Both the Escalade and the Yukon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.
The Escalade comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Yukon’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Escalade’s 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Yukon runs out after 100,000 miles.
Cadillac pays for scheduled maintenance on the Escalade for 4 years and 50,000 miles. Cadillac will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. GMC doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Yukon.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade first among large premium crossover/SUV’s in their 2010 Initial Quality Study. The Yukon was rated third in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 25th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 17th.
The Escalade stops much shorter than the Yukon:
60 to 0 MPH
The Escalade’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Yukon’s standard 70 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade has standard 18 inch wheels. Smaller 17 inch wheels are standard on the Yukon.
The Escalade 4x4 handles at .74 G’s, while the Yukon Denali 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The Escalade 4x4 goes through Motor Trend’s slalom faster than the Yukon Denali 4x4 (57.2 vs. 56.7 MPH).
The Escalade has .8 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear hip room than the Yukon.
The front step up height for the Escalade is 1.5 inches lower than the Yukon (20.2” vs. 21.7”).
The Escalade’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Yukon, and is not be available on all models.
The Escalade’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Yukon’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.
While driving with high-beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Escalade detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low-beams. The Yukon doesn’t offer automatic dimming high-beams.
The Escalade’s standard air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. Air conditioned front seats costs extra on the Yukon, and is not be available on all models.
The Escalade’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Yukon w/Front Bench Seat doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
The Escalade Hybrid has a 115 volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters which can break or get misplaced. The Yukon doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
Insurance will cost less for the Escalade owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Escalade with a number “1” insurance rate while the Yukon is rated higher at a number “8” rate.