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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated Feb. 19, 2024

Older Third Generation Cadillac Escalade Overview (2007 - 2014), Reliability, Possible Maintenance Problems, Overall Pros And Cons

In today's extremely high and overpriced used car market, many shoppers are now looking for "older" models that have aged well as a way to save significant dollars.

2011 Cadillac Escalade

Could an older Cadillac Escalade be one of those models? Well, it all comes down to reliability because upfront savings on an older vehicle could possibly be gobbled up by expensive repairs going forward, not to mention the bother.

In the case of the Escalade, by "older" I'm really referring to those roughly 10+ years old. So, its 3rd generation, those produced from 2007 - 2014. That's where the largest savings are for well-cared for vehicles that could potentially have a lot life left.

And the reliability reputation of the third generation Cadillac Escalade has proven to be a bit mixed, with many owners reporting both positive and negative experiences.

There's no doubt the Escalade was built with robust construction and a durable drivetrain, but a lot of the longevity formula also comes down to an individual vehicle's level of proper care and maintenance, as well as the environmental conditions and driving habits of the previous owner, plus a little luck.

History has proven that with proper care and maintenance, an Escalade can last for a considerable amount of time, potentially reaching well over 200,000 miles or more. The key is finding those that have received the "proper care and maintenance".

So here, ...

- We'll do an overview of this earlier Cadillac Escalade generation.

- Then we'll list possible mechanical issues that have been reported by some owners so they can be checked before buying one today.

- And then we'll summarize the overall pros and cons of an older Escalade worth consideration for potential buyers today.

But first, and most importantly ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Vehicle

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to travel a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's usually best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

And My #1 Price Tip: It's important to get dealers to compete for your business by using auto sites such as and (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business is what gets you a lower price, and it's very easy.

And quickly, while we're at it, my #2 Tip is to always know the up-to-date trade-in value of your current car. You can get a quick and surprisingly accurate one at Edmund's Trade-In Quotes.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. It really focuses in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

2007 - 2014 Cadillac Escalade (Third Generation)

2007 Cadillac Escalade

This Escalade was clearly one heck of an SUV. Cadillac certainly got this one right for those looking for a more luxurious SUV.

The Escalade, along with the Cadillac CTS, were really the main contributors in paving the way to change Cadillac's 'image' away from "old-fashioned" and "traditional" and towards "modern", "innovative" and "edgy".

The ride quality is just outstanding ... smooth, quiet and easy to drive. And as far as handling, they're much more nimble than you'd expect. In addition, the seating is very comfortable and there's plenty of cargo space.

And as you would expect, this Escalade was also loaded with all the latest technological gadgets of the time. Power is also at a premium and it offered best-in-class towing capacity as well.

Independent ratings were also excellent. The Escalade received both of's "Editors Most Wanted" and "Consumers Most Wanted" awards. J.D. Power gave it top ratings for Mechanical Quality, Performance, and Feature And Accessory Quality, just to mention a few.

Also good news is that there are still many third generation Escalades out there on the road, also an indication that many can last. There were also only minor model changes during this production run.

Under the hood is a powerful all-aluminum 6.2-liter V8 engine that pumps out a robust 403 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. There's simply plenty of acceleration nomatter the circumstance.

This engine is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode and transfers power to the rear wheels on two-wheel-drive models or all four on the all-wheel-drive models.

It should be noted, however, that four-wheel drive models do not come with low-range gearing. The Escalade is primarily equipped for urban pavement driving and much less so for canyon carving.

2007 - 2014 Cadillac Escalade Possible Mechanical Problems

While a well-maintained Escalade is generally considered a fairly reliable vehicle, overall the model has also had its share of mechanical issues reported by some owners. The following should therefore be included in an inspection prior to buying one today:

Transmission Problems: Some owners reported issues with the transmission, including rough shifting, slipping, and in some cases, complete transmission failure.

Air Suspension Failure: The Escalade's air suspension system could be prone to failure, leading to issues with ride quality, uneven ride height, or even suspension collapse.

