2018 Cadillac Escalade

#26
in Suvs
2018 MODEL
$73,995 - $96,095 See Inventory Prices

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2018 Cadillac Escalade Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

It's big, it's huge, it's the Hulk among the cars, yes, I am talking about the 2018 Cadillac Escalade. It is grand in whatever it does and makes a statement anywhere it goes. Bold and brazen, the Escalade isn't for everyone and you cannot go unnoticed in this SUV. This Cadillac is luxury on wheels and makes even the big feel small. Even though it has become two decades old but it still makes many heads turn while on road.

Cadillac offers the Escalade in two configurations, the standard wheelbase and an extended ESV with a longer wheelbase that provides 10-inch additional legroom and more than 25 cubic feet of extra cargo space. All the models are equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine (420 horsepower, 460-pound-feet of torque) and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

See detailed review »

Pros

Monstrous V8

Exceptional towing capacity (8300 pounds)

No cabin noise at all

Cons

Tacky Infotainment

3rd Row legroom is very low

What's New?

8-Speed automatic transmission is now replaced by 10-speed automatic


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$73995

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

376 cu. in.

horsepower

420 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

460 lb.-ft. @ 4100 rpm

transmission

10-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

17 in. ventilated disc brakes/17 in. ventilated disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

116 in.

length

203.9 in.

width

80.5 in.

height

74.4 in.

curb weight

5578 lbs.

ground clearance

8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

172 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.2 cu ft.

towing capacity

8300 lbs.

payload capacity

1460 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.8 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

167 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

14/17/23 mpg

highway range

598 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 years/50000 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/70000 miles

corrosion warranty

6 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

yes


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2018 Cadillac Escalade in Black Raven color  2018 Cadillac Escalade in Bronze Dune Metallic color  2018 Cadillac Escalade in Crystal White Tricoat color  2018 Cadillac Escalade in Dark Adriatic Blue Metallic color  2018 Cadillac Escalade in Dark Granite Metallic color
Black Raven

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

Features

6.6

Engine

7.9

Fuel Economy

7.5

Interior

6.0

Exterior

7.9

6.5

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Cadillac Escalade Base

Base

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$73,995 - $76,995


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $73,995 MSRP (14/17/23) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic rear wheel drive 7
4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $76,995 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic four wheel drive 7

 2018 Cadillac Escalade Luxury

Luxury

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$79,395 - $82,395


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $79,395 MSRP (14/17/23) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic rear wheel drive 7
Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $82,395 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic four wheel drive 7

 2018 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury

Premium Luxury

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$83,995 - $86,995


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $83,995 MSRP (14/17/23) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic rear wheel drive 7
Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $86,995 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic four wheel drive 7

 2018 Cadillac Escalade Platinum

Platinum

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$93,095 - $96,095


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Platinum 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $93,095 MSRP (14/17/23) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic rear wheel drive 7
Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $96,095 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V8, premium unleaded (recommended)
See Full Specs
10-speed automatic four wheel drive 7

Top Cadillac Cars

2018 Cadillac ATS-V
8.0/10

Engine: 464 hp @ 5850 rpm, 3.6 L V6

MPG: 19 combined

2017 Cadillac CTS V-Sport Sedan
8.1/10

Engine: 420 hp @ 5750 rpm, 3.6 L V6

MPG: 18 combined

2018 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe
8.0/10

Engine: 464 hp @ 5850 rpm, 3.6 L V6

MPG: 19 combined

2017 Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid Sedan
8.5/10

Engine: 265 hp @ 5500 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 26 combined

2019 Cadillac XT4
8.0/10

Engine: 237 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2 L I-4

MPG: 26 combined

2017 Cadillac CTS-V
8.0/10

Engine: 640 hp @ 6400 rpm, 6.2 L V8

MPG: 17 combined

2017 Cadillac ATS-V
8.0/10

Engine: 464 hp @ 5850 rpm, 3.6 L V6

MPG: 19 combined

2018 Cadillac CT6
8.1/10

Engine: 265 hp @ 5500 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 25 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

6.5

Overall Rating


Apart from the powerful engine, the Escalade also has an impressive towing capacity of 8,300 pound which is more than most other luxury SUVs. With a base price of $75,990 (RWD), this full-size luxury hauler is definitely worth a look.


6.6/10
Features

 

7.9/10
Engine

 

7.5/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.0/10
Interior

 

7.9/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

2018 Cadillac Escalade Features

6.6/10

The Escalade is available in four trims: Standard, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. The base trim comes with a wide array of equipment, but the Premium Luxury and Platinum models take this huge, lavish machine to another level. All the Escalade comes standard with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard while you get the four-wheel drive as optional.

