2006 Cadillac Escalade Review

Pros & Cons

  • Endless V8 power, plush ride quality, more nimble than you might think, comfortable seats, plenty of cargo capacity, all the latest technological gadgets.
  • Poor fuel mileage, a few noticeable instances of cost-cutting.
List Price Range
$6,000 - $11,200

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2006 Cadillac Escalade models

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.

2006 Highlights

There are no significant changes to the 2006 Cadillac Escalade.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Cadillac Escalade.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2nd Time Around!
scott,09/16/2008
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!
Big and Brawny
Paul of Las Vegas,12/10/2005
4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
The professional reviews talk about the Esacalade's dated interior, but I think they miss the point. The interior works: it's practical, comfortable, and high quality. It may not match the latest BMW or Audi, but that's part of it's thugish charm. I test drove a few SUV's, but most were ruled out by the lack of 7-8 seats, the poor customer service of the dealer, or looks. In the end, the only two contenders were Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. I was surprised by the Lade's driving, quality, engine performance, ride, handling, and finally, all those practical touches: from the walk-thru center seats to the Onstar cell phone. I love it - highly recommended!
2ND Time Around!
Transporter,06/12/2007
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.
I Love my "truck"!
hlewis,04/21/2006
4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
This car makes me feel like I am in the safest and one of the most attractive vehicles on the road. It's turning radius is amazing, considering its size. I have only owned Mercedes-Benz vehicles before this and have been pleaseanty surprized with this car. I could not find an Mercedes that I liked better than this SUV. I drive both long highway distances and short commutes with equal ease. I plan on owning my Escalade for 10 years and expect it to last well beyond that.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2006 Cadillac Escalade

Used 2006 Cadillac Escalade Overview

The Used 2006 Cadillac Escalade is offered in the following submodels: Escalade SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (6.0L 8cyl 4A), and 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Cadillac Escalade?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Cadillac Escalade trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Cadillac Escalade Base is priced between $6,000 and$11,200 with odometer readings between 82878 and182899 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2006 Cadillac Escalades are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Cadillac Escalade for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2006 Escalades listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,000 and mileage as low as 82878 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Cadillac Escalade.

Can't find a used 2006 Cadillac Escalades you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Cadillac Escalade for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $7,333.

Find a used Cadillac for sale - 4 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $14,764.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac Escalade for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $10,037.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac for sale - 12 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $14,295.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 Cadillac Escalade?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Cadillac Escalade lease specials