2024 Cadillac Escalade

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Is a Cadillac Escalade worth $20k more than a GMC Yukon? Is a GMC Yukon worth $4k more than a Chevy Tahoe?

All three are basically the same SUV sold under three different labels – at three different price points.

You’ll have to decide whether the price is worth the difference.

What It Is

The Escalade is Cadillac’s version of the Chevy Tahoe – which is also resold as the GMC Yukon. All three are full-sized SUVs that come standard with V8 engines, with one of the chief differences between the Escalade and its fraternal twins being it comes standard with the 6.2 liter V8 that’s optional in the less-prestigious (and less expensive) Tahoe and Yukon.

There is also a supercharged version of the 6.2 V8 that you can’t get in the twins.

But of course, it’ll cost you more to get into an Escalade, which stickers for $81,895 to start for the 2WD Luxury trim vs. $58,200 for essentially the same SUV sold under the GMC Yukon label, albeit with a smaller, not-as-powerful 5.3 liter V8. (And sold under the Chevy label, as the Tahoe – with the same 5.3 V8 – for $54,600).

The Escalade also comes standard with 22 inch wheels, a huge 16.9 inch secondary LCD touchscreen and a primary 14.2 inch LCD main gauge panel, a 19 speaker premium stereo system and heated rear outboard seats, among other upgrades that aren’t standard – or even available – in its less-expensive fraternal twins.

A top-of-the-line Premium Luxury Platinum trim comes with a 36 speaker audio system, power soft-closing doors, an adaptive suspension, a rearseat entertainment system and GM’s SuperCruise hands-free driving system.

It stickers for $110,695 with 2WD and $113,695 with the optional 4WD system.

There is also the high-performance Escalade V – the centerpiece of which is a supercharged version of the 6.2 V8 that offers 682 horsepower vs. 420 for the non-supercharged 6.2 V8 that’s standard in other Escalade trims (and available in the Yukon and Tahoe). The V also comes with a high-performance Brembo brake package, performance suspension tuning and V-specific driving modes.

4WD is standard with the V, which stickers for $152,295.

What’s New For 2024

There are no changes to the Escalade, per se, for this model year. However, there is an electric version of GM’s biggest SUV coming out later this year called the Escalade iQ.

What’s Good

Standard V8.

Luxury amenities not available in Tahoe or Yukon.

Significantly more cargo capacity than its main rival, the Lincoln Navigator.

What’s Not So Good

Get the same basic vehicle in a Tahoe or Yukon wrapper for thousands – even tens of thousands – less.

Not much range (just 336 miles in city driving) on a full tank of gas.

V8 doesn’t make as much power as rival Navigator’s twin-turbo V6.

Under The Hood

Unlike its Tahoe and Yukon fraternal twins, the Escalade comes standard with the 6.2 liter, 420 horsepower V8 that’s optionally available in those two.

They come standard with a 5.3 liter V8 that makes 355 horsepower.

A ten speed automatic is standard, as is rear-wheel-drive. All trims are available with 4WD. Depending on the configuration, an Escalade can tow between 7,000 and 8,200 lbs. This is a little less than the 8,300 lb. max tow rating of the Caddy’s primary rival, the Lincoln Navigator. That one comes standard with a much smaller (3.5 liter) V6 but its output is goosed to 440 horsepower and 510 ft.-lbs. of torque (vs. 460 ft.-lbs. for the Caddy’s V8) by a pair of turbochargers.

Another thing that gets boosted is the Lincoln’s range. It can go 377 miles in city driving and 519 on the highway (vs. 456 for the Escalade). Luckily, neither is an EV, so it only takes a few minutes to refill the tank and get going again.

The V8 Caddy is quicker, however. It can get to 60 in about 5.9 seconds (vs. about 6.3 for the Ford). The Escalade V – with 682 supercharged horsepower – cuts the time down to 4.3 seconds, which is about as quick as a new Mustang GT that weighs a ton less and that’s half the size.