Trims Standard Luxury Premium Luxury Platinum
MSRP(2WD) $75,990 $81,590 $85,990 $95,090
MSRP(4WD) $78,990 $84,590 $88,990 $98,090
Features Automatic Parking Assist. Includes all Escalade features, plus: Includes all Escalade Luxury features, plus: Includes all Escalade Premium Luxury features, plus:
  Surround Vision, Birdseye view of vehicle      
  Power fold-flat third-row seats. 22″ dual 7-spoke premium painted wheels with chrome inserts. Driver Assist Package. Premium Semi-Aniline leather seating surfaces for front two rows and Mulan leather for third row.
  Second-row manual release fold-and-tumble seats. Driver Awareness Package which includes: Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Safety Alert Seat, Lane Change Alert with Side-Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking and IntelliBeam automatic high beam on/off headlamps.   Leather-wrapped instrument panel, console and upper door trim.
  Magnetic Ride Control with selectable Sports mode.      
  20″ dual 7-spoke chrome plated aluminum wheels.      
  Rear Vision Camera.      
  Front and Rear Park Assist.      
  Hands-free Liftgate, power.      
  Cadillac user experience with 16-speaker Bose,      
  12″ reconfigurable instrument cluster.      
  Leather seating surfaces with 12-way power adjustability for driver and front passenger.      
  Power tilt/telescoping steering column with memory settings.      
  Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.      
  Wireless Charging.      

There is an extensive list of features that this full-size luxury boasts ranging from built-in Wi-Fi hotspot to a 360-degree camera. Top trim Platinum priced at $95,090 (2WD) also gets premium leather upholstery, massaging front seats, power retractable steps, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, and a built-in cooler.

We Recommend 

All the 2018 Escalade comes standard with a powerful V-8 engine so choosing between the trim basically depends upon the kind of features you want inside the vehicle. As all the Cadillac boasts an extensive list of features but to get the best interior we would suggest you go with the Premium Luxury trim. It comes with all the features of Luxury trim and adds rear entertainment system and adaptive cruise control.

2018 Cadillac Escalade Engine

7.9/10

“Despite its size, the Escalade is exceptionally easy to drive. The eight-speed transmission and 6.2-liter V8 make a good pairing.” Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

For the 2018 model year, the company has made major changes with Escalade’s powertrain. A 10-speed automatic transmission, jointly developed by General Motors and Ford replaces the previous model year’s 8-speed automatic transmission. The 6.2-liter V-8 engine is a monster of an engine and is more than enough to move this 5,500-pound SUV briskly. Quick acceleration lets you speed away from a stop easily.  While its towing capacity of 8,300 pounds is more than most other luxury SUVs.

Models Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
MSRP $75,990 $94,050 $72,055 $49,080
Engine 6.2L VVT V8 engine 3.0-liter V-6 engine 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 engine 5.3-liter 8-cylinder
Transmission 10-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 10-speed automatic 6-speed automatic
Power 420 hp @ 5600 rpm 380 hp @ 6500 rpm 450 hp @ 5500 rpm 355 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque 460 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm 332 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm 500 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm 383 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm

With 420 horses under its hood and 460 pound-feet of torque, it drives like a big, bulky truck. The V-8 feels incredibly burly and does not even slow down, even with the added heft of the extended-wheelbase ESV model. The 10-speed auto transmission feels incredibly smooth while shifting when more power is needed. You will not feel left behind on the highway as it merges into traffic easily.

Acceleration

“The big, 420-hp V8 has tons of torque, which helps give the Escalade easy and effortless acceleration. A regular Escalade we tested accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds, and the ESV is likely just a few tenths slower. It also makes a great V8 rumble along the way.” Edmunds

Despite its humongous size the 2018 Cadillac Escalade is the fastest of the lot and makes 0-60 in 6.1 seconds. It even beat others in quarter mile as it takes only 14.6 seconds to cover the distance. Acceleration is easy and effortless.

Models Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
0-60 MPH 6.1 sec 6.3 sec 6.5 sec 6.5 sec
Quarter mile 14.6 sec @ 95.2 mph 14.8 sec @ 92.8 mph 15.1 sec @ 90.1 mph 16.7 sec. 15 @ 91 mph.
Engine 6.2L 3.0L 3.5L 5.3L
Emission

Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year

10.3 9.2 9.3 9.2

Braking and Handling

Escalade’s ride quality is comfortable however you may feel the occasional bump over, particularly uneven roads. You get a stiff ride with the optional 22-inch wheel setup but the SUV hold its ground nicely thanks to its balanced steering. On the downside, the car-based SUV feels more athletic and comfy than the truck-based Escalade. Magnetic Ride Control and rear-wheel drive come standard while four-wheel drive is optional. Brakes on the Escalade feel strong with an average stopping distance of 133-feet. The vehicle also nosedives a bit when strong brakes are applied.

