When the fleet company delivered a 2023 Cadillac Escalade premium luxury edition, brightly shining in Radiant Red Tintcoat for my test vehicle in December, it was like receiving an early Christmas present. There’s nothing like driving an Escalade to make you feel special, even when it’s only yours for a week.
The premium luxury trim is one of five different trims available on the 2023 Escalade. Trims start with the luxury and graduate to premium luxury, sport, premium luxury platinum, and sport platinum trims. My test vehicle came with all-wheel-drive capability, and operated seamlessly on its 6.2 liter V8 engine with 10 speed automatic transmission. The Escalade sat tall on 22 inch 14-spoke polished aluminum wheels.
A 16.9 inch diagonal OLED infotainment screen featured navigation and voice recognition, while a 14.2 inch reconfigured cluster display and 7.2 inch control panel featured additional driver info and controls. I especially appreciated the additions of Head Up display, wireless device charging, and passive remote entry and adaptive remote start. My longtime favorite driver assistant, OnStar® was also included.
Escalade’s Standard Features
Illuminated door handles, a panoramic sunroof, and hands-free automatic lift-gate were other features that made driving the Escalade more enjoyable. The cabin’s interior was elegant with a number of luxury touches including black Mulan leather seats with second row bucket seats and third row 60/40 power fold seats.
Adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change alert with enhanced auto parking assist were standard safety features. HD surround vision, forward collision alert, and front/rear pedestrian alert were also standard.
The MSRP for the 2023 Cadillac Escalade AWD Premium Luxury test vehicle was $89,595. The manufacturer had added options priced at $16,420, which brought the price for the Escalade to $106,015. These options included an AKG studio reference 36-speaker surround sound system ($4,300); and a performance package ($2,700) focused on trailering which this driver didn’t test.
An added touring package ($2,550) brought an interesting feature that’s found in several luxury vehicles I’ve tested recently. The soft close/cinching door closing is great once you’ve figured out what’s going on, but after years of slamming doors shut, it takes a minute to learn to trust letting the door close itself. A Night Vision package ($2,000); rear seat entertainment system ($1,995); and power retractable steps ($1,750) were also added.
Fuel economy for the 2023 Escalade AWD was estimated at 14 mpg in town and 18 mpg on the highway, for a combined average of 16 mpg.