There’s also an optional turbo-diesel engine. It’s a 3.0 liter in-line six that makes 277 horsepower and 460 ft.-lbs. of torque (same as the V8). This one increases fuel economy to 21 city, 27 highway – the latter figure a significant improvement over what you’d get with the V8, especially when pulling a trailer.

Interestingly, it is a no-cost option that can be specified in lieu of the otherwise standard 6.2 V8. The idea seems to be to offer Cadillac buyers the option of not having to stop as often without charging them extra for the privilege. A heavy duty cooling system is part of the package, which makes this version of the Escalade the one to pick if you’re planning on regularly towing a trailer.

On The Road

A Cadillac has been defined, historically, by its size – and while the Escalade is very closely related to its GMC and Chevy-badged fraternal twins – it is without question a Cadillac-sized vehicle.

At almost 212 inches long and riding on a 120.9 inch wheelbase, it is almost as long as a ’70s-era Sedan deVille and much heavier. The 2WD version with the V8 weighs 5,635 lbs. With the diesel six (which is heavier than the V8 because it’s a heavier-built engine) and 4WD, an Escalade crests three tons (6,015 lbs.) before anyone gets onboard, including the driver.

That – to quote the ’80s one-hit wonder band, Duke Jupiter – is a lot of automobile.

And that is a big part of the appeal – of a Cadillac.

Size does matter, when it comes to Cadillac. Also attitude. Rivals like the Lincoln Navigator are also large but not as imposing, another quality that successful Cadillacs have always had. The Escalade is not shy about its size and that includes what’s under its hood, which makes light of all that size in a purposely showy way. The Navigator’s twin-turbo V6 is actually stronger – and the Navigator is nearly as quick but the Cadillac feels – and sounds – quicker. The V8 does not require “augmentation” to sound like a V8. Because it is a V8. The Navigator’s V6 does, because it isn’t.

Same goes for the V6 that’s now standard in the Toyota Tundra-based Lexus LX500, which – like the Lexus – used to come standard with a V8.

The sound that accompanies the pull is part of what you’re paying for and it’s worth even more now, arguably, because you can’t even get it in many of the Caddy’s rivals anymore. There have, however, been issues with the 6.2 V8 that add an asterisk to this review. This reviewer personally knows one owner who experienced a total engine failure within weeks of purchase and – apparently – this is not an isolated incident.

Leaving that aside – if you can – this is otherwise a vehicle that lives up to its billing as the ballsiest of the big luxury SUVs. It is similar in attitude and presence to the Hummer GM used to sell – before GM went over to the Green Side and turned that model into a device – but far more luxurious. It rides softer than a ’70s era Sedan de Ville but handles much better. You don’t need to slow down for curves – as you did in a ’70s-era Sedan de Ville, if you didn’t want to throw hubcaps into the culvert. 100 MPH feels like you’re doing 40 if there’s no frame of reference, such as the fact that you’re blasting past other traffic like it’s parked.

And – unlike a ’70s big Caddy – you’re way up high and literally towering over the peons, the massive, almost vertical climb wall of the Escalade’s grill leering at them as you pass them by – or roll up behind them. I found that other drivers try to avoid being in front of this rig, almost as if you were a cop. That’s another thing you get for your money here.

Of course, you also get the sheer size of this thing, which can be as much a liability today as it was back in the ’70s and sometimes, more so – because the world of today (unlike the world of the ’70s) is designed for cars (and crossovers) much smaller than a ’70s-era Caddy Sedan de Ville, or a modern-day one. The Escalade takes up every bit of a supermarket parking lot spot, often not leaving space enough to fully open the doors without striking the sides of the vehicle parked next to you.

It may not fit in your garage, either. Or it may take up pretty much all the space inside your garage. A test drive is always important, including one that ends at home. Make sure yours can accommodate this latter-day Sedan de Ville before you drive it home for good.

