$35,095 - $44,200

2016 Cadillac Escalade Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Cadillac Escalade was new.


Interior: 8.4

Auto writers agree the 2016 Cadillac Escalade has a chic interior design fitted with lots of premium materials like wood, leather and metal. The first- and second-row seats are comfortable and roomy, though the third row in the standard-wheelbase model only has adequate room for children. Cadillac updated the infotainment system for 2016, and it responds more quickly than before. The Escalade has one of the largest cargo capacities in the class.

  • "From its intricate wood inlays and premium leather covering almost every surface, to the dynamic CUE color infotainment screen and Bose audio, the 2016 Escalade SUV from Cadillac redefines what a luxury SUV can be." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2016 Escalade's cabin features an abundance of premium materials and an attractive, visibly contemporary design that's in line with the rest of Cadillac's offerings." -- Edmunds
  • "Real wood is paired with - and contrasted against - real metal, Alcantara and supple hand-stitched leather. This is an interior worthy of an $84,000 sticker, one I had no problem spending an extended amount of time in." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "The interior has a good flow to it, and lives up to its 'world standard' moniker. Cadillac was quick to point out that all of the stuff that looks like metal is metal, and everything that looks like wood is really wood. The panel gaps are very tight; in fact, we think the Escalade now has one of the best American interiors available, second to the electric ELR." -- AutoWeek (2015)


The base 2016 Escalade has standard seating for seven and an optional second-row bench seat increases seating capacity to eight. It comes standard with leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row bucket seats, a heated power-adjustable steering wheel and power-adjustable pedals.

The front seats are spacious and comfortable, and the power-adjustable steering wheel and seats make it easy to find a good driving position. The second row has plenty of room, though the third row in standard-wheelbase models is cramped compared to some competitors' third rows. However, the third row in long-wheelbase models has more usable space. The cabin is well-insulated from road noise and outward visibility is excellent.

  • "Full-size adults can ride comfortably in the front and middle, even on extended road trips. The third-row seat is fine for small children, but its low mounting position relative to the floor means taller teenagers and adults will likely find their knees pushing uncomfortably toward the roof. Most competitors offer more spacious third-row seating." -- Edmunds
  • "Third-row legroom is tight in standard models, but the extended-length 2016 Cadillac ESV SUV rectifies that while also offering considerably more cargo space behind the rear-most seats." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 12-way power front seats offer a wide range of adjustability; finding one's ideal driving position is easy. … The seats themselves are thoroughly supportive and comfortable, a welcome improvement over the old Escalade's largely flat-cushioned furniture. The tilt-telescopic steering wheel, meanwhile, enjoys a similarly large range of motion. … Outward visibility is quite good, befitting of such a large vehicle with a cavernous greenhouse." -- Autoblog (2015)
  • "Though a glorious small-block roar is audible during hard acceleration, the Escalade's cabin is library quiet in most other situations due to touches like inlaid doors and a Bose noise cancellation system." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2016 Cadillac Escalade include tri-zone automatic climate control, a 16-speaker Bose surround-sound system, satellite radio, HD Radio, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless smartphone charging and Cadillac's CUE infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, Bluetooth, five USB ports, Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Optional features include a power sunroof, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a Safety Alert Seat that vibrates to warn the driver of potential hazards, operating in conjunction with the other safety features.

Cadillac updated the CUE infotainment system for 2016, and it is more intuitive to use and responds more quickly than the system in the previous model.

See 2016 Cadillac Escalade specs »

  • "The big news for 2016 is that Cadillac has updated its often-criticized CUE touch-operated infotainment system with a quicker processor and a more accurate voice-recognition system." -- Edmunds
  • "The CUE audio and infotainment system has been improved for faster response and more intuitive operation, plus given the ability to interface with Apple CarPlay." -- Kelley Blue Book


The 2016 Escalade has 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 51.6 cubic feet behind the second row and 94.2 cubic feet with both rear rows folded. The Escalade has a larger overall cargo capacity than nearly every competitor. The long-wheelbase Escalade ESV offers even more cargo space, with 39.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 76.7 cubic feet behind the second row and 120.9 cubic feet with both rear rows folded. A hands-free power liftgate and power-folding third-row seats are standard, while a cooled center console and power-folding second-row seats are optional.

Many reviewers appreciate how easy it is to fold the power seats to make use of the flat load floor, though they note there is a high liftover height. The base Escalade has very little usable space with the third-row seats in use.

  • "Given the 2016 Cadillac Escalade's cavernous interior, the ability to fold the 2nd- and 3rd-row seats is an invaluable feature. Simply press the cargo area-mounted switch and both sets fold flush to create a level load floor." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Accessing the cargo area is convenient thanks to a hands-free liftgate that's actuated when you sweep your foot under the rear bumper, as long as the key is within 3 feet of the vehicle. Loading items is hampered, however, by a high cargo floor height that makes it difficult to lift bigger, heavier items up from the ground." -- Edmunds
  • "The taller floor means there's now barely enough space for two wheelie bags behind the third-row seat in the standard Escalade. …" -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "When priorities shift from people hauling to cargo carrying, new fold-flat seating in both rear rows makes maximizing space a snap, especially compared with the heavy third row seat that had to be carried out of the old model." -- Left Lane News (2015)

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