The changes to the latest Escalade's cabin are substantially more dramatic than the exterior redesign. It's a truly lavish environment with top-notch materials, loads of high-tech features, and much more passenger space than ever before. An industry-first curved OLED driver display dominates the dashboard and is beautiful to look at, but Cadillac smartly hasn't dispensed with physical controls for the ventilation system. A longer wheelbase and the implementation of an independent rear suspension work together to free up more cargo space and a 40-percent increase in third-row legroom. Leatherette upholstery and 12-way power-adjustable front seats are standard on the entry-level trim, along with heated seats in the first two rows, tri-zone climate control, remote start, and a hands-free power liftgate. Upper trims have soft-close doors, a panoramic sunroof, and an AKG Studio Reference sound system with an astounding 36 speakers.
The Cadillac Escalade is amongst the largest vehicles available right now, with seating for up to eight individuals, or seven if you opt for the second-row captain's chairs. By switching to a new independent rear suspension, Cadillac managed to increase passenger space in all except the first row, which shrinks marginally compared to last year's model. In the standard-wheelbase model, 2nd-row passengers get 41.7 inches of legroom (an increase of 2.7 inches) while third-row occupants have 34.9 inches (an increase of 10.1 inches) to stretch their legs. Should you need even more space, the ESV increases third-row legroom to 36.6 inches (an increase of 2.1 inches from last year's ESV).
|Cadillac Escalade Trims||Luxury||Premium Luxury||Sport||Premium Luxury Platinum||Sport Platinum|
|Headroom Front Seat||42.3 in.||42.3 in.||42.3 in.||42.3 in.||42.3 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||38.9 in.||38.9 in.||38.9 in.||38.9 in.||38.9 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||44.5 in.||44.5 in.||44.5 in.||44.5 in.||44.5 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.||41.7 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||65.5 in.||65.5 in.||65.5 in.||65.5 in.||65.5 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||64.6 in.||64.6 in.||64.6 in.||64.6 in.||64.6 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||61.7 in.||61.7 in.||61.7 in.||61.7 in.||61.7 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||61.2 in.||61.2 in.||61.2 in.||61.2 in.||61.2 in.|
The base Luxury trim features leatherette upholstery in Jet Black along with Linear Tiger wood inlays. Moving up to the Premium Luxury introduces Mulan leather upholstery with perforated inserts in a choice of Parchment, Jet Black, or Brandy, with the latter costing extra but adding dark accents and faceted quilting to the leather. The Sport also comes with Mulan leather but features unique Zebra wood inlays. On the Premium Luxury Platinum and Sport Platinum, Opus semi-aniline leather seating comes as standard for the first two rows, with both featuring colors like Whisper Beige with Gideon accents, Jet Black, and Dark Auburn. Additional trim-specific inlays include Natural Figured Ash wood, Bitter Lace wood, Parchment Tamo Ash wood, Fine Line Brandy wood, and Linear Marquetry wood. Tasteful aluminum trim, top-class stitching on the door panels and dash, and contrast piping are further elements that mark the new Escalade's cabin out as something special.
The new Cadillac Escalade has taken a big step forward when it comes to cargo capacity, an improvement that can be partially attributed to the use of an independent rear suspension. While the previous Escalade had around 15.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, the new one offers a much more generous 25.5 cubes. Behind the second row, this swells to a large 63 cubes, and with all the back seats folded, there are a cavernous 109.1 cubes to play with. The ESV is even roomier, with figures of 41.5 and 94.1 cubes behind the second and third rows, and 142.8 cubes when all the rear seats are folded. Along with the hands-free power-operated tailgate, a power-folding mechanism for the 60/40-split folding third row is standard. There is some underfloor storage in the cargo area as well.
Interior storage space is generous as well, with a standard front center console containing dual cupholders along with small/large storage bins. A refrigerated center console is available and can accommodate six 500 ml bottles. A large glovebox has a damped lid and is lined with felt, while second-row occupants get seatback map pockets along with pop-out cupholders. There are storage bins in all the doors and third-row occupants have accessible cupholders as well.
As a full-size luxury SUV, even the base Escalade comes well-stocked with luxury and convenience items. It has 12-way power-adjustable front seats, heated seats in the first two rows, a heated steering wheel, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Added to these are second-row bucket seats with a power-release function, power-folding third-row seats, remote start, rain-sensing wipers, and a hands-free power liftgate. Cadillac hasn't skimped on safety with all versions benefitting from automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, front pedestrian braking, front/rear parking sensors, an HD surround-view camera system, and rear pedestrian alert. Higher-spec versions have adaptive park assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, 16-way power-adjustable front seats with massaging, soft-close doors, and a panoramic sunroof. A trailering package with an integrated brake controller, a trailering app, and hitch assist guidelines is available.
The Cadillac User Experience (CUE) from the outgoing Escalade was not well-loved, but the company went back to the drawing board to craft something brilliant. The new Escalade features the industry's first curved piece of OLED glass, totaling around 38 inches in the dash. A massive 16.9-inch touchscreen handles infotainment duties, while a rotating knob helps to avoid fingerprints and smudges. In front of the driver, a 14.2-inch display shows the gauges and other vehicle information, and using the 7.2-inch control panel, drivers can switch from standard gauges to a full map view, augmented reality camera, or available night vision. Not only does the Escalade pack standard fare such as Bluetooth and SiriusXM radio, but it also boasts wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. We were blown away by the base 19-speaker AKG sound system, so we can only imagine that the optional 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference stereo is one of the best in the world right now.