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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q8 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac Escalade doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The Q8 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Escalade doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q8. But it costs extra on the Escalade.
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Q8’s standard Hill Descent Assist allows you to creep down safely. The Escalade doesn’t offer Hill Descent Assist.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Q8 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Escalade doesn’t offer a night vision system.
For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Q8 uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Escalade uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.
Both the Q8 and the Escalade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Q8’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Escalade’s (12 vs. 6 years).
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Q8 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Escalade.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 27th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 21 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.
On the EPA test cycle the Q8 gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4WD (17 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Q8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Escalade doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Escalade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
For better stopping power the Q8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Escalade:
The Q8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Escalade’s standard 55 series tires. The Q8’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Escalade’s optional 45 series tires.
For superior ride and handling, the Audi Q8 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Cadillac Escalade has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q8’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the Escalade (117.9 inches vs. 116 inches).
The Audi Q8 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 850 pounds less than the Cadillac Escalade.
The Q8 is 7.6 inches shorter than the Escalade, making the Q8 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Q8 is 7.3 inches shorter in height than the Escalade, making the Q8 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
Unibody construction lowers the Q8’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Escalade uses body-on-frame design instead.
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Q8. The Escalade doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Escalade, the Q8 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Q8’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Escalade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the Q8 Premium Plus/Prestige the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Escalade can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q8 Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Escalade doesn’t offer headlight washers.
A manual rear sunshade is optional in the Q8 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Escalade doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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