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2011 Cadillac Escalade

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2011 Cadillac Escalade Review

Still the classic luxury SUV with a status badge

Reviewed by Automotive on

In a Nutshell
The 2011 Cadillac Escalade is a large full-size luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) that combines upscale styling with technology gadgets and high performance drive trains. Propelled by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine, married to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Cadillac Escalade offers three trim levels: Base, Luxury, Premium, and Platinum. The Hybrid has active-fuel-management technologies that control the V-8 cylinders in the engine, causing them to shut down when they are unnecessary in order to provide greater fuel efficiency.

Offered with three rows inside its interior allowing for seating for eight passengers, the Cadillac Escalade can be had with a short-bed truck body or with an SUV body with an extended wheelbase. With a long list of luxury features, the Escalade hosts advanced gadgetry, but it lacks some safety features that are common for vehicle in this class including side curtain airbags and adaptive cruise control. The standard Escalade models have an EPA-rating of 13 mpg city / 18 mpg highway, although the Hybrid does better at 21 mpg city / 22 mpg highway.

New for 2011

Changes for 2011 Cadillac Escalade are mostly minor, including USB, Compact Flash, and Auxiliary Input jacks on the navigation and entertainment system. Also offered are two new paint colors and some minor updates to the OnStar hardware.


Engines: 6.2L V-8, 6.0L V-8 with two electric motors
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic
Body Styles: SUV, Truck
Trims: Base Sport Utility, Hybrid Sport Utility, Premium Sport Utility, ESV Sport Utility

On the Outside

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade exterior remained unchanged from its 2007 redesign. One item you might notice is the heavy use of chrome bright work, which grabs attention and assures that the Escalade stands out in a crowd.

From the Inside

Standard luxury features on the Cadillac Escalade include automatic climate control, navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth and heated leather seats. An electronically variable suspension and rear-seat entertainment system are options.

Driving Performance

Although the Cadillac Escalade weighs in the neighborhood of 6000 pounds, its 403 horsepower V-8 engine handles the weight well with 417 pound-feet of torque on tap. The Hybrid's 2 Mode system, which combines a 332-horsepower V-8 engine with two electric motors for a total of 379 horses, also handles the SUV's weight well. The Hybrid configuration significantly improves the Escalade's city fuel economy, while the optional all-wheel drive improves street grip in poor weather.

Safety Equipment

Standard safety equipment on the Cadillac Escalade SUV are driver and passenger front airbags, side impact thorax bags front and rear, OnStar Automatic Crash Response, and electronic safety devices including traction control and stability control.

Gas Mileage

2WD: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway
AWD: 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway
Hybrid: 21 mpg city/22 mpg highway


  • Cool status symbol
  • Oodles of space
  • Hybrid configuration
  • V-8 engine power


  • Poor fuel economy
  • High price tag
  • Expensive Hybrid
  • Huge vehicle


Still the classic luxury SUV with a status badge

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See the New 2015 Escalade.

Front & Driver Side View