2015 Cadillac Escalade Review

Pros & Cons

  • Available seating for up to eight passengers
  • strong V8 power
  • stout towing capacity
  • quiet interior.
  • Infotainment interface is frustrating to use
  • high cargo floor and load height
  • cramped kids-only third-row seat
  • rough and jiggly ride.
List Price Range
$32,495 - $46,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade maintains its reputation for bold styling and strong V8 power. That alone will likely have the Escalade earning its keep with many SUV buyers. But just as before, some rival luxury SUVs offer more refinement and greater versatility.

Vehicle overview

In this category of traditional luxury SUVs, the Cadillac Escalade has experienced an on-again, off-again position as class leader that has historically been tied to its newness. Undergoing a full redesign, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade looks to recapture the top spot. We suspect it will, but whether the Escalade's particular brand of mojo will still appeal to you is an entirely different matter.

On the outside, the already imposing Escalade receives even more visual impact with blockier styling and more conspicuous flourishes. (Get your Escalade in black and it could very well be reminiscent of the presidential limousine affectionately known as "The Beast.") The interior gets a makeover as well. Here, it's a sleeker and more modern look highlighted by Cadillac's controversial CUE touch-operated infotainment system. New safety features are part of the 2015 Escalade's repertoire as well and include a new center front seat airbag and automatic braking for collision mitigation.

Another key addition is a power-operated third-row seat that now folds flat into the floor like those of competitors. No longer must you physically remove the bulky seat to truly take advantage of the Escalade's cargo capacity. It's a welcome addition, but the downside is that this design change has raised the Escalade's already lofty cargo area load floor by an additional 4 inches. Those third-row seats aren't super roomy, either, and are best just suited for children.

These issues, along with a rough and jiggly ride, are essentially caused by the Escalade's truck-based architecture shared with Chevy and GMC's full-size SUVs. Certainly, the Escalade is a great choice for a large traditional luxury SUV and it'd be our pick over the Lexus LX 570 and possibly the updated Lincoln Navigator. But the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class represents a more desirable alternative thanks to its superior driving experience and more usable third-row seat. The Infiniti QX80 is also worth considering for similar reasons. Although the Cadillac is certainly more refined than before, there's no escaping its rough-and-tumble roots that become even more apparent in this price range.

2015 Cadillac Escalade models

Classified as a full-size luxury SUV, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade can accommodate seven passengers with the standard second-row captain's chairs and eight if optioned with the second-row bench seat. An extended-wheelbase model called the Escalade ESV is covered in a separate review and increases third-row legroom and cargo capacity.

The base Escalade is generously appointed with 20-inch chrome wheels, magnetic ride control with Sport and Comfort modes, automatic LED headlights, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, running boards, a hands-free power liftgate, power-folding and driver-side auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, remote start, tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats with four-way lumbar adjustment and driver memory functions, heated rear seats and split power-folding third-row seats. Standard electronic features include the CUE touch-operated infotainment interface, a rearview camera, a customizable instrument panel, a navigation system, real-time traffic, and a Bose 16-speaker audio system with active noise cancelling, a CD player, HD and satellite radio, five USB ports and an auxiliary audio jack.

Stepping up to the Luxury trim adds 22-inch wheels (optional on the base), a sunroof, automatic high beams, power-folding second row seats, a head-up display, an enhanced alarm system, a blind-spot monitoring system, a lane-departure warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert and a safety alert driver seat that buzzes to warn of potential hazards and additional security features.

To this, the Premium trim adds cornering lights, a rear entertainment system with a Blu-ray player (offered as an option on the Luxury trim), adaptive cruise control and forward and reverse collision mitigation with automatic braking.

At the top of the range, the Escalade Platinum adds specialized door sills, heated and ventilated 14-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar adjustment), massaging front seats, upgraded leather upholstery, a simulated suede headliner, a cooled front-seat center console and dual rear-seat DVD screens.

Power-retracting side steps with approach lighting are optional on the Premium and Platinum trim levels.

2015 Highlights

The Cadillac Escalade has been redesigned for 2015.

Performance & mpg

Powering the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is a 6.2-lilter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Early 2015 Escalades come with a six-speed automatic transmission, while models built after October 2014 come with an eight-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but four-wheel drive is also available.

