2012 Cadillac Escalade

MSRP $63,170 - $71,675

Ranked #12 in Suv

7.4

Overall Rating

2012 Cadillac Escalade Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 2, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The Cadillac Escalade is mostly found parked outside the White House compound or at a Hollywood celebrity's residence. There’s no doubt that this truck-based SUV has become an icon of American luxury SUV in the five years of its production. And upholding that reputation alike is the 2012 Cadillac Escalade. Without any significant changes, all 2012 Escalade models get an updated navigation system, alongside a newly designed center console lid in satin metal, and two new exterior color options, namely, Radiant Silver Metallic and Crystal Red Tintcoat.

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Pros

Iconic stature

The comfortable and plush interior

Feels like a well-balanced drive

Cons

Fuel consumption is not that great

The infotainment system is not up-to-date

What's New?

The navigation system has been updated

More exterior color options added


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$63170

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

117 mph

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

376 cu.in.

horsepower

403 hp @ 5700 rpm

torque

417 lb.-ft. @ 4300 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic w/OD and auto manual

chassis

suspension front

short and long arm front suspension

suspension rear

Rigid axle rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

116 in.

length

202.5 in.

width

79 in.

height

75.9 in.

curb weight

5488 lbs.

ground clearance

9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

172 cu ft.

cargo volume

108.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

8300 lbs.

payload capacity

1555 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.1 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

14/16/18 mpg

highway range

468 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$63,170 onwards

Luxury$69,945 onwards

Premium$71,675 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 Cadillac Escalade in Crystal Red Tintcoat color
Crystal Red Tintcoat

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

6.0

Features

9.0

Engine and Performance

6.0

Fuel Economy

9.0

Interior

7.0

Exterior

9.0

Safety

7.0

Competition

6.0

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.4

Overall Rating


Sharing structural components with the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the interior of the 2012 Escalade is aplomb with luxury and safety features, and the appeal at times reaches limo level. Both first and second row has the most amount of legroom in the competition, and coupled with Cadillac’s excellent ‘Magnetic Ride Control’, the ride on the Escalade feels like a breeze and an extremely comfortable affair. But the market also sees some equally great alternatives, like the icon of British luxury, the Land Rover Range Rover, or the Lexus GX 460, or America’s other favorite, the Lincoln Navigator. Should you right away splurge on the Escalade or choose any one of the alternatives? Let’s find that out.


9.0/10
Features

6.0/10
Engine and Performance

9.0/10
Fuel Economy

7.0/10
Interior

9.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety


2012 Cadillac Escalade Features

9.0/10

At the top, the Escalade badge is available in three alterations - the regular Escalade SUV, the extended-length Escalade ESV, and the Escalade Hybrid. There’s also a pick-up variant of the same, called Escalade EXT. The latter gets a 5.3 ft long bed and can tow up to 7600 lbs with a payload of 1342 lbs. But coming back to our review, the 2012 Escalade SUV was originally launched as an SUV model in 2007, and by now it is slowly starting to show its age. 

It is still available in four trims - Standard, Luxury, Premium, and Platinum Editions. All trim models get the benefit of either rear- or all-wheel drive, alongside a standard six-speed automatic transmission mated to a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. The Navigation system has been updated for it now features guided lines for the rearview camera and a standard SiriusXM subscription. The storage lid on the center console has also been redesigned along with some new color designs.

Trim

Standard

Luxury

Premium

Platinum Edition

MSRP (2WD/4WD)

$63,170

$67,395

$ 71,675

$79,945

 

$65,720

$69,945

$74,225

$82,495

Key Features

ABS and driveline Traction control

Adding to features available in Standard trim

Adding to features available in Luxury trim Luxury Trim

Adding to features available in Luxury trim Premium trim

 

18" machined aluminum Wheels

22" 7spoke Chrome Aluminum Wheels

22" 7spoke Ultrabright Machined Finish Wheels, With Painted Accents

22" 7spoke Chrome Aluminum Wheels

 

Front air conditioning, dual-zone automatic

Intellibeam Headlamp System With Automatic High-/Low-beam Switching

Bodycolor Side Vents With Bright Mesh

Rear Fascia With Integrated Dualexhaust Outlets

 

Rear air conditioning, with separate controls

Magnetic Ride Control Suspension

Clear tinted Led Taillamps And Center High-mounted Stop Lamp

Special Tehama aniline Leather-wrapped Instrument Panel And Trim

 

Driver and front passenger heated-cushion, heated-seatback Heated front seats

Second row Power Release Fold and tumble Seat Side

Rearseat Entertainment System With In-dash Dvd

Genuine Olive Ash And Burled Walnut Wood Trim

 

