I know some of you will think I lost my mind when you see this is the most recently posted Buyers Guide. I promise you I haven’t. Well, not yet anyway.
The Cadillac Escalade is one of those SUVs that is underrated in the hack world. Perhaps that is my fault as I have always taught you that it needs an “exotic” badge to be considered. I am here to rectify that… however, I want it to be clear that the NEW Cadillac Escalade is the EXCEPTION to the rule, not a new rule in itself.
Also, with some of the other Buyers Guides I have on this blog, we only talk about the HACKable years and trims of certain makes and models, so when I am talking about the Cadillac Escalade, I am not referring to ANY Escalade that existed before 2021. The ONLY Escalade that is hackable would be the 2021+ so bear that in mind as you continue to read along.
That is the best adjective I have to describe the Escalade. But that is its purpose, no? So there is a trade off – if you don’t want to feel like you are driving a boat, then get something smaller, but then also note that you are not going to be able to fit the whole family (this SUV is a 7-seater) plus groceries, golf clubs, etc.
However, even though the truck is large in size, it is maneuverable. My wife drives an Escalade currently and she’s happy to take it to and from home, the gym, the store, and so on and doesn’t bash the wheels on curbs or have difficulty getting in and out of parking spots.
She enjoys taking it down to Miami when needed because it carries everything she needs (including our daughter and any and all of her stuff). I have taken it on a road trip to visit family too, and it is simply a no-brainer, the highway driving of this beast is second to none. The feel of safety and security is unmatched, and everyone in the cabin feels very comfortable.
Bear in mind though, this is not a sporty or performance SUV. It is slow, but that is ok; it isn’t supposed to be breaking any speed limits or going around the track. It is meant to be precisely what it is: a people mover.
Cadillac Escalade Common Problems
I had to bring my Escalade in for warranty work just recently. Thankfully it was nothing too serious and while there I was chatting with the service guys to see just how common this and other issues are for the Escalade.
My problem was the fuel pump went wrong, the gentleman said this is perhaps THE most common issue on the Escalade of these years and that they have seen many cases of this issue. It is an easy and quick fix under warranty.
Another common problem they said they saw, but hadn’t affected me personally, was a leak of oil from a canister near the oil filter. It is a small leak, and the guy said it is easily resolved with two bolts. It takes more time to get the car up on the lift than it does to solve that issue.
Of course, more issues can arise as the cars get older and get more mileage on their dash, but by keeping up with routine maintenance and also ensuring that you perform a PPI before buying your Escalade (even if it is under warranty) to ensure that none of the common issues or others are present.
Best Cadillac Escalade To Buy
So, I am a bit biased, as I have had my own experience with ownership of the Escalade.
With mine, and having seen others, I would recommend the following be the trim you keep your eye out for.
Go for a 2021-2022 Platinum Sport trim. The color combo just needs to be something that is generically hot as being a mass-produced car there aren’t a lot of “rare” or “special” color choices like other SUVs we have discussed like the G63 or Urus. So mine, for example, was simply white on black and it was a strong spec.
These cars are trim-dependent for options, meaning that options aren’t all carte but tethered to the trim options the model bores. So, options for the Platinum Sport are the highest in quantity and quality as that is the top trim level of the make/model for the years in question.
However, there is one bonus that isn’t trim-dependent but spec-based (whether by the first owner or dealer), if the Escalade has captain chairs for the second row. Just like the Mercedes GLS63, it makes maneuverability easier if you are indeed getting this Escalade to use it as a true seven-seater, family transporter/baby mover.
If you are looking for an SUV that ticks all the practicality boxes, like:
- Beater Friendly
- Higher Mileage Allowance
- Great Section 179 Play
- Seven Seater
- Cheap to Maintain
then I would say look no further than the new Cadillac Escalade.
While it isn’t a car you would initially think of when talking about “exotic car hacks”, sometimes when it comes to cars like this, you have to think outside of the box.