2020 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2019 Lexus GX460

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Escalade and GX460 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 GX460’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 GX460 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 GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Escalade and the GX460 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshaft in the Escalade’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the GX460’s camshafts. If the GX460’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Escalade has a standard 170-amp alternator. The GX460’s 130-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 GX460 isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 119 more horsepower (420 vs. 301) and 131 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Cadillac Escalade is faster than the Lexus GX460:

Escalade

GX460

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.8 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.8 sec

21.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

7.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.7 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.1 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

112 MPH

111 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Escalade 4WD gets better fuel mileage than the GX460 (14 city/21 hwy vs. 15 city/18 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade’s fuel efficiency. The GX460 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 GX460 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escalade has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the GX460 (26 vs. 23 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 GX460 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 six-speed automatic is available for the GX460.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escalade has larger standard tires than the GX460 (275/55R20 vs. 265/60R18). The Escalade’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GX460 (285/45R22 vs. 265/60R18).

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 GX460’s standard 60 series tires. The Escalade’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the GX460’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the GX460. The Escalade offers optional 22-inch wheels.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade’s wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the GX460 (116 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 6.3 inches wider in the front and 6.3 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

The Escalade 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escalade 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GX460 (27.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the GX460’s (39 feet vs. 41.1 feet).

Chassis

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 GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Escalade 4WD is quieter than the GX460 (38 vs. 43 dB).

Passenger Space

The Escalade offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the GX460 can only carry 7.

The Escalade has 4.8 inches more front headroom, 3.6 inches more front legroom, 4.4 inches more front hip room, 9.5 inches more front shoulder room, 4.9 inches more rear legroom, 5 inches more rear hip room, 7.1 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.9 inches more third row headroom, 6.2 inches more third row hip room and 8.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the GX460.

Cargo Capacity

The Escalade’s cargo area provides more volume than the GX460.

Escalade

GX460

Behind Third Seat

15.2 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

51.6 cubic feet

46.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.2 cubic feet

64.7 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 GX460’s liftover is 33.8 inches.

The Escalade’s cargo area is larger than the GX460’s in almost every dimension:

Escalade

GX460

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

9.8”/39”/75”

Min Width

49.3”

43.4”

Height

33.9”

35.5”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Escalade’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GX460 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The Escalade’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escalade’s power cargo door can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Payload and Towing

The Escalade’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the GX460’s (8100 vs. 6500 pounds).

The Escalade has a higher standard payload capacity than the GX460 (1420 vs. 1295 lbs.).

The Escalade has a higher maximum payload capacity than the GX460 (1460 vs. 1295 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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 GX460 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Escalade’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The GX460’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Escalade’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The GX460’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Escalade’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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 is only available on the GX460 Luxury.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Escalade is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GX460 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Escalade owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Escalade with a number “5” insurance rate while the GX460 is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escalade is less expensive to operate than the GX460 because typical repairs cost much less on the Escalade than the GX460, including $71 less for a water pump, $475 less for a starter, $64 less for fuel injection and $255 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 GX460 isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Lexus GX460 by 38% during 2018.

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

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