2021 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2020 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Q7 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 Q7 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Escalade and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Cadillac Escalade weighs 553 to 1039 pounds more than the Audi Q7. 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 Audi covers the Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Reliability

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The Escalade 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 Q7 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

Engine

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The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 172 more horsepower (420 vs. 248) and 187 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 273) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 85 more horsepower (420 vs. 335) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 369) than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

The Escalade’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 29 more horsepower (277 vs. 248) and 187 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 273) than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Escalade’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 369) than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade V8’s fuel efficiency. The Q7 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 Q7 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escalade has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q7 45 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (24 vs. 19.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Escalade has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q7 55 TFSI’s standard fuel tank (24 vs. 22.5 gallons).

Transmission

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A ten-speed automatic is available on the Cadillac Escalade, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Q7.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Escalade has larger tires than the Q7 (275/50R22 vs. 255/55R19).

The Escalade’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q7’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade has standard 22-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the Q7.

The Cadillac Escalade’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Audi Q7 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 Q7 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 Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some tire options on the Q7 don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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The Escalade has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Q7 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Q7 (120.9 inches vs. 117.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Q7.

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Q7’s (39.7 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Escalade (except Diesel) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q7 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Escalade offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Q7 can only carry 7.

The Escalade has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front legroom, 6 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 6.1 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.3 inches more third row headroom, 5.7 inches more third row legroom and 13.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escalade’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

Escalade

Q7

Behind Third Seat

25.5 cubic feet

14.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

72.9 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

Towing

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The Escalade’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Q7’s (8000 vs. 4400 pounds).

The Escalade 4WD with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Escalade can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Q7 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, Audi is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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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 Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Q7.

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. Wireless charging costs extra on the Q7.

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 Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escalade Premium/Platinum/Sport’s Adaptive Park Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Q7 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Escalade is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/08

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Audi Q7 by 775 units during 2019.

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