2022 Cadillac Escalade

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2022 Cadillac Escalade Review: A New Heavyweight Champion

Cadillac was once the pre-eminent luxury brand in the states, and owning one was a badge of honor and status. At some point, however, the brand fell into disrepute thanks to the use of cheaper materials to cut costs and not putting its vehicles together as well as it could. But in recent years the automaker has made quite the comeback, and the poster child of this movement is the latest generation of the Escalade: a full-size luxury SUV available with an extended wheelbase for those who need even more room. Where its competitors once made it look like a joke for the money it commanded, the Cadillac Escalade now easily goes toe-to-toe with other three-row luxury SUVs like the Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX, or Infiniti QX80. We would even go so far as to say it brings the fight to dominant German brands. And, with a choice between a gas V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque or a turbo-diesel with the same torque figure and only 277 hp, there's even the option to manage gas mileage estimates by opting for the oil burner.

Read in this review:

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2022 Cadillac Escalade Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Escalade?

Having received a complete overhaul for 2021, the Cadillac Escalade rolls into 2022 with only the most minor of changes. Standard on models is a new Buckle to Drive function, while the entry-spec Luxury improves its value by adding lane-keep assist and lane departure warning. Puddle lamps showing off the Cadillac logo are added to Platinum trims, and the large SUV can now also be dressed up in three new metallic paint colors: Mahogany, Galactic Gray, and Wilder, which is a regal shade of green.

Pros and Cons

  • Bold Escalade styling
  • Ultra-luxurious, high-tech cabin
  • Loads of passenger and cargo space
  • Plush ride quality
  • Comprehensive driver-assist suite
  • Thirsty V8 engine
  • Heavy and hard to handle
  • 4WD isn't made for off-roading
  • Exorbitantly expensive

What's the Price of the 2022 Cadillac Escalade?

As expensive as it is, the Escalade actually starts things off at an almost reasonable figure. The Luxury will 'only' cost you $76,295. It's a pretty heft price hike up to the Premium Luxury, which asks for $85,095, while the Sport goes on sale for $88,095. The remaining models, the Premium Luxury Platinum and Sport Platinum, both exceed six figures. Oddly enough, they share the exact same price point of $102,595. If you want your Escalade with four-wheel drive rather than the standard rear-wheel setup, then you'll have to add $3,000 to the bill. At least swapping to the diesel engine won't cost you extra. These prices for the Cadillac Escalade are MSRP and do not include the weighty $1,695 destination charge or any other taxes and fees.

Best Deals on 2022 Cadillac Escalade

2022 Cadillac Escalade Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
6.2L V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Premium Luxury
6.2L V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
6.2L V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Premium Luxury Platinum
6.2L V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Sport Platinum
6.2L V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Cadillac Escalade Trims and Specs

2022 Escalade Exterior

2022 Cadillac Escalade Front Angle View Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Rear Angle View Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Side View Cadillac
See All 2022 Cadillac Escalade Exterior Photos


  • Length 211.9 in
  • Wheelbase 120.9 in
  • Height 76.7 in
  • Max Width 81.1 in

2022 Escalade Performance

2022 Cadillac Escalade Driving Front Angle Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Rear Perspective Driving Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Side View Driving Cadillac

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    6.2L V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Though it may compete with the likes of the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, the Escalade is not nearly as engaging to drive. It's more like a luxury tank than anything else. That being said, it's a lot nimbler than the old generation was. The independent rear suspension keeps those in the back comfortable during more spirited driving, and the limited-slip differential helps handle the outputs of the powerful engines. The brakes are strong, too, so slowing the massive vehicle down when traveling at speed is not overly daunting. The steering is light, which makes maneuvering easier, but this comes at the cost of feedback.

While handling is nothing special, comfort is where the Caddy really shines. The enormous SUV almost flattens the road as drives, but its body-on-frame construction can work against it. This is where the available adaptive air suspension comes in. Gliding on this cloud, the Escalade won't register even the largest of bumps. Wind and road noise is mostly dampened by the cozy cabin, though the raucous V8 can still be heard.

