Author: Steve Allen |

The 2017 Cadillac Escalade features a modern design, powerful capability and sumptuous amenities that keep luxury firmly in the driver’s seat.

2017 updates include availability of the award-winning Rear Camera Mirror and Automatic Parking Assist. There are also aesthetic updates for Escalade, including two new exterior paint colors and a new 22-inch wheel design.

The product line includes the standard Escalade and the extended-length ESV edition, which offers a 14-inch-longer (355 mm) wheelbase and approximately 20 inches (508 mm) more in overall length, maximizing space for third-row passengers and providing over two and half times the cargo space behind the third-row seat.

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

Escalade trim levels have been renamed for better customer clarity: Escalade, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum. All models are offered with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains, powered by a 6.2L V-8 engine backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission

It’s a combination powerful enough to enable 0-to-60-mph performance in less than 6 seconds – 5.96 seconds for Escalade 4WD and 5.98 seconds for Escalade ESV 2WD.

The 6.2L engine also delivers an EPA-estimated 22 mpg on the highway in Escalade/ESV 2WD and 20 mpg on the highway for Escalade/ESV 4WD.

Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system, is standard, delivering precisely controlled driving performance. At its core, Escalade is an SUV with the capabilities of a full-size truck, enabling a trailering rating of 8,300 pounds on the standard model and an 8,100-pound rating on Escalade ESV – more than Mercedes-Benz GLS550 (7,500 pounds), Lexus LX 570 (7,000 pounds) and Land Rover Range Rover (7,716 pounds).

Technology and Connectivity – Enhanced technology with industry-leading Rear Camera Mirror system

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

Technology is integral to the Escalade’s driving experience. New for 2017 is the availability of Cadillac’s industry-leading Rear Camera Mirror. Utilizing a wide-angle camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle, the Rear Camera Mirror system improves field of vision by an estimated 300 percent, or roughly four times greater than a standard rearview mirror. Using streaming video to the function of a traditional rearview mirror, removing obstructions of passengers, headrests, rear seat infotainment screens and the vehicle’s roof and rear pillars.

The Cadillac CUE infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, is standard on all Escalade models. The eight-inch center screen uses capacitive touch technology and gesture recognition, enabling tapping and swiping common to smartphones and tablets. The system also uses proximity sensors to activate common options and controls as the user’s hand approaches. An expanded “favorites” section offers quick access to phone contacts, digital music and navigation destinations in the same one-touch form as traditional radio presets.

Complementing CUE is OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on, supporting up to seven mobile devices. It comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial.

Cadillac CUE provides owners a smart and simple way to access both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay™. A “Projection” icon on the CUE screen is visible when a phone is not connected, then changes to indicate either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (whichever is applicable) when a compatible phone is connected via USB. Android Auto requires a phone running the Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or higher, while Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later. The user interfaces themselves are designed and developed by Apple (for Apple CarPlay) and Google (for Android Auto).

Bose® Centerpoint® Audio System – Advanced 16 speaker system provides concert-like sound

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

The 2017 Escalade features the Bose Centerpoint® surround sound system. Customized exclusively for the Escalade, it features new technologies that help heighten the sophisticated in-vehicle experience.

Proprietary technologies and 16 strategically placed speakers create a concert-like experience throughout the cabin. Five custom-tuned speakers placed across the instrument panel and front doors, combined with Bose Advanced Staging Technology, help reproduce expansive sound with exceptional precision and clarity.

Further enhancing the audio system is Bose Centerpoint 2.0 signal processing technology, which enables a surround sound experience across all rows and SurroundStage® signal processing circuitry, which compensates for off-center vehicle seating to create 360-degree sound for every occupant.

An available Blu-Ray DVD rear entertainment system is built into the audio system and includes a nine-inch, roof-mounted screen on Escalade and two nine-inch screens on Escalade ESV. Platinum models also feature screens mounted into the back of the front seat headrests. The overhead system also includes built-in remote storage, USB and HDMI inputs, and a USB port that charges devices at 2.1 amps.

