2020 Cadillac Escalade

2020 MODEL
$76,490 - $96,590
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7.1

Overall Rating

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2020 Cadillac Escalade Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 23, 2020
Aaron Smith's image

Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

Since 2003, the recipe for creating a Cadillac Escalade was a simple one. You start off with a particularly unsophisticated GMC Yukon and then give it three suitcases full of cash only to send it to a Louis Vuitton store in Beverly Hills. It now has chandeliers for headlights, the finest leather and wood trim on the interior and 22-inch rims with enough chrome to scare off Puff Diddy in his prime. Even though it has become two decades old but it still makes many heads turn while on the road.

Cadillac offers the Escalade in two configurations, the standard wheelbase and an extended ESV with a longer wheelbase that provides 10-inch additional legroom and more than 25 cubic feet of extra cargo space. All the models are equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine (420 horsepower, 460-pound-feet of torque) and a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

The SUV royalty mentioned in the first paragraph has only gotten better and brattier with the passage of time and they now pose a threat to the Escalade's reign. Of course, we're talking about the deadly three; the Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS and the mighty Land Rover Range Rover. Escalade vs. the World then. Let the games begin.

See detailed review »

Pros

Most capable V8 engine in this segment

Base variant is more than adequately loaded with features

Upscale and noiseless interior

Amazing towing capacity

Cons

Cramped second row and trunk

Compromised comfort in the cabin

Less refined ride quality compared to rivals

What's New?

Dual-screen rear entertainment system is no longer available


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$76490

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

drivetrain

RWD

engine type

displacement

376 cu.in.

horsepower

420 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

460 lbs.-ft. @ 4100 rpm

transmission

10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive

chassis

frame type

Ladder Frame

suspension front

Independent front short and long arm suspension

suspension rear

Rigid axle rear multi-link suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

13/13

dimensions

wheelbase

116 in.

length

68.7 in.

width

80.5 in.

height

74.4 in.

curb weight

5578 lbs.

ground clearance

8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

172 cu ft.

cargo volume

94.2 cu ft.

towing capacity

8300 lbs.

payload capacity

1460 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

5.9 sec.

standing ¼-mile

14.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

14/21/17 mpg

highway range

546 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. /50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr. /unlimited

roadside assistance

5 yr. / 60000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 Cadillac Escalade Review video
2020 Cadillac Escalade Interior video
2020 Cadillac Escalade Exterior video

Styles

2020 Cadillac Escalade in Black Raven color 2020 Cadillac Escalade in Crystal White color 2020 Cadillac Escalade in Dark Adriatic Blue Metallic color 2020 Cadillac Escalade in Dark Mocha Metallic color
Black Raven

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

4.9

Engine And Performance

8.0

Interior

7.2

Exterior

7.5

Safety

6.0

Competition

8.0

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Cadillac Escalade Base

Base

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$76,490 - $79,490


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $76,490 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive rear wheel drive 7
4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $79,490 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive four wheel drive 7

2020 Cadillac Escalade Luxury

Luxury

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$82,090 - $85,090


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $82,090 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive rear wheel drive 7
Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $85,090 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive four wheel drive 7

2020 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury

Premium Luxury

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$86,490 - $89,490


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $86,490 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive rear wheel drive 7
Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $89,490 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive four wheel drive 7

2020 Cadillac Escalade Platinum

Platinum

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (recommended)
mpg
17 combined

$93,590 - $96,590


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Platinum 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $93,590 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive rear wheel drive 7
Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $96,590 MSRP (14/17/21) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, premium unleaded (recommended)
10-speed automatic electronically controlled w/overdrive four wheel drive 7

Expert Review

7.1

Overall Rating


Behind the shiny, chrome-laden grille of the 2020 Escalade is a 6.2-liter V8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic shifter. Both these units are standard across the range of the 2020 Escalade, and also are the only available options as far as powertrain and transmission are concerned. Although you can choose from a rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations.

