2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ is the most powerful, aerodynamic Escalade ever

It's also packed with enough batteries to go 450 miles

2024 Cadillac Escalade IQ
2024 Cadillac Escalade IQ / Image Credit: Cadillac
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Cadillac has revealed a number of big-deal EVs as of late, first with its Lyriq and then the halo Celestiq sedan. Important as they are, this reveal, the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ, is arguably moreso. That's because the Escalade has been one of the biggest sellers and the de facto flagship for the luxury brand. And Cadillac seems to recognize that, making the electric IQ version big, bold, powerful, high-tech and, not surprisingly, expensive.

From the outside, the Escalade IQ is easily identified with its full-size dimensions and relatively boxy and traditional shape, certainly compared to the sleek Lyriq and Celestiq. But what's interesting is that compared with its platform-mates such as the Silverado EV and Sierra EV, the Escalade has a sleeker, cab-rearward shape, one that provides a long and lean nose. The shape is quite aerodynamic, too, as Cadillac says the IQ is the most aerodynamic full-size SUV GM has ever produced with a 15% lower coefficient of drag compared to the last most-aerodynamic full-sizer.

Looking more closely, and the connections to Cadillac's other EVs start to come through. The front fascia features familiar grille designs with illuminated detailing. The IQ's LED headlights of course are more vertically designed, though. And to go with them, there are tall, split taillights, again, like Lyriq and Celestiq, but just taller. The lower lights even have a piano-key texture to them. The rear-most pillar is thick and canted forward like the others, but (say it with me) taller. And while not strictly related to this styling critique, we have to note the enormous 24-inch wheels. Combined with the unique proportions, the Escalade IQ is the leanest, meanest looking Escalade yet. 

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As big as the wheels may be, the Escalade IQ is still about the same size as a current gas- (or diesel-) powered Escalade ESV, which is the long version. At 224.3 inches long, the IQ is about 3 inches shorter than the ESV, though its 136.2-inch wheelbase is about 2 inches longer. The IQ is also about 4 inches wider than regular Escalades, and is about the same height. Cargo space isn't as much of a priority as passenger comfort, though, since the IQ has more than 20 cubic feet less space in the cabin for cargo with the seats down than the ESV. At least the IQ boasts a frunk with 12 cubic feet to help make up for it, and it can tow up to 8,000 pounds like the ESV.

The Escalade IQ has plenty of grunt for hauling you, your friends and family, their stuff and a trailer, too. It has a pair of electric motors with output mirroring the top-spec Silverado EV and Sierra EV Denali at 680 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque regularly, and then 750 horsepower and 785 pound-feet of torque in the Velocity Max mode. While that makes it the most powerful Escalade ever, it's not quite the quickest. With an estimated 0-60 mph time under 5 seconds, we're guessing it doesn't quite match the Escalade V's 4.4-second sprint. This is probably due to an unquestionably huge, but still undisclosed, curb weight.

Power is supplied by a 24-module nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum battery pack with a bit more than 200-kWh of storage and an estimated range of 450 miles. It can handle 800-volt DC fast charging, so should be able to take advantage of higher charging rates from 350-kW charging stations. On AC power, it can charge up to 19.2 kW. It will also get vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-load charging to keep your home powered or your appliances powered when you're away from home.

The IQ's chassis is unibody like other full-size GM electric trucks, and it has fully independent suspension at each end. As standard it gets air springs and MagneRide adaptive shocks. It also gets adjustable ride height and four-wheel steering. The adjustable ride height allows the Cadillac to either lower itself by 2 inches compared to standard height, or lift it up an extra inch. The four-wheel-steering enables the big SUV to have an impressively compact 39.4-foot turning radius. There are a couple interesting optional features that take advantage of these capabilities, such as a Low Ride mode, which lets the Escalade cruise around in its low setting at low speed, and Cadillac Arrival Mode, which offers diagonal movement. It sounds like Crab Mode but for showing off at the hotel valet drop off.

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Inside, the Escalade IQ borrows heavily from the super-luxury Celestiq, sometimes literally. The first thing most people will probably notice is the dual-screen array that spans the whole dash. It's the same as the Celestiq's and measures 55-inches diagonally across both screens. They sit above a slim climate vent slot, and a control screen sits on a cantilevered center console. It all looks very much like the Celestiq's interior. The Escalade is actually a touch wider than Celestiq inside, so Cadillac bookended the screens with a pair of speakers. There's no shortage of speakers, either, which come from AKG. Basic examples get 19, but higher trims get 36, and the Executive Second-Row Seating Package brings the count to 40. That package features a pair of heated, ventilated and massaging rear captain's chairs complete with headrest speakers. It also includes a center control screen, dual 12.6-inch entertainment screens and tray tables for second-row passengers. It even preserves the third row in case you still need to carry a bunch of passengers. Besides the fancy available rear seats, the Escalade IQ also comes standard with a fixed panoramic sunroof, laser-etched and backlit wood trim and loads of customizable ambient lighting.

We've touched on some of the tech available for the Escalade IQ, but there's even more. Super Cruiser, GM's hands-free highway driving assist is a standard feature, and so is automatic parking for parallel and perpendicular spots. Safety features include pretty much everything you'd expect, and nicely enhanced ones such as a full complement of surround-view cameras, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection cross-traffic detection, as well as blind-spot warning with steering intervention. And a nifty optional tech feature are power opening and closing doors.

The 2025 Escalade IQ is slated to start production next summer at GM's Factory Zero in Detroit. It will be available in two basic variants, Luxury and Sport. The former will be distinguished by bright exterior trim, while the latter will have dark trim. Each will be roughly the same as far as equipment is concerned, and there will be a couple levels of features included. Full pricing hasn't been announced, but Cadillac did reveal that pricing will start around $130,000. That's a lot of cash, but when you'll pay around $150,000 for a similarly powerful Escalade V, it's not totally unreasonable, either.

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