Model Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
Brake front(in) 17.0 15 13.8 15.6
Brake Rear(in) 17.0 13.8 13.8 10.88
Curb weight(lbs) 5572 4727 5760 5466
60-0 MPH 133 ft. 120 ft. 125 ft. 137 ft.

According to Edmunds, “The Escalade doesn’t deliver the luxurious ride quality that we expect from this brand. Even with the Magnetic Ride Control Suspension system that allows the driver to tailor its performance to the driving situation, the occasional bumps and thump remind you that the Escalade is derived from a truck chassis, not a car platform.”

Towing and Payload Capacity

A luxury vehicle that can tow too and that to a massive 8,100 pounds with the four-wheel drive while the rear-wheel drive increases the capacity by 200 pounds. Lincoln Navigator and GMC Yukon meanwhile offer better-towing capacity. Go for the 2018 Escalade if you want to tow a trailer while riding in upscale comfort with your family.

Model Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
Engine 6.2L 3.0L 3.5L 5.3L
Drive Train 2WD 2WD 2WD 2WD
Capacity (lbs) 8300 3968 8900 8500

2018 Cadillac Escalade Fuel Economy

7.5/10

Fuel economy? Who cares! Anyone who is buying this big, bulky, muscular SUV must be rich enough to spend that extra bucks on the fuel. Jokes apart, the Escalade with the V-8 engine has an EPA rating of 14 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined which is pretty low when compared to the rivals.

Model Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
Mpg (city) 14 17 16 16
Mpg (highway) 23 23 23 23
Mpg (combined) 17 19 19 19

2018 Cadillac Escalade Interior

6.0/10

“The Escalade’s cabin features attractive, high-quality materials. This is especially true of the Platinum trim level, which upgrades to a comprehensive use of premium leather.” Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The interior quality has definitely improved in the 2018 Escalade and getting in and out of this SUV is easy too. Although we found third a row a bit tight and the overall build quality is disappointing. All the controls are within reach and the infotainment system is quite intuitive. Visibility is good and parking this massive SUV is immensely easy, you will never feel the need of blind-spot monitoring, parking sensor, and backup camera.

Inside, the Escalade is quiet but a bumpy ride quality and so-so seats add some negative points. Seats are the biggest drawback, they do not feel comfy and are featureless. There is not enough thigh support for tall drivers and seats are not comfortable for long drives. Although, there is a good amount of headroom and legroom in the first and second row which you would rather expect from an SUV this size. The shoulder room in all the three rows feels narrow. 

Model Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
Passenger capacity 7 5 7 8
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 42.8/64.9/45.3 39.3/60.7/42.5 39.5/63.3/43 42.8/64.8/45.3
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 38.7/64.4/39.0 39.2/59.4/40.2 39.7/63.7/39.1 38.7/65.1/39.0
Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg)(In.) 38.1/62.6/24.8 N/A 37.6/51.9/37.7 38.1/62.6/24.8

GMC Yukon which is priced much less than the Cadillac and offers plenty of space for eight people and is a better alternative. Size- wise the Yukon matches the GMC neck-to-neck but you get more rear shoulder room and value for money in the GMC.

Infotainment

Everything inside looks worthy of the Escalade’s price with an attractive 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system although it feels slow to respond to the inputs and difficult to navigate. Even the touch-sensitive buttons on the center stack feel sluggish. The CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system includes:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Satellite radio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Navigation
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Five USB-ports
  • Wireless device charging
  • 16-speaker sound system

Cargo Space

“These figures don’t tell the whole story, though, because the high load floor in the back makes for a fairly strenuous loading process. Fortunately, the hands-free power lift-gate can be triggered with a swipe of your foot under the rear bumper.” Edmunds

Model Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
Volume (ft.cube)

(Behind 3rd row)

15.2 ——- 18.1 15.3
Volume (ft.cube)

(3nd Row Folded)

51.6 27.7 54.4 51.7
Volume (ft.cube)

(2nd & 3rd  Row Folded)

94.2 62.2 103.3 94.7

You get 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats, 51.6 cubic feet with the third row folded and 94.2 cubic feet overall. The cargo capacity is impressive for a full-size SUV although the Lincoln Navigator offers better cargo space than the Escalade. The ESV model with a long-wheelbase, however, increases the cargo capacity, with 39.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 76.7 with the second row folded and 120.9 cubic feet with both rows folded.

2018 Cadillac Escalade Exterior

7.9/10

"An eye-catching exterior pairs with a cabin loaded with attractive shapes and sumptuous leather in the 2018 Cadillac Escalade"-TheCarConnection

Dimensions and Weight 

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade is the big boss of the GM’s luxury line-up. It is one of the most recognizable Cadillac on the road today thanks to its slanting edges and daunting stance. There is also no denying the fact that this SUV boasts more swagger than any other vehicle that has hit the road. Its unmistakable styling is evident from every angle and it shares much of its structure with the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, and the GMC Yukon.