The EPA estimates a rear-wheel-drive Escalade with the six-speed automatic will return 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway), while the four-wheel-drive model with the six-speed is rated at 16 mpg combined (14 city/21 highway). The eight-speed automatic transmission gives the Escalade marginally better fuel economy, with the RWD model checking in at 17 mpg combined (15/22). The eight-speed and four-wheel drive get 17 mpg combined (15/21) as well. These figures are slightly better than those for competing gasoline-powered rivals.

In Edmunds testing, a four-wheel-drive Escalade Premium with the six-speed transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, while a four-wheel-drive Escalade Platinum with the eight-speed transmission took 6.1 seconds. That makes it one of the quicker large SUVs available. Properly equipped, an Escalade can tow up to 8,300 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety features on all 2015 Cadillac Escalade models include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, and an airbag located between the front seats that aids in side-impact crashes. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

The Luxury trim adds automatic high-beam control, a blind-spot monitoring system, a lane-departure warning system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, a forward-collision alert system and a safety seat alert system that buzzes the left, right or both sides of the driver seat depending on where attention is needed. The range-topping Premium and Platinum models add forward and reverse collision mitigation with automatic braking.

In government crash tests, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade received five stars for side crash protection.

In Edmunds testing, the Escalade came to a stop from 60 mph in 131 feet. That's a long distance but consistent with heavy, truck-based vehicles.

Driving

It wouldn't be an Escalade if it didn't have a brawny V8 under its hood, and the 2015 Escalade proudly lives up to its heritage. Mash the gas pedal and this big SUV easily accelerates up to highway speeds. Steering effort is light at low speeds to facilitate easier parking. The Escalade also feels solidly planted to the pavement when going around turns. Regardless of speed or road surfaces, the cabin remains blissfully quiet. Wind, road and engine noises are admirably quieted to premium luxury sedan standards, allowing for whisper-level conversations.

Surprisingly, the adaptive suspension does not produce a comfortable ride even in its default Tour mode. Perhaps it is the unforgiving nature of the available 22-inch wheels, but going over bumps results in tiresome impact harshness. The consequent jiggles and shakes that result from the Escalade's truck underpinnings certainly don't help the situation, and stand to negatively differentiate this big Cadillac from more refined competitors.

Interior

The 2015 Escalade's redesigned cabin features an abundance of premium materials and an attractive interior design that brings it up to date with the rest of the Cadillac lineup. As expected from an SUV of this size, passenger space is also generous. Full-size adults can fit in the front and middle rows comfortably, even for extended road trips. The third-row seat is fine for small children, but its low mounting to the floor means taller teenagers and adults will likely find their knees pushed up uncomfortably toward the roof. Most competitors offer more spacious third-row seating.

One of the centerpieces of the new Escalade's interior is the CUE infotainment interface, set in a beveled pod in the middle of the dashboard. While we find it visually pleasing, operation of the system is a constant source of frustration. Reactions to inputs via the touchscreen or physical buttons are slow or sometimes ignored altogether. Compounding matters is the complicated menu structure that is as unintuitive as these systems get.

In terms of cargo capacity, the Escalade is comparable to other luxury SUVs, with 15.2 cubic feet of storage behind the third row, 51.6 feet behind the second row and 94.2 cubic feet available with the second and third rows stowed. The rearmost seats fold away at the touch of a trunk-mounted button in a matter of seconds. On all but the base trim, the second row flips forward with another set of adjacent switches.

