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· Registered
19 ESV Premium &18 XT5 Premium
247 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, being fairly new, I'd like to first thank everyone for help with some of the questions I've had with my new to me Caddy. Long post. I work from home and having a little happy hour to myself. Thought I'd ramble on a bit.

I had an early '15 Denali XL. My search for a new truck was for another '18+ Denali. I really didn't like how GMC changed the lighting colors from red back to the Chevy aqua color from yesteryear. I found Escalades were priced about the same, so why not??

Traded the Yukon little over a month ago for an '18 ESV Premium. Thought I'd just start a comparison discussion to just see what others think and stir up some conversation. Please remember I'm comparing a '15 to an '18. Let's start with that.

I've gained but available on '18 Denali:
-Wireless charging
-Lane keep assist
-Adaptive cruise
-Android Auto
-HDMI port. Added a Fire Stick and the kiddos love it
-Hands free tailgate
-10 sp tranny - WOW what a difference from the crappy 6 sp!
-Texts read aloud or shown on the screen.
-Overall I think GM has vastly improved the quality of all these SUVs since '15.

Pros for the Denali:
-Center stack is so much easier with buttons, knobs and such. Makes climate controls (especially for the rear) so much easier.
-Fog lights - I converted mine to LED and matched the HID head lights perfectly.
-LED front turn signals. For the life of me, I can't understand why Cadillac didn't add fog lights or LED turn signals.
-Position and matte finish on the touch screen. IMO the Escalade's is angled too far up. Glare and OMG the fingerprints!
-Chrome strip that runs along the rear bumper of the Denali. Why not give it to the Escalade? I added one on my Escalade and it looks great!
-The knobs for lights and 4x4 knobs are back-lit. Why not on the Escalade?
-A little extra storage in the sides of the center console. I also added USB LED accent lights to light up the floor for pennies. Image in here.

Pros for the Escalade:
-Over all looks and styling. The Cadillac obviously stands out. Especially with the interior quality.
-Better warranty - and since I bought a CPO with just under 10k, I'm mostly covered 6 yrs/100k.
-I swear they've changed the suspension. The Cadillac rides so much smoother and quieter than the Denali did. I don't think Cadillac does anything over GMC as far as sound insulation. They both have the BS Magnetic Ride Control.
-I like the motion sensor for the infotainment screen.
-Immediate response to steering wheel controls. On the GMC, I had to hit the channel preset button, then hit it again to move to the next preset, often missing the one I was looking for.
-LED headlights, and they're awesome!
-Full LCD gauge cluster.
-Cornering LED lamps. A little gimmicky, but hey...
-Rear view mirror camera
-Front and around view camera. Higher quality too (at least than the 2015).
-Lighted door handles a nice touch.
-Ambient lighting, although I wish you could change the colors. My 2010 Lincoln MKT could do this.
-Extra couple of speakers makes the stereo sound quite a bit better.
-For $40 I swapped the front turn signals for LED bulbs. Still not quite as nice as the ones integrated in the Denali though. Did the same for a few bucks on both trucks with license plate LEDs.
-Auto sense braking

-Denali stood out more than a regular SLE or SLT. I don't think the Escalade does this well enough between the base and P.
-Automatic braking doesn't engage unless going over 5MPH. Who's going to back over a kid faster than that?
-Not related to GM. All XM hardware based radios do not show traffic in my immediate area - I75 through downtown Cincinnati, my most heavily traveled route. Solved by using Waze or Goggle Maps, but a gripe just the same. Honestly, satellite traffic isn't really live anyway.

I will never buy a first year model redesign again!!!! I got an Escalade for what I was going to have to spend on a Denali. My budget was $65k. I was picky about colors and low miles. Wanted CPO. I think I got a great deal. Red with Kona. Only options I don't have are power boards (I view them as something to break) and upgraded wheels. I'll probably change them when it comes time to replace the crappy Bridgestones, which will probably be around 35k because they suck so bad! I love the purchase and don't regret it. If I were buying new, I'm not sure I'd spend the premium for the Cadillac though.

I realize a lot of people lease luxury vehicles and get into a new one every few years. I put too many miles on a car to lease. I always tell myself I'm keeping this one for a while. Never lasts more than three years or so. Maybe this one will be different, until I see the redesign and they work out the kinks after a few years. Who knows...

What'd I miss?


· Registered
'21 XT6, '19 XT5, '17 GMC Sierra 6.2
2,181 Posts
I agree with a lot of what you saying. The two things I miss when I drive my GMC Sierra vs driving the Escalade is the touchscreen “proximity sense” and the heads up display. But my Sierra isn’t a Denali so that’s probably why I don’t have HUD. Did your Yukon Denali have HUD?
The heated seats in my GMC Sierra heat up WAAAY better then the Escalade. Maybe the Escalade has more foam padding or thicker leather in between the heat element and the person? Not sure.
Oh and the GMC has a built in trailer brake controller. That’s a big deal to some people.

· Registered
19 ESV Premium &18 XT5 Premium
247 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yes, I had the HUD on the GMC. I think it was a little brighter in the GMC too. I love it. Wife hates it and turns it out of view whenever she has to drive my drunk a$$ around.

I did forget the electronic brake controller. I have really good 4 wheel surge disc brakes on my trailer and never used it. I've had electric brakes in the past for a 36' boat. Had a 2000 V10 F350 quad cab long bed dually sitting around just to move that boat. That was still the tail wagging the dog. Electric brakes are a must for that kind of weight and a 1/2 ton anything wouldn't do the job anyway.

I'm probably towing around 7k lbs fully loaded. The Denali towed it is if it weren't back there. I assume the Escalade will move it with the same ease. i will appreciate the larger mirrors on the Cadillac in a few weeks when boating season kicks off here.


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