MSRP
$75,195
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2020 Cadillac Escalade Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.4

The 2020 Cadillac Escalade has a robust V8 engine and decent fuel economy estimates. The ride is comfortable, but this is a big vehicle that drives like an even larger one with truck-like handling.

  • "From behind the wheel the 2018 Cadillac Escalade is a pussy cat. The Caddy is comfortable, easy-to-drive, sure-footed and powerful. Sure it's big, and parking this beast or backing it up in tight parking garages can be challenging, but on the road it's like a high-riding luxury sedan with impeccable manners and a refined ride." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "On the road, the Escalade drives much as you'd expect: like a big, bulky truck." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • Its traditional truck-type construction means that the Escalade's handling is not as polished as some competitors, but it … can out-tow those rivals." -- Consumer Guide (2016)

Acceleration and Power

Powering this Cadillac is a 6.2-liter V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Escalade's muscular V8 engine swiftly brings this full-size vehicle up to speed. Passing on the highway poses little challenge, and trudging uphill is no problem for this Caddy. When properly equipped, the Escalade can tow 8,300 pounds, which is a nearly class-leading figure.

According to EPA estimates, this luxury SUV gets 14 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Those figures are slightly above average for the class. Models with four-wheel drive have the same city rating but get 21 mpg on the highway.

  • "The big V8 is one of the Escalade's greatest assets. The 6.2-liter V8 engine is responsive and torquey and sounds good as the revs rise. It does 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, remarkable for such a large vehicle. " -- Edmunds
  • "Cadillac's 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 is a lovable brute. Power for passing and merging is never in short supply and the new 10-speed automatic transmission is responsive and smooth." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The V8 engine is particularly smooth when cruising. I noted that the Escalade's Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology is both aggressive in shutting down half of the engine's cylinders when unnecessary and very smooth in its transition between the two operation modes. I'd hardly notice that the system was operating without a glance down at the digital instrument cluster to see the little 'V4' light glowing, a common occurrence when coasting along at the speed limit or decelerating for a stop or in traffic." -- CNET (2017)

Handling and Braking

Although the standard Magnetic Ride Control suspension helps keep occupants moderately insulated from broken roads, this is a bulky vehicle that rides more like a pickup truck than an SUV. Vague steering and lots of body lean give the Escalade cumbersome handling. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

  • "We're less enamored with the Escalade when deviating from the straight-ahead. The steering's on-center feel is vague, and the slow ratio means you'll be sawing away at the wheel more than you might expect. Handling is understandably cumbersome, even when you switch the suspension to its Sport mode." -- Edmunds
  • On the road, the Escalade drives much as you'd expect: like a big, bulky truck. Now, at least, Cadillac's impressive Magnetic Ride Control suspension system irons out some of the uncouth body motions and jiggling of GM's other full-size SUVs. The ride is subsequently much better. " -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "GM's Magnetic Ride Control does an admirable job managing the Escalade's bulk, allowing it to soak up rough roads and negotiate tight turns with little fuss. The power-steering assist is appropriately proportioned. Add the optional 4-wheel drive and the Escalade becomes a winter warrior capable of tackling all kinds of road conditions." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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2020 Cadillac Escalade

MSRP: $75,195 - $98,295

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