From £55,685
America's most popular luxo-SUV is too big, too ungainly, and would be best left on the far side of the Atlantic

Our Verdict

Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is one hybrid that doesn't wear its eco credentials on its sleeve

What's new?

The USA's a curious place for all sorts of reasons, one of them the popularity of the Cadillac Escalade. There, General Motors sells some 60,000 Escalades every year; it's more popular than all of its competitors combined. Which is odd when, to European eyes, its driving experience seems to share more with that of a heavily-loaded commercial vehicle than a Range Rover Vogue.

This year, as part of the global expansion of the Cadillac brand, UK customers will be able to buy the 2007-model-year Escalade.

GM Europe isn't expecting demand levels akin to those of the States; that's why it isn't bothering to do right-hand drive conversion. But you will be able to walk into a Cadillac showroom and order an Escalade, and it will come with a four-year factory warranty.

What's it like?

The new Escalade is a greatly improved device. Cadillac has spent time and effort giving it a better-quality cabin and a quieter ride, and in those respects the Escalade is now nearer to, if still not quite at, the class standard for luxury 4x4s.

However, this car is so big (nearly 200mm longer even than a Range Rover) and heavy (2609kg unladen) that it feels gigantic on European roads.

Squeezing through width restrictors and motorway toll booths is painstakingly worrisome, and a steering system that's both imprecise and devoid of feedback makes positioning it in a corner an exercise in vain guesswork.

Should I buy one?

If you like the idea that you'd be driving around in the same car as Mischa Barton, Shakil O'Neil and a hundred other American celebrities, perhaps. The Escalade's other redeeming feature is its price; starting from £46,995, it's almost £20k cheaper than a Mercedes GL500.

The thing is, for a left-hand-drive only 4x4 as ungainly and as poorly packaged as this, that's still not cheap enough


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided