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2020 Cadillac Escalade Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Cadillac Escalade?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Cadillac Escalade? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Few cars are as famous as the Cadillac Escalade. It makes sense that drivers in the market for a larger luxury SUV would be interested in it. There are certainly many reasons that this vehicle continues to be well-loved by the public, but it is not perfect. So what are the pros and cons of owning the 2020 Cadillac Escalade? Does it prove itself worthy over its competition?

What's New for 2020?

There are not many changes to this vehicle moving into 2020. Its fourth generation, which it is currently in, started back in 2015, so perhaps it is getting ready for a full refresh. This model year does see the discontinuation of the available dual-screen rear entertainment system from last year.

More exterior appearance options are available in 2020. Drivers can now have their Escalade in Dark Mocha metallic. There is also a Sport Edition appearance package. With this, the vehicle gains gloss-black exterior trim. It is available on models with Black Rave, Red Passion, or Satin Steel paint.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Cadillac Escalade – The Pros

1. Unbeatable Towing Power

Large families who tow heavy gear will love the towing capacity of the new 2020 Cadillac Escalade. Properly equipped rear-wheel-drive models can tow up to a whopping 8,300 pounds. Deciding to go with all-wheel-drive will not impact that number too much, but it does drop it down to 8,100. It would be hard to find an SUV with more towing capacity.

2. Exhilarating V8 Engine

There is only one engine available for the Escalade. Luckily, it is a good one. All models utilize a 6.2 V8 that generates 420-horsepower as well as 460 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. Despite the considerable weight of the 2020 Cadillac Escalade, this engine has enough power to make it feel quick and nimble.

3. Cutting Edge Technology

One of the things that puts the Escalade firmly in the category of luxury vehicles is the list of standard technology. All models are equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless charging. They all also provide drivers with a 4G LTE mobile hotspot. Passengers will find multiple charging ports located throughout the cabin. Drivers get a standard 12" diagonal color Driver Information Center that can be personalized. It provides important data about the vehicle's performance and delivers warning messages.

4. Available ESV Models Provide Extra Space

All trim levels of the Escalade have both a standard and ESV version. The ESV models have a longer wheelbase. Going with an ESV will add some money to the price tag, but it also gives third-row passengers an extra 9.7" of legroom. There is also more cargo space. ESV models gain an additional 24 cubic feet when all rows of seating are up. This can make a big difference when it comes to packing up the family for a road trip. When the Escalade ESV is needed to haul cargo instead of passengers, folding down the second and third rows of seating reveals a cavernous 120.9 cubic feet.

5. Unique Exterior Styling

The 2020 Cadillac Escalade has exterior features that drivers will have a hard time finding elsewhere. One of these is the invisible rear wiper, which is hidden in the lip of the roof-mounted spoiler. All models come with full LED light blade tail lamps that are not only great for safety purposes but also help to distinguish the Escalade from the competition. The standard concierge lighting is another useful yet stylish feature. LED lights on the door handles and side mirrors help to light the way when drivers are entering or exiting their Escalade. Platinum models give drivers power-retractable running boards. The standard wheels on most trims are 20" and upper trims can go with available 22" to really make a statement. It also continues to have the giant front grille that the Escalade is known for.

6. Standard Magnetic Ride Control

One feature that is unique to GMC vehicles is Magnetic Ride Control. This is standard equipment on all versions of the 2020 Cadillac Escalade. It utilizes fluid infused shock absorbers with magnetized particles inside, hence the name. This works alongside a variety of sensors. With this feature, the vehicle reads the road conditions up to 1,000 per second. This gives it the ability to adjust immediately to changing road conditions, improving safety and ride comfort.

7. Impressive Sound System

It is not unusual to find an available sound system with several speakers on vehicles. The 2020 Cadillac Escalade stands out, however, with its standard 16-speaker Bose system. Known as the Centerpoint Surround System, it features carefully placed speakers to give drivers the ultimate music-listening experience. Also included with this is AudioPilot, a feature that can monitor the noise in the cabin and make adjustments to the volume as needed.

8. Useful Cadillac User Experience System

The Cadillac User Experience infotainment system comes standard with an 8" touchscreen and navigation. It also gives drivers advanced natural voice recognition technology to help simplify using the system. Drivers can use this to look up points of interest on their 3D map or to dictate a text message. There is a high-level of personalization available here, including the ability to save favorite apps and radio stations.

9. Standard Automatic Parking Assist

Autonomous driving seems to be the wave of the future. The 2020 Cadillac Escalade gives drivers a taste of that with Automatic Parking Assist. It can help in both parallel and perpendicular parking situations. With the vehicle moving at idle speeds, the Escalade takes over the steering. It gives drivers commands via text in the driver information center. The driver is still responsible for braking, accelerating, and selecting gears.

10. Comfortable and Luxurious Seating Options

Standard on all models are 12-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats. The seats are wide and well-suited for a variety of body shapes. All trim levels have leather bucket seats in the front to go along with the leather-wrapped heated steering wheel. Going with the Platinum trim will net consumers 18-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats that even have a massage feature. Although second-row bucket seats are standard, consumers have option of replacing them with a bench seat. This brings the seating capacity of this vehicle up to eight. Sticking with the bucket seats gives the Escalade heat in the second row, however.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Cadillac Escalade – The Cons

1. Standard Models Have Cramped Third-Row

The non-ESV models do not have much to offer when it comes to legroom in the third row. These models are probably better suited for families with smaller children. For those who need more room, it is simple enough to upgrade to an ESV model with the longer wheelbase.

2. Uneven Cargo Floor Can be Frustrating

Loading the rear of the 2020 Cadillac Escalade, particularly non-ESV models, can be a challenge due to the high cargo floor that does not quite lay flat. Getting larger or heavier items may be difficult. Those who do not mind the high floor but need more cargo space can once again solve their problem by going with the ESV.

3. Does Not Always Handle Smoothly

Although it certainly is not a rough ride, the handling of the 2020 Cadillac Escalade is not as smooth as one would expect from a luxury SUV. The reason for this is the body-on-frame construction of the vehicle. While some people may be bothered by the ride, others will likely not notice anything amiss while cruising down the highway.

4. A Bit of a Gas Guzzler

It is no surprise that the 2020 Cadillac Escalade is not the most fuel-efficient option out there since it is a larger SUV. Even for its class, however, it seems to go through gas quickly. The EPA estimates this beast of a vehicle to get 23 MPG on the highway and only 14 MPG in the city. That said, most people accept that buying a three-row SUV means sacrificing a bit of fuel efficiency.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

There are several vehicles to consider when looking at large luxury SUVs. One of the vehicles that the Escalade has traditionally competed with is the Land Rover Range Rover. While that vehicle does have a lot to offer, including a long-list of add-ons and impressive off-road capability, it comes with a weak base engine. Not only that, but its infotainment system is difficult to use and it is quite a bit more expensive. Another vehicle consumers may consider is the Infiniti QX80. Although another decent choice in this segment, it has worse fuel economy numbers and fewer standard features.


The 2020 Cadillac Escalade continues to show consumers why its name has become synonymous with luxury. With its powerful standard engine, impressive towing ability, and long list of tech features, this SUV is ideal for families. Although it does have a few flaws, most consumers will be able to look past them. Considering there are four different trims and two different sizes of this vehicle available, it isn't hard to imagine there being a good fit for a variety of consumers.

Previous Cadillac Escalade Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 Cadillac Escalade? w/ pros vs cons