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2015 Cadillac Escalade Review

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s elegant interior, well-rounded performance, and solid reliability rating help push it to the top of the luxury large SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Good reliability rating
  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • Upscale, well-dressed interior
  • Ample V8 engine power
  • Awkward infotainment controls
  • High average list prices




Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.4
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Cadillac Escalade Overview

Is the 2015 Cadillac Escalade a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the fully redesigned 2015 Escalade is a sensible choice among used luxury large SUVs. It boasts an above-average reliability rating and low projected ownership costs for its class. Inside, this Cadillac oozes grandeur, and its cabin is library quiet. It has lots of standard equipment and an abundance of available advanced safety features. A smooth ride, a hearty V8 engine, and ample cargo space round out the Escalade's appeal.

When it was new, we named the Escalade our 2015 Best Luxury Large SUV for Families.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 10 Cadillac Escalade reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Cadillac Escalade?

Based on almost 1,000 listings for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade on our site, the average price is around $49,500. Prices range from $42,000 to $58,000 and vary depending on the vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Cost to Own?

The Escalade’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $31,200, or $6,240 per year. That's below average for the class. The 2015 Lincoln Navigator has similar expenses, while the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL's costs are about $4,700 more.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Escalade?

The 2015 Escalade and the 2019 Escalade belong to the same generation, but there are some key differences between a new model and the 2015.

The 2019 has more standard features, like a surround-view parking camera, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, the Teen Driver safety system, and a rear-seat reminder. Except for the surround-view parking camera, those items were not available in the 2015 Escalade.

You can equip a 2019 model with other features that you won't find in a 2015 Escalade, including lane keep assist, a rearview camera mirror, and automatic parking assist. The 2019 Escalade comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing the six- and eight-speed automatic transmissions available in the 2015 Escalade.

If all of those changes aren't important to you, you may be better off sticking with a 2015 Escalade instead of a new model. Doing so could save you a heap of money. You can expect to pay from $42,000 to about $58,000 for a 2015 Escalade, while the price of a 2019 Escalade ranges from about $75,000 to almost $100,000.

Read about the new Cadillac Escalade »

There aren't any new luxury large SUVs you can buy in the price range of a used 2015 Escalade. However, you can consider the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe (MSRP: $48,000) or 2019 Chevrolet Suburban (MSRP: $50,800), both of which are related to the Escalade through General Motors rebadging. The Suburban is essentially a long-wheelbase Tahoe, similar to the Escalade and Escalade ESV.

These big Chevys have a solid list of standard features, including a smaller and less powerful V8 engine than the 2015 Escalade. The Escalade's 6.2-liter power plant is optional in a new Tahoe or Suburban. The Cadillac is a little nicer inside, so choosing between these SUVs will come down to how much space you need, interior quality, and your budget.

Compare the Escalade, Tahoe, and Suburban »

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Which Model Year of the Cadillac Escalade Is Best?

Cadillac fully redesigned the Escalade for the 2015 model year. Changes for the 2016 Escalade included the introduction of available lane keep assist, an upgraded infotainment system with better functionality, and smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

You could likely save lots of money with an Escalade from the previous generation, but you won't get the benefits of the redesign. The 2014 Escalade has a less powerful V8 engine and an older infotainment system. There's more cargo room in the 2014 model, but you have to remove the third-row seats to access the maximum capacity.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Escalade »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Cadillac Escalade?

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade has a good reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. Three out of five is considered average across the industry, but nearly all luxury large SUVs earn a score of three or above.

Read more about Escalade reliability »

2015 Cadillac Escalade Recalls

At the time of writing, there are six recalls for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. Multiple recalls address partial or inconsistent deployment of the passenger air bags and the failure of the front air bags to deploy in the event of a crash. Other recalls cover a temporary loss of power steering, which can result in diminished handling and increased risk of a crash, and overheating exhaust components that can increase the risk of a fire. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Cadillac Escalade safety recalls »

Which Used Cadillac Escalade Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is available in four trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Premium, and Platinum. All models feature a V8 engine, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission. The Escalade ESV is a long-wheelbase model that offers additional legroom and more cargo space than the standard model.

The base model comes very well-equipped, with leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a touch-screen infotainment system with satellite radio, a Bose surround-sound stereo, and navigation.

Still, it may be worth stepping up to at least the Luxury trim, which adds power fold-and-tumbling second-row seats, a sunroof, and driver assistance features including automatic high-beam headlights, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

See 2015 Cadillac Escalade trims and specs »

How Safe Is the Escalade?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Cadillac Escalade five out of five stars in the side crash test and three stars in the rollover test. It did not receive an overall safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested this vehicle.