Electrical Issues: Like many vehicles with complex electrical systems, the Escalade could experience various electrical problems, including issues with the navigation system, infotainment system, power windows, and door locks.

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Oil Consumption: Some Escalade owners reported excessive oil consumption, which could be attributed to various factors such as piston ring wear, valve seal issues, or PCV system malfunctions.

Brake Problems: Reports of brake issues, including premature wear of brake pads and rotors, as well as brake system malfunctions, were reported by some Escalade owners.

HVAC System Malfunctions: Problems with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, such as faulty blower motors, heater core leaks, or compressor failures, were reported by some owners.

Suspension Bushing Wear: Premature wear of suspension bushings, particularly in the front suspension components, could lead to noises, vibrations, and compromised handling.

It's important to note that not all Escalades experienced these issues, and the severity can vary depending on factors such as vehicle age, mileage, maintenance history, and driving conditions.

Additionally, some of these issues may have been addressed through recalls or service bulletins issued by Cadillac (check the maintenance records of any individual vehicle).

Overall Pros And Cons Of An Older Cadillac Escalade

Older Cadillac Escalade Pros

Lower Initial Cost: Clearly, an older Escalade typically typically has a lower purchase price, allowing for upfront savings. However, this has to be weighed against the increased probability of repairs going forward.

Common Issues Addressed: It's also possible that over time, many common issues with the third generation Escalade have already been addressed through recalls, service bulletins, or owner maintenance.

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Value Retention: The Escalade tends to retain its value well, which means this could be an advantage for those who may resell it in the future, thereby lowering the overall cost of ownership.

Luxurious Features: Even though it's an older model, the third generation Escalade still offers many luxurious features, such as premium materials, advanced technology, and a comfortable ride, allowing for enjoying these amenities at a small fraction of the cost of a new luxury SUV.

Advanced Technology Features: Although older, this version comes equipped with a variety of advanced technology features, including a touchscreen infotainment system, navigation, premium sound systems, and available features like rear-seat entertainment systems and adaptive cruise control.

Luxurious Interior: The Escalade is known for its upscale interior, featuring premium materials, comfortable seating, and advanced technology, providing a plush and enjoyable driving experience.

Powerful Performance: Equipped with robust V8 engines, the Escalade delivers strong acceleration and towing capabilities, making it suitable for both city driving and hauling heavy loads.

Spacious Cabin: With its large size, the Escalade offers ample interior space, providing roomy seating for passengers in all three rows and generous cargo capacity, making it ideal for families and those who need extra cargo room.

Bold Styling: The Escalade's distinctive and bold exterior styling makes a statement on the road, commanding attention and exuding luxury and prestige.

Older Cadillac Escalade Cons

Higher Ownership Costs: While buying an older Escalade may save money upfront, ownership costs can still be significant due to maintenance, repairs, fuel, and insurance. Luxury vehicles often have higher maintenance and repair costs compared to mainstream vehicles.

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Potential Mechanical Issues: Even though common issues may have been addressed, older vehicles are more prone to mechanical problems and wear and tear. Buying an older Escalade means inheriting any potential issues the vehicle may have developed over time.

Poor Fuel Economy: The Escalade's large size and powerful engines contribute to its relatively poor fuel economy, especially compared to smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs.

Challenging Maneuverability: Due to its size, the Escalade can be challenging to maneuver and park in tight spaces, making it less practical for urban driving or crowded parking lots.

Outdated Technology: While this generation of Escalade introduced advanced technology features for its time, it may lack some of the latest innovations found in newer luxury SUVs, such as advanced driver assistance systems and smartphone integration.

Ride Quality: Despite its luxurious interior, the Escalade's ride quality may not be as smooth and refined as some of its competitors, with some owners noting stiffness over bumps and rough roads.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting A Low Escalade Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Escalade if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.

And checkout our Facebook page for more tips, car news and fun.

Related Older Model Articles:
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2010 Cadillac Escalade
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Older Cadillac CTS Guide