SiriusXM AM/FM/Satellite, seek-scan Radio

22" 7spoke Chrome Aluminum Wheels

Power Retractable Assist Steps

Heated And Cooled Cup Holders

 

1st row LCD monitor

Heated Steering Wheel

Rearseat Entertainment System With In-dash Dvd

Rearseat Entertainment System

 

Remote keyless entry

Power Tiltsliding Sunroof

   
 

Front Fog/driving lights

     
 

Heated mirrors

     
 

Leather Seat trim

     
 

Navigation system

     
 

Ultrasonic Parking assist

     

We Recommend

All Escalade models get more or less the same long list of features. Leaving aside the base Standard model and the top-of-the-line Platinum edition model, we would choose the Premium model. It gets all the benefits of the Luxury trim model plus Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, and exterior design enhancements on the outside. But having said that, you wouldn’t be disappointed either if you settle for the base Escalade Standard trim.

2012 Cadillac Escalade Engine and Performance

6.0/10

Standard across the 2012 Cadillac Escalade line-up is a 6.2-liter V8 engine with Active Fuel Management, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to either the rear-wheels or all-wheels. This is a strong and responsive engine that produces 403 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque that helps the Escalade move quickly from 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. And along with low-key rumbly, vocal exhaust, the 2012 Escalade doesn’t sound like a typical luxury car.

Besides being a good performance vehicle, the Escalade is also a well-behaved ride. It’s hard to imagine that a tall and heavy SUV will not sway around corners, but keeping the ride planted and comfortable is Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control. This system adjusts the suspension and keeps the body stable around corners, and it induces confidence to go deeper in the bend, which might take some enthusiasts even for a surprise.

Model

2012 Cadillac Escalade

2012 Land Rover Range Rover

2012 Lincoln Navigator

2012 Lexus GX 460

MSRP

$65,720

$60,045

$57,775

$53,245

Engine

6.2 - liter V8

5.0 - liter V8

5.4 - liter V8

4.6 - liter V8

Drivetrain

Rear-wheel drive

Four-wheel drive

Rear-wheel drive

Four-wheel drive

Transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

Power

403 hp @ 5700 rpm

385 hp @ 6500 rpm

310 hp @ 5100 rpm

301 hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque

417 ft-lbs. @ 4300 rpm

380 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm

365 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm

329 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

6.5

7.2

8.7

7.8

Quarter mile (seconds)

15.3

N/A

16.5

16

Top speed (mph)

117

N/A

N/A

N/A

With the biggest engine in this competition, the Escalade is evidently the fastest vehicle with quicker 0-60 mph timings. The Range Rover gets the second powerful V8 in this competition which puts out 385 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque followed by the Lincoln Navigator and the GX 460. However, the top speed of all the cars except the Escalade remains unknown. The Cadillac Escalade manages to hit a top speed of 117 mph.

2012 Cadillac Escalade Fuel Economy

9.0/10

Fuel economy for the V8 engine has never been their forte, and the same applies to the Escalade, as well, Despite fuel-saving measures, like cylinder deactivation technology, the Escalade has EPA ratings of 14/18/16 mpg in city/highway/combined situations. The 26 gallon of fuel tank is large but it does not help the range much.

Model

2012 Cadillac Escalade 

2012 Land Rover Range Rover

2012 Lincoln Navigator

2012 Lexus GX 460

MPG (City)

14

12

14

15

MPG (Highway)

18

18

20

20

MPG (Combined)

16

14

16

17

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

26.0

27.6

28.0

23.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

364/468/416

331/497/386

392/560/448

345/460/391

The 2012 Lincoln Navigator gets a larger capacity fuel tank at 28 gallons, and despite similar mileage ratings with the Escalade, the former has more range. Even the Land Rover Range Rover SUV has a marginal advantage over the Escalade when it comes to range. But the Lexus GX 460 is the only economical option here with better mileage, but with a smaller fuel tank loses the advantage when it comes to its range.

2012 Cadillac Escalade Interior

7.0/10

What you see on the outside, continues into the cabin of the 2012 Cadillac Escalade as well. The interior is quiet, roomy, and comfortable. All seats are generally sized, and there’s an ample amount of legroom and headroom for both first and second-row occupants. The high-driving position is a unique style and with the instrument cluster placed low, driving the Escalade feels like sitting inside the car. If specced properly, its interior can reach limo level, but standard features like tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, and Bose surround sound system provide the basic luxury.

And the higher you go the Trimline, the more exclusive the features get. For instance, the top-of-the-line Platinum edition model gets heated and cooled cupholders, heated steering wheel, instrument cluster wrapped in exclusive aniline leather, and much more. Keeping the interior classy and yet practically overwhelming, has been Cadillac’s mantra all the while, and the 2012 Escalade rightfully delivers on that.

