2020 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2019 Land Rover Discovery

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Discovery doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac Escalade are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Land Rover Discovery doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 Discovery 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 Discovery doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum has standard Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Discovery doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Escalade and the Discovery have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

The Cadillac Escalade weighs 662 to 1105 pounds more than the Land Rover Discovery. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the Escalade 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Land Rover covers the Discovery. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Discovery ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 5 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escalade’s warranty.

Reliability

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

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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 32nd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 23rd in reliability. With 55 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Engine

The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 80 more horsepower (420 vs. 340) and 128 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 332) than the Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac Escalade is faster than the Land Rover Discovery:

Escalade

Discovery

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.8 sec

10.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.6 sec

16.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.2 sec

3.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.8 MPH

94.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac Escalade uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Discovery requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escalade has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Diesel’s standard fuel tank (26 vs. 22.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Escalade has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Discovery Gas’ standard fuel tank (26 vs. 23.5 gallons).

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 Discovery 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 an eight-speed automatic is available for the Discovery.

Brakes and Stopping

The Escalade stops shorter than the Discovery:

Escalade

Discovery

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escalade has larger standard tires than the Discovery (275/55R20 vs. 235/65R19).

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 Discovery’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the Discovery.

The Cadillac Escalade’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Land Rover Discovery only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

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 Discovery doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Escalade has a standard full size spare so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare costs extra on the Discovery Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

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 Discovery’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Escalade has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Discovery doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Discovery.

The Escalade 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the Discovery HSE Luxury pulls only .69 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escalade 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Discovery HSE (27.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Discovery’s (39 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

The Escalade offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Discovery can only carry up to 7.

The Escalade has 2.8 inches more front headroom, 6.3 inches more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 4.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear legroom, 4.5 inches more rear hip room, 5 inches more rear shoulder room, .2 inches more third row headroom, 7.3 inches more third row hip room and 15.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Discovery.

Cargo Capacity

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

Escalade

Discovery

Behind Third Seat

15.2 cubic feet

11.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

51.6 cubic feet

40.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.2 cubic feet

88.3 cubic feet

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

Towing

While the Discovery Td6 can only tow 7716, any Escalade can tow a minimum of 8100 pounds.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Land Rover. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 99% lower rating, Land Rover is ranked 30th.

Ergonomics

The Escalade has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Discovery doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Escalade’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Discovery does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Escalade has standard extendable sun visors. The Discovery doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Escalade has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the Discovery.

The Escalade has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Discovery doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Escalade is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Discovery doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Escalade owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Escalade will cost $935 to $2770 less than the Discovery over a five-year period.

Recommendations

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 Discovery isn’t in the top three.

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Land Rover Discovery by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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