2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Review By Larry Nutson
2023 Cadillac Escalade-V
Luxury that roars
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
THE AUTO CHANNEL
GM has said they are going all-electric. And Cadillac has announced they will no longer offer an internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicle by the year 2030. That’s seven years from now. That still leaves some time for more ICE!
Cadillac has been around for 120 years. It has been selling V8 ICE-powered cars since 1915. The latest, and perhaps the last, new V8 model is the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V. Cadillac’s “V” has already been seen on the CT4 and CT5 Blackwing sedans. Now it is making its debut on an SUV.
Under the hood of the Escalade-V is a 682-HP supercharged 6.2-L V-8 engine that develops 653 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission with unique calibrations, a standard full-time active all-wheel-drive system, and exclusive suspension hardware and software calibrations help make the Escalade-V complete.
With the full-time active all-wheel drive system to enhance traction, along with the supercharged engine, Cadillac expects the Escalade-V to be capable of 0-60 mph sprints in under 4.4 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 12.74 seconds at 110 mph based on initial GM testing.
Additional exclusive performance features are: six-piston Brembo front brakes with Edge Red brake calipers; unique 22-inch aluminum wheels; Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension, with uniquely tuned rear air springs and damper hardware; V-Series specific software calibrations; and selectable V-Mode with driver-customizable performance driving settings, launch control, lowered suspension (0.8 inch) and active exhaust valves.
Subtle appearance features include: unique V-Series front and rear fascias; quad exhaust outlets; V-Series badging on both front doors, liftgate, and throughout the interior, including the steering wheel; platinum trim interior featuring Zebra Wood decor with semi-aniline leather on all three rows; heated/ventilated and massaging front seats; and AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker audio system
Cadillac’s Super Cruise hands-free driver-assistance technology is an option. The longer Escalade-V ESV version is also available.
All this comes at a price that might raise some eyebrows---$149,195 to start plus a $1,795 destination charge.
I’ve previously driven the present generation of the Escalade. Clearly, I was indeed looking forward to experiencing the V-series for its performance. Additionally, the vehicle I drove was equipped with the newest iteration of Super Cruise giving me the chance to gain some experience.
Super Cruise is the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance technology. It uses real-time cameras, sensors, and GPS, paired with detailed LiDAR map data, to provide driving completely hands-free on more than 200,000 miles of compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada. The latest update includes trailering and automatic lane change capabilities.
Overall the Escalade-V provides a nice balance of performance with comfort. At engine start-up the quad-pipe exhaust burbles loudly, turning some heads. Step deep into the throttle and hold on. I did a couple highway toll booth departures that my wife described as embarrassing with the loud exhaust note.
The ride is comfortable. Cadillac did not fit the Escalade-V with performance tires. All-season, or three-season if you will, make for a nice ride.
We road tripped across lower Michigan from Chicago to visit family. Here I got to really experience Super Cruise. I had previously had a short test drive with Super Cruise. Now I would have 200 miles of highway. What impressed me most was the lane change function that smoothly and definitively steered to the passing lane as we approached a slower vehicle from behind and then returned back to the driving lane after completing the pass. All while I sat with both feet flat on the floor and both hands in my lap. I just needed to keep my head straight and eyes focused ahead so the steering-column mounted camera knew I was paying attention.
A road trip also allows for fuel consumption checks. The EPA-ratings for the Escalade-V are a thirsty 11 city mpg and 16 highway mpg. Yes, 11 mpg or less around town is about what I got. My highway trip was a surprise. Heading east, using lots of Super Cruse function but also driving at the “prevailing” (wink) higher highway speeds I hit 19 mpg. Wow! On the return driving west I was at 17 mpg. I’ve done this trip many times. Fuel consumption driving west is typically worse due to prevailing head wind out of the west. Take note, the Escalade-V requires premium grade gasoline.
This Radiant Red Tintcoat Escalade-V had a total MSRP of $155,365. Super Cruise added $2,500. A center console refrigerator is $700. And the exterior paint was $1,225. There was a $50 credit because the 2nd row window express-up feature was not equipped, probably due to microchip supply.
Visit www.cadillac.com for more information on the 2023 Escalade model range with prices starting at $82,985.
Some auto critics like the Escalade-V. I agree it was proper for Cadillac to bring this “last hurrah” to market and end ICE-powered SUVs on a high note. Others think not. Each to his/her own.
The future is electric. Happy motoring!
© 2023 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy