The Cadillac Escalade needs no introduction as the model defines the brand and their take on American luxury.
Despite humble beginnings, the SUV has become an icon and the company has sold over one million units since it was introduced in 1998. While the Escalade has improved significantly over the years, it’s undergoing the most radical transformation to date as Cadillac is going electric-only by 2030. This means an electric Escalade was inevitable and now it has arrived as the 2025 Escalade IQ.
A Bold Look To Showcase The Brand’s Electric Future
When Cadillac pulled the wraps off the model at a preview event last week, we were immediately taken by the new design which combines elements from the Lyriq and Escalade. The resulting design is striking and far sportier than we’ve been accustomed to.
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The sleek styling is for more than just looks as aerodynamics play an important role when it comes to range and efficiency. As a result, designers worked tirelessly to lower the coefficient of drag by approximately 15%. That’s a sizable reduction and it was made possible by giving the Escalade IQ a smooth underbody, an active lower intake, and aerodynamically optimized 24-inch wheels. Buyers will also find flush side glass, angular lines, and a fixed glass roof with a UV filtering film that promises to keep the cabin comfortable.
There’s plenty of Lyriq DNA and this is most noticeable up front as the model wears a black crystal shield grille. It’s fully enclosed and features choreographed lighting sequences that are bound to draw attention.
Speaking of lights, they’ve come to play an important role in Cadillac design. The vertical headlights have small crests on the side, while the taillights are slim and far more adventurous than what’s found on the ICE-powered model. They’re joined by illuminated door handles and a glowing Cadillac crest on the dashboard, which is visible from outside the vehicle.
While the Lyriq eschews a frunk, the Escalade IQ has an “eTrunk” that opens to reveal a carpeted compartment with 12.2 cubic feet (345 liters) of storage space. The compartment also has a power port as well as a Cadillac crest on the bottom of the hood.
Customers looking to make a statement can get a power open-and-close entry system, which enables all four doors to be operated at the touch of a button. The system can even automatically open the driver’s door when the owner approaches the vehicle.
Speaking of power doors, there’s a motorized charging port that automatically opens with a touch. That’s a nice feature, but the port is located near the rear of the vehicle and sticks out like a sore thumb.
The rest of the design is far more pleasing and Cadillac officials told us they’ll offer Luxury and Sport trims. The former has brushed aluminum accents, while the latter adopts dark metal finishes and black flourishes.
Customers can also opt for a two-tone design thanks to a contrasting black roof. It looks rather fetching in person, especially when paired with a silver exterior and the Sport trim.
On the topic of color, Cadillac showed two silver shades and a classic black. The company also displayed a light blue and a dark, cherry-like red.
In terms of size, the model measures 224.3 inches (5,697 mm) long, 94.1 inches (2,389 mm) wide, and 76.1 inches (1,934 mm) tall with a wheelbase that spans 136.2 inches (3,460 mm). To put those numbers into perspective, the model is 2.7 inches (69 mm) shorter than the Escalade ESV despite having a 2.1 inch (53 mm) longer wheelbase.
A No Holds Barred Interior
Cadillac interiors have often left a lot to be desired as they were good for a GM product, but far from competitive. That’s been changing over the years and the Lyriq took a big step forward by waving the GM parts bin goodbye.
While the Lyriq showed Cadillac was learning to walk, they’re now hitting the ground running with the Escalade IQ. Material quality and design finally seem on par with BMW and Mercedes, which makes the six-figure price tag much easier to swallow. While there are a few hints of cheapness, they’re largely limited to the cargo area where they’re easy to overlook.
The cabin is heavily inspired by the ultra-luxury Celestiq and features a 55-inch curved display with speakers that function as end caps. Roughly 35 inches are dedicated to the driver and this includes a central infotainment system with Google built-in. This provides access to Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play store where owners can download their favorite apps.
Further below, there’s an 11-inch front command center that appears to be focused on climate controls and vehicle settings. It’s joined by an elegant controller and a wireless smartphone charger.
Owners who get chauffeured around will want to opt for the Executive Second-Row Seating package, which features a center console as well as individual seats with heating, ventilation, and massage functions. Other highlights include two 12.6-inch displays, a rear command center, and stowable tray tables. The package also includes a dual wireless smartphone charger as well as USB-C and HDMI ports.
Elsewhere, there’s a new two-spoke steering wheel and laser-etched wood trim with available illumination. A 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system comes standard, while ‘Level 2’ trims come with a 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference system. The aforementioned Executive Second-Row Seating package boosts the speaker count to 40 thanks to speakers mounted in the rear headrests.
