2006 Cadillac Escalade SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Cadillac Escalade SUV

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Cadillac Escalade Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 345 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 12/16 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Cadillac Escalade

  • With its brash styling, class-leading V8 power, well-sorted vehicle dynamics and plush interior, the new Escalade is an SUV worthy of the Cadillac name.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Endless V8 power, plush ride quality, more nimble than you might think, comfortable seats, plenty of cargo capacity, all the latest technological gadgets.

  • Cons

    Poor fuel mileage, a few noticeable instances of cost-cutting.

  • What's New for 2006

    There are no significant changes to the 2006 Cadillac Escalade.

Full 2006 Cadillac Escalade Review

What's New for 2006

There are no significant changes to the 2006 Cadillac Escalade.


When the Escalade was introduced in 1999, the Cadillac faithful were a little nervous. After all, the idea of a truck bearing the Cadillac wreath and crest just didn't seem like it had much promise. And then there was the vehicle itself -- an underpowered, over-clad behemoth that used heavy doses of leather and wood trim to conceal the fact it was nothing more than a slightly reworked Chevrolet Tahoe.

To everyone's surprise, the Escalade sold well. The public's insatiable thirst for SUVs overcame the original vehicle's initial mediocrity to make it one of the best-selling models in Cadillac's lineup. After skipping the 2001 model year, the Escalade returned in 2002 with an all-new look and significantly revised underpinnings. The results were nothing short of a home run as the Cadillac Escalade became one of the most popular full-size luxury SUVs on the market.

Its combination of bold styling and class-leading engine power made it popular with high-profile athletes and power-hungry executives alike. Although it's still based on the Chevrolet Tahoe-GMC Yukon twins, the Escalade now features enough exclusive hardware to qualify it for premium status. Upgrades like road-sensing suspension, a 345-horsepower V8 and a thundering Bose sound system rank the Escalade right up there with the best in the business when it comes to luxury SUVs. If you like 'em big, bold and chock-full of high-tech goodies, the 2006 Cadillac Escalade will certainly fill the bill.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

In keeping with its premium image, the seven-passenger 2006 Cadillac Escalade SUV comes in one trim level only. The standard features list is extensive, and includes items like tri-zone climate control, leather seating, an in-dash six-CD Bose audio system and satellite radio. Major options include a DVD entertainment system, a DVD-based navigation system, 20-inch chrome wheels and a second-row bench seat (instead of the standard twin buckets) to increase passenger capacity to eight.

Powertrains and Performance

Cadillac Escalade buyers can choose between all-wheel drive and two-wheel drive. Both versions come standard with a 6.0-liter V8 that produces 345 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is also standard. The maximum tow rating for AWD models is 8,100 pounds, while 2WD versions can lug up to 7,400 pounds. Acceleration is surprisingly brisk for such a large vehicle, and buyers who tow heavy trailers on a regular basis will appreciate the added muscle of the 6.0-liter V8.


All Escalade models come standard with a stability control system as well as four-wheel antilock disc brakes, side airbags for the driver and front passenger, and OnStar telematics. Other safety features include HID headlamps, a tire-pressure monitoring system and rear parking sensors. In tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2006 Cadillac Escalade earned four out of five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

As you would expect in a luxury SUV, the Escalade's interior features plenty of soft leather and shiny wood accents. Some of the cabin's design cues and materials are too derivative of a Chevy Tahoe, but the Cadillac still pulls off the role of a luxury vehicle. The front bucket seats feel like big lounge chairs, and well-cushioned second-row buckets are standard fare -- a bench seat for the second row is a no-cost option. There's plenty of room for four or five adults to stretch out and even the optional third-row seats are comfortable enough for shorter trips.

Driving Impressions

Despite its imposing size, the 2006 Cadillac Escalade handles itself admirably. Body roll is kept well under control and the continuous adjustments made by the standard Road Sensing Suspension (RSS) maintain an excellent balance between ride quality and road feel. The steering can feel a bit numb on the highway, but it lightens up nicely during low-speed maneuvers. The star of the show is the burly 6.0-liter V8, as it provides ample passing power and matches well to the four-speed automatic transmission. Just don't expect to leave a gas station without paying a pricey sum; the Escalade's EPA fuel economy rating is a dismal 13 city/17 highway.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Nice with style!

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Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac Escalade 4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

We bought a 2006 last summer in 2010 and since the moment I started driving this beauty I realized what Cadillac is all the fuss about. I love it. Front differential went out and could be an expensive fix. Other than that the car has 100 + miles and it drives like new.

2nd time around!

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Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac Escalade 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

I consider myself a 'car guy' and have an '02 540i black on black manual 6 speed. I love cars and research them in my spare time!?! I reluctantly leased an '04 Escalade ESV when the Chevy Suburban salesman tried to rob me! Unhappy at the time, but momma wanted it so 4 years later, we loved the truck so much we decided to buy it off lease and were heartbroken when GMC wouldn't negotiate. We looked at the Lexus and the Denali among others. Just today we bought an '06 Escalade and couldn't be happier! The others didn't have the ride, the comfort, reliability or the look! we feel like we're home again!


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Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac Escalade 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

My wife thoroughly enjoys this car. She always told me it was an old man's car. I would not try to take it away from her. It was the first Cadillac she ever drove. Her other car was a Lexus and Camry. She won't ever consider a Lexus now.

2nd time around!

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Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac Escalade 4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

Had a 2002 Escalade and found a great deal on new 2006 AWD that had been on the lot. Some minor changes such as XM stereo, navigation, phone from the 2002. Rides a little smoother. All in all another great SUV. Have averaged 18.5 MPG on freeway a liitle better than the 2002 which was 17.5. No one mistakes this Cadillac SUV for just another SUV.

Nice truck

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Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac Escalade 4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

My 2006 Cadillac Escalade has the perfect ride and great handling. It is greqt looking, too. I love its smooth cornering.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Not a bad ride

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Vehicle: 2006 Cadillac Escalade 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

The 2006 Cadillac Escalade is a nice ride. It has an exceptional sound system and lots of bells and whistles. Unfortunately it requires premium fuel, ouch! But the gas milage isn't that bad. I drove nearly 180 highway miles on a 1/2 tank, mostly at 60 mph.

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Gas Mileage


  • 12
  • cty
  • 16
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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