The Cadillac Escalade has a carved out its own niche. It is the preferred vehicle for chauffeuring dignitaries and celebrities of all kinds thanks to its luxury appointments and imposing presence that manages to combine a touch of menace with elegance.
General Motors’ luxury brand keeps that going unique feel going into the 2022 model year as current and new competitors, such as the Lincoln Navigator and Jeep Grand Wagoneer, are hitting the scene.
The 2022 Escalade Sport also comes with an optional Duramax 3.0-liter diesel engine at a time when the diesel engine is fading from the passenger vehicle market, and it comes equipped with a spacious well-furnished interior equipped with a full array of features and technology designed to serve the driver and passengers in its three rows of seats.
The combination of luxury, substantial size, power and a pleasant ride has been instrumental in maintaining the Escalade nameplate at the top SUV pyramid and also made it a successor to an old-fashioned limousine specifically designed to carry passengers in style.
The Escalade shares the classic, two-box profile of most utility vehicles only it is larger and does not try to hide its bulk with rounded corners. Instead, it embraces its inner menace with squared off corners and a relatively upright windshield, which makes the vehicle even more imposing. The front end of 2022 features a bold face to the world with tidy light fixtures and broad grille that covers the front end and a relatively small insignia. But from whatever angle its approached from, it is very striking.
The rear liftgate has a relatively spare design but the lack of embellishment, save for the bold Cadillac emblem, fits nicely with the overall design, which also features a sharp character line or crease down the side of the vehicle just above the door handle. Automatic running boards that come out as you pull out the door handle and big 22-inch wheels complete the vehicle’s high price-tag impression.
The first thing you notice as you climb into Escalade — and you do climb — is the extensive leather throughout the interior, which gives the cabin the appearance of a room in an old-fashioned men’s club.
But it is comfortable, relatively quiet and the interior design is bolstered by the bright work and multiple screens, stretching from behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Those screens convey an abundance of information from the time and trip information to the fuel gauge and speed to the entertainment and navigation at a glance.
The Escalade also has steering wheel controls. The leather seats are comfortable and there is plenty of elbow room in the spacious cabin with plenty of cubby holes for important items. The second-row of the Escalade I drove had captain’s chairs and an easily accessible third row of seats. Even with the third-row seats up there was plenty of room under the liftgate for groceries and other packages.
The 2022 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport I drove was equipped with a Duramax 3.0-liter diesel engine, which was matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission and with an electronic slip differential and four-wheel drive. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported a combined fuel-economy rating of 22 miles per gallon, including 20 mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway, which is pretty good for such a heavy vehicle.
Safety and Technology
The 2022 Escalade is equipped with enhanced automatic braking, including automatic braking when in reverse, forward collision and pedestrian alert, lane-keeping alert and trailer side blind side alert as well multiple airbags for protection in frontal and side-impact collisions.
It is also equipped with GM’s much-hyped Super Cruise adaptive cruise control with night vision. It also comes with HD surround vision, a 16.9-inch diagonal navigation and entertainment screen and a 14.2-inch diagonal screen and cluster display and a 7.2-inch information screen. The vehicle also features an AKG sound system with 19 speakers, selectable interior lighting, illuminated door handles and wireless hiring. It enjoys Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, a 110-volt outlet, Bluetooth connectivity and Sirius XM Radio.
The 2022 Escalade with the turbo diesel engine has more than enough power, which is delivered relatively smoothly through the 10-speed transmission without a lot of fuss. The diesel engine also is surprisingly quiet — and surprisingly nimble. The magnetic ride control and air-ride suspension provides the Escalade with a nicely well-mannered ride over all kinds of surfaces. I also found, for all its size and bulk, the Escalade is surprisingly maneuverable thanks to electric steering.
Super Cruise is an impressive addition to the adaptive cruise control system, which can relieve stress, particularly on long highway drives where the motorist’s attention can easily stray. However, the overall impression while you are behind the wheel is that you are a chauffeur even when don’t have any passengers. Additionally, it had no trouble on the gravel or dirt roads I traveled during my test run.
2022 Cadillac Escalade Sport Specifications
|Dimension||L: 211.9 inches/W: 81.1 inches/H: 76.7 inches/Wheelbase: 120.9 inches|
|Powertrain||3.0-liter, I-6 turbo diesel; 10-speed automatic|
|Fuel Economy||20 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $101,595, plus $1,795 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The 2022 Escalade makes a big and distinctive impression but isn’t particularly ostentatious. It also is versatile and capable of carrying passengers and their luggage and sporting gear on a longer trip.
Though at $102,000, the Cadillac Escalade fits into the new and expanding category of mass-produced vehicles now selling for more than six figures. The combination of diesel powertrain and a heavy dose of leather on the interior mean the vehicle cannot be considered environmentally friendly, but it carries with it a measure of prestige that makes a big impression way beyond whether it is practical.
2022 Cadillac Escalade Sport — Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the 2022 Cadillac Escalade cost?
The new Escalade starts at $76,295 for the luxury two-wheel drive version and escalates to a starting price of $101,595 for the Sport Platinum and Premium Luxury Platinum models.
Is the Cadillac Escalade bulletproof?
Not from the factory. However, there are some companies offer security upgrades to vehicles, including the Escalade.
What is the difference between the Escalade Sport and Luxury trims?
There are three rows of seats for eight in the Luxury, while you can choose to reduce seating to seven with captain’s chairs for the Sport instead. The Luxury has wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the Sport adds massaging seats.