At The Curb

Though it’s not quite as long as a ’70s Caddy, this one’s much more roomy – both for people and stuff. You have no doubt heard the cliche about the “three body” trunks of the land yachts of the ’70s. More like two.

One, if rolled up in carpet.

In this one, you could probably fit a casket. With the second and third row out of the way, the Escalade has 121 cubic feet of space for whatever you need to carry. Here – as under the hood – the Escalade out-bigs its main rival, the Lincoln Navigator, which has a comparatively cramped 103.3 cubic feet of total cargo space available and only 19.3 behind its third row (vs. 25.5 for the Caddy).

And this latter-day Sedan de Ville can carry up to eight people, three more than could go for a ride in the ’70s Caddy.

It can also go where a ’70s Caddy dared not – as for instance out on the road, when it’s covered with snow. The available 4WD and almost 7 inches of standard ground clearance make all the difference here – although the standard 22 inch wheels and tires operate somewhat at cross purposes. Be careful about curb strikes and potholes, too as these very tall rims (with very short sidewall tires) are easy to damage and expensive to fix.

That is, to replace.

The standard full-width dual-LCD gauge cluster/infotainment system looks very “hip” and “with it” – for now. The problem with these now-almost-ubiquitous LCD touchscreen displays is they may not look very “hip” and “with it” even as soon as three years from now, or right around the time the first lease ends. Of course, that’s exactly the point when it comes to vehicles in this Caddy’s class. Most of the people who “buy” one lease one – and plan to lease a new one after about three years, so as to get what’s “hip” and “with it” three years from now. The second owner – who will actually buy the vehicle – will be buying what was “hip” and “with it” three years ago.

The upside being he’ll be able to buy it for half or less what it cost to buy what’s “hip” and “with it” today.

The Rest

Oddly – in view of the base price of this Cadillac – features such as adaptive cruise control and leather seat covers are optional. To get these latter, you must step up a trim from the base Luxury (an odd way to put it) trim to the Premium Luxury trim, which stickers for $93,195 to start. That’s a bump of $11,300  . . . to get leather and heated seats. The good news is you also get ventilated (as well as heated) front seats, a panorama sunroof and a Heads Up Display.

The bad news is you still have to pay extra to get the optional adaptive suspension, soft-close doors and a limited slip rear differential, the latter being a critical feature to have if you don’t buy 4WD. Without a limited slip rear diff, a 2WD (that is, rear-wheel-drive) Escalade will be as bad or worse in the snow than a ’70s-era Sedan de Ville.

Also, you can’t buy the heavy-duty trailering package (which includes heavy duty cooling as well as an auxiliary trailering camera) and get the max 8,200lb. tow rating unless you first step up to the Premium Luxury trim.

On the other hand, all trims do come standard with that big V8 – and that’s something that’s hard to get anywhere else. The supercharged version in the V takes that to a whole ‘nother level, too.

The Bottom Line 

Big Caddys like the ’70s Sedan de Ville may be long gone, but their SUV inheritors deliver a similar experience – and even more attitude.

. . .

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40 COMMENTS

    • Hi Dan,

      It is the 6.2 that they put into the Chevy vehicles as well. Originally, the problem was with the lifters in this engine, but over the last two years the bearings are failing, too. It is a manufacturing defect and one Mary Barra doesn’t seem to be to concerned with.

      In our Escalade the brakes failed and then one day later the engine seized while it was at the dealership for brake failure. They told us the bearings had failed and they would put a refurbished engine in it. That wasn’t going to fly with us. This is what they are doing to the 6.2s that are failing. Is every 6.2 failing? No, but it is enough to tread with caution when buying a 2022 or 2023 6.2 L engine. Have they fixed it for 2024? I don’t know, but I would be surprised if they did.

      • I had 4 6.2’s, but old, ’07, ’09, 10, and ’14, with no issues. But that wasn’t why I abandoned GM ,it was because while they were very powerful, GM went on a ‘every mpg matters’ campaign in ’07, and tuned the trans shift points so poorly, they were hard to drive. The ’14 was better, but I couldn’t take it anymore and went Ram, and couldn’t be happier.