2022 Escalade Interior

2022 Cadillac Escalade Dashboard Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Front Seats Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Second-Row Seats Cadillac
See All 2022 Cadillac Escalade Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 44.5 in
  • Front Head Room 42.3 in
  • Rear Leg Room 41.7 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.9 in

2022 Escalade Trunk and Cargo Space

2022 Cadillac Escalade Trunk Space Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Maximum Trunk Space Cadillac
2022 Cadillac Escalade Rear Passenger Seats Cadillac

2022 Escalade Safety and Reliability


  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2022 Warranty \ 
  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2022 Cadillac Escalade A Good New SUV?

The Escalade was designed to be a full-size luxury SUV for the American market, which means that it excels in areas such as spaciousness and cargo capacity. As refined and sophisticated as they are, German and Japanese rivals can't compete on these fronts. In the past, they made up for this by delivering more opulent interiors, better technology, and a more engaging driving experience. Cadillac has made great strides to close these gaps, and the latest generation of the Escalade is now going toe-to-toe with its international competitors.

The interior of the Cadillac Escalade is where the biggest changes have been made, both with material choices and build quality so that the Escalade feels as well put-together as any Mercedes out there. As for the tech, you won't find a Lexus with more impressive screens and features. The latest Escalade truly feels like a car from the future. However, if there is one area where it still lags behind, it's the driving experience. The comfort bias is obvious, and rather than try to compete with the BMW X7 by tightening the handling or power management, Cadillac simply leaned further into what the Escalade already does right. This makes it one of the plushest SUV cruisers out there, just not a very exciting one. At this point, the fact that you can comfortably fit seven or eight people in the cabin just seems like icing on the cake. The only downside we can see to the 2022 Cadillac Escalade is the price tag, which can easily exceed the six-figure mark.

What Cadillac Escalade Model Should I Buy?

Before deciding on trim, you need to determine whether or not you actually need the extra space supplied by the longer wheelbase on the Escalade ESV. If you very seldom need to transport more than five people and can afford to reserve the third row for cargo instead, then the base Escalade should suffice. Nobody looking at this classification of vehicle should be short of cash, but if you don't want to spend more than $80k, the entry-spec Luxury is still packed with features. However, we feel that the Magnetic Ride Suspension and the limited-slip differential on the Sport are worth the extra money. We'd also add the Touring Package for the adaptive air suspension and soft-close doors. And, we'd certainly stick with the gas engine for the higher outputs. AWD is only necessary if you look in an area often plagued by inclement weather.

Check out other Cadillac Escalade Styles

2022 Cadillac Escalade Comparisons

Lincoln Navigator
Chevrolet Tahoe CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Cadillac Escalade420 hp14/19 mpg$79,295
Lincoln Navigator 440 hpTBC$79,725
Chevrolet Tahoe 355 hp15/20 mpg$52,600

2022 Cadillac Escalade vs Lincoln Navigator

Another supersized American SUV, the Lincoln Navigator is available with a standard or elongated wheelbase and seating for up to eight passengers. The Navigator has more legroom in the back as standard, but the Escalade wins when the wheelbases are extended. When it comes to cargo capacity, the Caddy blows the Lincoln out of the water, though. In terms of power, the Navigator has the upper hand thanks to turbocharging, even though it uses a V6. That said, 440 hp and 510 lb-ft aren't a lot higher and, in a car made for comfort, power isn't everything - unless you're specifically shopping for a performance SUV, in which case we're not sure why you're looking at Cadillac and Lincoln at all. With better quality materials and more advanced features, the cabin of the Escalade is a far more pleasant place to spend your time.

See Lincoln Navigator Review

2022 Cadillac Escalade vs Chevrolet Tahoe

At a much lower starting price, around $50.5k, the Chevrolet Tahoe is a more affordable way to get into the full-size SUV segment. However, that $20-$30k price difference is noticeable in the quality of materials used and the level of technology. Nevertheless, the Tahoe has excellent cargo capacity and passenger room, falling just a little short of the Escalade ESV. As corporate cousins, the Cadillac Escalade shares specs with the Tahoe using the same naturally aspirated V8 and turbo-diesel engines, though the Chevy can install a lower-displacement 5.3L V8 to try to remedy its poor fuel economy. In top-tier guise, the Tahoe is cheaper than even the entry-spec Escalade, and that will be enough to sway many shoppers, but those who want the better vehicle will shell out extra for the Cadillac.

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