Model

2012 Cadillac Escalade

2012 Land Rover Range Rover

2012 Lincoln Navigator

2012 Lexus GX 460

Seating Capacity

7

5

7

7

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

41.1/65.2 /41.3

39.3/61.4/38.9

39.5 /63.3 /41.1

38.0/55.4/41.7

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.2/65.2/39.0

38.4/60.0/35.5

39.7/63.7/39.1

40.4/57.3/34.1

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

16.9

N/A

18.1

11.6

The Escalade might have a spacious interior, but cargo space is something that it does not enjoy much. Access to the third row also feels tiresome, for there’s no power-fold button option. The Range Rover has the most cargo space in this competition, and the Lexus GX 460 has the least cargo space.Some of the notable interior features are:

  • Seats, heated and cooled driver and front passenger
  • Cup holders, heated and cooled
  • Climate control, rear heat
  • Defogger, rear-window electric
  • tri-zone automatic with individual climate settings for driver
  • Heated Steering wheel

How intuitive is the 2012 Cadillac Escalade’s infotainment unit?

Standard across all Escalade models is an 8-inch touch screen that displays Navigation with real-time traffic display. There’s also Bluetooth, Aux, and USB connectivity along with satellite radio. Standard across Escalade line-up is a 10-speaker Bose 5.1 surround sound system. Rear seat occupants also have access to entertainment features like flip-down 8-inch screen fold down from the overhead. Besides that, some of the standout infotainment features of the Escalade are:

  • Large 4-line Driver Information Console
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system
  • 8" color LCD touch screen infotainment unit
  • Rearseat Entertainment System with In-dash DVD

2012 Cadillac Escalade Exterior

9.0/10

The Escalade is one of those few truck-based luxury SUVs, and its rugged boxy look sharply does contrast some of the luxury features. As has been mentioned before, the 2012 Cadillac Escalade continues in its original state since its introduction in 2007. So, with a familiar exterior styling, and an abundance of chrome, the Escalade might look luxurious, but it is gradually starting to show its age. An optional 22-inch wheel fits the huge SUV wells, and the standard 18-inch wheel doesn’t look that bad either. It is also the longest at 202,5 inches, but its wheelbase at 116 inches is not the longest and since this is a truck-based SUV, the Escalade has high ground clearance, which becomes an issue when loading cargo.

Model

2012 Cadillac Escalade

2012 Land Rover Range Rover

2012 Lincoln Navigator

2012 Lexus GX 460

Curb Weight (lbs)

5488

5697

5818

5305

Length (in.)

202.5

195.7

208.4

189.2

Width (in.)

79.0

80.1

78.8

74.2

Height (in.)

75.9

73.9

78.3

74.2

Ground Clearance (in.)

9.0

9.1

9.1

8.1

Wheelbase (in.)

116.0

113.4

119.0

119.0

Even though the Escalade is massive, the Navigator still beats it in terms of sheer size. The Navigator is also the heaviest out of all the SUVs here, while the Lexus is the lightest and is considerably smaller. At 9.1 inches, the Navigator also has the highest ground clearance. Some of the standout exterior features are:

  • Power, tilt-sliding sunroof with express open-and-close, and sunshade.
  • 22" Chrome Aluminum wheels
  • LED Headlights
  • Integrated Dual Exhaust Outlets
  • Side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Power liftgate standard

2012 Cadillac Escalade Safety

7.0/10

The Escalade has not been rated by IIHS, but the NHTSA has awarded this SUV with 4 stars in its Overall Ratings. The Escalade’s stout structure promises excellent protection, and along with front side airbags, head curtain airbags, and StabiliTrak stability control system that prevents the car from rolling over, the Escalade comes across as a pretty safe luxury SUV. In addition to that, Cadillac also provides these features as part of its standard safety list:

  • Four-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes
  • Electronic stability system with rollover mitigation technology
  • Side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats
  • Front-seat side-impact airbags
  • Blindspot warning system

2012 Cadillac Escalade Final Verdict

There’s no doubt that the Cadillac Escalade is an absolute, no-compromise luxury SUV. Its specs and features are also impressive when compared to its competition. It's Escalade’s price tag that stands in between before you make the purchase. But given that it gets the most powerful V8 engine and all trims are filled to the brim with advanced safety and comfort features, the Escalade is hard to put down.

Similar Cars

2012 Lincoln Navigator
2012 Lincoln Navigator

MSRP: $57,775- $62,840

7.6/10
2012 Land Rover Range Rover
2012 Land Rover Range Rover

MSRP: $79,425- $94,820

7.4/10