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2017 Cadillac Escalade

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2017 Cadillac Escalade Expert Review

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In the world of full-size luxury SUVs, Cadillac’s Escalade for 2017 occupies a unique spot. Only the Lincoln Navigator L can match the Escalade ESV for length, but it’s no match for the big Caddy’s power, technology and luxury features. In terms of sheer interior volume, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, BMW and Lexus don’t offer anything close, and none can match the Escalade’s sheer styling audacity. Powered by a massive 6.2-liter V8 engine, the Escalade can tow up to 8,300 pounds, not as much the Lincoln Navigator or Infiniti QX80, but superior to the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Audi Q7 and Lexus LX. Luxury amenities abound and the Escalade’s tasteful use of leather, wood and color make its interior one of the best in the segment.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2017 Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV provides all the room, power and towing capacity of a full-size Chevrolet Suburban, then infuses it with copious luxury, technology and performance enhancement we’ve come to expect from a vehicle wearing the wreath-and-crest badge.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite its numerous driver and parking assists, Cadillac’s 2017 Escalade SUV is a massive vehicle that can be difficult to maneuver and park. If you don’t need the Escalade’s oversized abilities, you’ll likely find a nimble Audi Q7 or Infiniti QX60 more appealing.

How It Ranks
2017 Cadillac Escalade Low/wide front photo What's New for 2017

For 2017, the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV full-size luxury SUVs can be equipped with a rear camera mirror. New standard equipment includes Automatic Park Assist that uses ultrasonic sensors to automatically park the Escalade in either a parallel or perpendicular spot.

Driving the Escalade
2017 Cadillac Escalade Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

A vehicle as robust as the 2017 Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV requires an equal under the hood, and Cadillac’s 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 is just the beast. Power for passing and...

... merging is never in short supply, but there is a price to pay at the pump, although we doubt anyone who can afford the Escalade will much care. On the road, GM’s Magnetic Ride Control does an admirable job managing the Escalade’s bulk, allowing it to negotiate tight turns with little fuss. The power steering assist is appropriately proportioned, with a nice heavy feel to the steering wheel that lightens up at lower speeds. Add the optional 4-wheel drive (4WD) and the Escalade becomes a winter warrior capable of tackling all kinds of road conditions. Regrettably, the Escalade’s size and poor approach angles prevent it from going places where you can take a Lexus LX or Land Rover Range Rover.

FOLD-FLAT 2ND- and 3RD-ROW SEATS
Combine its flat-folding 2nd- and 3rd-row seats with the 2017 Cadillac Escalade’s massive interior, and you’ll create an enormous level floor large enough to accommodate anything requiring up to 94.2 cubic feet of space.

REAR CAMERA MIRROR
Cadillac’s 2017 Escalade luxury SUV can be equipped with a rear camera mirror that uses streaming video to improve the rear field of vision by 300 percent. Unlike a traditional mirror, the camera mirror can reduce glare and improve the image in low-light situations.

2017 Cadillac Escalade Details
2017 Cadillac Escalade Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

By far the biggest standout feature for the 2017 Cadillac Escalade is its interior. Boasting soft-touch materials as far as the eye can see, the Escalade wows every time you enter. Leather and real wood give off a refined feel -- something missing from previous-generation Escalades. All models can be had with a 2nd-row bench seat allowing seating for eight passengers in lieu of a pair of bucket seats and seating for seven. Third-row legroom is tight in standard models, but the extended-length 2017 Cadillac ESV SUV rectifies that while also offering considerably more cargo space behind the rearmost seats.

Exterior
2017 Cadillac Escalade photo

Along with its powerful grille and streamlined rear quarters, the 2017 Cadillac Escalade benefits from the addition of full-LED headlights and taillights. There are four crystals in the headlights that act as the high beams, giving off radiant light. The long vertical taillights also employ LEDs, making it easier to follow the Escalade when weather conditions are less than ideal. While originally installed for aerodynamic purposes, the spoiler also hides the rear windshield-wiper blade. ESV models add even more length, coming in at a total of 224.3 inches compared to the 203.9 inches of the standard model.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

You can’t miss the chrome grille, but you might not see the active-aero shutters behind it. Then there are the 12-way power-adjustable seats, 20-inch chrome-plated aluminum wheels, Magnetic Ride Control and hands-free power liftgate. A remote starter, tri-zone climate control, and a reconfigurable instrument cluster further the Escalade’s appeal, as does a power-folding 3rd-row seat, heated and cooling front seats, front and rear park assists, rain-sensing wipers, a surround-vision camera, Automatic Park Assist, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-compatible 16-speaker Bose Centerpoint audio, CUE with navigation and a power tilt/telescopic steering column with heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Optional Equipment

Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, side blind-zone alert, rear camera mirror, cross-traffic alert, and 22-inch machine-finished wheels are all available on the 2017 Cadillac Escalade. For buyers seeking the most indulgence, the new range-topping Platinum line comes with Nappa semi-aniline leather, suede microfiber headliner and climate-controlled 18-way-adjustable front seats complete with massaging functionality for the driver's side.

Under the Hood
2017 Cadillac Escalade Engine photo

You have one choice when it comes to motivating the 2017 Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV, and that’s the 6.2-liter V8 engine rated at 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission for both 2WD and 4WD models is an 8-speed automatic with driver shift control and tow/haul mode. Even with the 8-speed transmission, this engine gets parched quickly, and the EPA’s ratings of 15/22 mpg for the rear-wheel-drive (2WD) model and 15/20 mpg for the 4WD variant reflect that. While premium gasoline is recommended, the Escalade’s engine doesn’t require it, so you can save a few cents at the pump.

6.2-liter V8
420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (2WD), 15/20 mpg (4WD), 15/22 mpg (ESV 2WD), 15/20 mpg (ESV 4WD)

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

There are four trim levels for the 2017 Escalade: Standard (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price [MSRP] of just under $74,500 including a $995 destination charge), Luxury ($78,390), Premium ($83,890), and the top-line Platinum (just over $93,000). Long-wheelbase Escalade ESV models cost an extra $3,000. Adding 4WD is another $2,600. With every option box checked, the 2017 Cadillac can reach into the high-$90,000 range. The starting price for the 2017 Escalade puts it ahead of competitors like the Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80 and even the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. The Audi Q7 and the Infiniti QX60 both offer seating for seven and a starting price below $55,000 and $45,000, respectively. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Escalades. We expect the Escalade to have better resale value than the Lincoln Navigator but to trail that of the Lexus LX.

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