Buyer's Guide

2022 Cadillac Escalade
Select a Different Model (20 Available): ESV Luxury 2WD
Cargo (Std/Max) $ 42/143 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 7/8
Horsepower 420@5,600
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2022 Cadillac Escalade MODEL OVERVIEW


  • Bold styling
  • Standard Super Cruise tech
  • Upscale interior


  • Ride quality needs polish
  • Parts-bin switchgear
  • Disappointing fuel economy

Now entering its second model year since a redesign, the Cadillac Escalade benefits from minor updates to keep it competitive in the full-size luxury SUV segment. Although the glitzy and muscular exterior remains mostly unchanged since the fifth-generation model debuted for 2021, Cadillac has added more standard safety and driver assist technology across the lineup. Riding on the same platform as the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe, Cadillac has pumped the Escalade and Escalade ESV full of the latest tech and style to compete with rivals including the Lincoln Navigator, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, and BMW X7.

What's New

  • Super Cruise driver assistance tech standard on more trims
  • More safety assistance features are included on more trims
  • Three new optional paint colors (Mahogany Metallic, Galactic Gray Metallic, and Wilder Metallic) replace two retired colors (Shadow Metallic and Dark Mocha Metallic)
  • GM's Buckle to Drive seat belt safety system
  • Standard metal and rubber gas and brake pedals (Sport pedal kit)
  • Performance package includes trailer assist tech

What We Think

The Escalade is exactly what its buyers need it to be: big, stylish, and packed with state-of-the-art technology. The Cadillac even managed to best offerings from Mercedes-Benz and BMW in our rankings (though the Lincoln Navigator tops them all). The Escalade's exterior design is bold and eye-catching. As marvelous as it is to look at this Caddy, the interior is the place to be. The leather is of the finest quality we've seen on a Cadillac and a massive 38 inches of OLED touchscreen displays cover the dash. The impressive display can command an optional 36-speaker sound system that has to be heard to be believed.

The luxurious experience extends beyond the front two seats; second and even third row occupants are treated to sumptuous and comfortable seats. It's a great rig for road-tripping too. The regular Tahoe-based Escalade has plenty of space for cargo and buyers who step up to the larger, Suburban-based ESV model gain even more interior volume.

Even though the Escalade is one of our top-rated three-row luxury SUVs, we have some minor points of contention with GM's top dog. The suspension is a bit stiff for our tastes; we can best appreciate the new fully independent suspension on smooth and curvy roads. That some of the switchgear can be found in other GM models also degrades the luxurious atmosphere a little. Finally, the V-8 model delivers poor fuel economy that's not a match for the rest of the segment.

In a comparison test facing the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, the Cadillac's impressive array of screens up front, 36-speaker AKG audio system, and Super Cruise semi-autonomous tech bested the new Jeep, but the Grand Wagoneer's superior ride quality and luxury in the second and third rows earned the newcomer a narrow victory.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Cadillac offers two powertrain options for the 2022 Escalade. The first is a conventional 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 that produces 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. With this powerplant under the hood, we were able to hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy is 15/20 mpg city/highway with RWD and 14/19 mpg with 4WD.

A 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six diesel engine serves as the only alternate motivation for the Cadillac Escalade. It sends 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque to either the rear wheels or all four wheels. We expect the diesel Escalade to hit 60 mph from a standstill in 8.5 seconds. EPA mileage is 21/27 city/highway for RWD models and 20/26 for versions equipped with 4WD.

Super Cruise Switchup

To make sure the Escalade earns its place at the top of the Cadillac brand hierarchy, Super Cruise is now included on almost every trim. On 2022 Escalade models, Super Cruise is now standard on Premium Luxury, Sport, and Platinum models, leaving only the base Luxury trim out.

When engaged, the driver assist system actively steers and keeps the vehicle centered in the lane. Its use is restricted to freeways and highways GM has programmed into the Super Cruise system with data from high-precision GPS and cameras. We've found this advanced version of adaptive cruise control to be excellent at mimicking human driver behavior, which helps occupants to feel more comfortable as the car accelerates and brakes without driver input. We found Super Cruise to be a much more effective driver assist system than Tesla's Autopilot so it bodes well for Cadillac's most recognizable model that the technology is featured on all but one trim.