The 420 hp engine of the 2020 Cadillac Escalade has a combined MPG rating of 17 miles per gallon, and the price for the base variant, known as Base, starts at just $75,195. With the kind of engine and features that the Escalade offers, it ranks well amongst the likes of the Lincoln Navigator and the Infiniti QX80.

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Front View
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Rear View

4.9/10
Features

 

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

 
 

7.2/10
Interior

 

7.5/10
Exterior

 

6.0/10
Safety

 

8.0/10
Competition

 
 

2020 Cadillac Escalade Features

4.9/10

There are four new trims for the 2020 Cadillac Escalade starting off with the $75,195 base model. There's also a $100,000 extended "ESV' (Extended Stretch Vehicle) model with all the features of the 'Platinum' top model for those who need to fit in more chains and Gucci clothes in the back.

The base trim comes with a wide array of equipment, but the Premium Luxury and Platinum models take this huge, lavish machine to another level. All the Escalade comes standard with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard while you get the four-wheel drive is optional.

Trim

Base

Luxury

Premium Luxury

Platinum

MSRP RWD

$76,490

$80,090

$86,490

$93,590

MSRP AWD

$79,490

$85,090

$89,490

$96590

Key features

20-inch wheels

Same as Base

Same as Luxury

Same as Premium Luxury

 

Adaptive suspension

Sunroof

Adaptive cruise control

Front seats with massaging function
 

LED headlights

Head-up display

   
 

Automatic parallel/perpendicular parking assist

     
 

Hands-free liftgate

     
 

Three-zone automatic climate control

     
 

Heated/ventilated power-adjustable front seats

   

 

 

Heated rear seats

     
 

8-inch touchscreen

     

All variants are very well equipped with features that are standard throughout. There are also a few optional packages on offer too. There’s the Sport package which wraps the grille in black, and the other Driver Awareness package for a bundle of safety features.

We Recommend

All the 2020 Escalade comes standard with a powerful V-8 engine so choosing between the trim basically depends upon the kind of features you want inside the vehicle. As all the Cadillac boasts an extensive list of features but to get the best interior we would suggest you go with the Premium.  Plus, it's got almost all the features from the Platinum model and you can barely differentiate between the two.

2020 Cadillac Escalade Engine and Performance

8.0/10

While its rivals have all opted for sensible V6 engines in their base models, the folks at Cadillac threw up at the idea of a puny 6-cylinder and went for the legendary LT1 V8 instead which clearly means that Cadillac is one of the very few mainstream car companies that actually care about horsepower-hungry petrol heads.

A 10-speed automatic transmission, jointly developed by General Motors and Ford replaces the previous model year’s 8-speed automatic transmission.

 

The 2020 Cadillac Escalade is powered by the same old’ 6.2-litre V8

The V8 is the only powertrain option that one gets along with this Cadillac. Also, the only option on the Escalade is a ten-speed automatic transmission.  The 6.2-liter V-8 engine is a monster of an engine and is more than enough to move this 5,500-pound SUV briskly.

Models

Cadillac Escalade

Lincoln Navigator

BMW X7

Infiniti QX80

MSRP

$76,490

$75,825

$92,600

$65,500

Engine

6.2L Regular V8

3.5L Premium V6

4.4L Premium V8

5.6L Naturally Aspirated V8

Drivetrain RWD RWD AWD RWD

Transmission

10-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual

10-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual

8-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual

7-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual

Power

420hp@5,600rpm

450hp@5,500rpm

456hp@5,250rpm

400hp@5,800rpm

Torque

460lb-ft@4,100rpm

500lb-ft@3,000rpm

479lb-ft@1,500rpm

413lb-ft@4,000rpm

The V-8 feels incredibly burly and does not even slow down, even with the added heft of the extended-wheelbase ESV model. The 10-speed auto transmission feels incredibly smooth while shifting when more power is needed. You will not feel left behind on the highway as it merges into traffic easily. 

