2020 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2019 Infiniti QX80

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Escalade and QX80 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Escalade has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The QX80’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Escalade are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The QX80 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Escalade has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The QX80 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Escalade and the QX80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, around view monitors, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Cadillac Escalade is safer than the Infiniti QX80:

Escalade

QX80

OVERALL STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

2 Stars

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 4 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escalade’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Escalade has a standard 170-amp alternator. The QX80’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade first among large premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The QX80 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th.

Engine

The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 20 more horsepower (420 vs. 400) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Cadillac Escalade is faster than the Infiniti QX80:

Escalade

QX80

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.8 sec

17.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Escalade gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

MPG

Escalade

FWD

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/21 hwy

QX80

FWD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.6 DOHC V8

13 city/19 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade’s fuel efficiency. The QX80 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Escalade has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The QX80 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac Escalade, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

Brakes and Stopping

The Escalade stops shorter than the QX80:

Escalade

QX80

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escalade’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX80 (285/45R22 vs. 275/60R20).

The Escalade’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s standard 60 series tires. The Escalade’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

The Escalade has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The QX80 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Escalade has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than on the QX80.

The Escalade 4WD handles at .73 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Escalade 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the QX80 AWD (27.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the QX80’s (39 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis

The Escalade is 6.3 inches shorter than the QX80, making the Escalade easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Escalade uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The QX80 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Escalade uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The QX80 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Escalade has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 5.7 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front hip room, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear hip room, .9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.3 inches more third row headroom, .5 inches more third row hip room and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the QX80.

Cargo Capacity

The Escalade’s cargo area provides more volume than the QX80.

Escalade

QX80

Third Seat Folded

51.6 cubic feet

49.6 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escalade easier. The Escalade’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 32.1 inches, while the QX80’s liftover is 35.8 inches.

The Escalade’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The QX80’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escalade’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The Escalade has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX80 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Infiniti. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 2% lower rating, Infiniti is ranked fourth.

Ergonomics

The Escalade Luxury/Premium Luxury/Platinum has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Escalade and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escalade is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escalade’s Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Escalade owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Escalade will cost $1675 to $3745 less than the QX80 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escalade is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because typical repairs cost much less on the Escalade than the QX80, including $167 less for a starter and $293 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its July 2015 issue and they ranked the Cadillac Escalade 4WD first. They ranked the Infiniti QX80 AWD sixth.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade third among large premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The QX80 isn’t in the top three.

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Infiniti QX80 by almost two to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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