Jeep Grand Wagoneer vs Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade is firmly established as a popular large SUV with a decided luxe quotient. So, any manufacturer that expects to run with it must somehow stand out. Enter the new Grand Wagoneer, which Jeep wisely developed with more than enough sumptuousness, comfort, and bells and whistles at which to shake a stick. Plus, the Grand Wagoneer has its own nameplate to live up to. Even back in the day, it led the high-end SUV segment.

So, Jeep Grand Wagoneer vs Cadillac Escalade — let’s take a look.

The Issue

When Cadillac unveiled the Escalade back in 1999, the brawny luxury ride quickly became part of Americana culture, even though it was simply a redone GMC Yukon Denali. If you had the bank, you simply had to get one. Even today, with the class semi-crowded with options, you can still feel confident pulling up in one of these bad boys.

Oh, but the new Grand Wagoneer—

When Jeep announced a planned resurrection a couple of decades after production cessation, the auto industry was all a-twitter. Not only would the ride be compared to its early days, when it reached the apotheosis of luxury sport-utes, but it would be sized up against the still-vaunted Escalade.  

How Do They Compare?

As tested by AboutAutoNews, both the Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum and Jeep Grand Wagoneer Series III 4×4 are similarly priced at about $110,000. Other similarities include big V-8s, four-wheel drive, three-row seating, primo sound systems, up-front massaging seats, leather and wood interior touches, and in-your-face styling that’s bold — but not alienating.

What About Performance?

The Grand Wagoneer’s 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 has more oomph than the Caddy’s powerplant, what with the Jeep’s 471 horses and 455 pound-feet of torque. Plus, the Grand Wagoneer, which loves to rev and sounds great, feels more pleasingly muscle car-like.

What’s more, while the Escalade in some ways handles better than the Wagoneer, a taut suspension equates to a bumpy ride on less-than smooth terrain. We don’t care for that in a vehicle with a substantial sticker. The Grand Wagoneer, meanwhile, boasts a nice cushiness factor and its suspension absorbs all the road hiccups before they ever reach the passengers.

And the Interior?

Sure, the Escalade has nicely proportioned screens and well-appointed leather, metal, and wood touches throughout an airy, contemporary milieu. However, there is some hard plastic that wouldn’t be as off-putting on its own. But, hey, when compared with a vehicle such as the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, it’s counted as a demerit. Jeep has all the features and then some, plus it’s spacious and sumptuous.

How’s the Technology?

Both the Escalade and Grand Wagoneer are rife with high-end technological features, so it’s difficult to declare a winner here. We will say that the Escalade’s three-screen display is dazzling and puts the driver completely in command. On the other hand, the Grand Wagoneer has a 12.0-inch infotainment screen and new Uconnect 5 system, and a 10.3-inch screen for heating and cooling and seat functions.

So, who prevails in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer vs. Cadillac Escalade match up?

You got it: Grand Wagoneer.

The ride simply offers up the best luxury-motoring experience.

While the new model has yet have the Escalade’s popular culture seal of approval bestowed upon it, that long list of attributes will surely get it there. The fact is the Grand Wagoneer provides a more comprehensively satisfying package. Its luxuriousness seems more organic, part of the plan from the ground up. On the other hand, the Escalade’s high-end touches seem more tacked on.

So, folks, we have a winner.

You’d do well to mull getting your hands on a Grand Wagoneer.

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