2020 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2019 Porsche Cayenne

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Cayenne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac Escalade are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Porsche Cayenne has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

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

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

The Cadillac Escalade weighs 518 to 1479 pounds more than the Porsche Cayenne. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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

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

Reliability

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

Engine

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The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 85 more horsepower (420 vs. 335) and 128 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 332) than the Cayenne’s standard 3.0 turbo V6. The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 406) than the Cayenne S’ standard 2.9 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Escalade

AWD

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/21 hwy

Cayenne

AWD

Turbo 4.0 Turbo V8

15 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 Cayenne 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 Cayenne requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escalade has 6.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cayenne Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (26 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Escalade has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cayenne’s standard fuel tank (26 vs. 23.7 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 Cayenne doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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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 Cayenne.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Escalade has larger standard tires than the Cayenne (275/55R20 vs. 255/55R19).

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

The Cadillac Escalade’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Porsche Cayenne 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 Cayenne doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Escalade has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Cayenne, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Cayenne (116 inches vs. 114 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cayenne.

The Escalade’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the Cayenne’s (56.2% to 43.8%). This gives the Escalade more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Cayenne’s (39 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Escalade uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Cayenne 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 Cayenne (38 vs. 40 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Escalade offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Cayenne can only carry 5.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

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

Escalade

Cayenne

Third Seat Folded

51.6 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

27.1 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.2 cubic feet

60.3 cubic feet

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

Escalade

Cayenne

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

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

n.a./39.6”/74.9”

Min Width

49.3”

42”

Height

33.9”

30.4”

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

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

Towing

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The Escalade’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Cayenne’s (8100 vs. 7700 pounds).

Ergonomics

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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 Cayenne doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Escalade’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Cayenne.

On a hot day the Escalade’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Cayenne can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Cayenne’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Escalade has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Cayenne only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Cayenne 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 Cayenne.

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 Cayenne doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Porsche Cayenne by over three to one during 2018.

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