Model Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
curb weight(lbs) 5572 4727 5760 5466
Lenght(in) 203.9 196.8 207.4 203.9
Width(in)

(w/o mirror)

80.5 78.1 78.8 80.5
Height(in) 74.4 72.3 78.1 74.4
Ground clearance(in) 8.0 8.7 8.4 8.0
Wheelbase(in) 116.0 115 119 116.0
Track width(in) F/R 68.7/68.7 66.5/66.3 67/67.2 68.7/68.7

You get a full-led headlight with four crystals that act as high beam, giving of radiant light. Long vertical taillight also gets LEDs which makes it easy to follow the Escaladed when visibility is low. Aerodynamic rear spoiler adds a sporting flair to this SUV. It is, however, smaller than the Lincoln Navigator in size but the ESV model is about two-feet longer than the standard model making it one of the largest in class.

Wheels

The Escalade rides on a choice of 20 or 22-inch all season tires. This means that it is best reserved for light off-roading and is not suitable for trails with large rocks. The 22-inch wheel makes the ride bumpier over broken pavements while you get a smoother ride with the 20-inch wheel set-up.

Model Cadillac Escalade Land Rover Range Rover Lincoln Navigator GMC Yukon
Size F/R (in.) 20*9.0/20*9.0 20*8.5/20*8.5 20*8.5/20*8.5 18*8.5/18*8.5
Quality Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Wheel type Alloy Alloy Alloy Alloy

2018 Cadillac Escalade Safety

The NHSTA has rated the 2018 Cadillac Escalade with a four-star rating overall while the SUV scored a “Basic” rating for the front crash prevention test conducted by the IIHS. Both the organization have not conducted a full crash test on the Escalade yet and we will be updating the page as soon as the ratings arrive.

On the Reliability front, Cadillac has covered the Escalade by a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

NHSTA Rating

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating  
Overall 4 star
Driver 4 star
Passenger 4 star

Side Barrier Rating

 
Overall 5 star
Driver 5 star
Passenger 5 star
Rollover 3 star
Side Crash Rating 5 star
Combined Side Barrier & pole (F/R) 5 star

Safety features

The 2018 Escalade come equipped with an innovative airbag placed between the front seats designed to protect the passenger from colliding with each other. A new feature enables the SUV to park itself at the press of a button, which is a boon while driving in congested conditions. Cadillac has fitted the Escalade with several levels of safety that can detect if someone is trying to steal the car by breaking the glass or towing it. This system sounds the alarm and prevents the vehicle from starting or moving.

Driver Air Bag
Passenger Air Bag
Front Head Air Bag
Rear Head Air Bag
Electronic Stability Control
Front Side Air Bag
4-wheel ABS
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
Child Safety Lock
Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
Adjustable Pedals
Traction Control

2018 Cadillac Escalade Competition

Land Rover Range Rover vs Cadillac Escalade

If you want a luxury SUV without three-row seating then go for the Land Rover Range Rover. It has a better fuel economy than the Escalade especially when equipped with the turbodiesel engine. The Land over also offers a luxurious ride and can take even the toughest trails. A four-wheel drive is standard on all its model which is otherwise optional on Escalade. All these features do come at a price as the Range Rover have a higher starting price than the Cadillac.

GMC Yukon vs Cadillac Escalade

Both these vehicles are similar in many ways and the Yukon’s Denali trim feels like an Escalade under a different name. Yukon and Escalade both offer two wheelbase options, a V-8 engine, and plush interior although. GMC Yukon also comes with soft-touch surface and high-grade material, including real woods and leather. It’s the price that makes both the SUV part ways as the Yukon is tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than the Escalade. Even if you choose the top trim Denali you will save thousands of dollars with similar features.

Lincoln Navigator vs Cadillac Escalade

Both the Escalade and Navigator are full grown SUVs with truck-based, body-on-frame construction. They are available in extended wheelbase versions with additional cargo capacity behind third-row. The key difference between the two is that Lincoln has redesigned the Navigator for 2018 while the Escalade remains the same since 2015. The V-6 engine on the Navigator is more fuel efficient and it is also more spacious inside. With more cargo space, towing capacity and lower base price, Lincoln marches ahead of the Cadillac.

2018 Cadillac Escalade Final Verdict

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade is the epitome of full-size SUVs and pairs itself with luxurious interior along with excellent towing capacity. Although its trucklike body-on-frame is a big disadvantage as the SUV compromises on ride quality over uneven pavements. It also does not feel confident over corners like other car-based SUVs. On the positive side, while other SUV manufacturers are downsizing, the Escalade ESV with longer wheelbase proves bigger is better, providing more cargo and interior space.

The Cadillac boasts one of the best interiors in the class however the infotainment system is a bit letdown. Regardless, the Escalade is the best looking and the quickest in the segment and ranks high as compared to rivals.