2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV

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14 CITY / 21 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What's New for 2015:
  • Complete redesign affects interior and exterior
  • Boxier, more imposing profile
  • 8-speed automatic transmission now standard
  • 4WD models add transfer case
  • New electric hands-free tailgate
  • Upgrades to safety, tech features
  • New Platinum trim level adds more luxury

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV that can seat 7 in standard format and 8 with an optional bench seat in the second row. It's offered in a standard model, which has a 116-in. wheelbase and a total length of 203.9 in., or in an extended-length version called the Escalade ESV, which has a 130-in. wheelbase and a total length of 224.3 in. (and more legroom in the third row).

The Cadillac Escalade has undergone an extensive redesign for the 2015 model year and presents a different profile from the previous model year, with various design flourishes, plus a stronger body-on-frame structure than found on previous models. All 2015 Cadillac Escalades features an aluminum hood and tailgate, inlaid doors with triple sealing to reduce wind noise and improve aerodynamics, and active air shutters to increase fuel efficiency.

The Cadillac Escalade's main competitors include the Infiniti QX80, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Lexus LX 570, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

Models and Features
Both the 2015 Escalade and Escalade ESV come in four trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Premium, and Platinum. All are offered with 2-wheel drive (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). A 2-speed active transfer case is available with 4WD. The Standard model features keyless ignition and entry, running boards; 20-in. chrome wheels (22-in. wheels are optional); magnetic ride control with Sport and Comfort modes; automatic LED headlights; automatic wipers; an electric liftgate that offers hands-free opening and closing; and power-folding mirrors (auto-dimming on the driver's side).

The base model's interior features standard leather upholstery with heated and ventilated 8-way power front seats and heated rear seats; 3-zone automatic climate control; heated power steering wheel; power-adjustable pedals; rearview camera; navigation system; infotainment system; premium Bose 16-speaker sound system; satellite radio; 5 USB ports; and an extra audio jack.

The Luxury trim level upgrades to 22-in. wheels and adds a sunroof; automatic high-beam headlights; power-folding second-row seats; head-up display; and a package of safety upgrades that includes an alarm, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision alert, and a \"smart\" driver's seat that can warn occupants of various impending dangers. With the Premium trim level come various leather options; an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with Blu-ray player; adaptive cruise control; cornering lights; and a collision-mitigation system with automatic braking. Power-retracting assist steps are optional on the Premium and Platinum trim levels.

The Escalade Platinum adds dual DVD screens, cooled console, yet more leather options, premium wheels, and many other upgrades.

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade offers less cargo space than the 2014 model, reduced from 108.9 cu. ft. to 94.2 cu. ft. The Escalade ESV shrinks from 137.4 cu. ft. to 120.5 cu. ft.

Options and Packages
Many of the standard upgrades on the upper trim levels are available as options on the lower versions. The Escalade Platinum comes fully loaded, but the buyer can still add black roof rack rails, wheel locks, engine block heater, molded splash guards, chrome exhaust tips, power-retractable assist steps, all-weather floor mats, cargo mat, cargo shade, and extra headphones for the rear seat.

Under the Hood
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine featuring direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and Active Fuel Management technology that allows it to operate on 4 cylinders under certain driving conditions to conserve fuel. The engine is coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission (new for 2015, replacing the old 6-speed) on all trim levels, and generates 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Properly equipped, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade can tow between 7,700 and 8,200 lbs., depending on the vehicle configuration. Every 2015 Escalade includes a locking rear differential, tow/haul transmission mode, automatic grade braking technology, and a hill-start assist system. Electric variable-assist steering is standard, as well as a Magnetic Ride Control suspension with Tour and Sport modes. Standard Duralife brake rotors last twice as long as those in the previous Escalade, according to Cadillac.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV are:
  • Escalade with 2WD: 15/21/17 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Escalade with 4WD: 14/21/16 mpg
  • Escalade ESV with 2WD: 15/21/17 mpg
  • Escalade ESV with 4WD: 14/20/16 mpg

Safety Ratings and Technology
Every 2015 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV is equipped with OnStar telematics, including Automatic Crash Response, Crisis Assist, Emergency Services, and opt-in FamilyLink location sharing. A new front-seat center air bag is standard, designed to protect front-seat occupants from opposite-side crash forces, and the Escalade Luxury and Escalade Premium trim levels include side blind-zone alert, lane-change alert, and rear cross-traffic alert systems.

Depending on the trim level selected, buyers of the 2015 Escalade and Escalade ESV can add a Driver Awareness package that includes forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, and Safety Alert Seat systems. A Driver Assist package adds full-speed range adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking, automatic collision preparation, and automatic safety belt tightening technologies.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the 2015 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV 5 stars (out of a possible 5) for side crash protection, and 3 stars for rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the 2015 Escalade/Escalade ESV a \"Top Safety Pick.\"


J.D. Power Ratings

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*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

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