2010 Cadillac Escalade Review

Pros & Cons

  • Classy looks inside and out, long list of desirable standard features, gutsy V8, surprisingly civilized road manners for a truck-based SUV.
  • Third-row seat lacks legroom and must be removed to maximize cargo space, lackluster braking distances, predictably low fuel economy.
List Price Range
$12,999 - $18,900

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Stylish and powerful, the 2010 Cadillac Escalade ranks as one of the better full-size luxury SUVs on the market.

Vehicle overview

If you're one of those folks who still believe that nothing succeeds like excess, the 2010 Cadillac Escalade is your SUV. By just about any measure you care to name, the full-size Escalade is just plain over the top. From its oversize dimensions to its brawny (and gas-guzzling) V8, this four-wheeled fashion accessory makes a definite statement about its owner's extravagance.

While the first Escalades were largely written off as no more than gussied-up versions of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, this big Caddy has grown much more mature with each successive redesign. The result is a distinctive look and feel that clearly sets this third-generation model apart from its less expensive GM cousins. From its imposing grille to the oversize wreath-and-crest badge on the rear liftgate, this Escalade manages to look both brawny and stylish at the same time. The spacious passenger cabin displays a similarly appealing balance of solidness and sophistication. Handsome double-stitched leather upholstery and faux wood trim are complemented by an impressive list of upscale standard features.

The amount of attention Cadillac designers and engineers have lavished on the Escalade really shows when you compare it to some of the other deluxe trucks on the market. The aesthetically challenged Lincoln Navigator, for example, feels underpowered, and the Infiniti QX56 is competent but uninspiring. The Mercedes-Benz GL-Class offers a more serious challenge to the big Caddy's category dominance, with its superior driving dynamics and a classy interior with a fold-flat third-row seat that's much more practical than the Escalade's old-school removable version.

Ultimately, we think the 2010 Cadillac Escalade is one of the better large luxury sport-utility vehicles out there. For folks who feel the need for a combination of luxury sedan trappings and full-size SUV functionality, the Escalade proves that sometimes too much is just enough.

2010 Cadillac Escalade models

For 2010, the full-size Cadillac Escalade SUV is offered in four different trim levels. Even entry-level models are very well-equipped, with 18-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers, xenon headlamps, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors and fixed running boards. Interior goodies include triple-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated 14-way power front seats, heated second-row captain's chairs, power-adjustable pedals, remote start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone connectivity, OnStar, a Bose surround-sound audio system with a six-disc CD/DVD changer, and a navigation system with real-time traffic updates and a built-in rearview camera.

Step up to the Luxury model and you get hardware upgrades including 22-inch chrome alloy wheels, a more sophisticated adaptive suspension (Magnetic Ride Control), auto-dimming high-beam headlights and a sunroof. Inside you'll find heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-release feature for second-row seats and a blind-spot warning system. The Premium trim level adds power-retractable running boards and a rear-seat DVD video entertainment system with a ceiling-mounted screen. Top-of-the-line Platinum versions throw in all the bells and whistles including LED headlights, heated and cooled cupholders and a DVD entertainment system with dual screens mounted in the front seat headrests.

The short list of available options includes different styles of 22-inch alloy wheels, a 60/40 split-folding second-row bench seat and the rear-seat DVD video system with the overhead screen (Luxury model only).

2010 Highlights

The 2010 Cadillac Escalade receives a number of notable upgrades. High points include fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology for its 6.2-liter V8, new front side-impact airbags, a redesigned door structure for better occupant protection, new-look clock graphics (taken from last year's Platinum model) and a new USB connection for portable audio devices. Some features have been discontinued, however, such as the rain-sensing wipers and the rear indicator lights for the rear park assist system.

Performance & mpg

Power for the 2010 Cadillac Escalade comes from a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out an impressive 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift feature is standard.

The only real choice when it comes to the big Caddy's powertrain is between the standard rear-wheel and available all-wheel drive (though a hybrid model is addressed in a separate review). Given the fact that the Escalade wasn't really designed for off-roading, the all-wheel-drive system lacks a low-range transfer case and features a default 40/60 front-to-rear power split that's mainly intended to provide added peace of mind when road conditions turn ugly. The all-wheel-drive version we tested took just 7.5 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph, a relatively impressive number for a vehicle this size.

New cylinder-deactivation technology that seamlessly shuts down and restarts half the engine's cylinders to save fuel is now standard. EPA estimates stand at 14 mpg city/20 highway for the 2WD Escalade, slightly higher than the 2009 Escalade. Properly equipped, two-wheel-drive versions can tow a healthy 8,300 pounds.


