2018 Cadillac Escalade

Interior


$74,695 MSRP
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2018 Cadillac Escalade Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.7

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade has a chic cabin that features top-shelf materials and handsome styling. Some models even have real wood trim pieces that add to the SUV's luxurious feel. The Escalade's first- and second-row seats provide plenty of room for adults. The third row in standard-wheelbase models is too small for adults, but extended-wheelbase ESV models offer more third-row space and cargo room. The Escalade has high-tech interior features, though they can be frustrating to use.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "Boasting soft-touch materials as far as the eye can see, the Escalade wows every time you enter. Leather and real wood give off a more refined feel – something missing from previous-generation Escalades." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • The interior is a vast improvement over the old model, which was a vast improvement over its predecessor. We're impressed with how well Cadillac has managed to keep up with the latest in interior design, though the Escalade still can't touch rivals, such as the Range Rover, for overall quality. Then again, it isn't as expensive as those rivals, either." -- Autotrader (2016)

Seating

The Escalade seats seven and comes standard with leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated power-tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel, and power-adjustable pedals. Optional comfort features include premium leather upholstery, 18-way power-adjustable front seats, massaging front seats, and power-retractable steps. The second row comes standard with two captain's chairs, but a three-seat bench that raises seating capacity to eight is available for no added cost.

Those in the first and second rows enjoy generous head- and legroom, though there isn't quite as much shoulder room. The third row in standard-wheelbase models is confined, but there's more space for adults in long-wheelbase ESV models.

The Escalade has full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on each of the second-row outboard seats along with an upper tether anchor on the middle third-row seat. To further safeguard your children, the Escalade has a rear-seat reminder system. When the SUV is parked, this system sounds an alert reminding you to check the back seats to make sure you don't forget anyone or anything.

  • Third-row legroom is tight for tall adults in standard models, but the extended-length 2018 Cadillac ESV SUV rectifies that while also offering considerably more cargo space behind the rearmost seats." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "As big as the Cadillac might seem on the outside, it's surprising that the interior doesn't feel extraordinarily spacious. The first two rows of seats have an abundance of head- and legroom, yet shoulder space seems oddly limited. And as with third-row seats in all SUVs in all size categories, these are meant to be used only for children on short trips." -- Edmunds
  • The extended-length ESV model makes the somewhat cramped 3rd-row seat a bit more spacious and adds more rear cargo room as well." -- Consumer Guide (2016)

Interior Features

The Escalade comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a 16-speaker Bose surround-sound system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, five USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, a 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, active park assist, a rear-seat occupant reminder, and a Teen Driver system.

Optional features include a sunroof, a head-up display, a Blu-ray rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, a safety alert seat, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, driver drowsiness monitoring, and a rearview camera mirror.

The touch screen is attractive but can be slow to respond to inputs, and some of the menus are difficult to navigate. Touch-sensitive buttons on the center stack are similarly slow to respond.

See 2018 Cadillac Escalade specs »
  • Cadillac's CUE infotainment system is visually appealing, as are the rest of the controls on the center stack of the dash. CUE offers plenty of features to keep passengers entertained, yet the system's responses to touchscreen inputs are sometimes delayed and the menus aren't always intuitive to understand. The touch-sensitive buttons for climate control are similarly problematic." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The CUE audio and infotainment system has been improved for faster response and more intuitive operation." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Overall, nearly everything inside looks and feels worthy of the Escalade's price tag." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Cargo

The standard-wheelbase Escalade has 15.2 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third-row seats, 51.6 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 94.2 cubic feet with both rear rows down. The Escalade's overall cargo capacity is great for a luxury large SUV, but many rivals have more space behind the third-row seats. The long-wheelbase Escalade ESV significantly increases cargo room, with 39.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 76.7 behind the second row, and a maximum 120.9 cubic feet with both rear rows folded.

It's easy to load the Escalade thanks to an available hands-free power liftgate and standard power-folding third-row seats. Simply press a button inside the cargo area, and the last row of seats fold out of the way, giving you a flat load floor. This does mean the cargo floor is rather high off the ground. Platinum models have a built-in cooler to keep your beverages cold.

  • 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 liftgate can be triggered with a swipe of your foot under the rear bumper." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "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 (2016)
  • For such a big vehicle, the Escalade's space utilization is wanting. The cargo floor now steps up, which was necessary to allow the second- and third-row seats to fold flat (via a pushbutton just inside the tailgate). It's not an elegant solution, but we agree that pushing a button to stow the seats certainly beats lugging them out of the car." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
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