By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
While other SUVs strive to become smaller and more fuel-efficient, the Cadillac Escalade carries on much as it has in years past, albeit with two fewer versions in its current lineup. For 2014, the Escalade remains big, bold and brash. It brims with power and prestige, and its chrome-clad exterior and leather-lined cabin continue to be as popular with celebrities as they are with politicians and well-heeled soccer moms. The 2014 Escalade lineup has said goodbye to the hybrid model and the EXT, which was based on the also-gone Chevy Avalanche. There are many 7- and 8-passenger crossover SUVs that offer better fuel-efficiency and handling than the Escalade, but few can match the Cadillac's sheer presence or hauling practicality.
If you want to carry up to eight passengers and tow 8,300 pounds of toys with a boatload of style and amenities, the Escalade can do so with plenty of class.
If you're seeking a 3-row luxury SUV that's easy to park, handles like a car and gets better fuel economy than middling figures, look to the diesel-powered Audi Q7 or Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. Those put off by the Escalade's $65,000 starting price should check out the low-$40,000 Infiniti QX60.
Cadillac is winnowing its Escalade offerings to just two versions for 2014, the regular model and the even longer ESV version. No longer available are the Escalade Hybrid or pickup-like Escalade EXT. The only thing new for the 2014 Escalade lineup is an exterior color: Midnight Plum Metallic.
Driving Impressions With its size and heft, it should come as no surprise that the 2014 Cadillac Escalade isn't exactly a corner carver. But considering the Escalade remains a body-on-frame vehicle, it...... offers a surprisingly comfortable ride. This is made possible by a host of electronic stability, traction and suspension controls, including the rapidly-adjusting Magnetic Ride Control that is standard on all but base models. The Escalade is at home on the highway, but tight parking lots can feel even tighter when you're trying to pull this big Caddy into the last available space. As for power, the Escalade's 400-plus horsepower 6.2-liter V8 is smooth, strong and feels like it has an endless reserve of torque. That power and a dedicated tow mode are especially appreciated when pulling a boat or trailer. The optional "intelligent" all-wheel-drive feature can help the Escalade maintain grip on snowy and slippery roads.
REMOTE VEHICLE START
This is one of those standard features that you may not want to live without, especially in hot summer or cold winter weather. A touch of the key-fob button from afar can start the engine and begin cooling or heating the cabin before you're even inside.
POWER FOLD-AND-TUMBLE 2ND-ROW SEAT
For less-than-limber adults, accessing the third row in an SUV can feel like an obstacle course. The Escalade's power-fold feature makes reaching the rear far easier.
In either regular or ESV extended-length form, the 2014 Escalade can seat seven or eight passengers. The former setup is the standard form, with the second row consisting of two bucket seats. For families needing to carry up to eight, the second row can be fitted with a 60/40 folding bench seat. In standard-length Escalades, 3rd-row legroom is tight for adults. ESV models offer plenty more space, along with nearly three times the cargo capacity behind the 3rd-row seat. Whatever setup you choose, leather is the material of choice, with higher-end versions featuring more supple versions of it along with wood inlays.Exterior
The 2014 Escalade is available in two sizes: Regular models are more manageable with a length of just over 202.5 inches, similar to a Ford Flex, while ESV versions add over 20 inches to that total. This bigger setup offers plenty of cargo capacity as described above, but you'd be wise to make sure an ESV will fit in your garage if you plan to park it there. Both models are defined by their rectangular shapes and acres of chrome, not the least of which is featured in or around the Escalade's massive grille. Buyers desiring even more bling can opt for 22-inch chromed aluminum wheels.
The Escalade and Escalade ESV are available in four trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Premium, and Platinum. Even in "base" Standard form, the 2014 Escalade comes very well equipped with navigation, Bose premium sound with 10 speakers and rear headphone jacks, a power liftgate, 3-zone climate control, 14-way power heated and ventilated front seats, and power-adjustable pedals to accommodate a variety of driver sizes. Stepping up to higher trims brings Magnetic Ride Control Suspension, blind-zone monitoring, a power sunroof, a heated steering wheel, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, rear-park assist, and GM's OnStar communications system with automatic crash response.
All-wheel drive is optional on all trims of the 2014 Cadillac Escalade in lieu of the standard rear-wheel drive (RWD). Most other enhancements to the Escalade are bundled and vary by trim level. The few stand-alone options include 22-inch wheels, power-retractable side steps, LED headlights, and rear-seat DVD entertainment.
The 2014 Cadillac Escalade employs a 6.2-liter V8 that makes a potent 403 horsepower. The engine features Active Fuel Management, which deactivates half of the cylinders under light loads for increased fuel economy. Even with this technology, the Escalade's big V8 drinks a lot of fuel. EPA combined ratings are 16 mpg for rear-wheel-drive versions and 15 mpg for all-wheel-drive (AWD) models. Though you'll probably be filling up often, at least you can do so with regular-grade gasoline instead of premium. The big Caddy also accepts E85 blend.
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 mpg (RWD), 13/18 mpg (AWD)
The 2014 Cadillac Escalade SUV has a Manufacturer's Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $65,000. A top-line all-wheel-drive version can reach into the mid-$80,000 range. At its base price, the Escalade is several thousand higher than the starting prices of the Lincoln Navigator and Infiniti QX56, nearly in line with that of the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Range Rover Sport, and several thousand below the base price of the terrain-conquering Lexus LX 570. Those looking to spend substantially less for a 7-passenger luxury SUV can do so with the Audi Q7 and Infiniti JX. Both start under $50,000 but are smaller than the Escalade and do not have the Cadillac's towing capacity. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Escalades. We expect the Escalade to have better resale value than the Lincoln Navigator but to trail that of the Lexus LX.
By Knicky on Saturday, January 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "very quiet and truly comfy ride"
Cons: "cosmetic issues were toooo many, back seats do not"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"The appliqué literally fell off the back side of the vehicle. The passenger door handle came very loose. The leather in the passenger row is worn with not much use at all, had to have been inferior quality. too many issues to mention. Never again will I buy American. Back to Lexus!!…Pretty SUV but not nearly worth my $85K… Cadillac emblem faded in less than a year of ownership (vehicle is not left in the sun for any extended period). They replaced it and It faded again just as quickly. HORRIBLE QUALITY in the cosmetic details. Back seats do no recline,really Cadillac??"
20 people out of 40 found this review helpful
By Charlie705 on Saturday, December 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great deal used, looks great, super comfortable,"
Cons: "Gas mileage, 3rd row seats dont flatten"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We love this truck. My wife prefers it to our 2007 Mercedes S550 and our 2007 Maserati QP. Its like driving a comfortable couch. Everything is easy. The 6.2 liter engine is silky smooth. Great for taking kids around. Just feels strong, hard to describe. Only downside is the gas mileage."
12 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By Chuck on Sunday, October 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Easy transition to multiple uses, no need for a 2nd car; good for towing, carrying loads, cleans up nice for formal occasions"
35 people out of 64 found this review helpful