The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V is the luxury muscle mass SUV to rule them all. Dealing with? What managing? This is a freakin’ Escalade. Noise? Oh, this entire review could completely consist of sounds impressions, and there would however be a lot more to say. Luxury? You bet. Very little about the Escalade-V’s pursuit of general performance interferes with its conventional part of getting a driving barcalounger, which is as it must be.
Compared with other efficiency-centered SUVs, Cadillac basically explained no to worrying about issues like skidpad figures, higher-bolstered seats and a boy-racer look makeover. Frankly, it is refreshing that a new “performance” SUV is not pretending to be a thing it is not — Cadillac has the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings for these applications. That is not to say SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne high-po variants, BMW M models or large-achieving AMG selection don’t have enchantment. They’re enjoyable in their have strategies, but I can say with 100% certainty that the Escalade-V apes that incredibly hot-SUV course in pure fun by heaps and lots of quarter miles. The amusing component is, the Escalade-V will reduce pretty substantially every quarter-mile drag race versus other best-rung performance SUVs, and still, I could not treatment less.
Senior Editor James Riswick was right about the startup audio currently being downright alarming on the Escalade-V’s very first generate. I stood behind the subtly-styled quad exhaust pipes for the remote start every single time I took the Escalade-V out for a drive. Homeowners must do the same. On the first startup, I visually flinched and took a step again. This is by some means lawful, I assume to myself. It will make the remote start off sound of the C8 Corvette appear tame. At one position during the week, I was going for walks back to the Escalade-V put up-meal and remote begun it from a length when some faculty-aged children were strolling by it. You know, for science applications. Two of them leapt backward and one pretty much begun into a jog down the sidewalk in reaction. Yeah, that was rather impolite of me, but science necessary it be accomplished. Now we all know what the general public thinks of this point.
Very similar reactions to the Escalade-V followed it all around all week lengthy. Only puttering close to town will result in the Escalade-V’s exhaust banging and crackling like which is its occupation. A great deal of cars will burble on the overrun, but raise off the throttle on the Escalade-V, and it will loudly speak back again at you from 60+ mph on down to practically idle. Abnormal? Positive. Will people stare in shock at you at the red light-weight? Also, indeed. That’s just the Escalade-V knowledge. Other car enthusiasts will giggle together — really do not brain the tsk-tsks of any offended motorists.
This wonderful ode to combustion motor technology is many thanks to the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 under the Escalade-V’s hood. Its output is higher than even the CT5-V Blackwing’s V8, at 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet of torque. Compared with the supercharged engines in Hellcat-driven motor vehicles, this one particular does not come with obnoxious supercharger whine that could be mistaken for a deficiency of refinement in a Cadillac. There is a subtle trace of a blower beneath the hood, but Cadillac would relatively your notice keep on the bespoke exhaust program.
Mat the throttle in standard method, and the Escalade-V’s 10-velocity automatic transmission slurs gear shifts jointly in a speedy way, but however not outwardly sporty. Swap into the no-holds-barred V Mode, and this 10-velocity does a convincing effect of the 8-pace DCT you are going to come across in the Corvette. Every single shift is punctuated with a loud crack that could be mistaken for a gunshot, emphasizing just how speedy the transmission is swapping gears. The Escalade’s cabin may well be a single of the quietest and greatest-insulated out there, but it’s no match for the V’s loud pipes. Heading -60 mph in 4.4 seconds is wonderful and all, but it’s seriously not that brief in the context of other high-priced, efficiency SUVs. The big difference is, you are obtaining an SUV that doesn’t give up just one inch of livability in return for general performance.
Cadillac suggests it re-tuned the Magnetic Experience Manage and air suspension along with introducing some V-precise suspension components, but don’t imagine for a moment that the Escalade-V is exciting to generate on roads in which a Porsche Cayenne could possibly be. The monumental SUV handles a large amount like a typical Escalade. The Mag-Trip dampers be certain this major beast is not a wobbly mess, but neither agile nor shifty are apt descriptors. Its steering weights up, but there is even now the uneasy disconnected sensation that arrives with a physique-on-body SUV. Judicial use of the brakes is essential to retain the 6,217-pound Escalade-V on the highway when it accelerates so promptly, and major use on a winding road is adequate to convey about fade. The all-year tires that appear regular do fine, but they’re not general performance tires like you’d discover on European general performance SUVs. If it was not distinct prior to, it must now be abundantly obvious that the Escalade-V is about going immediately in a straight line. Dodge’s Durango Hellcat is a additional capable corner carver, if that’s the kind of matter you are into with a few-row SUVs. You just pay back for it in ride convenience.
Do not interpret the absence of managing prowess as a damaging point in this context. We’re conversing about an Escalade here, and when you dump everything into its “Tour” ease and comfort settings, the Escalade V does the position of cozy family hauler to perfection. If Cadillac’s special tuning to the air suspension and dampers does just about anything to minimize trip excellent, it is virtually extremely hard to perceive. GM’s total-dimensions platform with its unbiased rear suspension style offers a beautifully driving vehicle with equally superb handle and nominal cabin toss. And positive, its body-on-frame style is extremely hard to get all around when the occasional pothole results in a small jiggle to be transmitted by means of the chassis, but I’m picking nits at this stage. If Caddy experienced fitted rubber band-like low-profile summer months tires with even more substantial wheels to the V, journey high-quality would have undoubtedly experienced. But it didn’t, and all the things about the way this V comports alone down the highway just screams Escalade.
The exact same goes on the inside. There is a minor “V” on the steering wheel and the addition of a “V” manner button on the centre console, but Cadillac remaining every little thing else on your own. Tender, stunning thrones suggest you are going to continue being at ease on prolonged highway hauls. Rather wooden trim keeps the emphasis on craftsmanship — no gaudy carbon fiber to be uncovered here. It is a sleeper-spec in a way, as your travellers will only notice they are in an Escalade-V by way of the engine, exhaust and how generally you will need to end for gasoline.
8 months in the past through our first travel of the Escalade-V, gas price ranges had been at absurd highs, building the inefficiency of this bruiser an impossible angle to dance all over — the headline practically provided “$5 fuel.” As of this review’s publishing, we’re down to a considerably a lot more acceptable mid-$3 vary for the nation. Over the program of a couple of hundred miles in mixed driving, I averaged just less than 12 mpg, shedding out to the 13-mpg put together EPA number the Escalade-V is rated for. It is really hard to do far better when a automobile seems this heavenly all of the time, and seeking for superior fuel economy is a getting rid of recreation — just give in and use that heavy proper foot.
The argument for the V over a standard Escalade mostly will come down to shelling out an more $50,000 for a person of the greatest from-the-manufacturing facility sounds-makers of all time. You are hardly ever going to be ready to buy everything else like it after Cadillac ultimately takes it away in the shift to electric powered autos. Just like the Blackwing twins are a previous gasp at peak internal combustion overall performance, the Escalade-V attempts to be the finest and very last of its type, way too.
There’s no true cause to chuck this supercharged V8 into the Escalade outdoors of the sheer laughter it makes. Cadillac constructed this thing since it could. 1 working day, there could be an electrical Escalade-V, and it may be quicker, a lot more refined and deal with much better, but it’ll never replicate the childish enchantment this V brings to each and every travel. Go get a single when you can, simply because nobody else is currently screwing jointly anything just like it, and there is a superior prospect no person ever will.