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Average User Score
4.2 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 6 reviews
2008 Cadillac Escalade Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 6 reviews
In the full-size luxury SUV category, Cadillac's Escalade stands out, if only for its size. It shares its platform with the Chevy Tahoe and the GMC Yukon. But there's more here than just sheet metal distinctions.
Under the hood, the only engine available is also one of the most powerful in its class. The 6.2-liter V8 generates 403 hp through a six-speed automatic transmission. 0-60 comes up in 7.5 seconds with the all-wheel-drive version, though one reviewer managed it in 6.5 seconds; rear-wheel drive is also available. The all-wheel-drive version can haul up to 7,400 pounds. However, you'll really pay at the pump for serious towing with the Escalade: One long-term review found that at 20,000 miles, the gas-mileage average sunk to 9 mpg and saw numbers as low as 5 mpg. Without anything attached, the EPA ratings are 13/19 mpg city/highway, while testers got averages of 15 mpg highway and 12.7 in city driving.
Naturally, handling for the big SUV is not sport-like. However, with Cadillac throwing all the electronic aids it can at the suspension, the Escalade generates 0.74 g on the skidpad - not bad, considering its 5,500-pound bulk. Overall the Escalade reacts in a stable and confident manner when low to moderate speed changes and changes of direction are needed.
The spacious interior is well done. Some reviewers even reminisced about the Cadillac "mystique" being restored. Seats are comfortable, and controls are within easy reach. Tasteful trim in alloy, faux-walnut inlays, and good quality plastics abound. The third row of seating, however, drew fire from all reviewers as being ill conceived. The third row leaves little space for normal-size adults, doesnâ??t fold flat into the floor, and is very heavy to lug out of the car and make more cargo space.
The Escalade comes standard with side curtain airbags for all outboard passengers, a rollover sensor, and antilock disc brakes. It also gets a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA for protection of front occupants in head-on collisions.
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