Like its predecessors over the past 19 years, the 2017 Cadillac Escalade delivers a blend of opulence, power and status that resonates with many shoppers exploring the realm of full-size luxury SUVs. But the fact that it's become a favorite among high-profile celebrities, sports stars and business moguls doesn't detract from the Escalade's value as a capable people, cargo and trailer hauler.
Changes for 2017 include reconfigured trim levels, new 22-inch alloy wheels, a rear passenger reminder, teen-driver monitor and a parking assist system, which uses sensors to automatically steer the Escalade into either a perpendicular or parallel space. There's also a unique rearview mirror that's actually a screen for a tailgate-mounted camera, a feature that provides a much broader view behind the vehicle than a conventional mirror.
Power for the Escalade comes from a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque and drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. A four-wheel-drive option includes high and low modes to cope with various road conditions and trailering requirements, as well as an auto mode for everyday driving that automatically switches from two-wheel to four-wheel propulsion.
Built on a truck chassis ? shared with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon in standard-wheelbase form and with the Suburban and Yukon XL in the longer ESV model ? the Escalade tends to be a bit harsher over bumps than some of its car-based rivals, although this is mitigated somewhat by the standard Magnetic Ride Control. But the more robust construction will appeal to buyers who intend to tow large trailers, haul a lot of cargo or take the vehicle off-road.
The Escalade might share underpinnings with its siblings from Chevy and GMC, but on the inside the Cadillac makes an entirely different statement. The class-leading interior boasts features that include heated and cooled leather seats, wood and metal trim, ambient lighting and tri-zone climate control, as well as acoustic glass and active noise cancellation for a quiet ride. In addition to a plethora of standard equipment, a wide range of available packages and accessories allow buyers to tailor the cabin to their individual requirements.
Fuel economy may not be the Escalade's strong suit, but its numbers are par for the course with this class of vehicle. Both the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions are rated by the EPA at a combined 17 mpg (15 city/22 highway and 15 city/20 highway, respectively).
The base Escalade comes extremely well equipped, but shoppers looking for more technology and convenience features can opt for the Luxury and Premium Luxury trim levels. And the top-of-the-line Platinum model piles on even more goodies, like a refrigerated center console, massaging driver seat and exotic wood trim. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Cadillac Escalade that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.