        • to be fair, I heard their later 8 and 10 speeds solved the drivability problems, mine were all 6 speeds, but I had given up by then.

      • I forgot about something that might be relevant to these newer 6.2 failures.
        That engine has been out since ’07. It is very common for the engineers to have a say in how an engine is built, especially new models. But then, the bean-counters typically try to start cutting costs and buy or make different parts to save money. This could be the issue, don’t know?

        • Hi Chris,

          The 6.2 has been out for many years and was previously a reliable engine. What happened? I suspect some DEI-fostered manufacturing issue that results in oiling system failure leading to catastrophic engine failure.

          • Hi Eric. Agree. If I remember correctly the newer GM v8’s starting around the 07 timeframe came with some kind of variable oil pump system. I could be wrong, but at the time I read this my reaction was “why would they make a complex oil pump, when they have been proven forever” I learned or was told ‘to save a little gas’ how much I don’t know or remember.
            So what has changed to these recent engines? Likely what you said, but also could be and/or the bean-counters.
            It was common experiences for me as I bought a lot of first model yr trucks, and then the 3-4th yrs model, the rotors would warp, etc….
            Different part numbers, etc….. I asked why. Cheaper. If they save $10 on a rotor, x 800,000 trucks = $8M.
            I could be way off base, just my guess/experience.
            Thx

      • RG,
        I am between Ram & Silverado 2500 for my “last” truck, so interesting to hear your story. Luckily, I don’t plan on buying for several more years and the problem may be fixed by then, but it sure is disappointing to hear GM wanted to give you a rebuilt engine. Says a lot.

        I have come across some info that blames their cylinder deactivation scheme for the lifter issue. Not sure if that is definite, but too much tinkering complicates things and opens opportunity for problems.

        • Hi Dan, if you’re going 2500, both Manuf. use different slightly larger gas engines, that from my knowledge are very reliable. Both are more recent designs and reports are good. I personally would not go diesel however, they cost a fortune to fix around 100-120K miles, from my friends/assoc. that own fleets of them. Tier 4 BS and all that. They are all going gas engines in their 2500-3500’s.
          Best of luck

  1. That is one FUGLY truck. If I wanted to blow 150k on a vehicle I could get myself into any number of very good light planes and be literally above TSA and speed cops. But I could do that for 50k- where and who the hell is the target market for these things?

  2. I remember reading somewhere that when these Escalades are shipped to dealers, they’re equipped with plain black 17 or 18 inch steel rims (I forget why) and the dealer puts on the 22″ rims and sends the steel rims w/ tires back to GM. Has anyone else heard of this?

    • IF it’s true (IF), I can see it happening because Cadillac dealers don’t want hoodlums stealing the nicer 22 inch wheels off their top of the line SUVs. I recall a few years ago there were a rash of wheel thefts from new car dealer lots. I also recall some honor student getting squashed like a pancake when the truck he was stealing wheels from fell off the jack he was using and on him.

      That said, wheel theft may have calmed down. The hoodlums now steal the whole car. At gunpoint with you in it.

  3. Yeah, $152 G’s is a hard nope for me—especially for an overwrought GM truck.

    The Toyota Sequoia/Lexus GX are A LOT cheaper—like almost a quarter to more than half that price. Plus, they rate much higher on reliability.

    But I have no need or desire for such a vehicle. If I did, I’d get the Sequoia for $52K and pocket the other $100K.

    As much as a gear head as I am, ultimately new cars are a depreciating appliance.

    In a few short years, that Caddy will be worth 90 percent less than its sticker price.

    But if you must have one, lease it. (Leasing isn’t a good idea, but I digress).

  4. All that size and still get the child seats instead of adult seats. Again with that $&g*# middle of the bolster seam eating into your thighs, no thanks. Lincoln has their own seat issues, the odd seat geometrics make for a funky seating experience.

