based as it is on a utilitarian platform, it’s also a capable SUV, with four-wheel drive and a tow rating of up to 8,300 pounds, easily out-towing many of its car-based competitors. Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
Inside, the Escalade is filled with luxurious amenities, but only on the upper trim levels. The Premium Luxury trim adds what we would consider “must haves” such as a comprehensive suite of advanced driver assist systems that includes adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. However, despite Cadillac’s best efforts, the Escalade’s ride quality is compromised by its old-school suspension setup, which includes a truck-like solid rear axle. The cargo space is also smaller than expected. Not surprisingly, fuel economy is not the Escalade’s strong suit.
F 45.3"/M 39"/R 24.8"
F 42.8"/M 38.7"/R 38.1"
Max towing capacity
Engine power: With 420 horsepower on tap from the 6.2-liter V8 engine, the big Escalade has no problem getting up to speed despite its size. The 10-speed automatic that debuted for 2018 is a good companion to the engine. It downshifts quickly and will skip gears under moderate acceleration to avoid the feeling of “hunting” for the right gear.
Interior quiet: Compared to its Chevrolet and GMC siblings, the Cadillac Escalade stands out for its excellent noise control on the highway. This is even more remarkable considering that the big Caddy isn’t an inherently slippery shape when it comes to aerodynamics.
Off-road capability: While we doubt many drivers will take their Escalades off road, that has a lot more to do with their choice than the Cadillac’s inherent capability. With a true four-wheel drive system, including a low-range transfer case, the Escalade is just as capable as a Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon when the going gets tough. That is, if you’re not afraid to get it dirty.
Ride quality: While ride quality is generally a Cadillac strength, that’s not true of the Escalade. The suspension includes special shock absorbers that react quickly to road imperfections to help smooth the ride. However, there’s no getting around the archaic suspension setup that includes a truck-derived solid rear axle. That, plus the occasional shiver from the body-on-frame construction, can produce a decidedly unluxurious ride.
4.5 out of 54 customer reviews
RepairPal gave the Cadillac Escalade an overall reliability rating of 3 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks Cadillac Escalade 11th out of 21 among Luxury Fullsize SUVs.View RepairPal's full rating of the Cadillac Escalade