2013 Cadillac Escalade Review
Test drivers say the 2013 Cadillac Escalade has powerful acceleration and surprisingly agile handling, but its aging design doesn't hold up well against newer rivals.
Under the 2013 Escalade’s hood is a V8 engine, which reviewers say is powerful. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and reviewers note that it shifts promptly and smoothly. The Escalade gets up to an EPA-estimated 14/18 mpg city/highway, which is comparable to the Infiniti QX56 and Toyota Land Cruiser. In terms of handling, critics say the Escalade is fairly agile for a large SUV and has a smooth ride. Reviewers do point out that drivers will have a hard time parking because of the Escalade’s bulky size. One auto writer says its brakes provide good stopping power.
The Escalade was the 2013 Best Luxury Full-Size SUV for Families because it has the best combination of quality, size and family-friendly features in its class.
On the inside, automotive journalists think the 2013 Cadillac Escalade has a luxurious look and feel, with high-quality materials. As far as seating, reviewers say that the first and second rows are comfortable, but a majority says the third-row seats are cramped and uncomfortable. One reviewer says that with car seats in place, all rear seating positions lack head- and legroom, even for children. Reviewers dislike the cumbersome task of removing the heavy third-row seats to maximize cargo space, but also note that there is an impressive amount of space once removed. Critics say that the Escalade has well-placed audio and climate controls and an intuitive navigation system. Notable standard features include a 10-speaker Bose surround sound system, Bluetooth, USB port and rearview camera. Optional features or features available on higher trims include a power sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system and blind zone alert.
- "As a large SUV (or crew-cab pickup for that matter), this Caddy does an admirable job of blending coddling and capability." -- Consumer Guide
- "While the 2013 Cadillac Escalade may have three rows and a long list of standard luxury features, its high step-in height and severe lack of legroom or cargo space left me sorely disappointed." -- Mother Proof
- "So is it really excessive? Absolutely, and almost as expensive as a night in New York with The Donald. But once you really load it with sort-of adults and kids and luggage and food, excessive starts to look like hugely capable." -- The Dallas Morning News (ESV)
Other SUVs to Consider
The Mercedes-Benz GL450 is roughly the same price as the base Escalade and has standard all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on the Escalade. Reviewers praise the GL’s smooth ride and opulent interior. The GL gets comparable fuel economy to the Escalade, but holds less cargo.
If you’re seeking excellent off-road performance in a luxury large SUV, the Land Rover Range Rover is worth a look. The redesigned Range Rover has a luxurious and comfortable interior that reviewers love, plus a performance-oriented model that critics say rival some sports sedans on the road.
Details: 2013 Cadillac Escalade
The Cadillac Escalade comes with standard seating for seven and rear-wheel drive. It has a 6.2-liter V8 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission in all trims. There are three models available: the standard wheelbase Escalade, the long wheelbase Escalade ESV and the Escalade Hybrid, which is reviewed separately. Both models are available in four trims: Standard (Base), Luxury, Premium and Platinum. Higher trims add upgraded interior materials and features. All-wheel drive is optional on all trims and models. The Escalade is largely unchanged for the 2013 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2007 to 2013.