Standard safety features on the Escalade include electronic stability control, antilock disc brakes, traction control, front side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags that cover all three rows and the OnStar telematics system. In government crash tests, last year's Escalade earned a top five-star rating for crash protection in frontal and side-impact protection. Braking distances are disappointing, though, with the Escalade we tested requiring 144 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 mph, a significant 17 feet more than the Mercedes-Benz GL450.


On the road, the 2010 Cadillac Escalade delivers surprisingly good acceleration at all speeds thanks to that big 403-hp V8. Handling feels confident, especially with the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, though you'll never mistake this for a sport-tuned SUV like the Porsche Cayenne. You will appreciate the ride quality, though, as it remains comfortable even with the larger 22-inch wheels. A relatively tight 39-foot turning circle helps with overall drivability, but maneuvering in tight quarters can be a hassle even with the aid of the standard rearview camera.


Considering its working-class roots, the Escalade has come a long way over the past decade. The passenger cabin now features a noticeably more upscale look and luxurious feel set off by supple leather upholstery and attractive faux wood and alloy trim. Gauges and controls are well-placed and intuitive in their operation.

In its standard seven-passenger configuration, the big Caddy features second-row captain's chairs and a three-person third-row bench seat. Adding the available second-row bench raises total seating capacity to eight.

That 50/50-split third-row seat is actually the interior's most significant weakness, given its distinct lack of legroom and the fact that it doesn't fold neatly into the floor as in most other SUVs. Instead, owners looking to carry bulky items are forced to either make do with folding and tumbling the entire assembly forward, which eats up precious cargo space, or face the hassle of removing one or both very heavy sections of the seat entirely.

If you choose to lose the third-row seat, however, you'll end up with a cavernous 60.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second-row seats. Fold those second-row seats down and the cargo capacity grows to an impressive 108.9 cubic feet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade.

8 reviews
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Most helpful consumer reviews

Crap are Us
Platinum Edition 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
Run don'walk away from this. This car has been nothing but a headache. This is our second one. The first was a 2000 and now we have 2010. You would think they would take some clues from the first one and get it right. The dash board is light up like a Christmas Tree and so was the 2000. This car is not worth the materials they put in it to build it. High Maintenance cost and you will have them often. Built for appearance not performance.
Little Legs
4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
You'll need little legs if you buy the huge Escalade. Actually had an agreement on an 07 ESV in late 2008 but dealer sold it out from under me. OK since by that time, I realized the tiny, non-adjustable rear seats were almost deal-breakers anyway. No, not the third row small, nonadjustable seats - the SECOND row. My $30k 06 Pilot had more rear legroom and it has seats that move fore and aft, unlike the $70k Escalade. Cool looking as the Escalade is, the QX56 is more usable and we're getting that. I'm surprised you mention Land Rover as an option: Land Rovers have the #1 disparity between perceived quality and actual quality - they're bad trucks but great for poseurs!
2010 Escalade - "Long in the Tooth"
Premium 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
My 3rd Esc AWD - '03, '08, '10. Selling features on this one were Magnetic ride control, active fuel mgmt (4/8 cyl), front side airbags standard. RE the ride control - only thing I notice is slightly faster transmission of road variation. It' certainly a more "euro" feel, frankly out of place in such an SUV as this. Active fuel mgmt is a total joke - I got better mileage with my '08 (but, only 500 miles so far in this one). And guess what? No more rain sensing wipers and no more heated washer fluid (I'm from Wyoming - needed that hot washer fluid!). There's more, but the crowning blow came when transferring OnStar - you can't keep your old number!!
Stay away!
4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
Owned a 2007 Yukon loaded. Loaded with problems too. Serious electrical issues which scared us to drive it with children inside. We took it in about 4 times and finally traded in for the escalade awd. You would think that being the King literally! Of the Cadillac and the road, it should be built far better than the Tahoe/Yukon? Not ! The biggest pc of crap! I have ever owned! Within 8 months it was in the shop about 12 times for all sorts of problems. Worst was the engine cut off while driving on interstate. Super dangerous vehicle! Took it in and there must have been 5 escalades in shop for shadow problems of mine. Purchased a Volvo xc70 loaded and freaking love it!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • 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 2010 Cadillac Escalade

Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Overview

The Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade is offered in the following submodels: Escalade SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A), 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Premium 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Premium 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Platinum Edition 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A), and Platinum Edition 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Luxury is priced between $12,999 and$12,999 with odometer readings between 122100 and122100 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 2010 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) 2010 Cadillac Escalade for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2010 Escalades listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,999 and mileage as low as 122100 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 2010 Cadillac Escalade.

Can't find a used 2010 Cadillac Escalades you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Cadillac Escalade for sale - 3 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $13,615.

Find a used Cadillac for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,844.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac Escalade for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $21,298.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 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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