2022 Cadillac Escalade Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.
Large SUVs are either something a driver loves or hates. For some, their bulk makes them unattractive and hard to drive. For others, their size makes them versatile and practical for their daily lives. While there are not a ton of full-size SUVs currently on the market, there are a few heavy-hitters out there.
The 2022 Cadillac Escalade is classified as a luxury large SUV. It has become both an icon and a status symbol over the years. The upscale cabin is comfortable and full of technology, and there are two different powertrains available to meet different driving styles. This year, the Escalade gets even more standard safety features than before. It is fresh of a complete redesign from 2021.
Cadillac offers the 2022 Escalade in five trim levels. Considering the base model costs over $75,000 and the top trims go over $100,000, it is important to make an informed choice when selecting a new Escalade. Being a Cadillac, even the lowest trim is loaded with sophistication, and each trim above it adds more to enjoy.
The following guide can help buyers determine which trim level meets their luxury and driving needs by highlighting the differences between the models.
Compare the Luxury vs Premium Luxury Trims. What is the difference?
The entire 2022 Escalade lineup comes standard with a 6.2L V8 that creates 420-horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Each one can also swap that out for a turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder diesel that produces 277-horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Both of these engines pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Depending on the powertrain selected, the Escalade can tow between 7,300 and 8,200 pounds. These are excellent numbers for the class.
Switching to the diesel will make the 2022 Escalade Luxury far more fuel-efficient. With the standard V8, drivers will be looking at 14mpg in the city and 19mpg on the highway when equipped with rear-wheel drive. The diesel, on the other hand, can get drivers up to 21mpg in the city and 27mpg on the highway.
Even the Luxury model of the Escalade gets 22-inch wheels. All-season tires are standard, and a 17-inch spare tire is included as well. Black assist steps make it easy to get in this giant vehicle, and chrome roof rails make it an even better choice for a road trip. The Luxury trim is home to deep-tinted and acoustic glass for a relaxing experience inside the cabin.
LED auto-leveling headlamps are standard, along with LED taillamps. The windshield wipers are automatic as well. For the side mirrors, the Escalade Luxury gives drivers auto-dimming, power-folding, and heat, along with turn signal integration. A hands-free power liftgate is thrown in for even more convenience.
Eight-way power-adjustable front seats with two-way power lumbar support come standard. The front seats are also heated, and so are the outboard second-row seats. Ambient interior lighting is included, along with an auto-dimming rearview mirror and heated steering wheel. If that is not enough, this SUV comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control.
Unsurprisingly, the 2022 Escalade Luxury trim level is bursting at the seams with technology. There is a 7.2-inch digital control panel that makes it easy to see important information quickly. There is also a 14.2-inch digital gauge cluster, and the standard infotainment system runs on a 16.9-inch touchscreen. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, plus Bluetooth. The Luxury also has wireless device charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot for even more convenience. Completing the high-tech feel is a 19-speaker audio system and satellite radio.
The 2022 Escalade Luxury trim level is also fully equipped when it comes to safety features. Forward collision alert comes standard. Drivers also get both front and rear park assist to help them manage this large SUV. Also helping with that task is the included surround-view camera system. Lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking are all included as well. Helping to ensure that the driver is aware of any potential issues is the standard safety alert seat.
If the Luxury is not fully-loaded enough for a buyer, the Premium Luxury will take things to the next level. The wheel size remains the same, but they get an even more sophisticated 14-spoke design. This is the first trim that can be equipped with a heavy-duty trailering package, which consists of an auxiliary trailer camera, extra-capacity cooling system, trailering assist guidelines, and even a tire pressure monitoring system for the trailer.
Choosing the Premium Luxury model will mean adding a panoramic power sunroof to the Escalade. This trim also gets wheel locks to help secure the Escalade, plus a rear camera mirror and mirror washer to ensure that drivers are getting a clear view. Buyers can add a package that will give the Escalade an adaptive air suspension. They can also add a performance package, which includes Magnetic Ride Control and an electronic limited-slip differential.
The front seats inside the Premium Luxury gain ventilation to go along with the heat. It has leather trim for the upholstery as well. While the same stereo system remains standard, this trim has the option to go up to a 36-speaker sound system. Buyers can also opt for a rear-seat entertainment system to keep everyone happy on the go.
Even more safety features are added to the Premium Luxury. It gains adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic assist. This trim also has enhanced automatic emergency braking, which uses radar along with camera technology to help the driver bring the Escalade to a stop. Reverse automatic emergency braking is included when drivers choose the Premium Luxury trim level or higher.
