Although some engine noise intrudes on the high-end experience, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade is comfortable for up to five adults, but accessing third-row seats can be difficult.
“The seats have sculpted backs to enhance interior space, and both the recline and seat-track travel are quite generous,” notes Kelley Blue Book, adding that it is “a rather high climb into the passenger compartment.” The power-folding second-row seats are comfortable to sit in, but accessing the third-row seats can be like running an obstacle course. Car and Driver feels the third-row space is “skimpy,” but other sources praise the amount of real-world room in the back. Thus, cargo room behind the seats can be expansive or merely adequate depending on whether the Escalade is a standard version or the long-wheelbase ESV.
The quality of the materials is high, and there is no shortage of luxury inside the 2009 Cadillac Escalade. Cars.com says the Escalade "communicates luxury instantly," while Automobile Magazine reports that, with “the exception of bristly carpet and cheap-feeling upper dashboard material, the three-row interior's soft-touch surfaces and finely damped switches are a step or two above what you'd find in a Tahoe or a GMC Yukon." Motor Trend appreciates the Escalade’s tightly manufactured “1mm interior gaps” and its handsome “blue-lighted gauges,” as well as a large “eight-inch nav screen.” Kelley Blue Book, however, thinks the “blue pointers impair readability.”
Both engine and exhaust noise are issues for some reviewers. Performance publications tend to like the Escalade’s exhaust note, but ConsumerGuide says the engine "roars loudly during rapid acceleration," while the "exhaust note is nearly always heard." Kelley Blue Book agrees, calling the engine noise not exactly "Cadillac-like." ConsumerGuide also notes sounds from "wind rush" once the speedometer hits 65 mph.
TheCarConnection.com’s editors feel that the Escalade’s comfort and quality are its strong points. The Escalade is virtually unbeatable for elbow and shoulder room because of its wide cabin. Seats are among the most ample and supportive of any vehicle. In both models, the second row is nearly as comfortable as the first, and in the ESV, the third row is quite roomy, though a bit difficult to access. Despite its high, truck-like driving position, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade is graced with an attractive instrument panel that wouldn’t look out of place in luxury sedan.