Safety and Security Features – New parking and braking features aid collision avoidance

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

Escalade’s technologies include active safety features to help protect occupants before, during and after a collision, such as front and rear automatic braking, which relies on short-range radar technology on Premium Luxury and Platinum models or a camera-based system on Luxury models along with ultrasonic sensors to help the driver avoid front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.

New for 2017 is the availability of Automatic Parking Assist, which enables the car to park itself in parallel and perpendicular spaces. It uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space, with the driver only required to select the gear and apply the accelerator and brake pedals.

A Surround Vision system is standard on all models and uses cameras to provide a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the Escalade via the CUE color display screen.

A Driver Awareness package on the Luxury trim level includes Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure WarningAssist, Forward Collision Alert, IntelliBeam headlamps and the patented Safety Alert Seat, which pulses the left, right or both seat cushion bolsters to alert the driver of a dangerous situation. IntelliBeam headlamps automatically adjust the high-beam lamps when oncoming traffic is detected. The aforementioned Front Automatic Braking is also now standard on the Luxury for 2017.

A Driver Assist package is offered with the Premium Luxury and Platinum trims, including all the features of the Driver Awareness package along with Adaptive Cruise Control, Front and Rear Automatic Braking and Automatic Safety Belt Tightening.

Additionally, Front Park Assist and Rear Park Assist are standard on all models, while Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Lane Change Alert are standard on Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum models.

Escalade also offers the segment’s only Front Center Air Bag. It deploys from the inboard side of the driver’s seat and inflates between the driver and front passenger, providing added protection for both front occupants in side-impact crashes.

Additional standard air bags include:

  • Dual-stage frontal air bags (driver and front passenger)
  • Seat-mounted side-impact air bags for thorax and pelvic protection (driver and front passenger)
  • Head-curtain side air bags for front and rear outboard seating positions

Exterior Design – Updated aesthetic with new exterior colors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

Escalade’s design provides a signature look of elegance and capability. The styling cues combine sculpted surfaces and high-technology embellishments to give Escalade a stand-out appearance.

Dynamic front styling cues are enhanced by a highly detailed Galvano chrome grille that has a unique, almost brushed look and feel. It is accented by full LED lighting in the front and rear that creates razor-like vertical light signatures. LEDs provide even, steady and very bright illumination, while delivering longer life and using significantly less energy than conventional lighting.

The headlamps incorporate Total Internal Reflection LED high-beam function, which consists of four vertically stacked crystal lenses and LEDs. The low beam consists of five crystal lenses and LEDs that create the light pattern. The Cadillac script is branded in the headlamp bezel. Tall and thin vertical LED taillamps reach to the top of the Escalade and feature the brand’s crest insignia, which illuminates in the dark. A total of 142 LEDs are used throughout the exterior lighting.

Inlaid doors fit into the body side openings to provide a quiet interior and smooth aerodynamics – an attribute that helps Escalade slip through the air on the highway with minimal drag and greater efficiency. A lightweight aluminum hood and aluminum liftgate panels also contribute to efficiency.

Additional exterior features include:

  • The rear is dominated by signature LED lighting extending full-height, from the fascia to the roof. The twin, light-blade taillamps recall Cadillac’s design heritage
  • Chrome-accented side assist steps are standard, with power-retractable assist steps with light-pipe technology available on the Premium Luxury and standard on the Platinum
  • Illuminated door handles are included with the Premium Luxury and Platinum
  • Standard heated, power-adjustable and power-folding outside mirrors
  • Standard hands-free, power-programmable liftgate
  • The standard rear spoiler on the liftgate houses a rear window wiper that is hidden when not in use
  • Capless fueling
  • Twenty-inch aluminum wheels are standard on the Escalade model. Twenty two-inch wheels are standard on Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum models.

Eight exterior colors are offered: Red Passion Tintcoat, Crystal White Tricoat, Radiant Silver Metallic, Black Raven, Silver Coast Metallic, Dark Adriatic Blue Metallic, Bronze Dune Metallic and Dark Granite Metallic.