    And after the Raider Girl Caddy purchase debacle that makes it a sealed no deal.

  5. John Phillips 2002 Escalade EXT review is still one of my favorites.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15137235/2002-cadillac-escalade-ext-archived-test-review/

    “Cadillac’s brand manager says, “Cadillac research showed that there was a real need for the EXT.” A real need for a Cadillac pickup? Really? If so, then here are a few things that I really need: An air-conditioned front yard. Iguana-skin patio furniture. Stigmata. Mint-flavored Drano. Gold-plated roof gutters. A 190-hp MerCruiser SaladShooter. A dog with a collapsible tail. An office desk that converts into a Hovercraft. Chrome slacks. A lifetime subscription to Extreme Fidgeting. A third arm. A fourth wife. A smokeless Cuban Robusto. Reusable Kleenex.”

  6. 152,000 dollars will buy a lot more than a Cadillac. Sounds like the thing is more or less a lawn ornament and nothing else. You are stupid if you buy a hunk of metal that will eventually go to the car graveyard.

    152,000 USD will buy some land somewhere, 30 acres at 5,000 per acre will make room for a better life. You can have a cow! Chickens, goats, pigs, you’ll be swimmin’ in gopher gravy. 10 acres of wheat can yield something like 500 bushels of wheat. You will experience abundance like never before. There will be plenty and enough and more to eat.

    The Cadillac V will milk you dry. You’ll end up living it and it will be the immovable object. Ecstasy to agony, suddenly died, too bad so sad. You’ll need a few Suffrin’ Bastards after that.

    YMMV, you get what you pay for.

    150,000 USD in Certificates of Deposit at 5 percent yield will be 7500 dollars in interest gained. If you don’t want to have a farm, in five years, you can buy a new car or good used, and still have 150,000 dollars in CDs.

    One of my uncles bought a quarter of land ca. 1965, paid 8,000 dollars. 50 times 160 equals 8000.

    Old buildings, lots of barbed wire fence dividing the land for pasture, the farmstead was old and gone. He removed the old buildings and all of the fencing. A number of buyers then offered to buy the land from him. The land is still there, not going away.

    Maybe you can do that with a few old cars out there, then sell them at Barrett Jackson.

    Millions will end up crushed.

    I spoke with a rural mail carrier yesterday, she needed some help with an errand, couldn’t make the time to be there. Anyhow, she was driving a Hyundai Sonata hybrid. A few years back she drove a Ford Exploder, switched to Hyundai, two Santa Fe’s, one for the mail route. She loves the Sonata hybrid for short distances less than 50 miles.

    Anecdotal, but was direct information, which does help.

  7. Great review Eric. Learned a lot.
    Wow, what a vehicle. Knew that, but didn’t know they were doing a V version, which is awesome if you’ve got the bucks.
    Had many Tahoes, Burbs, and Yukons over the years, but GM lost me after about the ’08-10 timeframe for many reasons. Maybe they’re better now, don’t know, don’t care.
    I will add that the new Tahoe’s ‘look’ really good, to me.
    If I were in the market I would go tahoe, but then cross shop the newer Wagoneers, and certainly the Grand Cherokee if ya didn’t need the size. Actually, we just bought a certified GC-L but only V6 now which is not great, and why we bought used, waiting to see if they put the Hurricane engine in it, which it needs. Maybe…….. we’ll cross shop the tahoe if/when

  8. For towing the Airstream or the horse trailer to the dressage match, it would be hard to beat the F150 Platinum hybrid. Having that 240V 30A outlet in the bed can be a game changer.

    Something GM missed completely when they decided hybrids weren’t worth their time.

    • Yes, the AC jack may rescue a Yesla but this is THE legacy snob trrrrrrrinket in which pragmatism takes a heated outboard Back Seat to grille size. “In this one, you could probably fit a casket” (of itself.)

      Something a pervert may sell to Kardashians ?