Optional for this trim is a night vision detection feature. It uses thermal heat imaging to look for pedestrians or large animals beyond what the headlights can see. This feature can be turned on and off as desired.
Perhaps the biggest reason to consider the Premium Luxury trim level is the fact that it offers Super Cruise. Many people are excited about this semi-autonomous driving mode from Cadillac, which so far seems superior to many of the other options out there. It maintains a driver-selected gap between the Escalade and the car in front of it while also handling the steering. There is even an automatic lane-changing feature that will work in certain situations.
The Premium Luxury adds quite a bit to the already well-equipped Escalade, but it also costs approximately $8,500 more than the Luxury, even without any optional packages.
Compare the Premium Luxury vs Sport Trims. What is the difference?
The Sport trim gets some mechanical upgrades, and it gets the contents of the Performance package standard. It also has an integrated trailer brake controller. Once again, the wheels are 22-inches, but the Sport trim shows off a "Dark Android" finish. This trim looks more athletic with gloss black roof rails and other black exterior accents.
Other than the addition of trailer side blind-zone alert, the Sport trim does not make any safety or technology upgrades. It costs less than $3,000 more than the Premium Luxury, a price bump that many may find worth it due to the performance upgrades.
Compare the Sport vs Premium Luxury Platinum Trims. What is the difference?
Choosing the Premium Luxury Platinum trim level will mean getting a smooth adaptive air ride suspension. This trim level swaps out the black exterior accents for chrome once again. It also gains a puddle lamp feature that lights up underneath the side mirrors when some approaches or exits the vehicle.
The Premium Luxury Platinum comes standard with a Touring package that includes illuminating sill plates and soft-close doors for both the front and rear. While previous models had eight-way power adjustment for the front seats, the Premium Luxury Platinum trim level is the first to come standard with a 12-way power adjustment. It also adds lumbar massage, which theoretically helps people stay energized and comfortable on longer drives.
This model has an ultra-sophisticated 36-speaker sound system. Not only is the sheer number of speakers impressive, but so is the digital sound processing that makes the music crystal clear. This sound system even gives the front passenger the ability to adjust the volume independently for their seat. While the standard sound system has one amplifier, the 36-speaker setup has three. Finally, the upgraded system will give drivers a conversation enhancement feature that can project the voices from the front seats to the speakers in the second and third rows.
Another feature made standard by this trim level is the rear-seat entertainment package. It includes two 12.6-inch diagonal screens. The screens can operate independently from each other, reducing arguments in the backseat about what to watch. This system will add two USB-C and two HDMI ports to the back of the center console. It also gives buyers two pairs of Bluetooth headphones.
Also found inside the cabin is the "platinum interior" package. It includes a leather-wrapped console, upper door, and instrument panel. Also added by the package are suede headliners and pillars, giving the Premium Luxury Platinum trim an ultra-upscale look and feel.
Going up to the Premium Luxury Platinum trim level will cost buyers a pause-worthy $14,000 more.
Compare the Premium Luxury Platinum vs Sport Platinum Trims. What is the difference?
First, buyers should know that the Premium Luxury Platinum and Sport Platinum trim levels have the exact same starting price. While the Premium Luxury Platinum put finishing touches on the Luxury Platinum model, the Sport Platinum builds off the Sport trim. This means it keeps the upgrades found on the previous trim level, but has a variety of changes made to its exterior.
The Sport Platinum loses the chrome touches found on the Premium Luxury Platinum. Instead, it favors gloss black accents. It also has gloss-black body side moldings for a more aggressive look. Ultimately, the choice between the two trim levels depends mostly on personal style preferences.
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Which Trim to Choose?
For many people, sticking with the base Luxury trim will be just fine. It has plenty of safety and technology features, plus the same performance options that are found on the higher trim levels. Although it is missing some of the bells and whistles found on higher models, the Luxury trim is really not lacking in any way.
The major exception would be for those buyers who want to add packages to their Escalade. Many of them are not available for the Luxury trim level, but join the options list of the Premium Luxury. If a buyer is interested in the trailering package, for example, or the Super Cruise feature, they should step up to the Premium Luxury model.
Higher trim levels add mostly things that can be added to the Premium Luxury as part of a package. Buyers can likely save money by picking and choosing what they actually want rather than shelling out $$90,000 plus for things they may never need.
The 2022 Cadillac Escalade Luxury model has everything that a busy family will need for their day-to-day drives.
• 2021 Cadillac Escalade Trime Levels