New Car Previews

2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ Preview

Back in its early days, Cadillac referred to itself as the “Standard of the World,” but by the 1990s, it was a shadow of its former self.

What essentially saved the company was the Escalade in 1999, introduced as competition to the Lincoln Navigator that launched the year prior, and which it soon outsold. Now Cadillac is moving toward an all-electric future, and it’s doing so ahead of the competition.

It’s already selling the Lyriq, and taking orders on the strictly-limited and handbuilt Celestiq; and now revealed its latest emissions-free entry, the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ.

What’s in a Name?

IQ is Cadillac-speak for its electric vehicles (EVs), which is why the Lyriq and Celestiq are spelled that way; but the automaker determined the Escalade name has too much clout with consumers to ever consider changing it, and so it tacked the letters on at the end.

Its styling is equally recognizable, and so the Escalade IQ looks very similar to the current internal-combustion version. It’s built on the so-called Ultium platform rolled out by parent company General Motors (GM), a skateboard-like architecture where the battery is an integral part of the chassis. The skateboard and its modular battery are sized up or down depending on what’s riding on it, and the Escalade IQ will be the first full-size Cadillac SUV to use it. It will come in Luxury and Sport trims.

How Far Can It Go?

The preliminary range estimate is 724 km on a full charge. Its two electric motors provide all-wheel drive (AWD), and in normal driving mode, create 680 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque. When you select the “velocity max” drive mode, that increases to 750 hp and 785 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel this beast from zero to 96 km/h in fewer than five seconds, according to the automaker. It’s not just a momentary launch mode, either – it’ll crank out that full output for as long as you want, although no doubt with a corresponding drop in range. The Escalade IQ will also offer variable levels of regenerative braking, right down to one-pedal mode where easing your foot off the throttle brings it to a stop, so you don’t need to use the mechanical brakes.

It will have adaptive air suspension and the latest version of Magnetic Ride Control, which almost instantly softens or stiffens the shock absorbers depending on road conditions. Four-wheel steering helps reduce this big vehicle’s turning circle. An optional addition to that feature, called Arrival Mode, further improves manoeuvrability by turning the wheels so the vehicle moves diagonally. If you’ve ever seen the electric GMC Hummer perform its sideways “CrabWalk,” it’s the same thing.

Its 800-volt charging architecture can feed up to 160 km of range in 10 minutes on a 350-kW DC fast-charger, if you can find one of these still-rare birds. Several automakers recently announced they’ll be offering adapters and software so owners can fast-charge other brands at Tesla’s public Superchargers – usually more plentiful and in better repair than many other types – and some plan to factory-equip their future vehicles with a Tesla-style charging port. But the Escalade IQ will launch with a regular CCS port, and Cadillac says it’s “working on the possibility” of offering a Tesla-style adapter later on. GM was also one of seven automakers to announce a joint venture with plans to build a North America-wide fast-charging network in the coming years.

Cadillac Looks


This new IQ is unmistakably an Escalade, but with some unique styling cues. It features a long hood and more sharply-raked rear roofline; standard 24-inch wheels with low-profile tires; flush side glass; more lighting in its massive grille; and an available fixed panoramic glass roof. Under the hood, there’s a 345-L storage compartment that will hold two golf bags. Maximum towing capacity is an estimated 3,628 kg (8,000 lb).


Inside, the first thing you notice is 55 inches of curved LED screen, incorporating a 35-inch screen for the driver and 20-inch for the passenger, and stretching from pillar to pillar. It’s lifted from the Celestiq, but the Escalade is so much wider that there are two speakers on either end to fill the gaps. If you opt for the premium audio system, those speakers are joined by 38 more throughout the cabin. The operating system uses Google Built-In, and you control the dash screen functions with an 11-inch screen in the floating console.


Three-row seating is standard. An optional executive package upgrades the second-row chairs, adding massage and ventilation, stowable tray tables, 12.6-inch entertainment screens, and a separate command centre screen. Also available is a power door system that opens and closes all four, and the driver’s door can be programmed to open as you walk toward it. The charge port door is motorized as well.


Standard features will include self-parking, emergency front braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring with steering assist, and Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free highway driving assist. It works on pre-mapped roads and there are 640,000 km of them in Canada and the United States.

The Escalade IQ is huge. Its curb weight wasn’t revealed, but the electric GMC Hummer stomps the scales at some 4,103 kg (9,046 lb), and it’s easy to see the Escalade topping that. The current gasoline Escalade has an ESV version that’s longer overall, with more third-row space and cargo capacity, and a Cadillac rep basically confirmed that the Escalade IQ will later add one as well. Go big or go home, it seems.

Final Thoughts

Pricing also wasn’t mentioned, nor were final specs, but the 2023 Escalade runs from around $107,000 to $193,000, and the electric version definitely won’t go for cheap. It’ll slot between the Lyriq, which starts at $69,000; and the Celestiq, limited and hand-built and starting at $340,000-plus.

The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ is going to attract attention, and it’ll be interesting to see if – like that first Escalade a quarter-century ago – it will change the course for GM’s premium brand as it moves toward its stated goal of an all-electric future.