2018 Cadillac Escalade

2018 Cadillac Escalade
MSRP range
$73,995 - $96,095

Pros

  • Strong V8 engine is never at a loss for power
  • Capable of towing up to 8,300 pounds
  • Cabin remains quiet regardless of road conditions

Cons

  • High, uneven cargo floor makes loading objects difficult
  • Low handling limits and heavy steering
  • Less refined ride and seat comfort than other luxury SUVs


Which Escalade does Edmunds recommend

All versions of the 2018 Cadillac Escalade come with the same powerful V8, sophisticated dampers and unmistakable styling. To get the best interior features, however, we suggest getting the Premium Luxury trim. That gives you some desirable extras from the one-tier-lower Luxury trim (such as blind-spot monitoring and forward collision mitigation) and adds the Premium Luxury's rear entertainment system and adaptive cruise control.

Edmunds' Expert Review

overall rating

3.5 / 5

Cadillac bases its 2018 Escalade on General Motors' full-size SUV platform that underpins the Tahoe and Yukon twins. The main difference is that everything on the Escalade is "more." There's more power, more brash styling, more standard features, even more features that are optional. All of this gives the Escalade true luxury SUV cred.

The inherent attributes of its traditional SUV design are all here, too. On the plus side, the Escalade can tow up to 8,300 pounds, which is more than most other luxury crossover SUVs. But its solid rear-axle suspension and body-on-frame construction also result in a less than ideal ride quality and a compromised cargo area. Overall, we think the 2018 Escalade is worth a look, but make sure to also check out this year's more refined Lincoln Navigator.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade is a full-size, body-on-frame luxury SUV available in four trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum. The base trim comes with a dizzying array of equipment, but the Premium Luxury and Platinum take this big, plush American machine to yet another level. All Escalade models are equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine (420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet of torque) and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional.

The base trim is generously appointed inside and out. Standard equipment includes 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, LED headlights, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parallel and perpendicular parking assist, a hands-free power liftgate, remote start, three-zone automatic climate control, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory settings, heated rear seats and split power-folding third-row seats.

Standard electronic features include the CUE infotainment interface (with an 8-inch touchscreen), OnStar (with 4G in-vehicle Wi-Fi), a surround-view parking camera system, a customizable gauge cluster display, a navigation system, five USB ports, a wireless device charging pad and a Bose 16-speaker audio system with satellite radio.

For a few more driver aids and a bit more plush equipment, you can step up to the Luxury trim. This adds 22-inch wheels, a sunroof, power-folding second-row seats, a head-up display, a camera-based rearview mirror system (the rearview mirror is actually a screen displaying what the camera sees behind the vehicle) and the Driver Awareness package (automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and intervention, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking).

Our recommended trim, the Premium Luxury, adds adaptive cruise control, a rear entertainment system with a Blu-ray player and an overhead-mounted display, and a more advanced collision mitigation system with both forward and reverse automatic braking.

The most expensive (and most lavishly appointed) Escalade is the Platinum trim level. It certainly has all the bells and whistles, but you may not need all the extras it provides. The Platinum adds power-retracting side steps, upgraded power front seats (with massaging function), upgraded leather upholstery, a cooled front-seat center console and two more rear entertainment screens (mounted in the front headrests).

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium (6.2L V8 | 6-speed automatic | 4WD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Escalade has received some revisions, including additional driver assistance and infotainment features and a new 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Escalade, however.

driving

4
The 6.2-liter V8, with its 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, is the star of this show. Handling capabilities are adequate.

acceleration

4.5
With its big, 420-hp V8 and tons of torque, the Escalade gets out of its own way. Easy, effortless acceleration.

braking

3
Our panic-stop braking tests from 60 mph resulted in average stopping distances. Pedal travel is long, soft and predictable. Noticeable dive when braking hard.

steering

3
It is surprisingly easy to place the big Cadillac exactly where you want it, though the wheel does require more turning than most drivers are used to. Very, very heavy effort. Almost to a fault.

handling

3
There's a surprising amount of response and confidence, but because of the Escalade’s sheer size and weight, its limits are quite low. Seat bolstering isn't up to the task of twisty roads or quick freeway exits either.

drivability

4
Despite its size, the Cadillac Escalade is exceptionally easy to drive. The transmission and 6.2-liter V8 make a good pairing.

comfort

3
In a category that should be a slam-dunk for Cadillac, the Escalade is less than perfect. Things start off as expected with an admirably quiet interior, but the busy ride, so-so seat comfort and nearly unusable third-row seat take their toll.

seat comfort

2.5
For a luxury vehicle, the seats are a surprising weak point. Stiff, wide and featureless, they simply don't provide enough support or comfort for long drives. Taller drivers will wish for more thigh support.

ride comfort

2.5
The Magnetic Ride Control suspension helps the Escalade manage the heavy 22-inch rims. This does not, however, mean the ride is polished and well-isolated. Expect truckish behavior on anything less than a glass-smooth surface.

noise & vibration

4
As you'd expect from Cadillac, the Escalade has a pleasantly quiet ride. At times there's a touch of wind noise from the sideview mirrors. Road noise is well managed, apart from the occasional tire thunk over pavement cracks.

interior

3
This generation of Cadillac Escalade undoubtedly has a nice interior. We like that it's easy to get in and out, too. But the build quality is a bit of a letdown, and third-row seating is tight.