Interior Design – Style enrichments exude luxury and craftsmanship

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

In the 2017 Escalade, the highest level of craftsmanship defines the passenger spaces, with technology seamlessly integrated throughout the luxurious interior. Real wood combined with premium cut-and-sewn materials and sueded accents, along with ambient lighting, add elegance to the interior design. Precise controls and triple-sealed doors were engineered and designed to reinforce a feeling of quality.

The seats are sculpted in appearance and feature a reclining second row. The design incorporates dual-firmness foam that ensures long-trip comfort and helps retain appearance over time. Platinum-spec vehicles include a massage feature for the front seats, including an anti-fatigue setting for the driver’s seat.

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

Additional interior features include:

  • Standard keyless entry and push-button start
  • Standard electric telescoping/tilting steering column
  • Standard heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood accents
  • Standard wireless phone charging provision on the center console
  • Concealed center-stack storage with motorized door
  • Standard tri-zone climate control
  • Fold-flat second- and third-row seats, with standard power-folding third row
  • Heated and cooled seats are standard in front and second-row bucket seats have standard heat.
2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

2017 Cadillac Escalade © General Motors

Additionally, the 12.3-inch instrument cluster features a reconfigurable, high-resolution digital driver information center (DIC) display paired with the CUE infotainment system, with data also shown on an available, four-color head-up display on Luxury and Premium Luxury models and Platinum Along with vehicle systems information, the DIC provides details on the audio, Bluetooth phone and navigation systems, which can be adjusted via steering wheel controls.

When it comes to interior colors and seating appointments, the Escalade offers a range of choices:

  • The standard model, as well as the Luxury and Premium Luxury models, come standard with leather seating surfaces with mini-perforated inserts, offered in Jet Black or Shale with Cocoa accents
  • Luxury and Premium Luxury trims are available with full-leather seats with mini-perforated inserts in Kona Brown with Jet Black accents
  • The Platinum Collection features semi-aniline leather seating surfaces with mini-perforated inserts in Tuscan Brown or Jet Black.

Escalade also offers a quiet environment thanks to a strong body structure and enhanced use of noise-attenuating materials and processes, including triple-sealed doors, acoustic-laminate glass and Bose® Active Noise Cancelation technology. Even the exterior mirrors were carefully shaped in the wind tunnel to reduce wind noise.

Performance – Powerful and efficient engine provides dynamic driving experience

Escalade performance is highlighted by the powerful and efficient 6.2L V-8 engine, rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm).

The 6.2L features state-of-the-art technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and continuously variable valve timing. Precisely controlled combustion enables Escalade to run with a high compression ratio, which delivers great power and efficiency.

The engine is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission with TapShift control. The GM-developed automatic transmission has a 7.0 overall gear ratio spread that provides a numerically higher first gear ratio, helping drivers start off more confidently with a heavy load or when trailering. The eight-speed also enables a numerically low 3.23 axle ratio, which reduces engine rpm on the highway – an attribute that contributes to fuel economy and quietness.

Escalade’s performance is channeled to a sophisticated chassis and suspension system, engineered for a great feeling of solidity and a smooth, quiet ride. A fully boxed frame – composed of more than 75 percent high-strength steel – is the foundation for its ride quality.

Chassis and suspension highlights include:

  • Shear-style body mounts, which reduce body shake and enhance the feeling of structural stiffness, improve damping performance when compared with previous compression mounts
  • A cross-axis ball joint on the frame-side of the rear suspension lateral link that enhances steering precision
  • Third-generation Magnetic Ride Control is standard, with two selectable modes. Its dual-electric-coil design enabled engineers to tune with more resolution to handle quickly changing road conditions.
  • Electric variable-assist power steering system enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
  • Four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life
  • Standard automatic locking rear differential that provides greater traction when needed and greater driving comfort when it’s not.

The available four-wheel-drive system enables the driver to select an Auto mode for set-it-and-forget-it automatic activation. When conditions call for extra traction assist, a separate 4 HI mode offers the most capability for more challenging conditions. Drivers can select 2 HI for best fuel economy, or 4 L for heavy duty trailering and a Neutral for dingy towing.


Recommended retail price (MSRP) starts from $72,970

4.5 Out of 5