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Battle for Best Big Luxury Vehicle – Cadillac Escalade VS GMC Yukon

cadillac escalade vs gmc yukon

UPDATE: What’s New in the 2016 Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon

With both 2016 models available, we’re revisiting our popular matchup of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade vs GMC Yukon. If you’re debating between a 2015 or 2016 model of either full-size SUV, here’s what you can expect for the new 2016 model year.

2016 Cadillac Escalade

Price Increase

  • No change


  • New paint colors available (Gray Silk Metallic, Red Passion Tintcoat, Crystal White Tricoat, Dark Emerald Metallic)


  • SD card slot eliminated
  • Rear seat DVD entertainment added
  • Updated Cadillac CUE infotainment


  • IntelliBeam headlamps
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Forward collision alert
  • Surround vision cameras
    2016 Cadillac Escalade

    ©General Motors

2016 GMC Yukon

Price Increase

  • SLE – $51,165 ($3,425)
  • SLT – $56,850 ($625)
  • Denali – $65,045 ($525)


  • New paint colors available (White Frost Tricoat, Crimson Red Tintcoat)


  • Standard capless fuel filling
  • Enhanded GMC IntelliLink system
  • Apple CarPlay capability
  • Hand free lift gate standard on SLT trim
  • Flat-folding 3rd row


  • Lane-keeping assist
  • IntelliBeam headlamps

2016 GMC Yukon

There you have it! It’s great to see these two SUVs adding impressive convenience and safety tech in 2016. With that in mind, here is our old comparison between the 2015 Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon.

2015 Cadillac Escalade Overview

Engine: 6.2L V8
Horsepower: 420
Fuel Economy: 15 City / 22 Hwy
MSRP: Stating at $72,970

Inside the 2015 Cadillac Escalade:

The redesigned 2015 Cadillac Escalade is billed as the crown jewel of Cadillac in terms of style and comfort. Since original production began in 1999, it has always been considered a status symbol. To consider this full sized SUV the crown jewel of such a luxurious manufacturer, the Escalade has some big shoes to fill. Inside the 2015 Cadillac Escalade you’ll find one of GM’s most powerful engine offerings with the direct injection 6.2L V8 engine with 420 horsepower. Variable Valve Timing and Active Fuel Management work to give the Escalade a fuel rating of 15 City and 22 Highway MPG. The Escalade is available in many trim options depending on the level of style which starts with Standard, Luxury, Premium and Platinum. Also available is the slightly longer in frame ESV version, which is also available in those four trim options.

2015 Cadillac Escalade interior

©General Motors

The 2015 Escalade was redesigned to feel even more luxurious than the previous generation’s model. The exterior remains relatively unchanged outside of the bold new grill and horizontal headlights. The Escalade was previously well known for its large and aggressive front grill which now has a classier feel. The big changes happened to the interior which aimed to break free from the truck type interior that it previously had, to a more stylish and comfortable SUV. Cadillac now boasts a cut and sewn interior with premium materials. You will also find many additional storage compartments for easy access and the ability to stow and hide things from sight. The highlight is the center stack with 8in standard touchscreen and no knobs throughout the rest of the console.

2015 GMC Yukon Overview

Engine: 5.3L V8
Horsepower: 355
Fuel Economy: 16 City / 23 Hwy
MSRP: Starting at $47,740

Inside the 2015 GMC Yukon:

The GMC Yukon is a full-sized SUV with the power and towing capabilities that a truck gives you. Redesigned for 2015, the Yukon has brawn for weekend adventures and the beauty for weeknights in the city. The 2015 GMC Yukon includes an impressive 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 7300lbs of standard trailering ability. This direct injection engine gives the Yukon an EPA fuel rating of 16 City and 23 Highway MPG. The acceleration and handling of this vehicle is very smooth given the large frame. The Yukon is available in two trim options, the SLE and SLT. A Denali edition is also available which includes more luxury features inside the cabin as well as a 6.2L V8 engine with 420 horsepower.


©General Motors

The interior has been changed coming into 2015 and is a completely covered in soft, luxurious material from the front driver and passenger through the 2nd and 3rd row of seating. The standard 4.2in color infotainment center is a little small considering the price point of the Yukon, but an upgraded 8in option is available. Consumers will like the new safety features that start at the improved frame for crash impact tests as well as an entire suite of safety features like Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Change Alert, Forward Collision Alert and Crash Imminent Braking.

2015 Cadillac Escalade vs GMC Yukon winner:

Base Model: 2015 Cadillac Escalade

When comparing the Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon, you are looking at two of the best full-sized SUV’s in terms of premium luxury. While the Yukon hits a lower price point, you get more out of the Escalade in terms of towing capacity, comfort and style; all important things when considering a vehicle purchase like this.

Upgrades: 2015 GMC Yukon

The Escalade’s additional features are only available as you move vertically through the trim packages. The Yukon wins the advantage here as it offers buyers a basic trim option with the ability to pick and choose additional features

Overall Winner:

2015 Cadillac Escalade

The fully loaded GMC Yukon is priced just under $70,000 whereas the base level Cadillac Escalade begins at just over $72,000. This made comparing these two full-sized SUV’s from GM very difficult. When choosing your next vehicle you always have to weigh the options available against the additional cost associated with them. In this case, we felt the premium luxury, increased storage and cargo room and the better overall driving experience was worth it with the Cadillac Escalade.

2016 Cadillac Escalade

©General Motors

Dustin "Dusty" Rhodes

A fan of nice round numbers and working on tiny European cars, Dusty is the proud owner of a '58 Lloyd 600, a '50 FIAT 500, and is currently on the hunt for a Vespa 400. And, despite all that repair work, he still finds time to write about cars. 

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1 Comment

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    mark November 16, 2016

    I’d take the denali over the caddy even if they were the same price.


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