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Cadillac News News & Reviews

A True Hotrod: The Cadillac Escalade-V

Nobody needs one. But when you get inside the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V, you most definitely will want one. It’s the industry’s most powerful full-size SUV and is part of the Cadillac V-Series line of performance vehicles. Napleton News had a chance to invest in a couple of oil companies over the weekend. Our wallets are now a lot lighter, and that has nothing to do with rising oil prices. It’s more about the frequency of our visits. But more about that later. Here’s our report.

How big is the Cadillac Escalade-V?

Close up of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V’s supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine.

The Cadillac Escalade-V is the size of the standard Cadillac Escalade. What makes it special is the heart that beats under the hood. The Escalade-V is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 making 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque. It’s matched to a proven 10-speed automatic transmission with full-time active all-wheel drive for extra grip and traction wherever you decide to take it. There’s also the available extended-length Escalade-V ESV if you need more cargo space.

The Escalade-V’s 6.2L supercharged V-8 is hand-built. Limited availability.

Just stuffing a big engine inside does not a hotrod make. It requires a handpicked group of parts and accessories to help the V-Series meet its mission of being the Standard of the World. (Yes, that was Cadillac’s motto.) Some of these choice bits include:

Close up of the 22-inch aluminum wheels on the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V.
  • V-Series front and rear fascias
  • Six-piston Brembo front brakes with red calipers
  • Unique 22-inch alloy wheels
  • Standard Magnetic Ride Control with Air Ride Adaptive Suspension
  • Standard V-Series software calibrations
  • V-Mode selector to customize drive settings, and lower the suspension
  • Throaty V-8 growl
  • AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker audio system
  • Optional Super Cruise2 hands-free driver assistance technology

How does the Cadillac Escalade-V look?

Passenger side action shot of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V on Roosevelt Lake Bridge in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Cadillac Escalade received a complete makeover in 2021, so there’s not much new going on with its exterior. But why should there be? It was good looking then and with the addition of V-Series badging on both sides and the rear deck it makes it more so today. Quad exhaust pipes exit from the rear and announce your presence with authority, to quote Nuke LaLoosh from the Famous Bull Durham movie. The Quad pipes have been deemed obnoxious by a neighbor, but they can be dialed down to levels called “Stealth,” “Tour” or “Sport.” That’s fine, but we ask, why?

Rear shot of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V driving down the highway in Phoenix, Arizona.

What about inside?

The business er, driver’s seat of the Escalade-V is the place where you really want to be. It features a 14.2-inch digital gauge display that can change from gauges to routes to nightvision. More on that later. Although our V wasn’t equipped, the Escalade-V offers General Motors Super Cruise semi-autonomous drive mode for handsfree driving along pre-mapped roads. The number of miles is up to over 200,000 right now, with more coming soon. To the right of the gauge binnacle was a 16.9-inch infotainment screen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless charging is standard, as were tons of cupholders.

Shot from the driver’s side window of the steering wheel and dash in the 2023 Escalade-V.

Space inside the Escalade-V is large enough to rival a tiny house and then some. Not really, but there is room enough for a family of eight, if that’s how you configured your ‘scalade. Normally, the second row is equipped with a pair of captain’s chairs for a total of seven, but if you need one more, check out the second row bench seat instead. The standard Escalade-V offers 25.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity, while the ESV ups the ante to 41.5 cubic feet.

Driver controls include paddle shift levers, various buttons to tailor to your driving style and more. One of the coolest features we found was the AI function that sensed heat and body temperatures. This system allows you to see where pedestrians and animals may be walking along the road after dark.

Driver’s side exterior shot of the Cadillac Escalade-V featuring the V-Series badge.

Getting it on in the Cadillac Escalade-V

As our neighbor mentioned, starting the Escalade-V can wake the dead. Take, for example, the roar that growled from the quad pipes when pushing the ignition button. It’s definitely not the type of roar you would expect from a stately looking large Cadillac SUV.

Power comes with a stomp of the throttle and the next thing you feel are the G-forces pushing you back into the seat. It’s an amazing feeling that makes you glad you are at least holding on to the steering wheel.

Rear three-quarter shot of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V featuring the V-Series badge on the passenger side door.

The torque from the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is amazing. Following a brief, but exhilarating blast down the highway, we came to our senses and realized we weren’t driving a Porsche. The higher center of gravity of the Escalade-V made us remember that despite its power and its safety features, we were still driving what is essentially a top-heavy truck. So we slowed down and switched on the massaging front row seats instead.

The engine still roared. But we were getting rubbed at the same time. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V in motion as it drives down a highway.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Specifications

Engine Type 6.2-liter Supercharged V8
Horsepower 682 hp @ 6,050 rpm
Torque 653 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission 10-speed automatic transmission
Fuel Economy (Equivalent) 11 mpg
Suspension F/R Control Arms/ Trailing Arms
Turning Circle 39.7 ft.
Also Available Longer wheelbase Escalade-V ESV
Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 6 years/70,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 4-star
Max Seating Capacity 7 (8 if properly configured)
Wheelbase 120.9 inches
Overall Length 211.9 inches
Width 81.1 inches
Height 76.7 inches
Cargo Room (Behind 1st, 2nd and 3rd row) 121.0/72.9/25.5 Cubic Feet
Headroom, Front 42.3 inches
Headroom, 2nd 38.9 inches
Headroom, 3rd 38.2 inches
Legroom, 1st 38.2 inches
Legroom, 2nd 38.2 inches
Legroom, 3rd 34.9 inches
Shoulder, 1st 65.5 inches
Shoulder, 2nd 64.6 inches
Shoulder, 3rd 62.7 inches



This post was published on December 10, 2022

Mark Elias

I've loved everything on wheels: Trains, Planes and definitely Automobiles. I am constantly in search of the latest in new technology, which makes our lives better each day, but will always respect the classics. You can't continue forward without first taking a look back at where you've been.

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