2021 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2020 Lexus GX460

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/08/12

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 offers optional 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.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the Escalade Premium/Platinum/Sport helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The GX460 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Cadillac Escalade weighs 437 to 693 pounds more than the Lexus GX460. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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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

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts 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.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

Engine

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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.

The Escalade’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 131 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escalade’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The GX460 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 a gallon more fuel capacity than the GX460 (24 vs. 23 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 a six-speed automatic is available for the GX460.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Escalade’s brake rotors are larger than those on the GX460:

Escalade

GX460

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Escalade has larger tires than the GX460 (275/50R22 vs. 265/60R18).

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 GX460’s standard 60 series tires.

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

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

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For superior ride and handling, the Cadillac Escalade has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Lexus GX460 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade’s wheelbase is 11.1 inches longer than on the GX460 (120.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 6 inches wider in the front and 5.7 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the GX460’s (39.7 feet vs. 41.1 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 GX460 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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

The Escalade has 38.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GX460 (168.4 vs. 129.7).

The Escalade has 4.3 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front legroom, 5.2 inches more front hip room, 10.1 inches more front shoulder room, 7.6 inches more rear legroom, 6 inches more rear hip room, 7.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 3 inches more third row headroom, 5.6 inches more third row legroom, 6.3 inches more third row hip room and 8.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the GX460.

Cargo Capacity

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

Escalade

GX460

Behind Third Seat

25.5 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

72.9 cubic feet

46.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121 cubic feet

64.7 cubic feet

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

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The Escalade’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the GX460’s (8000 vs. 6500 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 GX460 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

The Escalade has a much higher standard payload capacity than the GX460 (1636 vs. 1295 lbs.).

The Escalade has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the GX460 (1647 vs. 1295 lbs.).

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the GX460, the Escalade has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Escalade Premium/Platinum/Sport has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The GX460’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 Platinum has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the GX460.

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. The GX460 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Escalade Premium/Platinum/Sport’s Adaptive Park Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The GX460 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 GX460 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 2020/08/12

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Lexus GX460 by 37% during 2019.

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