Acceleration

Despite its humongous size the 2020 Cadillac Escalade is the fastest of the lot and makes 0-60 in 6.1 seconds. It even beat others in quarter-mile as it takes only 14.6 seconds to cover the distance. 

2020 Cadillac Escalade Side View

Acceleration is easy and effortless. Once max power is attained, i.e., somewhere around the 4,000-5,500 rpm mark, this Cadillac moves as if it were a race car. 

Model

Cadillac Escalade

Lincoln Navigator

BMW X7

Infiniti QX80

0-60 MPH 

5.9 sec

5.9 sec

5.2 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile 

14.4 sec

14.5 sec

13.2 sec

N/A

Top Speed N/A 157 MPH 155 MPH N/A

Engine

6.2L Regular V8

3.5L Premium V6

4.4L Premium V8

5.6L Naturally Aspirated V8

However, the Escalade’s weight does take a toll on its performance. Steady acceleration can be maintained only along straight lines. So the Escalade might prove pretty handy for a stint on the dragstrip, but it’s highly recommended that you steer clear of the racetrack.

Braking 

Now, before you forgive the five and a half thousand pound Caddy for performing poorly in the 60-0MPH braking test, you need to realize that it didn't. Yes, it's a shocker but it is true that the new Escalade comes to a standstill from 60 MPH in just 119 ft. 

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Brake

This means that it brakes earlier than all the other cars in this segment further establishing that this Caddy is a more focused performance SUV than all of its predecessors. 

Model

Cadillac Escalade

Lincoln Navigator

BMW X7

Infiniti QX80

Brake Rotors Front

13.0"

N/A

N/A

13.8"

Brake Rotors Rear

13.6"

N/A

N/A

13.8"

Curb Weight

5800 lbs

5872 lbs

5617 lbs

6140 lbs

60-0 MPH

133 ft

132 ft

105 ft

N/A

The feel from the pedal and the response from the brakes, in general, is adequately smooth and strong at the same time. So much so that one would appreciate driving the Escalade on an everyday commute around the city or on highways.

Ride and Handling

Cadillac Escalade shares its bones with the Chevrolet. Escalade’s ride quality is comfortable however you may feel the occasional bump over, particularly uneven roads. You get a stiff ride with the optional 22-inch wheel setup but the SUV holds its ground nicely thanks to its balanced steering. 

Straight-line speed hits you in the face almost instantly in the Escalade but around corners, it feels stable but nothing close to a Corvette which it takes its motor from. Obviously, this Caddy's extreme bulk is very apparent on tight corners but body roll is less and never becomes a pain to handle.

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Front View

The Escalade, due to its low-hanging front bumper, crashed into harsh undulations on roads, and their impact was very much felt inside the cabin. So, the 2020 Cadillac Escalade tries but in general fails in trying to be an adequately comfortable SUV. On the flip side, on high speeds along straight roads, the Escalade benefits from its weight. It stays planted and the steering is responsive.

But no so much that you should dive in and out of corners. As opposed to what the performance figures might suggest, the Escalade is more stable than sporty wherever you drive it and that isn't exactly a bad thing because hardly anyone expects a sports car out of this behemoth.

2020 Cadillac Escalade Fuel Economy

The fuel economy figures of the Escalade aren't as impressive as the rest of the car but a few MPGs as a sacrifice for more horses? Bearable but in all honesty, the SUV royals have clearly bagged the trophy here.

Jokes apart, the Escalade with the V-8 engine has an EPA rating of 14 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined which is pretty low when compared to the rivals.

Model

Cadillac Escalade

Lincoln Navigator

BMW X7

Infiniti QX80

MPG (City)

14

16

15

14

MPG (Highway)

23

23

21

20

MPG (Combined)

17

19

17

16

Fuel Capacity 26.0 gallons 23.2 gallons 21.9 gallons 26.0 gallons
Range (City/Hwy/Combined) 364/598/442 miles 371/533/440 miles 328/459/372 miles 364/520/416 miles

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/yr)

10.3

9.3

10.3

11.0

However, those MPG ratings are achieved when this Cadillac rides on the rear-wheel-drive system. When paired with the all-wheel drivetrain, those ratings drop to 21 miles per gallon on highways. In general, the 2020 Escalade’s fuel-efficiency is only average. The Lincoln Navigator is the segment leader in this case.

