2023 Cadillac Escalade V

2023 Cadillac Escalade V

Going Where Cadillac Has Never Gone Before

Episode 4209 , Episode 4225
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Sport utility vehicles continue to gain in their popularity primarily because of their practicality and sensibility. But every once in a while, an SUV comes along that’s not really all that sensible at all, but a whole lot of fun.  So, let’s see what happens when Cadillac puts the V in Escalade.

Seeing a V badge on a Cadillac has meant various levels of high performance over the years. But, no doubt Caddy went above and beyond with the CT5-V Blackwing; a Drivers’ Choice winner for us, and a car that will easily go down as one of the most incredible American sport sedans ever. How did Cadillac decide to follow that up?  With their first ever V-Series SUV, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V.  

Getting right to the heart of the matter, under this ferocious beast’s tall hood lies a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the one found in the CT5-V Blackwing; only it gets an even bigger supercharger, and outputs an incredible 682-horsepower and 653 lb-ft. of torque. That’s 14 more horsepower than in the CT5, and a whopping 262 more than you could previously get in an Escalade.

You’ll get clued in that this is something special right at startup. It comes to life with an obnoxious roar, before settling down to a gentle rumble. The Escalade’s 10-speed traditional automatic is recalibrated to properly manage the additional power, and Cadillac’s full-time active all-wheel-drive system is in place to transfer all to the pavement.

On the well-prepped pavement of our Mason Dixon test track, this Escalade was everything we’d hoped it would be. Initiate launch control, and the V explodes off the line with a tsunami of torque, hitting 60 in 4.4-seconds. Gear changes in the automatic trans hit harder than a few dual-clutch units we’ve tested.  It will rev to 6,200 RPM, but since torque plateaus at 4,400 there’s no real reason to run it up that high; and the Escalade-V seems to know this, short-shifting at around 5,500 throughout the 12.7-second ¼-mile at 111 miles-per-hour.  The sound?  Pure automotive bliss!

Cadillac will build you an Escalade-V in either the standard or extended wheelbase ESV; our standard-length tester weighs in at 6,200-lbs. And, while not quite a one-trick-pony, acceleration is clearly the star of this rig’s show. Both magnetic ride control and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension are standard with upgraded programming. But, the actual suspension hardware is upgraded too. Plus, customizable performance settings are available at the touch of the console-mounted V-button.

Excellent steering feel, and GM seems to have dialed back the eagerness of this platform’s stability control system; all without having to pay a harsh ride penalty. There are new 6-piston Brembo calipers on the front wheels, and it only took 107-feet to stop us from 60. 

We think Cadillac did a great job making this V looking unique with upgraded front and rear fascias, 22-inch rims, quad exhaust tips, and of course multiple V-logos outside and in; without being too over the top.  It’s not quite a sleeper, but pretty close. Sitting at the top of the Escalade’s heap means Platinum trim is the starting point, with Zebra wood trim, 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference audio, and leather seating for all 3-rows. As in all Escalades, a 38-inch curved display sits atop the dash, segmented into sections for the gauges, infotainment, and a small control panel. 

There are acres of space for each of the 3-rows of passengers. However, this is still a body-on-frame truck. So, there’s not quite the user-friendliness buyers have gotten used to in crossovers. But of course, no unibody can haul as much cargo, with 25.5 cubic-ft. of space behind the 3rd row, 72.9 behind the 2nd, and a max of 121; while matching the Escalade-V’s 7,000-lbs. tow rating.

Everything inside looks great, and all of the tech is certainly up to date; but the Escalade still doesn’t have that upper-class feel that you get in many European performance utilities.  Still, as for the actual driving, daily comfort, and the great V8 sounds this thing puts out, nothing from across the pond comes close. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings for our standard-length V are 11-City, 16-Highway, and 13-Combined. As awesome as the Escalade-V is, it’s hard not to be a little disconnected when you see the price, $150,990 to start; $153,990 for the Suburban-sized ESV.  

Would we spend that much for a GM truck-based utility vehicle, even one as amazingly monstrous as this 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V? Good question. Probably not. But, it might just be the future collectible of the year! So, we wouldn’t blame anyone for grabbing one, and might even ask to borrow the keys every once in a while.


  • Engine: 6.2L Supercharged V8
  • Horsepower: 682
  • Torque: 653 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 12.7 seconds at 111 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 107 feet (avg)
  • EPA: 11 City / 16 Highway / 13 Combined
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.