The 2022 Cadillac Escalade Has Disappointing ‘Fake-Looking Wood Trim’

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade is a luxury large SUV that’s known for being extravagant. Its price matches its reputation, though that doesn’t mean that every little detail is perfect. Consumer Reports notes that one of the more disappointing aspects of the new Escalade is that it has “fake-looking wood trim.” What’s the deal with the new Escalade, and is this something so aggregious that it can’t be overlooked?

A taupe 2021 Cadillac Escalade at sunset.
2021 Cadillac Escalade | Cadillac

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade interior is nice, but has its faults

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The 2022 Cadillac Escalade interior is, overall, as nice as one might expect from a high-end luxury SUV. It has a “slick cabin,” according to Consumer Reports, with top-of-the-line graphics, controls, and screens. It has an efficient and “excellent” climate control system as well as a premium sound system.

It’s the wood trim where things with the 2022 Cadillac Escalade get a little – well, dodgy. Consumer Reports writes that, “Although the interior exudes luxury, with abundant leather and padded surfaces, it’s undermined by fake-looking wood trim and some rough edges here and there.”

How much does the Escalade cost?

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The 2022 Cadillac Escalade Luxury price starts at $76,295 but it’s easy to push that number over $100,000 with the right trim level and options added in. The 2022 Escalade comes with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that can make 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine available that makes 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Both of these engine choices are matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The base model Escalade comes with 22-inch wheels, simulated leather upholstery, and a 16.9-inch infotainment screen that stretches across the dashboard. It also has a 14.2-inch digital instrument cluster. In addition, the Escalade offers keyless entry and ignition with remote start and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless charging comes in the 2022 Escalade, as does a hands-free liftgate and 19-speaker sound system.

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade Premium includes a panoramic sunroof and head-up display, as well as heated and ventilated front seats and adaptive cruise control. It also adds in some important safety features like automated parking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear automatic braking. The Premium trim level starts at $84,895.

There’s also the Sport or Sport Platinum trim levels. These include everything that the Premium Luxury and Premium Luxury Platinum have, but they look different with features like black wheels. The 2022 Cadillac Escalade Sport price starts at $87,595. Similar to the Escalade Premium Luxury Platinum, the Sport Platinum costs $101,595.

Is it worth buying the Cadillac Escalade?

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Consumer Reports ranks the 2022 Cadillac Escalade as number four out of the top ten luxury large sport utility vehicles. It has a very good road test score of 80/100, which definitely makes it a consideration. Yet its predicted reliability score is only a 2/5 and the owner satisfaction score is just a 3/5.

The Escalade’s safety ratings are mixed. Its overall NHTSA crash test rating is 4/5 stars, as is the overall frontal crash rating. The frontal passenger side is also just 4/5 stars, though the driver side gets 5/5 stars. The side-crash driver and passenger side crash test ratings are also 5/5 stars, as is the side pole crash test rating. In addition, both the 2WD and 4WD rollover crash test ratings are just 3/5 stars.

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade interior is nice overall, but the fake wood trim definitely detracts from its high-end interior. Still, the Escalade is a luxurious SUV that is nice enough that people may want to overlook some of its deficits. If you’re in the market for a luxury large SUV, consider the Escalade’s interior, safety ratings, and performance before deciding whether it’s the right SUV for you.

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