2020 Cadillac Escalade Interior

7.2/10

The Escalade can seat 7 passengers which means that there are two extra foldable seats in the rear, unlike a Range Rover that only seats 5. The excessive amounts of leather are not only for show; the seats definitely feel like they're the perfect choice for long trips without ever being a pain. As a matter of fact, the amount of space available in the second and third row is almost similar. 

Visibility is good and parking this massive SUV is immensely easy, you will never feel the need of blind-spot monitoring, parking sensor, and backup camera. Inside, the Escalade is quiet but bumpy ride quality and so-so seats add some negative points.

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Seats

Right from the dash to the tiniest strands of stitching, the interior can only be called drop-dead gorgeous. It happens to be a perfect mixture of technology and retro craftsmanship. All the controls are within reach and the infotainment system is quite intuitive. The interior quality has definitely improved in the 2020 Escalade and getting in and out of this SUV is easy too.

Model

Cadillac Escalade

Lincoln Navigator

BMW X7

Infiniti QX80

Passenger Capacity

7

7

7

7

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

42.8/64.9/45.3

41.8/65.2/43.9

41.9/60.0/39.8

39.9/63.8/39.6

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.7/64.4/39.0

40.0/65.1/42.6

39.9/58.1/37.6

40.0/63.5/41.0

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.1/62.6/24.8

37.3/64.2/40.9

36.6/47.9/33.3

36.8/60.5/28.8

So overall comfort in this otherwise big SUV is compromised. What hasn’t been compromised is to give the Escalade a fairly premium feel on the inside. The quality of material used even on the base variant gives a rather pleasant feel.

Interior Features

The 2020 Escalade justifies its $75,000 price tag with all the comfort features that it loads up this ride with. Even the Base version is well equipped with comfort features like:

  • Steering wheel controls
  • Power liftgate
  • Power mirrors
  • Automatic parking
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Bose speakers

Infotainment Features

As soon as you get into the new Escalade, you are greeted by a beautifully shaped infotainment screen that just begs to be noticed along with its gracefully positioned buttons. The screen is run by the CUE or Cadillac User Experience which isn't a very clever name but we'll forgive that because it works brilliantly. 

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Infotainment System

It should also be mentioned that you can spec the Escalade with no lesser than 3 high-resolution screens with two right behind the front seats.

The CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system includes: 

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Satellite radio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Navigation
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Five USB-ports
  • Wireless device charging
  • 16-speaker sound system

Cargo Capacity

You get 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats, 51.6 cubic feet with the third row folded and 94.2 cubic feet overall. 

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Cargo Volume with rear seats up 15.2 ft.3

The cargo capacity is impressive for a full-size SUV although the Lincoln Navigator offers better cargo space than the Escalade. 

Model

Cadillac Escalade

Lincoln Navigator

BMW X7

Infiniti QX80

Cargo Volume with rear seats up (ft.3)

15.2

20.9

12.8

16.6

The 2020 Escalade gets a 15.2 cubic feet trunk. As compared to the other mega-SUVs in this segment, this seven-seater has the third biggest trunk. It almost makes you wonder why the Escalade appears to be so big from the outside. Again, the Navigator drives to the top of this segment with the highest cargo capacity of 20.9 cubic feet.

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV

2020 Cadillac Escalade Exterior

7.5/10

There is also no denying the fact that this SUV boasts more swagger than any other vehicle that has hit the road. Its unmistakable styling is evident from every angle and it shares much of its structure with the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, and the GMC Yukon. 

Now, it has clearly defined exterior characteristics that set it apart from its GM siblings like the gigantic chrome grille, 22-inch rims, and those gorgeous thin strip taillights. It's a looker even when you compare it to the handsome Range Rover so the looks department has been taken care of really well.

