2019 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury

Since the first Cadillac Escalade rolled off the assembly line in Arlington, TX in February of 1998, it has remained an iconic picture of big, bold, American luxury. At that time Cadillac only had one rival in the Ford Expedition-based Lincoln Navigator. However, even as competitors from various automakers began to throw their hats in the full size luxury SUV ring, many had a hard time selling as many units as the Cadillac Escalade. For 20 years now, GM has led or been close to leading in sales for the full size luxury segment with the Cadillac Escalade. The 2019 Escalade ESV Premium Luxury lives up to this 20-year heritage.

Escalade intrerior

Performance…what gets this big fella moving.

Cadillac’s 6.2-liter V8 power plant, the same one used since the 2015 model year, supplies plenty of get-up-and-go for this long and heavy beast. Producing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, the engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission which feels as smooth and refined as a Cadillac should be. Thanks to the standard Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension, ride quality is superb and supple. You get two drive modes – Sport and Touring – to fine tune your ride experience. Fuel economy for our 2019 Escalade 4WD is an EPA-rated 14 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, with a combined 17 mpg.

Safety…plentiful but pricey.

Standard safety features are ample. Features include items such as:

  • adaptive cruise control
  • tire pressure monitoring system
  • automatic high beams
  • auto seat belt tightening
  • forward collision warning with automatic braking assist
  • semi-automatic parking assist
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • blind-spot monitoring
  • and so much more.
escalade

Where the 2019 Escalade loses some points…

Believe it or not, my biggest gripe with this luxurious beast is the infotainment system. The CUE (Cadillac User Interface) is terribly outdated for 2019. A laggy input response, low-resolution, distance from the driver, and way-to-small-screen-for-this-size-SUV screen of 8”, leaves much to be desired. When compared to similar SUVs in this segment, shoppers will notice just how dated the current system is.

Summary

MSRP: $91,195

PRICE AS TESTED: $97,175

The 2019 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury is extremely roomy, as plush as you’d expect a Caddy to be, performs well both in engine response and overall drive feel, and can still turn heads. While the infotainment is in dire need of an update, 2020 will see the arrival of the 5th generation Escalade. Buyers who highly value the latest and greatest updates would do well to hold off until the arrival of the upcoming Escalade. That said, less particular buyers may have some generous incentives coming for the 2019 models. Regardless of what camp you’re in, that sounds like a win-win to me. You just need to be patient.

See you on the road…

Fabian Campos