Cadillac Escalade Years To Avoid | 12 Best & Worst Years 2023

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The Cadillac Escalade is a solid option for those shopping for a full-size luxury SUV that represents the United States of America. The now-famous Escalade is trusted by many and is said to be a vehicle that can be driven until it breaks down.

The Escalade is not the most expensive car on the market, but it does come with a big price tag. So, Understanding which models are worth the investment and which aren’t is crucial before making the plunge and buying one.

Cadillac Escalade years to avoid include 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2015, and 2016; they are considered the worst. The best years for Cadillac Escalade include 2014, 2019-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Cadillac Escalade Years To Avoid

The Cadillac Escalade has a well-deserved reputation for reliability and elegance. However, like every other automaker, there are good and bad model years. Some of the worst Cadillac Escalade models you should avoid are included below.

6. Worst Year: 2002 Cadillac Escalade (3.78 Rating)

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Although the 2002 Cadillac Escalade is better than the 1st-gen Escalade, and it is a full-size American luxury SUV with a powerful 6.0-liter V8 engine, many reasons make it one of the worst years to buy.

Its engine is reasonably priced now, but in terms of reliability, it has its share of mechanical issues. There is no optional entertainment system, and the design of the steering wheel is clunky. Additionally, in order to have a powerful engine, you need to pay the premium for all-wheel drive.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Worst Year: 2003 Cadillac Escalade (3.62 Rating)

Source: CarsDirect

We can all agree that the Cadillac Escalade from 2003 is not up to standards with the latest iteration because it is 20 years old. If you want to buy a used 2003 Cadillac Escalade only due to its lower price, remember it has poor gas mileage, and its huge size can make it cumbersome in tight spots.

One of the bad things about this car is you’ll notice its front-end winning. This problem usually occurs at 80,000 miles, and the typical cost to fix it is $1,400. The other commonly reported issues are leaked power steering fluid and an electrical short.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2008 Cadillac Escalade (3.57 Rating)

Source: caranddriver

Another luxury SUV to avoid is the 2008 Cadillac Escalade. This model still suffers from the weak door handles plaguing its 2007 model. Multiple owners said the SUV’s inside/outside door handles had broken on both the driver’s and passenger’s sides. Although this is easily corrected, many consumers consider it unacceptable in a premium product.

The irregular behavior of the instrument panel is another cause for concern. RepairPal states that the speedometer or other instrument panel gauge occasionally functions. The typical solution is to buy a brand-new instrument cluster, which can be quite pricey.

Related: GMC Terrain Years To Avoid | 14 Best & Worst Models 2023

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2016 Cadillac Escalade (3.56 Rating)

Source: caranddriver

A 2016 model year Escalade is another bad year to avoid while purchasing a new or used Cadillac Escalade. Engine and suspension failures are common complaints about this model. Several drivers complained about severe and random shaking while operating the SUV. Such problems remained mostly unanswered.

The transmission is yet another potential issue with this year. This issue was discovered through an NHTSA investigation and was described by a user as a “sudden push and a bang” when the transmission was engaged.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2007 Cadillac Escalade (3.31 Rating)

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Car Complaints reports that the 2007 Cadillac Escalade has received nearly 300 NHTSA complaints, making it one of the worst models to be avoided. In 2007, Cadillac released the third-generation Escalade, which was redesigned and came up with many issues.

The electrical fire is the most alarming news story so far this year. We feel it’s important to bring this up, even though it was only one owner’s complaint. The SUV was completely engulfed in flames, creating an extremely dangerous situation.

The Escalade’s inside/outside door handle is easily broken, which is a more prevalent issue. Several customers have complained that they have to keep buying new ones.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2015 Cadillac Escalade (3.26 Rating)

Source: cnewyork

With seven distinctive recalls and 106 problems reported at, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is the worst of all. The 2015 Escalade has a number of problems, but one of the most common is that it shakes and bumps around on the road. This could be due to a number of factors, but the most likely cause is a defective transmission.

The 2015 Escalade also has issues with engine misfires. Check engine lights blinking and error codes P0300–P0308 are symptoms. Some drivers have reported that even replacing the spark plug wires or coils did not solve the issue.

Additionally, this model suffers from a defective A/C condenser that leaks, a loud tapping noise, and an unresponsive screen.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Cadillac Escalade Years To Buy

Here are a few of the Cadillac Escalade models that have proven themselves to be the most dependable.

6. Best Year: 2021 Cadillac Escalade (3.86 Rating)

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This model is offered in a total of six distinct trim levels, with the most expensive one costing more than one hundred thousand dollars. It is up to you to decide whether you think this is a fair price, but in my opinion, the only downside of such a beautiful car is the price.

Having said that, I am able to comprehend such a pricing point. Not only does the automobile captivate you with its captivating digital dashboard and body, but it also captivates you with its speed.

One thing that surprised me was that despite this model being punchy and strong, its engine was quiet. If you do not enjoy listening to the rumble of your engine or if you have a little child who is easily frightened, this is an excellent solution for you.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

5. Best Year: 2020 Cadillac Escalade (4.10 Rating)

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Because the previous model year, 2019, was already so successful, it is unsurprising that Cadillac did not make any significant changes to the 2020 Cadillac Escalade. There is also the normal four-trim model available for this year, and all of the trim levels have a high level of interior quality because the materials used are of such high quality.

Enjoying the peace of the interior of the vehicle without being subjected to the distractions or noises coming from the exterior is one feature of this year’s models that you will come to appreciate.