The 2015 Escalade comes standard with rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Available driver assistance features include automatic high-beam headlights, automatic collision preparation, automatic seatbelt tightening, a head-up display, a safety alert seat, a surround-view parking camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

See Escalade safety scores »

2015 Cadillac Escalade Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Cadillac Escalade or 2015 Lincoln Navigator?

The 2015 Lincoln Navigator has a much lower range of list prices than the 2015 Escalade, and there’s a reason for that. This Lincoln’s cabin materials feel rather cheap by comparison, and it’s missing many of the advanced safety features found in the Escalade. The Navigator's clunky handling also hurts it in our rankings. Both of these SUVs have strong reliability ratings, muscular engines, and high towing capacities. Still, the Escalade is the better choice overall.

Which Is Better: 2015 Cadillac Escalade or 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL is a great alternative to the Escalade. The GL boasts some of the best overall performance in the luxury large SUV class, with composed handling, a posh ride, and a lineup of powerful engines. Like the Escalade, the GL has an opulent interior. The GL's average list price is lower, but the Mercedes will cost you more in five-year operating expenses, and it has a lower reliability rating than the Cadillac. Picking between these two is a matter of preference.

Compare the Escalade, Navigator, and GL »

2015 Escalade Performance

How Does the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Drive?

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade has a V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; an eight-speed automatic and four-wheel drive are available. Both transmissions work well with the refined V8, though the eight-speed automatic delivers faster and smoother gearshifts. Acceleration is brisk, and the Cadillac’s highway passing power is effortless.

All Escalades are equipped with GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension. It delivers a comfortable ride with minimal jitters over rough roads. The hefty Escalade can feel somewhat cumbersome around tight turns, but this Cadillac generally remains stable and composed on the road. Its steering is precise and well-weighted for a large SUV, and its brakes deliver confident stopping power.

Does the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Get Good Gas Mileage?

The rear-wheel-drive 2015 Escalade with the eight-speed transmission gets an EPA-rated 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. These figures are typical for the luxury large SUV class.

The four-wheel-drive model with the six-speed automatic gets 14/20 mpg city/highway.

2015 Cadillac Escalade Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the Escalade has a towing capacity of 8,300 pounds. That’s a respectable amount for a luxury large SUV.

Read more about Escalade performance »

2015 Escalade Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Escalade Seat?

The Cadillac Escalade seats seven people across three rows, but some models have a second-row bench seat instead of standard captain’s chairs, which raises seating capacity to eight. The Escalade's first and second rows are comfortable and supportive, offering ample head- and legroom, but the third row is cramped. If you plan to fill every seat on a regular basis, you’ll want the extended-length Escalade ESV, which has a roomier back seat and an extra 9.7 inches of legroom.

The Escalade’s cabin is quiet, elegantly styled, and lined with quality materials. Fit and finish is excellent, and many interior surfaces are soft to the touch. The 2015 Escalade comes standard with leather upholstery; 12-way power-adjustable, heated, and ventilated front seats; heated second-row seats; and a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel. Available amenities include Nappa leather upholstery, 18-way power-adjustable front seats, a massaging driver's seat, and power fold-and-tumbling second-row seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Cadillac Escalade?

The Escalade has a complete set of LATCH anchors for each second-row seat, whether you have the bench seat or captain’s chairs. Each third-row seat has an upper tether anchor.

2015 Cadillac Escalade Features

Standard features in the 2015 Escalade include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

The standard Cadillac User Experience infotainment system has an 8-inch touch screen, five USB ports, satellite radio, Bluetooth, a 16-speaker Bose surround-sound system, and navigation. While the infotainment and dashboard controls look sleek, they aren’t user-friendly. The on-screen menus are confusing, and touch-sensitive sliders replace conventional knobs and buttons under the screen, making the system awkward to use on the go.

Available features include a sunroof, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a refrigerated center console.

See 2015 Cadillac Escalade specs »

Read more about Escalade interior »

2015 Cadillac Escalade Dimensions

Cadillac Escalade Cargo Space

The 2015 Escalade has a higher maximum cargo capacity than most other luxury large SUVs. There's 15.2 cubic feet behind the third row, 51.6 cubic feet with the third row folded, and a maximum of 94.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. The long-wheelbase Escalade ESV has 39.3 cubic feet behind its third row, 76.7 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 120.9 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. 

A hands-free power liftgate and power-folding third row are standard.

2015 Escalade Length and Weight

The 2015 Escalade is 17 feet long, and the Escalade ESV is 18.7 feet long. The Escalade's curb weight ranges from 5,594 pounds to 6,040 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Built?

General Motors built the 2015 Cadillac Escalade in Texas.

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