2013 Cadillac Escalade Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

The Escalade is huge and imposing from the outside, but that does pay off inside, translating to a roomy, comfortable interior that's also luxury-car plush and reasonably quiet. Just be aware that if you want cargo versatility and folding seats, this might not be the right pick.

You sit quite high in the front seat, with a rather low belt and dash--a refreshing departure from the many borderline claustrophobic designs with low positions and high beltlines. Whether in the front row or the second row, seats are wide, generously sized, and supportive, with good comfort for long hauls. Thanks the the Escalade's width, there's an airiness that you won't find in many other crossovers or SUVs.

Compared to other luxury options, the 2013 Escalade lacks refinement and versatility; but lavish materials and trims mostly make up for that.

Throughout the Escalade model line, the second row is barely a downgrade from the front; and the roomier third row in the Escalade ESV is spacious enough, though getting back there can be difficult. A power-release feature helps make getting back there quite a bit easier, though.

The one thing sorely lacking in the Escalade's interior--and what means it comes up short in versatility next to newer crossover designs--is an easy or space-efficient seat-folding arrangement. There are no fold-flat third rows here; in the Escalade, you need to remove and store the third row with muscle--and ideally, at least one other helper.

Storage-bin space is the area where the Escalade is a little lacking. Cadillac improved the center-console design last year, but it doesn't have as many smaller bins and cubbies as other utility vehicles.

While you hear the engine when accelerating (not a bad thing to us), the Escalade otherwise feels the part of a luxury vehicle, with all the improvements it's received in recent years--like new weatherstripping and a laminated windshield--adding up to a quiet cabin. And the magnetic suspension system allows irregularities and some coarseness to be filtered out.

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