2023 Cadillac Escalade heralds the fearless elevation of design, performance, and technology. The distinctive V-Series badge signifies a blend of refinement and power, enhanced street driving, and bold, performance-inspired styling.

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade  is set to be the first SUV in the Cadillac lineup to flaunt the V-Series badge, which marks it as a high-performance vehicle that is ready to take your daily adventures by storm. V-Series models in the Cadillac lineup represent the height of Cadillac performance and design, offering an exhilarating driving experience that is bound to bring more excitement to every moment that you spend behind the wheel.

ENGINE AND IMPLEMENTATION

Cadillac’s biggest SUV is powered by a standard 6.2-liter V-8 engine that makes 420 horsepower and can deactivate half of its cylinders when cruising to save fuel; a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six is also available. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard with both engines, and buyers can choose from the rear- or all-wheel-drive setups.

As with its siblings, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the GMC Yukon, the Escalade rides on an independent rear suspension that helps to provide a smooth ride. Higher-end models also offer an air suspension with adaptive dampers that use computer-controlled shock absorbers.

At our test track, the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV with the V-8 engine sprinted to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. The diesel engine doesn’t deliver the straight-line performance of the standard V-8, but for some buyers that compromise is worth the improved fuel economy and punchy low-end torque. For those Escalade fans with a need for speed, only the V will do. We don’t have all the information on this model just yet, but we expect it to be powered by a beastly supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 making over 600 horsepower.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND REAL-WORLD MPG

Rear-wheel drive Escalades are rated at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined; adding all-wheel drive drops each of those numbers by 1 mpg. The last generation model carried ratings as high as 23 mpg highway and Escalade’s key rival–the Lincoln Navigator–offers more efficient ratings too.
Opting for the turbo-diesel engine makes a big difference, with EPA estimates as high as 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, an all-wheel-drive Escalade with the optional diesel engine returned 26 mpg. For more information about Escalade’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

INTERIOR, CONVENIENCE, AND BOOTH

As the flagship of the Cadillac lineup, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade ups the ante on in-cabin luxury. Faux leather is used in the base Luxury trim, but all other trims receive the real deal, with Platinum models getting soft semi-aniline hides. Leather-covered dash and door panels, aluminum speaker grilles, and adjustable interior ambient lighting provide an upscale appearance. Like the outgoing model, both a standard and long-wheelbase model are offered, the latter of which yielding more legroom for third-row riders and additional cargo space.

IN-VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT AND INTERCONNECTIONS

The main showpiece is the digital dashboard that’s comprised of three curved OLED displays that layer on top of one another to create a cool 38-inches of combined digital real estate, some of which serves as the driver’s gauge cluster while the rest projects the CUE infotainment system for the driver and passenger.

The collection of displays is reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz GLS-class’s giant monolithic infotainment setup, but the Escalade’s stacked setup creates depth and looks less tacked-on than the Benz. Other tech features include an augmented-reality navigation system and an available rear-seat entertainment package that includes two 12.6-inch displays with streaming capability. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and a Wi-Fi hotspot are also standard.

Audiophiles will be in for a treat no matter which Escalade model they choose. Cadillac has partnered with Grammy-award-winning audio and acoustics company AKG to develop Escalade’s standard and optional sound systems. A 19-speaker Studio Sound system is standard on the Luxury, Sport, and Premium Luxury models, but Platinum trims get the AKG Studio Reference system with a whopping 36 speakers.

PROTECTION AND DRIVER-ASSISTANCE ASPECTS

Cadillac is set on making its flagship SUV a showcase for driver-assistance technology, though, and in addition to making many of the most popular active-safety features standards, Cadillac says it also will offer its Super Cruise semi-autonomous drive mode as an available feature. For more information about the Escalade’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites

PHOTOS

2023 Cadillac Escalade V Front Three-Quarters Driver Side View

2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series Lineup

Closeup of 2023 Escalade V Door Badge

Closeup of 2023 Cadillac Escalade V Grille

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE AS TESTED
$112,965 (base price: $83,490)

ENGINE TYPE
pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement
376 in3, 6162 cm3
Power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque
460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm

TRANSMISSION
10-speed automatic

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): control arms/trailing arm; Brakes (F/R): 13.5-in vented disc/13.6-in vented disc; Tires: Bridgestone Alenza A/S 02, 275/50R-22 111H M+S TPC Spec 3156MS

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 134.1 in; Length: 227.0; Width: 81.1; Height: 76.5 in; Passenger volume: 180 ft; Cargo volume: 43 ft; Curb Weight: 6270

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.9 sec
100 mph: 15.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.3 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.2 sec
1/4 mile: 14.5 sec @ 97 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 176 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft dia skidpad: 0.71 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 14 mpg

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 16/14/19 mpg

2021 Cadillac Escalade Duramax Diesel

VEHICLE TYPE
front-engine, rear- or rear/4-wheel-drive, 7- or 8-passenger, 4-door wagon

BASE PRICE
RWD, $77,490
4WD, $80,490

ENGINE TYPE
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement
183 in3, 2993 cm3
Power
277 hp @ 3750 rpm
Torque
460 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

TRANSMISSION
10-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 120.9 in
Length: 211.9 in
Width: 81.1 in
Height: 76.7 in
Passenger volume: 172 ft3
Cargo volume: 26 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 6000–6200 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 7.7–7.9 sec
100 mph: 23.9–24.1 sec
1/4 mile: 15.9–16.1 sec
Top speed: 110 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 22–23/20–21/26–27 mpg

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