MSRP
$75,195
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Cadillac Escalade Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 6.1

The 2020 Cadillac Escalade's interior has a mixture of high-end materials and hard plastics. Seating and cargo space are decent in the base model and stellar in the long-wheelbase ESV. However, the infotainment interface can be tricky to operate.

  • The Escalade is well-built, and parts-sharing of switches and touch points from the Suburban is the only real sore point. The materials used are noticeably better on the front seats versus the second and third rows. And the hard plastic used in some areas of the interior feels cheap." -- Edmunds
  • We're impressed with how much tech and feature content is included, but the Escalade still can't touch similarly priced rivals such as the Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class for overall quality. The new Lincoln Navigator also, perhaps arguably, puts it to shame on the style front." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "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)

Seating

This Caddy seats up to seven people in its standard configuration, though that can be bumped up to eight by adding a second-row bench seat. Leather upholstery, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs, and a power-folding third row are standard. Upgrades included semi-aniline leather seats in the first two rows, massaging and 18-way power-adjustable front seats, and Mulan leather upholstery in the third row.

The first two rows are comfortable, but some rivals have more-supportive seats, and the Escalade’s third row has less legroom than most other luxury three-row SUVs. The Escalade ESV remedies that problem with nearly 10 inches of third-row legroom.

For securing child car seats, there are two complete sets of LATCH connectors in the second row (three in models with the optional bench seat) and a tether anchor for each third-row seat. Cadillac includes a standard rear-seat reminder system that alerts drivers to check the rear for children or pets before leaving the vehicle.  

  • With large door apertures and wide, auto-retracting steps, getting in and out of the Escalade is like climbing two steps of tall stairs. The inside of the Escalade is generous, with ample leg-, headroom and shoulder room for first- and second-row passengers. Third-row passengers, however, will feel the pinch." -- Edmunds
  • 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 (2018)
  • "Despite this huge Cadillac's size, space back there is actually an issue, as the regular-wheelbase model's aft-most seat is basically mounted to the floor with occupants' knees shoved toward the roof and scarce room between it and row number two." -- Autotrader (2018)

Interior Features

The Escalade comes with a long list of standard features, such as push-button start, remote start, proximity keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and tri-zone automatic climate control. A wealth of tech features is also standard. The CUE infotainment system comes with an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 16-speaker Bose sound system, HD Radio, satellite radio, four USB ports, and Bluetooth. A rear-seat entertainment system and a sunroof are available.

Standard safety features include front and rear parking sensors, parallel and perpendicular park assist, a rearview camera, a surround-view parking camera system, and Teen Driver, which lets you do things like set speed and audio restrictions for secondary drivers.

There are also numerous active driver aids that are available in the Escalade, including a pre-collision warning system with low-speed braking, full-speed forward automatic emergency braking, reverse automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera mirror, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, a safety alert seat that vibrates to alert drivers of potential hazards, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise control.

Although the infotainment system looks sleek and comes with many features, some of the buttons around the screen can be slow to respond to inputs, and it can take some time to master the various controls. The navigation system feels a bit outdated too, though you can circumvent that using standard smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

See 2020 Cadillac Escalade specs and trims »

  • The audio system sounds crisp, but the navigation system feels a generation behind. You'll have smoother functionality via smartphone mirroring. Also, the buttons around the display are laggy and lack the haptic feedback of the lower buttons. The glossy infotainment stack shows fingerprints and glare." -- 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 (2016)
  • "As it is on the rest of Cadillac's range, the CUE infotainment system is surrounded by piano black trim. Fit and finish is truly excellent, especially around the center console lids, which conceal change trays and cupholders. And these high-quality materials are all standard - what you see in these images is fitted to every Escalade." -- Autoblog (2015)

Cargo

The base Escalade has 15.2 cubic feet of space behind its third row, which is on the smaller end for a luxury large SUV. However, its other totals of 51.6 cubic feet behind the second row and 94.2 cubic feet behind the first row are above average. The long-wheelbase Cadillac ESV has 39.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 76.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 120.9 cubic feet in total.

A hands-free liftgate comes standard, and power-adjustable second- and third-row seats are available. On the downside, a high load floor makes loading larger items a chore.

  • "Utility is the realm of the full-size SUV, but the Escalade is underwhelming. Behind the third row is 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space, just about the least spacious in the category. Fold down the seats for 94.2 cubic feet. The high load floor limits cargo height, and loading bulky and heavy items is difficult, requiring a deep reach-over." -- Edmunds
  • "The extremely high load height in both the regular and extended-length Escalade ESV makes it difficult to lift just about anything into the cargo area. Good luck to the poor dog who tries to leap aboard." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "Both the 3rd - and 2nd-row seats fold flat, and open up an incredible amount of cargo space." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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2020 Cadillac Escalade

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