If you’re in the market for a full-size SUV, there are lots of reasons to consider the 2023 Cadillac Escalade. As the marquee SUV of a storied American brand, the Escalade has developed a reputation for luxury, performance, and pure size, eclipsing the rest of the full-size class and earning a place in the hearts of every driver who lives by the “bigger is better” ethos.
Never one to coast on past success, Cadillac has gone to great lengths to keep the Escalade fresh over the years, introducing new trims, hot features, and entirely new models in a bid to maintain its dominance in the luxury segment. Recent innovations include the Cadillac ESV or “Escalade Stretch Vehicle,” which boasts a longer wheelbase and body along with significantly increased cargo space. On the performance end, the Escalade-V sees this legendary SUV get the supertruck treatment, with Cadillac dropping a 682-hp 6.2L V8 under the hood, giving this mammoth model a zero-to-sixty time of just 4.4 seconds.
While larger, more performance-minded vehicles are sure to satisfy certain niche markets, they’re not the end-all, be-all for the average buyer. Today’s vehicles—especially those in the luxury segment—are increasingly judged on their tech features, with infotainment displays, onboard Wi-Fi, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and autonomous driving systems becoming the newest battleground between brands. With 100-plus years of luxury innovation to its name, Cadillac is at the forefront of today’s tech-focused arms race, packing the Escalade with an impressive suite of cutting-edge features that are sure to satisfy even the most gadget-driven buyer.
Join us as we take a closer look at some of the most intriguing tech features of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade and see how the coat-of-arms brand has once again managed to stay ahead of the competition.
Curved OLED Dashboard Display
If there’s a poster boy for domination in in-vehicle tech, it would have to be the infotainment display. Once something of a novelty, these full-color touchscreens have become an indispensable feature across almost every vehicle segment and price point. While most of the industry is content to roll out infotainment displays that measure between 7.0- and 12.0-inches, Cadillac has upped the ante with a massive new screen that measures a whopping 32.8 inches.
To be fair, the screen is really separated into three different sections—the control panel, cluster display, and infotainment screen—but that distinction is somewhat irrelevant in practice; all that drivers will see is an expansive screen that stretches from the glove compartment to the driver’s side door, providing them with an all-in-one control center that looks like it’s been ripped from the sci-fi realm.
Want to view trip info or adjust the Escalade’s Heads-Up Display, Augmented Reality Camera, or Night Vision system? The 7.2-inch control panel is easily accessible with the left hand, occupying a clever piece of interior real estate that would normally go unused. The 14.2-inch digital cluster display replaces the analog gauges of old, allowing drivers to monitor their speed, fuel, and other vital driving information. Best of all, the cluster display can be customized to a driver’s specific tastes, allowing them to create a dashboard that fits their own driving style and preferences.
Then there’s the 16.9-inch infotainment screen itself. Used to control everything from music and navigation to connected apps and hands-free calling, the infotainment screen includes one unheralded feature that goes a long way in upping the luxury factor: instead of forcing drivers to rely on occasionally fickle touchscreen controls, the Escalade comes with a rotary controller, giving them the satisfaction of interacting with an actual knob. It might not sound like a big deal, but in our increasingly digital world, it’s nice to see some brands recognizing that, on occasion, the old ways are best enjoyed and can be easier to use.
Any mention of the dashboard wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the OLED screen. Offering twice the resolution of a 4K television, the OLED screen has several advantages over the LED and LCD screens found in most other vehicles. OLED—short for organic light-emitting diode—is a major improvement over traditional LED technology. OLEDs generate richer colors and deeper blacks and offer improved contrast compared to LEDs, not to mention the upgrades in motion processing and refresh rates. OLED screens also offer a wider viewing angle than other displays, meaning passengers will have an easier time seeing the screen even at an acute angle.
Augmented Reality Camera
Of all the impressive technology included in the 2023 Cadillac Escalade, this SUV’s Augmented Reality (AR) Camera might be the most futuristic. For the uninitiated, AR basically involves superimposing digital images over a live video feed, creating a half-real, half-digital POV with several useful applications. Until now, AR has largely been limited to corny advertisements and video games, but Cadillac is showing just how practical the technology can be regarding in-vehicle navigation.
Drivers can activate the AR Camera by touching an icon on the 7.2-inch control panel, which will cause the central 14.2-inch display to switch from being a digital instrument panel into a live video feed of the road ahead. The view encompasses the same POV the driver sees while looking through the window but with an added twist: if you’ve programmed a destination into the Escalde’s onboard navigation system, every turn will be superimposed over the live video display in the form of a bold blue chevron pattern.
