2018 Escalade from Cadillac is crammed with technology, toys and features

Cadillac don’t really seem to have much of a focus right now; their traditional customer is 65 year-old male with enough money to be able to afford the $75,000+ pricetag that comes with an Escalade, and yet they want to change that for someone much younger – they want to be seen as cool rather than fool.

It’s kinda working – look at how many musicians (rock, pop & rap) have a Caddy Escalade in their garage – it’s a status symbol.

However, what does that mean for normal people?

You can’t deny that the massive Escalade is hot right now, so Cadillac have managed to stumble across the formula needed to pull off the trick, but is it a one-trick pony?

While you’d have to say that Cadillac are beginning to produce some vehicles that appeal to the younger, cooler generation, but … the Cadillac brand is still a bit … ageing.

New for 2018 Cadillac Escalade


1. New for 2018 Cadillac Escalade
2. Packed with tech
3. Same old V8
4. Pricing 

So what’s new?

In all honesty, there isn’t going to be that much which is new for 2018 – the Escalade got a pretty significant update last time round, and coupled with the fact that it seems to be selling pretty well, Cadillac have chosen to rest for a while and just let the massive Escalade sell for what it is.

One area that Caddy have invested time in is the CUE system which has been under constant criticism since its introduction. It was always very clunky, a bit laggy and the whole touch control thing … you may as well have been wearing boxing gloves it was that inaccurate.

But Cadillac have listened to the criticism and they’ve now produced something that actually works well – it isn’t just that it works, it does it better than you’d expect, perhaps even better than some of the competition.

For 2018, Cadillac have packed the Escalade with tech

And keeping with the technology theme, the 2018 Cadillac Escalade is positively crammed with technology, toys and features. Of course, some of them will come as standard, some will only come on higher trim levels and some will just be extra (it’s quite conceivable that you could easily blow over $100,000 by the time you’ve finished).

We know that the Luxury trim and above will get forward-collision warning with low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and adaptive cruise-control, but other tech includes a Heads Up Display, heated, cooled and massage seats, heated steering wheel, lane-keep assist, park assist, collision monitoring, rear seat entertainment, TV screens, LED headlights with automatic high-beams, automatic windshield wipers, power liftgate, trailer hitch receiver, magnetic ride control, keyless entry and ignition, front and rear parking sensors, teen driver management and a surround view camera system. Phew.

As we say, we aren’t sure what is going to be standard or the prices for the extras, but given that the 2018 Escalade will have starting price of around $75,000, you’d expect to get something half-decent for your money.

Same old V8

Under the hood will be the same old 6.2 liter V8 mill, good enough for 420 horsepower and 460 pounds / feet of torque. You’d think that in a vehicle of this size, 400 odd horsepower would feel a bit underwhelming, but the truth is that the suspension is a little soft and soggy, so you really wouldn’t want much more. Besides, it’s good enough for around 150 mph if you’ve taken your brave pills. It’s also very easy to light-up the rear-wheels, so even if it isn’t actually going very fast, it gives you the impression that it is – imagine sitting in your home and being moved along – it’s a similar feeling.

We don’t have any official gas mileage figures, but let’s be honest, you’re not going to be buying this car if your fuel budget is limited, so all we’d say is … just don’t expect miracles. No doubt that Cadillac will want to tell you that gas mileage has been improved, but without any engine tweaks or weight-reduction, you’re not going to see any improvements over the current model.

Transmission is taken care of via an 8-speed automatic, driving the rear-wheels as standard, but there is an option for full four-wheel drive.

Towing capacity is a massive 8,100 – 8,300 pounds; plenty enough to tow a small boat, RV, heck, even a small house! And with the trailer hitch receiver, coupling up to a trailer is a doddle.


Competition comes from the likes of the Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and the Audi Q7, all similarly priced. The official pricing for 2018 hasn’t yet been revealed, but it’s doubtful that prices will rise much. The current range goes from $74,590 through to $99,390 (plus extras).

As for the when … we’ve seen nothing of the ‘new’ 2018 Cadillac Escalade, but with minimal changes, it’s doubtful that Cadillac have needed to be out testing in public (besides, the 2017 and 2018 model years are so similar, we probably wouldn’t even know).

Many manufacturers prefer a Fall launch, our money would be on a September roll-out to the dealers. If you’re in the market for an Escalade and can put up with the poor CUE system, then you may just be better off getting down to your local Cadillac dealer a littler earlier and picking up a 2017 model year as they clear their inventory for the new model – there really isn’t enough of a difference between the two years so why not save yourself a few bucks?

2017-06-6 by Luke Widmeyer