ease of use

Major controls such as the gear selector, headlights and wipers are very good. The instrument panel is crisp and clear.

getting in/getting out

4.5
An optional power-retractable step aids access without getting in the way. Shorter (sub 5-foot-5) passengers wished it was lower still, though. Tumble feature makes third-row access a snap.

roominess

3
Headroom and legroom are exceptional in the first and second rows. The third row of a standard-length Escalade is very tight, however, and is only recommended for kids or short trips. Oddly, all three rows feel narrow at the shoulders.

visibility

4
You'd think that driving an Escalade would require the use of the blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors and backup camera. It doesn't: Visibility is good all-around. It's impressively easy to park. That said, the camera is useful in close quarters.

quality

2
Much of the competition feels more substantial and more precisely tailored. Our tester had a rocking driver seat and squeaky second row.

utility

2.5
Its cargo space is smaller than in the competition and is hampered by a high, uneven load floor. In-cabin storage is better, with a good variety of pockets and a huge center console bin. Boasts a strong tow rating.

small-item storage

3
Decent array of nooks, including a cavernous console bin, a well in front of the two cupholders, two amply sized pockets per front door and two flat slots on the transmission tunnel. The back seat has large door pockets.

cargo space

2
As in all current GM full-size SUVs, the Cadillac's third-row seats now fold flat. But the floor was merely raised to manage this, resulting in an oddly shaped, higher load floor and reduced overall cargo capacity. Little space behind third row.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Cadillac Escalade.

2018 Escalade SUV
KJW, 5/20/2018
Ride is very comfortable and power is great. Instrumentation is very good. No need for platinum options.
Write a consumer review of your vehicle for a chance to WIN $100!

Features & Specs

MSRP
$86,995
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
MSRP
$82,395
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
MSRP
$96,095
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
MSRP
$79,395
MPG
14 city / 23 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all 2018 Cadillac Escalade features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Escalade safety features:

Rear Camera Mirror
Displays as redundancy the rearview camera's view in the rearview mirror.
OnStar
Provides automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance and remote door unlocking.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Modifies your set speed to account for the varying speed of traffic, then resumes when the road is clear.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • 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 Rollover22.8%

2018 Cadillac Escalade for Sale

Cadillac Escalade 2018 Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
New 2018
Cadillac Escalade
Luxury
MSRP$85,415
Est.Loan: $1,519/mo
View Details
Cadillac Escalade 2018 Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
New 2018
Cadillac Escalade
Luxury
MSRP$86,695
Est.Loan: $1,540/mo
View Details
Cadillac Escalade 2018 Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
New 2018
Cadillac Escalade
Premium Luxury
Capitol Cadillac
31.9 mi away
MSRP$88,290
Est.Loan: $1,568/mo
View Details
More about the 2018 Cadillac Escalade

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV that has a lot of capability and creature comforts, along with a few drawbacks. Its pricing is defined by four trim levels, of which any can be paired with four-wheel drive. Most of the available options are offered as stand-alone options rather than being part of packages.

Among the trim levels — base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum — even the base variant comes laden with features, including the same V8 and 10-speed automatic found in every Escalade. Also standard is an adaptive suspension, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parallel and perpendicular parking assist, a hands-free liftgate, remote start, three-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel with power-adjustable tilt and telescoping, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power front seats, driver-seat memory settings, heated rear seats and split power-folding third-row seats.

Given that the base trim's pricing is commensurate with the norms in its segment, it's not a huge stretch to the Luxury trim. This adds larger wheels, a sunroof, power-folding second-row seats, a head-up display and a camera-based rearview mirror system (the rearview mirror integrates the backup camera's display). It also adds a host of driver assistance features — a safety-alert driver seat that buzzes to warn of potential hazards, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and intervention, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking.

Our recommended trim, Premium Luxury, ratchets the cost up again by the same amount and adds adaptive cruise control, a rear entertainment system with a Blu-ray player and two overhead-mounted displays, and a more advanced collision mitigation system with both forward and reverse automatic braking.

Then there's Platinum, which gilds the lily with every conceivable creature comfort. It adds power-retracting side steps, upgraded power front seats (with massaging function), upgraded leather upholstery, a cooled front-seat center console, and two more rear DVD screens mounted in the back of the front seat headrests. It's a healthy jump in price over the Premium Luxury, though, so make sure its contents resonate with you first.

Among three-row SUVs, the Escalade skews more toward the workhorse set, what with its stout tow rating and somewhat trucky demeanor. That's not to say it isn't laden with luxury features because it clearly is. Whatever your sensibilities, if a 2018 Cadillac Escalade is in your future, Edmunds' premium shopping tools will help you find the perfect one.

2018 Cadillac Escalade Overview

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Premium Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Platinum 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), and 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A).

What do people think of the 2018 Cadillac Escalade?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Escalade 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Escalade.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Escalade featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.5 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort2.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort2.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Roominess3.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0
Quality2.0 / 5.0

Utility

2.5 / 5.0

Small-item storage3.0 / 5.0
Cargo space2.0 / 5.0
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Cadillac Escalade?
2018 Cadillac Escalade Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
Available Inventory:

We are showing 8 2018 Cadillac Escalade Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
Available Inventory:

We are showing 13 2018 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Cadillac Escalade Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2018 Cadillac Escalade Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Which 2018 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) 2018 Cadillac Escalade for sale near. There are currently 73 new 2018 Escalades listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $75,290 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade.

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Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.