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The Cadillac Escalade has pulled up at nearly every red-carpet event over the past 20 years. This impressive full-size luxury SUV symbolizes status and prosperity. Still, the most common Cadillac Escalade problems could be troublesome for some consumers. If you’re considering this big Caddy as your next ride, you should know what problems might arise.

The 3 most common Cadillac Escalade problems

Black 2015 Cadillac Escalade posed and parked
2015 Cadillac Escalade | Cadillac

The automotive repair and maintenance site RepairPal collects information from owners of hundreds of vehicle models. Its data shows the three most common Cadillac Escalade problems are as follows:

  • Inside/outside door handles breaking — reported by over 240 owners
  • Speedometer or other gauges working erratically – reported by 170 owners
  • Heating and A/C temperature and air delivery mode door actuator failure — reported by 170 owners

Will you need to replace the door handles on your Escalade?

This luxury full-size SUV’s door handles are prone to breaking in 14 model years from 1999 to 2015. Although it’s the most common problem Cadillac Escalade drivers face, only 243 people have reported it. The average mileage this issue appears is 96,000. The only remedy is to replace the door handles.

What should you do if any gauges stop working?

Owners of 11 model years from 2000 to 2016 have reported erratic instrument cluster gauges, which can malfunction at around 150,000 miles. Because of this common Cadillac Escalade problem, specific models have a warranty extension to cover the instruments for seven years or 70,000 miles. Drivers must take their SUVs to an authorized service center if they’re still under warranty.

How can owners fix the air delivery mode door actuator?

If the air temperature or flow isn’t optimal, one of the mode door actuators in the HVAC system has likely failed. If that occurs, fault codes in the HVAC control module will help repair technicians diagnose and fix the issue. This problem, reported in 11 model years from 1999 to 2010, usually doesn’t appear until after 128,000 miles.

Is the Cadillac Escalade a reliable luxury full-size SUV?

2023 Cadillac Escalade V Full-Size Luxury SUV parked and posed in front of a building
2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series | Cadillac

The Cadillac Escalade’s reliability score from RepairPal is 2.5 out of 5.0. Though below average, that rating places the Escalade sixth out of 19 luxury full-size SUVs. RepairPal bases its rankings on three factors:

  • Cost: The Cadillac Escalade’s average annual repair and maintenance costs are $1,007, compared to $1,127 for all luxury full-size SUVs.
  • Frequency: Escalade owners take their SUVs for unscheduled repairs 0.32 times yearly, compared to 0.7 for the class.
  • Severity: The probability of severe repairs for the Cadillac Escalade is 20%, compared to 19% for luxury full-size SUVs.

Is the 2023 Cadillac Escalade a good luxury full-size SUV?


The Escalade Nameplate Could Become Its Own Electric Luxury SUV Sub-Brand

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade epitomizes American automotive luxury. It boasts cavernous passenger and storage areas, an opulent interior, numerous standard and available features, excellent ride quality, and a potent V8 engine. This king of luxury SUVs carries cargo and people in style.