Cadillac Escalade

The Essentials

  • Price from £65,158
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 25.5mpg
  • What is it? Eight-seater SUV is like the A-team van, right down to the left-hand drive

Great

  • One of the most imposing cars you can buy
  • Plenty of luxury goodies and safety kit on board
  • Will seat eight, as long as some of them are size zero types

Gripes

  • Only available in left-hand drive
  • Interior should be better in a 50k car
  • Heavy rear seats have to be hauled out if you want more boot room
  • Drive

    Engine is muscular and quiet but the ride and handling are disappointing

  • Inside

    It's left-hand drive. Visibility and steering adjustment could both be better

  • Safety

    Your wealth and safety are both in safe hands

  • Reliability

    Should be sound mechanically but the interior looks and feels like it won't last the distance

  • Space

    Seats eight, as long as they aren't all Arnie-sized. Heavy rear seats don't fold, but have to be hauled out to extend boot

  • Standard and extras

    Luxurious as standard, or upgrade to get a heated steering wheel, cooled seats and sat-nav

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Escalade's engine is a whopping 6.2-litre powerhouse, well able to whisk the vast bulk of the car along, but the standard automatic gearbox isnt as smooth as we'd like, so not ideal in stop-start traffic. The sheer size of the car makes manoeuvring awkward, and the imprecise steering and poor body control make it altogether uninspiring to drive. The engine sounds great as you accelerate, but that chunky body kicks up wind noise at 70mph.

  • What's it like inside?

    The first contradiction inside the Escalade is the left-hand-drive: sure you'll get noticed, but it doesn't make it easy to drive in the UK. Then there's the visibility: great if you're looking forwards, hopeless over the shoulder. Getting comfortable is helped by electrically adjustable pedals, but the steering wheel only adjusts for angle, not reach. The car will seat eight, but the back row is too cramped for three adults. With all seats up, there's limited boot room and to extend this, youll have to haul the heavy third row seats out of the car.

  • How reliable is it?

    Disappointingly some interior furnishings dont look expensive, and rattle ominously over bumps. Wed expect it to be sound mechanically, however. And its got safety covered with front, side and curtain airbags, and stability control. Deadlocks and an alarm should keep the car secure, too.

  • Should I buy one?

    If you're seeking the attention the Escalade will secure, you can probably afford one. A price tag of nearly 50k, a galloping thirst for fuel and sky-high company car tax band aren't unusual for a big 4x4, but its unlikely to hold its value as well as a BMW X5.