$22,543 - $29,829

2014 Cadillac Escalade Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Cadillac Escalade was new.


Performance: 7.6

The 2014 Cadillac Escalade is praised for its strong V8 and comfortable ride, but reviewers say that rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class are more maneuverable, handle better and return better fuel economy.

  • "If you're seeking a 3-row luxury SUV that's easy to park, handles like a car and gets better fuel economy than middling figures, look to the diesel-powered Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz GL-Class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Disappointing fuel economy, long braking distances, ponderous handling and 50/50-split third-row seats that have to be wrestled out and stashed someplace before you can load large cargo have become deal-breakers for many luxury SUV buyers." -- Edmunds
  • "A lumbering brute in tight spaces, the Escalade excels at highway journeys where it's quiet and comfortable. Its heavy body-on-frame architecture makes it a dinosaur, but it's a supremely useful and capable one." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Cadillac Escalade is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 403 horsepower, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A rear-wheel drive Escalade earns an EPA fuel economy estimate of 14/18 mpg city/highway, which is on par for the class.

Test drivers agree that the Escalade has no shortage of power, and that the V8 engine is smooth and refined. The Escalade’s transmission wins points for its smooth shifts, and some reviewers note that the Escalade’s power and refinement will come in handy if you plan to use it to tow.

  • "Few drivers are likely to accuse the 2014 Cadillac Escalade of not being powerful enough. Acceleration is surprisingly brisk considering the large V8 is propelling more than 5,500 pounds down the road." -- Edmunds
  • "As for power, the Escalade's 400-plus horsepower 6.2-liter V8 is smooth, strong and feels like it has an endless reserve of torque. That power and a dedicated tow mode are especially appreciated when pulling a boat or trailer." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Escalades are powerful. There's strong acceleration, and most any passing maneuver is not a problem. The smooth 6-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Because of its large size, many reviewers say the Escalade doesn't have the most nimble handling, and some say that it can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. Still, others remark that the Escalade still manages to offer a comfortable, composed ride and decent handling. One reviewer says the brakes feel strong, but there is noticeable nose dive under heavy braking.

  • "With its size and heft, it should come as no surprise that the 2014 Cadillac Escalade isn't exactly a corner carver. But considering the Escalade remains a body-on-frame vehicle, it offers a surprisingly comfortable ride. ... The Escalade is at home on the highway, but tight parking lots can feel even tighter when you're trying to pull this big Caddy into the last available space." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Given its truck-based SUV underpinnings, either of the Escalade's available suspensions does a remarkable job of delivering a smooth ride, even on versions with the huge 22-inch alloy wheels. However, those heavy wheels and tires play a role in the Cadillac's long braking distances, and for that reason, we'd be inclined to stick with the standard 18-inch wheels and tires. Maneuverability in tight parking lots is understandably not this luxurious truck's strong suit, but the standard rearview camera and relatively tight turning radius help drivers make the best of the Escalade's massive dimensions." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite their sheer bulk, Escalades handle confidently. The strong brakes and firm pedal feel add to the sense of security, but there can be dramatic nosedive during quick stops." -- Consumer Guide

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