- Gobs of torque from the big V-8
- Handles well for such a tall, heavy vehicle
- Bold, macho exterior and softly styled interior is a nice combo
- Prepare your bank account for this gas guzzler
- Lack of innovative high-tech options
- Third-row seat design doesn’t fold neatly
The 2008 Cadillac Escalade is tops in performance, and it's hard to beat when you consider the weight of the 'Slade's image.
The 2008 Cadillac Escalade is a luxury body-on-frame SUV that shares its running gear with the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size SUVs, and like those other trucks, it comes either in standard-length form or the extended-length ESV, which is 21 inches longer overall and can seat up to 8 people.
The Escalade was completely revised for 2007 and gets few changes for 2008. All versions are powered by a 403-horsepower, 6.2-liter, V-8 engine teamed with a 6-speed automatic. Both rear- and all-wheel drive are available. Cylinder-shutoff technology helps cut down on gas use, but the Cadillac SUV still earns dismal EPA ratings of 12 mpg city and either 18 or 19 mpg highway.
The engine in the 2008 Cadillac Escalade has plenty of power that makes the big wagon feel less heavy and more perky--even on steep grades fully laden. The 6-speed automatic finds the right gear decisively, with no hunting around. Brakes match the big ute's power and weight. The Escalade doesn't handle nimbly, but the ride is even-keeled no matter the road conditions.
Despite its very high, trucklike driving position, the 2008 Cadillac Escalade gets a very smooth, low, and attractively styled instrument panel that could be right out of a luxury sedan. Its seats are supportive and amply sized, and the Escalade has tons of shoulder room, thanks to a wide cockpit. In either model, second-row seats are almost as comfortable as those in the front.