2024 Cadillac Escalade V Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Cadillac, SUV, Test Drives

It’s not that often that I get a vehicle that puts a huge smile on my face every time I hit the gas while, at the same time, I can tote my family around town. Moreover, it’s not that often that I feel like I’m somehow killing the earth and shattering eardrums from a press of the throttle. This week, the vehicle that I jokingly say these things about is the Cadillac Escalade V, a beastly luxury SUV that was masterfully crafted by people who must also have a massive smile on their faces because this vehicle is an absolute riot.

In my previous review of the new Escalade V, I claimed the 5th generation of the big body-on-frame SUV as my favorite in such a segment. Today, that sentiment hasn’t changed and has only been refortified by having another go at the 682-horsepower luxury family hauler.

I won’t go too far into the intricacies of the new Cadillac Escalade V, as I have covered most of its performance elements before, which all carry into the 2024 model year. However, what I will go over and reiterate about its 6.2-liter supercharged V8, which produces 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, is that it continues to be a shocker that Cadillac built such a vehicle. What we have here is a vehicle that’s not exactly fast by the measures of exotic sports cars or supercars, but it has a menacing demeanor that makes you feel like you’re king of the road in being the quickest body-on-frame SUV you can buy from the factory. From the moment that you fire up the raucous supercharged V8 to hammering the throttle to listen to the excessive clattering of the exhaust, driving and riding in the Cadillac Escalade V is a bold adventure.

Not to confuse the apparent shortcomings of the Escalade V being a massively heavy and tall-statured body-on-frame SUV tipping the scale at over 6,200 pounds, but you must treat it with respect. That respect should remind you that it doesn’t necessarily feel light on its feet apart from stomping on the gas pedal in a straight line. Doing such enacts the magnetic dampers to instantly tighten things up as you feel the large Escalade V reverberate its body as it claws at the pavement through its all-season 22-inch tires. There’s something special about hauling a large 6,200-pound SUV up to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. People seem to get out of the way as the front end rises a bit, and the massively darkened front grille looks like it will devour anything in its path.

Sure, you have all of the luxuries that you expect in a top-trimmed Escalade, such as massaging front seats with heating and ventilation, a leather-trimmed dashboard with accented stitching, large OLED screens, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and even the highly praised SuperCruise autonomous drive system. However, in the Escalade V, there’s something special that starts with the nearly instant power that’s available and ends with the exhaust note. Such a sound is pure American muscle where onlookers get confused as to where they should look for that pulsating rumble when you apply moderate to full throttle. To some, the sound may become obnoxious. To most, it’s an outright party and a thrill ride in such a large SUV that scoots along with demanding authority.

The Escalade V isn’t just a bit brute that wallows everyone; there’s a lot of engineering that’s been done to keep things relatively civil for how it handles itself, which is much in part thanks to its magnetic dampers and air suspension system, which all react to driver inputs and road conditions in a matter of milliseconds. The air suspension keeps things smooth and makes its adjustments to keep the body level and at the proper ride height, which can be lowered in the aggressive V drive mode or lowered even more for easy entry/exit. You still get power running boards and the typical memory driver’s seat.

There really isn’t any other way of describing the Cadillac Escalade V other than it being something completely different, a vehicle that you’ll want to try before you buy, as it isn’t for most. Not to mention, the price of admission has increased slightly from its introduction a couple of years ago to where you will now expect to pay $161,680 for my test vehicle as it sits. As far as fuel consumption, yeah, just be prepared to stop often to fill the 24-gallon tank up with premium fuel often, as you’ll get an average of about 13 mpg. However, just like my previous drive with the Escalade V, on the highway, you can get around 18 mpg if you cruise at a steady 75 mph. My pro tip here is to let the SuperCruise system take over on the Interstate – or you can just listen to the exhaust burbles and growls to match the EPA’s estimated 11 mpg city figure.

Just know, you’ll never have so much ‘go-fast-and-loud’ fun in something so big as you do in the Cadillac Escalade V. I never thought Cadillac would build something so wild, so extreme, yet so luxurious and tame when you put it in the subdued Tour drive mode where the exhaust valves close and things quite down until you give it full throttle. While the Escalade V is not for everyone, I, for one, love what I have experienced once again and would not mind adding such a vehicle to my home fleet. It would be the ultimate excuse to the wife that I must get our daughter to school or rehearsal a little faster and in ‘look at me’ style. Yeah, that’s not going to fly. But I can still dream!

Be sure to check out my first in-depth review of the new Cadillac Escalade V here!


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