2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV Side View

After all, we’re so used to seeing them lined up as convoys. But there’s no denying that the Escalade has a presence, and it looks at its absolute best when dressed in black. On the front is the big, bold grille that houses the swept-black headlights, and the boxy shape reminds us of a Tahoe or Suburban. 

Long vertical taillight also gets LEDs which makes it easy to follow the Escaladed when visibility is low. An aerodynamic rear spoiler adds a sporting flair to this SUV. It is, however, smaller than the Lincoln Navigator in size but the ESV model is about two-feet longer than the standard model making it one of the largest in class.

Model

Cadillac Escalade

Lincoln Navigator

BMW X7

Infiniti QX80

Curb Weight 

5800 lbs

5872 lbs

5617 lbs

6140 lbs

Length 

203.9"

76.4"

203.3

210.2

Width 

80.5"

79.9"

78.7"

79.9"

Height

74.4"

76.4"

71.1"

75.8"

Ground Clearance

8.0"

9.7"

8.67

9.2"

Wheelbase

116.0"

122.5"

122.2"

121.1"

Things on the side are rather simple. The boxy shape follows along the sides of this Cadillac. The large 20-inch wheels take center stage. But with the other 22-inch wheels, the Escalade looks as if it were ready for take-off.

Moving over to the back, the Escalade appears even bigger. The big tailgate features the Cadillac logo in the center of a chrome strip that seems to separate the rear windshield from the rest of it. At the bottom left corner is the Escalade branding also in chrome. Putting together the entire back end of this Cadillac are Eldorado-inspired tail lights.

Exterior Features

  • Invisible rear wiper
  • Concierge lighting
  • Cadillac Intellibeam
  • Black roof rails
  • Body-color splash guards
  • Illuminated door handles
  • Polished exhaust tips
  • Solar absorbing windshield
  • Spare tire lock
  • Optional radiant trim
  • 7 design choices for rims
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV
2020 Cadillac Escalade SUV

2020 Cadillac Escalade Safety

6.0/10

Most manufacturers are trying their best, to make their car safer and safer, with every passing day. Cadillac is at the forefront of doing these changes and considering the importance of the safety of their occupants, Cadillac is adding a ton load of safety features as standard. The 2020 Cadillac Escalade has not yet been crash-tested. Other than that the list of safety features on this seven-seater is rather small:

  • 7 Airbags
  • Automatic Parking Assist
  • ESC with Traction Control
  • Enhanced Auto Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Alert
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone alert
  • Rear Camera Mirror washer and Cross Traffic Alert
  • Reverse Automatic Braking
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System with Tire Fill Alert
  • Surround Vision Camera

2020 Cadillac Escalade Competition

8.0/10

Cadillac Escalade vs. Lincoln Navigator

The infamous Lincoln-Cadillac rivalry has given us the best luxury cars to ever come out of the land of the stars and stripes despite both companies being founded by the legendary innovator Henry Leland. 

2020 Lincoln Navigator

The goliath Navigator is a result of this feud continuing even in the 21st century and we're grateful for that because this SUV is beauty and brawn carefully blended into one.

Cadillac Escalade vs. Infiniti QX80

This a face-off where the American born Cadillac shines through. The Escalade manages to overshadow the QX80 with much ease. It boasts a bigger engine, its trunk is bigger and the fuel economy is almost the same. 

2020 Infiniti QX80

But the Infiniti offers much of what the Escalade does. Only it offers all that at a much cheaper rate. The QX80 is a good $10,000 less expensive than the Escalade.

2020 Cadillac Escalade Final Verdict

The Cadillac boasts one of the best interiors in the class however the infotainment system is a bit letdown. Regardless, the Escalade is the best looking and the quickest in the segment and ranks high as compared to rivals. It has been very cleverly priced. It looks good.

Even the entry-level variant is very well loaded with features. However, it does have its own quirks. But none of them is too big to undermine these big SUVs overall presence.

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