2020 Chevrolet Tahoe vs. 2020 Cadillac Escalade

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Tahoe Z71’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Escalade doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the Tahoe and the Escalade 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, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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

Tahoe

Escalade

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

223

334

Leg Forces (l/r)

167/244 lbs.

77/421 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

34%

34%

Leg Forces (l/r)

97/333 lbs.

154/567 lbs.

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

Warranty

There are over 3 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Cadillac dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Tahoe’s warranty.

Reliability

The Tahoe has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Escalade doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Tahoe has a standard 720-amp battery. The Escalade’s 660-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Tahoe’s reliability 52 points higher than the Escalade.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 5 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Tahoe 4x4 with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Escalade 4WD (15 city/21 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

The Tahoe stops much shorter than the Escalade:

Tahoe

Escalade

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

202 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Tahoe Premier 4x4 handles at .79 G’s, while the Escalade 4WD pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Tahoe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Cadillac Escalade.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Tahoe Premier 4x4 is quieter than the Escalade 4WD:

Tahoe

Escalade

Full-Throttle

71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

67 dB

Passenger Space

The Tahoe offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Escalade can only carry up to 8.

The Tahoe has .1 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Escalade.

Cargo Capacity

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

Tahoe

Escalade

Behind Third Seat

15.3 cubic feet

15.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

51.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

94.2 cubic feet

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Tahoe. The Escalade doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Payload and Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Cadillac Escalade is limited to 8300 pounds. The Tahoe offers up to a 8600 lbs. towing capacity.

The Tahoe has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Escalade (1670 vs. 1420 lbs.).

The Tahoe has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Escalade (1720 vs. 1460 lbs.).

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Tahoe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tahoe will cost $1460 to $2160 less than the Escalade over a five-year period.

The Tahoe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Tahoe will retain 50.08% to 50.55% of its original price after five years, while the Escalade only retains 37.47% to 39.58%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tahoe is less expensive to operate than the Escalade because typical repairs cost much less on the Tahoe than the Escalade, including $105 less for a muffler, $15 less for front brake pads, $604 less for front struts and $1005 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Tahoe will be $25193 to $30038 less than for the Cadillac Escalade.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Tahoe outsold the Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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