• Shows the world you've made it
  • Big-truck capability
  • Surprisingly good driving dynamics
  • Big-truck fuel economy
  • Hybrid derivation no longer offered
  • Not as refined as unibody competitors

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Escalade in 2014

The 2014 Cadillac Escalade carries into 2014 as a standard and long-wheelbase model with no changes. An all-new Escalade goes on sale this spring as a 2015 model...more

Vehicle Summary

The 2014 Cadillac Escalade is a V-8-powered, full-size luxury SUV. It competes directly with the likes of the Infiniti QX80 and the Lincoln Navigator. The Escalade has lost sales in recent years to large crossovers, but its capability as a body-on-frame, V-8-powered truck makes it perfect for those who tow. The 2014 Escalade will mark the end of the current generation, which debuted in 2007; an all-new Escalade will go on sale in early 2014 as a 2015 model.

Overview

Eldorado, Seville, Fleetwood. And Escalade. This full-size luxury SUV is the latest in a long line of Cadillacs whose very name connotes excess, indulgence, and presence. The Cadillac Escalade doesn't dominate the sales charts in the way it did during the SUV craze a decade ago, but it's still worthy of consideration if you want lots of capability, versatility, and luxury.

The 2014 Cadillac Escalade drives very well for a body-on-frame SUV. The steering has just the right amount of power assistance. Optional magnetorheological dampers do an admirable job of managing the Escalade's considerable mass (long-wheelbase ESV models weigh close to 6000 pounds). The muscular 6.2-liter V-8 can tow up to 8000 pounds. What's that? You're worried about fuel economy? Then don't buy a full-size luxury SUV. Cadillac did offer a hybrid version of the Escalade that achieved 21 mpg combined in EPA testing, but few people bought it. It fell out of the lineup in 2013 and won't be returning. Cadillac has also eliminated the EXT, which had a short pickup bed.

We gushed over the Escalade's interior when it debuted in 2007, but time marches on. The materials still impress, and there's more space than in the typical New York studio apartment, but the overall execution can't compare to that of, say, a Land Rover Range Rover Sport or a Mercedes-Benz GL-class. Indeed, the biggest threat to the 2014 Cadillac Escalade comes from unibody luxury SUVs, which are nearly as capable and are more refined. It's also worth remembering, as always, that the mechanically similar Chevrolet Suburban offers most of the Escalade's amenities, if not its style and cachet.

We should note that an all-new Escalade arrives in spring 2014 as a 2015 model. It will ride on the same chassis as GM's new pickups and feature a direct-injected 6.2-liter V-8 that should be more efficient. The biggest improvement is the interior, which boasts the same quality materials that we've seen in the XTS, CTS, and ELR -- cut-and-sewn leather, real wood trim, and suede accents. Further into the future, we believe Cadillac is also working on a new full-size crossover that will complement, rather than replace, the Escalade.

Key Competitors

  • Infiniti QX80
  • Lexus LX570
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

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