First off, the Cadillac Escalade's interior is not aging well. After browsing several used examples online, we noticed that the leather becomes shiny quickly. Cadillac obviously doesn't use the same upmarket hide as the German brands. The markings on the buttons on the steering wheel also rub off after a few years. It's not a problem if you know the layout already, but the Escalade will likely be brand-new to the buyer. Figuring the blank buttons out is going to be a deeply annoying task. The build quality could have been better in some areas, which was a bitter pill to swallow when the car was new. Thanks to depreciation, the quality of the interior is better aligned with the pricing. All models but the Platinum use faux wood trim, and it doesn't do a particularly good job of hiding its fakeness. The real Burl, Elm, and Ashwood trim in the Platinum model looks so much better.
As standard, the Escalade is a seven-seater, and one of the main options was swapping the second-row captain's chairs for a power-folding bench. This was not a popular option, so you have to dig a little to find an eight-seater. For what it's worth, the middle seat in the second row is large enough for an adult, but they might struggle to find a comfortable place to put their feet.
The third-row bench has enough headroom for adults but the legroom is only 25 inches. Only kids will be happy back there. We have to mention how easily accessible the Escalade is. All models have sidesteps, while the Platinum has power sidesteps that drop down even lower. Thanks to power-folding everything, getting in and out of the third row is easy and efficient.
The place to be is in the front, as neither the driver nor the passenger will struggle to find a comfortable driving position. Both the steering column and pedals are power-adjustable. The Platinum even comes standard with seat massaging for the driver, which should take care of any aches and pains in heavy traffic. The trunk is disappointingly small with the third row up. In this configuration, the Escalade only has 15.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity, which isn't large enough to fit all the things six kids carry to school daily. It is at least enough space for daily errands, but not much more. If you are planning on using the third row regularly, we recommend going for the larger Escalade ESV. Treat it as a four or five-seater, and the Cadillac makes a lot more sense.
With the power-folding third row down, the Escalade's trunk capacity increases to 51.6 cubes. We see not having to worry about space as a luxury, and that's what this SUV offers when using only the first and second rows. The 50+ cube trunk is easily large enough for a family of four/five to go on a week-long holiday without having to pack carefully. Interior storage is equally ample, with four large door pockets, a set of cupholders for each row, and a massive storage bin underneath the center armrest.
If you still need more space than that, it's worth investigating the ESV model. Essentially, the ESV matches the normal Escalade in every way, but it's a full 20 inches longer. The wheelbase is 14 inches longer, which means actual real space for third-row passengers. The trunk capacity with three rows in place grows from 15.2 cubes to a full 39.2 cubes, which is more than enough. Drop the third row down, and you get 76.6 cubes of packing space.