2018 Cadillac Escalade

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Cadillac Escalade highlights

Customer rating


  • Powerful V8 engine delivers strong acceleration
  • Towing capacity up to 8,300 pounds
  • Cabin remains quiet regardless of road conditions


  • Less refined ride and seat comfort than other luxury SUVs
  • Low handling limits and heavy steering
  • High, uneven cargo floor makes loading objects difficult

Mileage (EPA estimate)

14 city, 21 highway, 17 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

7 photos

Brash and bold styling define the full-size 2018 Cadillac Escalade SUV

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.

All Cadillac Escalade years

What is new for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade?

  • Escalade trims have been upgraded with 8511 as standard equipment this year.

2018 Cadillac Escalade trims

Curious how Cadillac Escalade trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities


  • 420-hp, 460-lb-ft of torque 6.2L
  • Rear Air Conditioning
  • Rear Defroster
  • Cruise Control
  • Third Row Seat
  • Leather Seats
  • Power Seats
  • Memory Seats
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • View our Cadillac Escalade inventory


Premium Luxury:



ESV Luxury:

ESV Premium Luxury:

ESV Platinum:

Cadillac Escalade photos

5 reasons to buy the 2018 Cadillac Escalade

What We Like

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.

What Needs Improvement

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.

Shop with your budget in mind

Getting pre-qualified lets you shop with personalized monthly payments, and it doesn't impact your credit score.Get Pre-qualified

Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings


RepairPal gave the Cadillac Escalade an overall reliability rating of 3 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Average. This rating ranks Cadillac Escalade 8th out of 20 among Luxury Fullsize SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac Escalade features and specs

Luxury 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • 20 Inch Plus Wheels
  • A/C Seat(s)
  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automated Parking
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • BOSE Sound System
  • CD Audio
  • Cruise Control
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Head Up Display
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leather Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Folding Third Row
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Quad Seats
  • Rear Air Conditioning
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear Seat Heaters
  • Rear View Camera
  • Remote Start
  • Running Boards
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Sunroof(s)
  • Third Row Seat
  • Tow Hitch
  • Traction Control
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Rear Entertainment System
  • Running Boards

Drive Wheels

Rear Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 45.3"/M 39"/R 24.8"

Head room

F 39.7"/M 38.7"/R 38.1"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

830/8300 lbs.



2018 Cadillac Escalade FAQ

Research other vehicles

* Price excludes taxes, title, registration, and fees. Applicable transfer fees are due in advance of vehicle delivery and are separate from sales transactions.

We hope you found this information helpful. This content is intended to inform and is not meant to indicate that a particular vehicle is currently available or recommended for you.​

Unless otherwise noted, information related to featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.​

We make every effort to provide accurate information, but please verify before purchasing.