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2007 Cadillac Escalade Test Drive Review

Picture of 2007 Cadillac Escalade 4WD The Escalade has been completely redesigned for 2007, sporting a brand-new chassis, increased power, and an even longer list of premium features than its predecessor.

7.3 /10
Overall Score

The Cadillac Escalade has long been a vehicle of choice for corporate executives and people wanting a bit of flash with their full-size luxury SUV. Though it shares much of its engineering and architecture with the Chevrolet Tahoe, the Escalade is a completely different animal with far more luxury options and a much heftier price tag. It’s a supremely capable SUV that is at home towing as it is pulling night-club chauffeur duty, but that flexibility leaves much to be desired in regards to fuel economy, and though vast, the Escalade’s interior space isn’t allocated as cleverly as it could be.

Look and Feel

8/ 10

The outgoing Escalade was handsome but a bit frumpy and had a look that was very close to that of the Chevy Tahoe. This year’s overhaul brings a sharper and decidedly more upscale look to the Caddy, with well-defined lines and a more refined shape, overall. There’s plenty of chrome in all the right places, but it has been applied tastefully without looking gaudy or overpowering.

Inside, there’s still a whiff of “truck” in the Escalade’s interior, but every part of the cabin is neatly wrapped in soft leather or trimmed in wood, which elevates the Cadillac’s interior above that of its Chevrolet siblings. Most controls and a display screen are tucked neatly into the center stack, which keeps the cabin design tidy and uncluttered.


7/ 10

The Escalade, despite its truck-like underpinnings, glides down the road without so much as a hint of fuss. Cadillac's Autoride suspension helps the big SUV handle bumps with ease, and the steering is light, accurate, and responsive. All Escalades come equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. The big pushrod engine makes an aggressive noise under heavy acceleration but otherwise stays out of the way.

All that power can be put to good use when towing, as the Escalade is rated to pull 7,500 pounds. That’s lower than some of the competition but more than enough to tow a generously sized boat or trailer. The 6-speed automatic transmission shifts so smoothly that it’s nearly impossible to tell what’s going on from inside the cabin, and the available tow/haul mode makes moving heavy loads much easier by keeping the transmission in lower gears longer for more power.

Form and Function

8/ 10

Cadillac has done a tremendous job of elevating an otherwise utilitarian truck platform to the lofty heights that we see in the Escalade. Its ride and comfort are unmatched in the premium SUV segment, and its healthy towing capabilities are just a bonus to the cushy luxury. The addition of convenience features like a rearview camera makes actually using the Escalade for everyday tasks very easy.

Interior finishes and quality are top-notch, and the Escalade’s imposing size helps give each passenger plenty of room to stretch out inside. The second-row seats are large enough for real, full-size adults, and the available captain’s chairs are wide and very well padded.

Tech Level

8/ 10

The Escalade is a luxury-tier vehicle and the available technology features reflect that pedigree. Standard equipment includes a ten-speaker audio system, a six-disc CD/DVD changer, and XM satellite radio. The large display shows information clearly, and for vehicles equipped with navigation the colorful and bright screen makes viewing maps very simple.

The Cadillac comes with General Motors’ OnStar, which can provide route guidance, emergency services, and other concierge-like functions. An available rear-seat entertainment system adds an 8-inch fold-down screen in the ceiling above the rear seats.


7/ 10

The Escalade has not been rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the SUV five stars in all categories except for rollover risk. Both the 4-wheel-drive (4WD) and rear-wheel-drive (RWD) versions of the vehicle were rated three stars for dynamic tip result rollover risk.


6/ 10

The Escalade is a premium vehicle and its price tag reflects that. And adding options quickly drives the numbers north. The RWD Escalade starts just shy of $55,000 and the 4WD model starts around $57,000. Options packages include a $2,495 Information Package that brings navigation, a rearview camera, and rear parking assist, and a 22-inch wheel package that adds nearly $3,000 to the Escalade’s bottom line.

Fuel economy for large vehicles usually leaves much to be desired, but the Escalade’s fuel consumption can soften even the toughest wallets. The RWD models get 12 mpg city, 19 highway, and 14 combined, and 4WD models lose one mpg on the highway. Towing will drive those numbers down even further.


Chris is an automotive journalist covering new vehicle reveals, news, and technology. He loves digging into the details to tell entertaining and informative stories.

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Cadillac Escalade Questions

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