We’ll learn full equipment details closer to launch, but the power-folding third row only offers 30.1 inches (765 mm) of legroom and it looked like a tight fit. That’s disappointing as the standard Escalade has 34.9 inches (886 mm) of room, while the Escalade ESV boasts 36.6 inches (930 mm) of third-row legroom.
Cargo volume also trails the ICE-powered models as there are 23.7 cubic feet (670 liters) of storage space behind the third row and 69.1 cubic feet (1,958 liters) behind the second row. With the second and third rows folded, there are 119.2 cubic feet (3,374 liters) of luggage room.
Super Cruise Comes Standard
Cadillac and Super Cruise go hand-in-hand, so it’s not surprising to learn the Escalade IQ will come standard with the hands-free semi-autonomous driving system that works on more than 400,000 miles (643,738 km) of compatible roadway in the United States and Canada.
The crossover will also come with a host of other driver assistance systems including Blind Zone Steering Assist, Intersection Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian and Bicyclist Braking, and an HD Surround Vision camera system. Buyers will also find an Enhanced Automatic Parking Assist system, which can “automatically steer, brake and shift gears to park the vehicle into a dedicated parallel or perpendicular parking space.”
A Dual-Motor AWD System With 750 HP And 450 Miles Of Range
The Escalade IQ has a 24-module battery pack with a capacity of 200 kWh, which will enable the model to have a range of approximately 450 miles (724 km). That’s 165 miles more than the Mercedes EQS SUV 580 4MATIC and 162 miles more than the BMW iX M60.
The impressive numbers don’t end there as the dual-motor all-wheel-drive system produces a combined output of 680 hp (507 kW / 689 PS) and 615 lb-ft (834 Nm) of torque. That climbs to 750 hp (559 kW / 760 PS) and 785 lb-ft (1,063 Nm) in Velocity Max mode.
While that’s less than the 830 hp (619 kW / 842 PS) GMC Hummer EV SUV, the Escalade IQ can rocket from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in less than five seconds. The model can also tow up to 8,000 pounds (3,629 kg), which means it shouldn’t have a problem hauling boats or campers.
Cadillac officials didn’t go into many other specifics but confirmed the model has an 800-volt architecture and will be able to receive up to 100 miles (161 km) of range in as little as 10 minutes using a DC fast charger. At home, a 19.2 kW charger can deliver approximately 37 miles (59.5 km) of range for every hour of charging. That drops to 14.8 miles (23.8 km) with the 7.7 kW dual-level charge cord.
Speaking of power, the Escalade IQ has a Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) capability as well as bidirectional charging. The latter enables the vehicle to be used as a battery to power your home in an emergency such as a power outage. We’ll learn more details closer to launch, but Cadillac said the capability will be “enabled via an over-the-air software update” and will require residences to be outfitted with Ultium Home products.
Cadillac Gets Crabby With New Arrival Mode
The Escalade IQ rides on the Ultium platform and features Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 as well as an adaptive air ride suspension. The latter enables the vehicle to be raised 1 inch (25 mm) or lowered up to 2 inches (50 mm). Speaking of which, there’s a Low Ride Mode that enables the SUV to be driven at low speeds with the suspension fully lowered.
Four-Wheel Steer comes standard and is far more practical as it enables the rear wheels to turn in the same or opposite direction as the front wheels. This significantly improves low-speed maneuverability and Cadillac said the Escalade IQ has a turning circle of 39.4 feet (12 meters). That’s 6.5 feet (2 meters) shorter than without the technology and it’s barely more than the XT6.
Four-Wheel Steer impressed us when we drove the GMC Hummer EV last year, but that isn’t the only feature Cadillac decided to borrow. Far from it as the Escalade IQ will be offered with an “Arrival Mode,” which is the brand’s take on Crab Mode. It enables the model to be driven diagonally, “making it easier when pulling into or out of tight spaces.”
Customers will also find a one-pedal driving mode as well as Variable Regen on Demand. The latter function will presumably be operated by a pressure-sensitive paddle on the back of the steering wheel like in the Lyriq.
Arrives Next Summer For Around $130,000
The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ will be built at Factory Zero and pricing will start around $130,000. While the final numbers will be announced closer to launch, it’s a significant hike over the 2023 Escalade that begins at $80,795. However, the EV offers performance on par with the Escalade V-Series and that model costs more than $150,000.
Besides being a relative bargain, the Escalade IQ is more luxurious than its ICE-powered counterpart and feels like an Escalade evolved. While everyone might not be sold on electrification, it’s a significant step for Cadillac and one that should help to introduce new people to the brand. The model is also far more exciting than the Mercedes EQS SUV and that alone is something worth thinking about.
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