I believe that, given the quality you are receiving, you ought to be able to spend a decent amount of money on things that deserve the investment. The Cadillac Escalade 2020 justifies the price tag.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Best Year: 2014 Cadillac Escalade (4.11 Rating)

Source: tflcar

If you’re looking for a new luxury SUV, the 2014 Escalade is a great option. The 2014 Escalade was the final year of production for the third generation, and it went out with a bang.

The 403-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 engine is the SUV’s key selling point. The interior is as luxurious as one would hope, complete with heated leather seats. The 2014 Escalade is, without a question, the most trustworthy SUV in its class and one of the greatest models available.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2019 Cadillac Escalade (4.24 Rating)

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The 2019 Cadillac Escalade will likely capture your interest if you’re a fan of high-tech safety measures. Again, there were four distinct trim levels this year, with the Platinum version costing just under $100,000. This is probably due to the high-quality materials utilized to construct the inside.

The 2019 Cadillac Escalade has increased towing capacity over previous years’ models. You can easily tow trailers or boats with this.

This year, a new hands-free liftgate, previously exclusive to the Sports Edition, has been included as a standard feature. With its black exterior trim and 22-inch wheels, which are perfect for navigating snowy roads, the sports trim offers a lot of bang for the buck.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2023 Cadillac Escalade (4.31 Rating)

Source: Cadillac

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade lives up to its reputation as one of the most potent and beautiful full-size SUVs available. This model is successfully placed as the #5 Best Luxury Full-Size SUV from Kelley Blue Book.

The SUV has the first curved OLED screen in production. You may enjoy a high-definition experience on the 38-inch panel, which has twice the pixel density of a 4K TV. The driver and front passenger can get massaged on complete semi-aniline leather seats that recline 16 ways.

In addition, the optional UltraView sunroof in the Cadillac Escalade makes the already roomy interior feel even more light and airy. The center console of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade can also be equipped with a refrigerator and freezer. Up to six 24-ounce bottles will be safely stored in the insulated compartment.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2022 Cadillac Escalade (4.33 Rating)

Source: Guide auto web

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade is a symbol of the BEST LUXURY PREMIUM SUV as it ranks #1 in Large Premium SUV from J.D. Power. Its angular design, commanding road presence, potent V8 engine, and impressive towing capacity have cemented its place in popular culture and suburban driveways alike.

The 2022 Escalade provides ample room for passengers and powerful propulsion. The 6.2-liter V8 can be swapped out with a 3.0-liter diesel motor at no additional expense. The magnetic ride control dampers and optional air suspension make for a smooth ride, which is another thing we really like.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Common Cadillac Escalade Problems

Cadillac Escalade has many problems in some of its iterations. Let me list the most common ones.

1. Door Handles Keep Breaking found that the interior and exterior door knobs of many Escalades manufactured between 1999 and 2015 were defective. The problem often manifests itself at roughly 96,000 kilometers.

One 2010 Cadillac Escalade driver mentioned that their vehicle had lost a back door handle about two years ago. They had to pay $250 to fix it. This same owner spent no less than $280 getting the passenger-side door handle fixed at the Cadillac dealership when it broke.

2. Problematic Heating and Cooling System

Problems with the air conditioner are frequently mentioned in customer complaints between 1990 and 2010. The HVAC control modules are where diagnostic computer codes are kept. The Escalades frequently detect and save faulty codes in the control module.

This fault with the climate controls is not a safety hazard, but it reduces the comfort level that the manufacturer advertised. After more than 120,000 miles, the air conditioner stopped working for most owners. You may expect to pay between $88 to $100 for a diagnosis.

3. Instrument Panel Failure

There have been 160 reports of issues with the Escalade’s instrument panel gauges on From 2000-2016, several high-end vehicle owners complained that their malfunctioning instrument panels necessitated visits to the dealership service center.

4. Transmission Failure

From 2006 to 2016, transmission failure was a common issue for Cadillac Escalade drivers. Vehicles sometimes have transmission problems, but failure is a serious risk. Whenever there is a problem with the transmission, the only option is to replace the entire transmission.

Source: 1A Auto: Repair Tips & Secrets


1. Is Cadillac Escalade A Good Car?

It is generally a good reliable car. RepairPal gives the Cadillac Escalade a 2.5 out of 5 for reliability, placing it sixth in the 19 premium full-size SUVs class. Although the Escalade as a whole has a reputation for reliability, there are some model years to avoid.

2. How Long Will Cadillac Escalade Last?

A Cadillac Escalade should last at least 10 years or 200,000 miles with normal care and maintenance. However, there are reports from owners whose Escalades have lasted significantly longer. An Escalade may easily survive 20 years or more with the right maintenance.

3. What Are The Other Alternatives to Cadillac Escalade?

The other better Cadillac Escalade alternatives are:

4. Is It Expensive To Maintain Cadillac Escalade?

The annual cost of maintaining a typical large SUV like the Cadillac Escalade is approximately $1,100. The Cadillac Escalade costs $1,100, or $100 less.


Everyone desires an enormous SUV that can easily outshine the other, smaller vehicles on the road. Getting a Cadillac Escalade is a simple way to achieve this goal. It’s a high-end brand, to be sure, but it’s well worth the cost because it provides a pleasant experience and excellent value.

Now that we have detailed the best and worst years for the Cadillac Escalade, you should be able to decide which model is right for you. Kindly check out the worst models in detail so you don’t end up with a lemon.

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