Accessing the cargo area is convenient thanks to a hands-free liftgate that is actuated when you sweep your foot under the rear bumper, as long as the key is within 3 feet of the vehicle. Loading items is hampered, however, by a very high floor height that makes it difficult to load bigger, heavier items.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Drop it like its hot....(the car value)
Mike,01/12/2018
Premium 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A)
Bought the 2015i Escalade ("i" indicates the new version with the new logo badge) for about 86k new. Looked to check the value of the vehicle and its around 50k in immaculate condition; first issue: truck does not hold its value. During my time, the Escalade has had its share of issues, to which the dealership was more than happy to resolve since it was under warranty. However, some of the issues out of the gate were fairly major. For example, my transmission was changed 1 year into the purchase (never got a full explanation on this one), airbags needed to be serviced, CUE system has been changed twice due to malfunctions like rebooting during use and turning bright green at times, and many, many small issues here and there. Unfortunately, these repairs were not lemon-able because they were all different, but on the upside I did get a try a wide variety of Cadillac cars through their loaner program. Other small issues like cabin noise and vibrations were similar to what I experienced in my Chevy Tahoe, except the Tahoe was around 40k and not exactly a premium vehicle. My recommendation, the Escalade struggles to compete with similarly priced SUVs; you are better off looking elsewhere or buying used.
BEST CAR BUT...................
Jack Kennedy,01/24/2016
4dr SUV w/ Prod. End 10/14 (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
The Cadillac Escalade is stylish, fast, comfortable, safe, and it has a nice grumble from the 6.2L V8. But there is a MASSIVE FLAW. It's the CUE system. The CUE system is the worst infotainment system ever. Sometimes it won't even come on when you start the car! It can take up to 6 blocks for it to turn on. The response is slow, voice commands can be frustrating and it glitches a lot. I also don't like the sliding things to turn the volume up or turn the AC on. I like knobs. The headlights can be a little too bright and people think your high beams are on. Also the turn signals on the mirrors can be blinding at night. But the tail lights are INCREDIBLE. It lights up the whole street!! The gas mileage is great for an SUV like this. The DVD player in the rear is great too. I love the power fold down seats. Mountain driving is one of the best places to drive it. It flies up the hills and I love the hill decent braking. Overall I expected more when paying $93000 for this beast. When I Kelley Blue Booked it, it said it was worth $70000 and it only has 8300 miles on it. The Escalade is the perfect family hauler, it is safe, cool, and I don't think there is anything on the road like it. We have had four Escalades and they all are great. The reason we keep buying them is because it saved my brothers life in a car accident and the vehicle was totaled. It took one for the team. So if you were looking at a big burly safe SUV, the Escalade is a great choice.
Stay away from this vehicle
Melissa S.,09/29/2016
Premium 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A)
We have owned our vehicle since August 2015. We have had problems since the first day. Bad airbags, steering wheel had to be replaced 3 times, steering column replaced, torque converter replaced, front camera replaced. The MAIN issue is still not fixed after many many many trips to Service. There is a rough idle at any stop. The engine idle is so rough that the RPM's bar is moving up and down while the car is stopped. At times it feels like the car is going to shut off. Cadillac is not accepting responsibility and is saying this is NORMAL. So...if you like a rough idle in a $100,000 Luxury vehicle go ahead and buy this SUV. Otherwise, I would suggest you go down the road and find a different luxury vehicle.
WORST CAR WE'VE EVER OWNED!
Clark Stahl,06/20/2017
Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A)
We owned a 2007 Escalade which was a fantastic vehicle. The time had come for something new so we naturally opted for a brand new Escalade Platinum SUV. Very long story short, the car began having issues almost immediately and has been back to the dealership more than a dozen times. We've had over two dozen separate issues. The dealership has done their best but the factory refuses to take the car back, even though many of the issues continue. Can't wait until the lease is up. We will NEVER own another Cadillac.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover22.9%

More about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade

Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade Overview

The Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade is offered in the following submodels: Escalade SUV. Available styles include Premium 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Premium 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Premium 4dr SUV 4WD w/ Prod. End 10/14 (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Premium 4dr SUV w/ Prod. End 10/14 (6.2L 8cyl 6A), 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Luxury 4dr SUV w/ Prod. End 10/14 (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD w/ Prod. End 10/14 (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Platinum 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), 4dr SUV w/ Prod. End 10/14 (6.2L 8cyl 6A), 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A), and 4dr SUV 4WD w/ Prod. End 10/14 (6.2L 8cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade Luxury is priced between $32,495 and$40,000 with odometer readings between 53409 and109732 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium is priced between $35,495 and$46,998 with odometer readings between 44376 and93436 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade Base is priced between $37,469 and$37,469 with odometer readings between 86739 and86739 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Cadillac Escalade Platinum is priced between $38,995 and$38,995 with odometer readings between 75115 and75115 miles.

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Which used 2015 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) 2015 Cadillac Escalade for sale near. There are currently 18 used and CPO 2015 Escalades listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $32,495 and mileage as low as 44376 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 2015 Cadillac Escalade.

Can't find a used 2015 Cadillac Escalades you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Cadillac Escalade for sale - 4 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $9,146.

Find a used Cadillac for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $12,661.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac Escalade for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $16,052.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $24,361.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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.

Check out Cadillac lease specials
Check out Cadillac Escalade lease specials