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Ever since the V8-powered 2004 Cadillac CTS-V stunned the world, enthusiasts have been dreaming about the Cadillac Escalade getting the V treatment. That dream finally came true in 2022. The Cadillac Escalade V lives up to its name with a thrilling supercharged V8 under the hood, a deafening exhaust note, and all of the family-friendly luxury we expect from an Escalade.

The Escalade V is also equipped with what Cadillac calls “V-Mode.” Let’s examine what V-Mode is and how drivers can use it to get the most out of this high-performance luxury SUV.

What is ‘V-Mode’ on the Cadillac Escalade V?

Similar to the Chevy Corvette’s Z-Mode, the Escalade V’s V-Mode is a sport-oriented customizable drive mode. This performance SUV has pre-loaded Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and Tow/Haul modes, which are pretty self-explanatory. There’s also a customizable My Mode that lets you tune the suspension, steering, brake feel, and engine sound.

So, how is V-Mode different from My Mode? In addition to everything you can tweak in My Mode, V-Mode lets you adjust the engine performance and the AWD system. V-Mode also unlocks Launch Control, which allows for the best possible acceleration from a standstill.

Why is ‘V-Mode’ so useful?

V-Mode is useful because it’s a customizable drive mode specifically for sporty driving. Let’s say you’re the proud owner of the Cadillac Escalade V. You can use My Mode as your setting for daily driving. Maybe it’s similar to the comfortable Tour mode but with a louder engine sound. Change it over to V-Mode, and it’s a more dialed-in, sporty drive mode that’s tuned by you for exciting performance.

It may seem redundant to have two customizable drive modes. However, this is an SUV with a Jekyll and Hyde personality that can switch from a comfy luxury cruiser to a rip-roaring performance vehicle at the touch of a button.

Is the Cadillac Escalade V fast?


The 2023 Cadillac Escalade V Is Delightfully Aggressive

In a word, yes. The Cadillac Escalade V is an extremely fast SUV. In our time testing the Escalade V, we enjoyed the stunning Blackwing V8, which is shared with the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing sport sedan. This powerhouse pumps out 682 hp and 653 lb-ft of torque. It sends output to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission.

We found ourselves liberally using V-Mode in our testing because that’s how you use Launch Control. Launch Control gives the Escalade V its quickest 0-60 mph time, which is as little as 4.4 seconds. That makes it one of the quickest-accelerating full-size SUVs in the world. Cadillac also claims a blistering quarter-mile time of 12.74 seconds at 110 mph.

The Cadillac Escalade V is simultaneously one of our favorite luxury SUVs and one of our favorite performance cars. It plays both roles beautifully without compromise…unless you count the high price tag and terrible fuel economy as compromises. V-Mode makes the Escalade V the best performance SUV it can be, and we love its customizability factor.