This clever application of AR does a great job of addressing one of the biggest problems with today’s GPS technology. We’ve all been there: you’re driving to an unfamiliar destination when your GPS shows an upcoming turn and urges you to take “the next left.” But which left is it? The one in eight feet? The one around the bend, or the one hidden by a city bus or dump truck?
For the longest time, drivers have had to try to interpret their cartoony GPS map on the fly, but the Escalade solves all that by clearly indicating the intended turn through the AR camera. It’s a handy bit of kit and one that’s sure to have all sorts of interesting applications as brands continue to refine in-vehicle and driving automation technology.
The Escalade’s size might be one of its most alluring features, but it can also create some issues. We all know what it’s like to be a backseat passenger who’s struggling to keep up with the conversation taking place between the driver and co-pilot, but that problem can be especially pronounced in the 177-cu.ft. interior of the 2023 Escalade.
Those sorts of dimensions don’t lend themselves well to cross-row conversation, but Cadillac has leveraged some interesting technology to address this issue once and for all. Developed in partnership with AGK Acoustics, the Cadillac Conversation Enhancement system uses 36 speakers and microphones to make chatting on the go easier than ever. Microphones hidden around the cabin pick up what each passenger is saying, amplifying their contribution to the discourse and broadcasting it through speakers placed in the shoulder area of all eight seats.
In addition to reducing cross-cabin frustration, the Cadillac Conversation Enhancement system also has some important safety benefits, allowing drivers to keep an ear out for emergency sirens, vehicle horns, and other road noise that might otherwise be drowned out by a passenger who is shouting to be heard. It’s something we didn’t even know we needed until we heard about it—and if that isn’t the definition of luxury, what is?
Weighing in at 5,600 to 6,200 lbs, the Cadillac Escalade is a force to be reckoned with. Of course, with great weight comes great responsibility, which is why the SUV’s safety features are such an important part of the tech equation. Cadillac has addressed safety in a number of ways when it comes to the 2023 Escalade, but few are quite as fun as Night Vision.
Activated from the same 7.2-inch control panel that controls the AR camera, Night Vision uses infrared sensors to make warm—which is to say, living—objects lighter on the central 14.2-inch display. The Night Vision system can be activated whenever it’s sufficiently dark outside, allowing drivers to keep a close eye on pedestrians, deer, or any other warm-blooded creature that might try to skip across the road.
When the system detects such an obstacle that’s more than 82 feet in front of the vehicle, it’ll highlight the object with a bright yellow box and activate an amber pedestrian/large animal crossing icon on the instrument panel and heads-up display. If the system detects that a crash is imminent, it’ll display a red box and red Collision Alert icon and activate a series of high-pitched beeps and seat pulses. The Night Vision system won’t actually engage the brakes or take over steering duties, but the split-second alerts can mean the difference between a close call and a major accident.
No mention of the Escalade’s impressive suite of technology would be complete without mentioning the Super Cruise adaptive-cruise system. This hands-free driving technology might not offer full automation, but it’s among the best of the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on offer, ranking second in a Consumer Reports comparison of 12 ADAS currently on the market.
From automated emergency braking with front and rear pedestrian detection to lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and more, Super Cruise is particularly valuable for lessening the stress associated with piloting such a large SUV. Super Cruise earned an 8/10 in Capabilities and Performance, Driver Engagement, and Clarity When Safe to Use in the Consumer Reports study, only falling below average regarding the system’s Ease of Use. “Even with new systems from many different automakers, Super Cruise still comes out on top due to the infrared camera ensuring the driver’s eyes are looking toward the roadway,” says Kelly Funkhouser, Consumer Reports’ head of connected and automated vehicle testing.
Voyaging on the Starship Escalade
The 2023 Escalade provides an intriguing look into the future of in-vehicle technology, allowing drivers to get an early glimpse of those game-changing tech features that could eventually find their way into the mass market. Cadillac has set a new bar for in-vehicle technology with the 2023 Escalade.
From the giant, high-resolution OLED dashboard display to a navigation system that leverages augmented reality to make those missed turns a thing of the past, this full-size SUV has plenty of cutting-edge secrets in store. Safety-enhancing technology like Super Cruise and Night Vision impart a sense of security behind the wheel, while Conversation Enhancement solves one of the oldest issues in the automotive world.
If luxury is defined as the state of great comfort and extravagant living, then the Escalade is luxury on wheels, providing a seamless suite of technology that improves the driving experience on every level.