Safety Ratings and Features

In NHTSA safety testing, the 2022 Cadillac Escalade earns a four-star overall rating (out of a possible five stars), receiving five stars in side crash, four stars in frontal crash, and three stars in rollover. For the 2022 model year, the base Luxury trim gains standard lane keep assist and lane departure warning. On Premium Luxury, Sport, and Platinum models, Cadillac's more advanced automatic emergency braking system, reverse automatic braking, and Super Cruise driver assistance are now standard.

Escalades in the Premium Luxury and Sport trims receive standard automatic seat belt tightening. Buckle to Drive, a GM safety system which prohibits the vehicle from being put into drive or reverse unless the driver's seatbelt is buckled or after a period of 20 seconds, is now standard on the entire Escalade range.

Cargo Space

Cargo space and interior room are some of the 2022 Cadillac Escalade's strongest traits. Even though the Lincoln Navigator sits higher on our ranking, the Cadillac bests it here. Behind the third-row seats the Cadillac offers 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space to the Navigator's 19.3 cubic feet. With the back seats flipped down, cargo space increases to a whopping 72.9 cubic feet, again topping the Lincoln's 57.7 cubic feet. With both rows of rear seats folded, count on the Escalade to provide 121.0 cubic feet of cargo space, greater than the Navigator's 103.3 cubic feet.

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade ESV model has even more space but again, Lincoln's larger offering falls short. Behind the third row there's 41.5 cubic feet of cargo space compared to the Navigator L's 34.3 cubic feet. Folding down the third row opens up 94.1 cubic feet of space where the Lincoln offers 73.3, just barely larger than the regular Escalade. With all seats stowed, the Escalade ESV boasts 142.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which again is larger than the Navigator L's 120.2 cubic feet.


The fifth-generation Cadillac Escalade is the most technologically advanced iteration of the full-size luxury SUV yet. It sports 38 inches of OLED screen space on the dashboard, and Cadillac offers a head-up display if buyers want a bonus screen. An augmented reality function is available as part of the built-in navigation system. Those who wish to use their own mobile devices for navigation can instead opt to connect their phone to the car via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. A 360-degree camera system is standard, which is sure to help maneuver this luxe ute safely.

Higher trims get an added digital rearview mirror camera that provides an expanded view of what's behind the vehicle. Cadillac also offers the tantalizing option of a 36-speaker sound system as an upgrade over the standard 19-speaker array. Cadillac added standard trailer tire pressure monitoring to the 2022 Escalade and ditched its old In-Vehicle Trailering App system in favor of GM's Smart Trailer Integration Indication. The Performance package now includes this trailer monitoring system.

Recommended Trim

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade is available with five trims this year: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury Platinum, and Sport Platinum. We think the best choice for maximizing the Escalade experience with some sense of a budget in mind is picking the Premium Luxury trim. At this level, the 2022 Escalade receives standard Super Cruise and comes equipped with lots of great gear including heated and ventilated 12-way power front seats, a panoramic sunroof, a digital rearview mirror, and a head-up display. Choosing the V-8 Escalade Premium Luxury comes with a price tag of about $85,000 for the RWD version and about $88,000 with 4WD.

That said, we're talking about the Cadillac Escalade here so one may as well  go for one of the two Platinum trims. Both offer the incredible 36-speaker premium sound system and air-ride adaptive suspension as standard for about $102,000 with the V-8 and RWD before additional options. Either Premium Luxury Platinum or Sport Platinum will cost just over $105,000 with 4WD. Perhaps there's no better way to purchase a luxurious car while also making a statement and drowning out the noise from the haters.

Other Full-Size 3-Row Luxury SUVs:

Engine Name
Engine: V8 6.2 Liter EcoTec3
Transmission Name
Transmission, 10 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode
ESV Luxury 2WD
Luxury Utility
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Unleaded Premium
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IIHS Best Pick
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Not Rated
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