Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 Cadillac ESCALADE VS 2015 BMW X5 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 Cadillac ESCALADE

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VS

2015 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

The Escalade’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The X5 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac Escalade are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 X5 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escalade offers optional Rear Automatic Braking, which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The X5 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Escalade’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Escalade and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

The Cadillac Escalade weighs 444 to 1160 pounds more than the BMW X5. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the Escalade 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6-years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4-years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 4 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escalade’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

The Escalade’s 6.2 V8 produces 120 more horsepower (420 vs. 300) and 160 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 300) than the X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade’s fuel efficiency. The X5 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac Escalade uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escalade has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the X5 (26 vs. 22.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Escalade has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Escalade has larger standard tires than the X5 (275/55R20 vs. 255/55R18). The Escalade’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the X5 (285/45R22 vs. 275/40R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the X5. The Escalade’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the X5.

The Cadillac Escalade’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X5 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Escalade has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the X5; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade is 4 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the X5.

For better maneuverability, the Escalade’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the X5’s (39 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Escalade uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The X5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Escalade uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Escalade offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the X5 can only carry up to 7.

The Escalade has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 4.9 inches more front legroom, 3.4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.4 inches more rear legroom and 4.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Escalade’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

Escalade

X5

Third Seat Folded

51.6 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

22.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.2 cubic feet

66 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Escalade’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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 X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escalade’s cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X5 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Escalade has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Escalade’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X5 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

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 costs extra on the X5.

The Escalade has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Escalade owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Escalade will cost $581 less than the X5 over a five-year period.

Recommendations Comparison

Intellichoice recognized the Cadillac Escalade as a “Best Value of the Year” for the 2015 model year. The BMW X5 didn't win any recognition from Intellichoice.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. With a Total Quality Index of 909, Strategic Vision rated the Cadillac Escalade 24 points higher than the BMW X5 for 2015. The Escalade is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.”

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