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2009 Cadillac Escalade Review

The 2009 Cadillac Escalade combines bold styling with a powerful engine and a high-quality, luxurious interior. If you’re after a stand-out boulevard cruiser that can carry up to eight and tow a boat, the Escalade is a good choice.

Pros & Cons

  • Respectable towing capacity
  • Powerful V8 engine
  • Luxurious interior with numerous standard features
  • Third row must be removed to expand cargo space




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.9
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.8 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Cadillac Escalade Overview

When it was new, reviewers said the 2009 Cadillac Escalade had the muscle to back up its stylish sheet metal, as well as the interior quality to make it a serious luxury vehicle. They also appreciated that the Escalade drives fairly well for such a large vehicle.

The 2009 Escalade is available in regular- and long-wheelbase (Escalade ESV) configurations. Both variants have a 403-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, which is a critic favorite among 2009 large SUVs. Whether you opt for rear- or all-wheel drive, the Escalade achieves an EPA-estimated 12/19 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class. Maximum towing capacity is 8,300 pounds, which is also average for the class. The base Escalade can swallow 108.9 cubic feet of cargo, while the ESV has 137.4 cubic feet of space. While test drivers liked the amount of cargo room, they disliked the third-row seat, which has to be removed to make the most of that space.

Reviewers generally found the Escalade’s standard leather seats to be fairly comfortable. Among the many standard features are a power liftgate, adaptive suspension, park assist, tri-zone climate control, Bluetooth, navigation and a backup camera. The Platinum upgrade trim adds features like a heated steering wheel, an upgraded suspension system and a rear-seat entertainment system. The Escalade has undergone few changes since 2007, so you may save money by shopping for an older model.

See the full 2009 Cadillac Escalade specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Lexus LX is a good choice if you plan on venturing off-road often. Critics said the LX has plenty of power, composed driving dynamics and a luxurious interior. Keep in mind that the Lexus can’t hold as much cargo as the Cadillac, so if you need a cavernous interior to haul lots of stuff, the Escalade might be a better bet.

If you like the Escalade, you may also want to consider the 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL. The GL has three available engines that reviewers loved, including a fuel-efficient diesel engine. Critics also appreciated the GL’s ride comfort when it was new, saying it is one of the smoothest-driving vehicles in the class.

Compare the Escalade to the LX and GL »

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