  9. The Cadillac Escalade is a beautiful car…the comfort, the V8 engine, the interior. It is like meeting a gorgeous woman at a bar after a few rounds of tequila. You think you are taking home a 25 year old Christie Brinkley and you roll over the next morning and realize you have a 63 year old Kathy Griffin instead. Your first thought is WTH have I done. The second is how the hell do I get rid of this thing.

    Speaking as a someone who spent almost $100K on this piece of dog manure run far, far away. The GM/Cadillac quality is no longer there.

    • Just to note: It also comes with Alexa…and she hears everything. If you are looking to commit a crime this is not the car to do it in.

    • Hi RG,

      Are you still driving this “piece of dog manure” or did you get rid of it, take the loss, and move on? I’m sorry for your terrible experience with this vehicle.

      • Hi Martin,

        They finally bought it back from us last November. It was lemon lawed. I did it without a lawyer (although I did seek counsel from a few and paid for their time), but GM did make us whole. The UAW going on strike actually helped me, if you can believe it. When they shut down the Texas plant that manufactures the Escalades, Suburban, and Tahoe I was able to go back to them and state it was apparent they could not provide us a new car in a reasonable amount of time.
        At this point they were sick of me and I am sure Corporate was like “get rid of her, she is a PITA”.

        • Hi RG,

          Congratulations on getting hopefully most of your money back! GM has really gone to hell as a company. I can’t imagine buying anything from them. My wife and I just stick to Japanese cars. I have an Acura TLX. My wife and daughter have Toyota Corollas. So far, we have had no problems with any of these cars.

    • RG,

      I’m sorry to hear about your ongoing troubles with your Escalade. OTOH, I LOVE the Kathy Griffin line! That made my morning… 🙂

  10. “At almost 212 inches long and riding on a 120.9 inch wheelbase”

    That’s a very large car. I’m pretty sure that will fit in my garage as long as I move my mini fridge and trash compactor out of the way. But there is no way I need that large of a vehicle and no way I will fork over that much money. Anyway I am on the small side ( five foot eight inches tall and 150 lbs) and do not need that much space to fit in. But I understand that there are supersized people in the USA that need that much space. We are after all not created equal and so we need different environments as we pursue happiness. The government declares that “We are all created equal” and if the government decrees that there is not equal outcome then the government will enact laws like “Affirmative Action” and various quotas to insure equal outcomes. Except of course in sports like Basketball and football and 100 meter dash.

    I know of only one device that insures that all men are created equal and that is the Colt revolver. God created men unequal but Sam Colt will make them equal.

    It looks like the Escalade will also make men equal when they sit behind the wheel and control a large monster like the Escalade. The only problem is that it will cost a hell of a lot of money to make men equal. Just like “Affirmative action” costs a civilization of lot of money in terms of productivity and excellence. Most of us are not affected by “Affirmative Action” because most of us live in Whitopia but sooner or later we or our children will be subjected to itz civilizational destruction.

      • I had to look up Mr Stoner as I was not familiar with him. I’m more familiar with Mr Kalashnikov. I qualified with the M16 during army basic training but my preferred urban tool is the AK47. BTW I qualified first place in the battalion basic training class (Ft Leonard Wood) with the M16. They gave me a couple of trophies, a chicken dinner and my picture shaking hands with the Colonel.

  11. ‘4WD is standard with the V, which stickers for $152,295.’ — eric

    $152,295 is a stunning number. That sum would once have purchased a semi-custom, bespoke vehicle, painted, furnished and equipped to order.

    $11,300 to get leather and heated seats is equally stunning. Auto makers are rarely accused of gouging. But these numbers are truly extreme. How much for Pleather, kind sirs? The kids need shoes …

    No doubt the US fedgov will order whole fleets of them, with blacked-out windows, to escort important personages. Upon their passage, citizens are urged to halt their activities, remove their hats, and stand at respectful attention until the darkened anonymous convoy of armed government workers has blown by on their urgent inscrutable mission.

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