The Escalade is a luxury-vehicle icon--both as one of the most luxurious and noteworthy American luxury vehicles and as a capable truck beneath it all. Cadillac says that the Escalade's EPA highway rating of 22 mpg beats both the Mercedes-Benz GL550 or Lexus LX 570. Yet the Escalade can reach 60 mph in an astonishing six seconds--impressive for an SUV that weighs two and a half tons.
The Escalade's trailer-towing rating of up to 8,300 pounds (or 8,100 pounds for the ESV) is better than that of the Land Rover Range Rover or either of those other models. Separately, the new front-seat airbag is unlike anything else in this class, potentially providing an added assurance in some types of accidents, while all the active-safety features might help keep you from ever getting in one.
Not too much has changed for the mighty Cadillac Escalade since it rolled through the Roadshow garage last year. The 2019 model sees a few former options become standard features as this titan elbows for whatever edge it can find in the large luxury SUV space. With stiff competition from Lincoln's Navigator, the Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW's new X7, the Escalade certainly has its work cut out for it.
Can a few new features keep the Caddy relevant among these fresher models? I grabbed the keys to a loaded-up 2019 Cadillac Escalade Platinum ESV to find out.
For the 2019 model year, the Escalade's hands-free power tailgate becomes a standard feature across the line. Simply walk up to the rear end with the key in your pocket and kick under the bumper, and the rear hatch will automatically open. The same kicking motion can be used to close the hatch, which is useful when your hands are full while loading or unloading the SUV.
The Good The Escalade is a big comfortable ride with lots of space for people and cargo, especially in the long-wheelbase ESV trim.
The Bad The Cue infotainment is woefully outdated. The driver-aid tech could use an update as well.
The Bottom Line The big and luxurious 2019 Cadillac Escalade finds itself surrounded by younger, fresher competition. Fortunately, an updated next-generation model is just around the corner.
All it takes is the Amazon Key app and an OnStar subscription.
Cadillac hasn't yet offered a brutal variant of its luxo-barge SUV, but that may change.
We're still not sure when these big-boy SUVs will be unveiled, though.
The Aviator is also cheaper than the Caddy, and it's way more powerful, to boot.
It's unclear when these cars will actually debut.
The camouflage hid all the beefy bits, but they won't stay covered forever.
Cadillac's midsize performance sedan goes on sale in early 2020.
Cadillac's smallest performance sedan goes on sale in early 2020.