2020 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2020 GMC Yukon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Yukon doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Yukon doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escalade has a standard Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Yukon only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Escalade and the Yukon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seat center airbag, 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.

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 GMC Yukon:





4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

289 lbs.

372 lbs.

Neck Compression

64 lbs.

198 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

165 lbs.

199 lbs.

Neck Compression

26 lbs.

74 lbs.

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


The Escalade comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Yukon’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the Escalade 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than GMC covers the Yukon. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Yukon ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Escalade’s 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Yukon runs out after 100,000 miles.


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


The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 65 more horsepower (420 vs. 355) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 383) than the Yukon’s standard 5.3 V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac Escalade is faster than the GMC Yukon 5.3 V8:



Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.8 sec

12.2 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.2 sec

3.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.4 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96.8 MPH

90 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

The Escalade stops shorter than the Yukon:



60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escalade has larger standard tires than the Yukon (275/55R20 vs. 265/65R18).

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 Yukon SLE/SLT’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Yukon SLE/SLT.

Suspension and Handling

The Escalade has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Escalade flat and controlled during cornering. The Yukon’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Escalade 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the Yukon SLT pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escalade 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Yukon SLT (27.4 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Escalade has .1 inches more front hip room and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the Yukon.

Cargo Capacity

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 Yukon’s liftover is 35.9 inches.


The Escalade’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Yukon’s (8100 vs. 6300 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than GMC. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 40% lower rating, GMC is ranked 14th.


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

The Escalade has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Yukon doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Escalade Premium Luxury/Platinum has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Yukon doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Yukon SLT/Denali.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Cadillac Escalade has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Only the Yukon Denali offers wireless charging.

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 Yukon doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 Yukon is rated higher at a number “6” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escalade is less expensive to operate than the Yukon because typical repairs cost much less on the Escalade than the Yukon, including $112 less for a water pump, $9 less for a starter, $6 less for fuel injection, $53 less for a fuel pump and $243 less for a timing belt/chain.


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

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

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