The Cadillac Escalade has always represented excess with its imposing presence, oversized grille, and massive amounts of bling. It has evolved through four generations and remains the best seller in its class.
The all-new fifth-generation and 2021 Cadillac Escalade will arrive sometime next year. And if the spy shots are any indication, it’ll feature a dramatically restyled front end. We’ve also heard that additional autonomous features and perhaps a rejigged powertrain lineup are in the offing. These changes should help the big Cadillac stay ahead of the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Lincoln Navigator in their collective quest for full-size luxury SUV shoppers.
2020 Cadillac Escalade
Now in its sixth and final year, the fourth-generation 2020 Cadillac Escalade might be easy to overlook, especially with a new model soon to follow. But we know some customers simply will not wait, which is why we’ll examine the model at hand. The following are the Escalade’s highlights:
1. Standard and stretch models.
Cadillac offers the Escalade in two configurations: the standard model rides on a 116-inch wheelbase, while the stretched ESV version sits on a 130-inch wheelbase. The ESV adds significantly more third-row legroom and overall cargo space. It is our recommended model for anyone needing to carry more than five passengers and their trappings.
2. One powertrain combination.
The Escalade’s 6.2-liter V8 engine is a familiar one, utilized in various capacities across the GM network, including in the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro, and the GMC Yukon XL Denali. With an output of 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, this burly engine gets it done. Cadillac pairs the V8 with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy, however, is not one of its strong suits as it makes an EPA-estimated 14 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway for a combined 17 mpg. Four-wheel drive versions are rated 14/21/17 mpg.
3. Four Cadillac Escalade trims for your consideration.
Cadillac offers the 2020 Escalade in four trims: Escalade, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. You’ll pay from $76,490 for the base model with the Escalade ESV starting at $79,490. Key standard features include magnetic ride control, LED exterior lighting, a hands-free power liftgate, keyless entry with push-button start, a power-controlled tilt-and-telescopic steering column, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, three-zone climate control, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row bucket seats, and a 12.3-inch cluster display.
4. Ample tech and safety features.
The Escalade comes with an 8-inch touch-screen display, navigation, and a 16-speaker Bose audio system. Moreover, Cadillac includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility, a Wi-Fi hotspot, five USB ports, and wireless charging. Automatic parking assist, front and rear parking assist, and a surround-view camera system are included.
5. Trim-level upgrades make a difference.
Although already well equipped, there are numerous upgrades available that improve upon the base model. Depending on the trim, you’ll find a unique grille design, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, semi-aniline leather seating surfaces, ash wood trim, an 18-way power driver’s seat with massage, a front console compartment with cooler, and a microfiber suede headliner. Cadillac adds safety features too, including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, and automatic emergency braking.
Cadillac Utility Vehicles
The Escalade sits at the top of a now four-model utility vehicle assembly. Further, it is followed by three crossovers — the XT6, XT5, and the XT4. With two Escalades to choose from, Cadillac shoppers have much to consider when shopping for a high-profile people mover.
2020 Cadillac Escalade Specifications
|Segment||Full-size luxury SUV|
|Price Range||From $76,000|
|Standard Engine||6.2-liter, V8|
|Horsepower||420 @ 5,600|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||460 @ 4,100|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||5,578 to 6,088|
|Wheelbase (inches)||116.0, 130.0|
|Length (inches)||203.9, 224.3|
|Height (inches)||74.0, 74.4|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||42.8, 38.7, 38.1; 42.8, 39.1, 38.5 (ESV)|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||45.3, 39.0, 24.8; 45.3, 39.7, 34.5 (ESV)|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||64.9, 64.4, 62.6|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||60.9, 60.2, 49.3|
|Storage (cubic feet)||15.2, 51.6, 94.2; 39.3, 76.7, 120.9 (ESV)|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||NR|
|Towing (pounds)||7,900 to 8,300|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||26 to 31|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||14/23/17 (2WD); 14/21/17 (4WD)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Arlington, Texas|
Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.
See Also — The History of the Cadillac XLR
Photo copyright Cadillac division, GM Company.