While the Cadillac Escalade has long topped the General Motors food chain in terms of prestige and luxury, it’s never really been considered a performance vehicle. But with a company-wide shift to electrification now underway, Cadillac has taken a cue from rivals such as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and created the 682-horsepower 2023 Escalade-V as an end-of-the-era statement about American internal-combustion-engine prowess.
Priced at about $150,000—that’s $90,000 more than a physically similar, base-model Chevrolet Suburban— Escalade-V’s noisy and ferociously fast 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine features its technician’s signature engraved on the top. And with Brembo brakes, acres of Alcantara suede, and exhaust pipes seemingly swapped from a Corvette Stingray, this is one attitude-driven, hellaciously fast machine. Mileage, bedamned.
Yes, there’s some mixed messaging here, especially as it’s still a comfortable, three-row family hauler, more suited to middle-school swim meets than drag strips. But Escalade-V is able to dial up its brawny output for 4.3-second 0-60 sprints, warming up its 22-inch tires in the process, and offers Corvette-styled electronic micromanagement of brakes, shifting, chassis control, and exhaust notes.
It’s the perfect automotive overstatement, with a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality to match its hulking presence, and capable (lower-speed) cornering on its stiff air-ride suspension.
16 miles EPA-estimated highway mileage
4.3 seconds from 0-60
7 seating capacity