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2008 Cadillac Escalade

Overview
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2008 Cadillac Escalade Review

By

Fast-living rappers and bling-dazzled celebrities swooned over the previous-generation Escalade but, in addition to more power and a greater length, the 2008 Cadillac Escalade stresses finesse over flashiness. Refinements are easily noticeable, inside and out, and the newest Escalade behaves more admirably on the road than its predecessor. Marketers claim segment-leading horsepower and torque for the "Gen IV" 6.2-liter V8 and, at 60 mph, the engine cruises along at just 1500 rpm.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your driving life demands plenty of room for people plus cargo, along with luxury amenities and a brash aura, the Escalade could be your breed of SUV. Though not quite as glitzy in this iteration as the last, the audacious Escalade continues to get you noticed.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Full-size dimensions translate to improved but still only so-so gas mileage, plus a rather high climb into the passenger compartment. So, if you can survive with a less-bulky luxury SUV, you may want to consider the Escalade an also-ran.

What's Significant About This Car?

Fresh from its 2007 makeover, the 2008 Cadillac Escalade has only minor changes. The biggest news is the arrival of a hybrid version due later in 2008.

Driving the Escalade

Driving Impressions The 2008 Cadillac Escalade's performance is energetic, but not exactly dramatic; hitting the gas at lower speeds doesn't always produce vigorous response, while engine noise during acceleration doesn't sound exactly...

Cadillac-like. Automatic-transmission shifts are impressively smooth, though on upgrades it sometimes seems uncertain what to do next. Handling isn't really truck-like but, in curves, it doesn't feel like a sports car, either, although the steering feel is more pleasing and precise than with previous Escalades. Expect a smooth ride on good surfaces, although minor bumps will get through, especially with the larger-diameter tires and wheels.

Manual-mode Transmission Operation
Placing the + and - (upshift/downshift) buttons on the column gearshift might not seem like a good idea at first, as most vehicles with a manual-shift provision have a floor lever. Even so, these buttons are easy to find and use, and the transmission responds with satisfying promptness.

Power Fold-and-Tumble Second-row Seating
Third-row access is a serious issue in big SUVs and an easy-folding second-row seat can save a lot of irritation. This feature operates with buttons on the console and door pillar.

2008 Cadillac Escalade Details
2008 Cadillac Escalade photo Interior

Seating is available for six to eight passengers. No exposed fasteners are visible, close-out panels conceal seat hardware, pillars are fabric-wrapped and the instrument panel's low and forward placement provides more interior room. The seats have sculpted backs to enhance interior space, and both the recline and seat-track travel are quite generous. Gauges are large enough, but blue pointers impair readability. Sadly, there's no driver's grab handle, and the passenger handle is a long reach.

Exterior

Besides concentrating on proportions and execution, designers strove toward such detail refinements as reduced body gaps. All major components were new for 2007, including front and rear fascias, triple-stack HID headlamps, a unique D-pillar treatment and doors that wrap over the rocker panels. Ventiports adorn the front fenders and the windshield is steeply raked for both style and aerodynamic efficiency. The track width grew by three inches up front, a coil-over-shock suspension replaced the prior torsion bars and the boxed frame delivers 49-percent greater torsional stiffness. Standard wheels and tires are 18-inch, but hard-to-miss 22-inch versions are available.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A power rear liftgate heads the list of standard features in the amply-equipped 2008 Cadillac Escalade. Compatibility brackets, built into the front frame, are intended to reduce damage to other vehicles in certain collisions. Side-curtain airbags include tethers for enhanced rollover protection, front seatbelt pretensioners activate in rear impacts—said to be an "industry-exclusive" feature—and the StabiliTrak stability control system incorporates rollover mitigation technology. Audiophiles can enjoy Bose 5.1 Digital Surround Sound, while everyone benefits from Cadillac's Auto Ride suspension. Integrated tow hooks are standard. A tap-up/tap-down manual mode for the transmission works easily and promptly, using buttons on the column-mounted gearshift lever.

Optional Equipment

Power fold-and-tumble second-row seats are convenient to operate and cooled seats are offered in all models as part of the Ultra Luxury Collection package. Rear parking assist is available, along with a rearview camera; both are incorporated into a package that also includes Cadillac's navigation system. Power-deployable running boards are another appealing option and, when properly equipped, an all-wheel-drive Escalade can tow up to 7,700 pounds; good news for boaters and RVers.

Under the Hood

Cadillac's V8 engine now displaces 6.2 liters and generates significant horsepower and torque. With its two overdrive ratios and wide gear-ratio spread, the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission is said to be nearly equivalent to a seven-speed. The manual-shift mode uses column-lever buttons.

6.2-liter V8
403 horsepower at 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19 (2WD), 12/18 (AWD)

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2008 Cadillac Escalade Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 159 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great Family Vehicle

By on Friday, September 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, Stylish, Good Price"

Cons: "No Aux output for iPod/iPhone usage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I purchased this vehicle in replacement of a Yukon Denali that was totaled in a recent accident. The Escalade is stylish and a definite eye catcher. The Escalade also helps me transport my big family and enough room for my physically handicap child to enjoy themselves."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN KEPT IN EXCELLENT CONDITION.

By on Monday, September 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 265

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I HAVE RECEIVED MANY COMPLIMENTS ON HOW THIS VEHICLE OVERALL APPEARANCE IN AND OUTSIDE. THIS WILL BE A GOOD PICK."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Wife loves her Escalade

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great to drive"

Cons: "3rd row rearseats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great driving vehicle, with enough guts to get you off to a quick start, braking is ok considering the weight of the vehicle. Drives like a dream, quite, and smooth. Very comfortable. Downside which has been corrected in their 2015 model is the removal of the 3rd. row back seats. They are heavy, and a pain to get in and out. Almost impossible for a women of normal strength to handle."

16 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Best auto I have ever owned

By on Friday, June 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,469

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "room and driving comfort"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"n excellent ride and driving experience.This is the best auto I have ever owned in 46 years of driving."

27 people out of 54 found this review helpful

I love this car!!

By on Monday, June 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very classy car to own and drive."

Cons: "Loaded!1"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is by far the best car I've ever owned. It has class and comfort beyond compare. This car is in excellent condition. Very clean and all maintenance performed by dealer. Black with black leather interior. Fully loaded."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Best luxury family vehicle ever..

By on Monday, May 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable,lots of room,smooth quiet ride"

Cons: "high price"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is our 4th Cadillac escalade esv and we simply love them for family transportation.Plenty of room and very comfortable ride and seating for long trips. Very reliable too, we have had no issues with our cadillac accept just basic oil changes and checkups..Love these cars!! only downfall is they can be a bit pricey but its worth the peace of mind."

11 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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