General Motors is racking up electric cars right and left, ranging from the relatively inexpensive Chevrolet Equinox EV to the flagship Cadillac Celestiq super-sedan, all riding on the modular Ultium platform. That flexible architecture is getting another variant with the massive 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ, an all-electric SUV that will join its internal combustion sibling in the company’s lineup.
The Escalade is one of the most important vehicles in the Cadillac stable, so the automaker threw everything it had at the IQ electric version. With a GM-claimed 450 miles of range courtesy of a battery measuring more than 200 kilowatt-hours of usable energy, the Escalade IQ’s preliminary specifications are as impressive as its bold styling. Add in a dashboard-wide infotainment screen, four-wheel steering, and up to 8,000 pounds of towing capacity and you’ve got the ingredients for yet another appealing luxury SUV – only this time it’s electric.
The scalable Ultium EV platform accommodates the Escalade IQ’s 24-module battery, twice as many as the smaller Lyriq SUV and its usable 102.0-kWh capacity. Cadillac hasn’t copped to specifics yet, but its 200-plus-kWh battery sounds like a dead ringer for the 212.0-kWh unit in the GMC Hummer EV. Like the Hummer, the Escalade IQ will use an 800-volt electrical architecture, likely matching its corporate cousin’s 350-kilowatt maximum DC charge rate.
Cadillac says the IQ will provide up to 100 miles of range in 10 minutes of charging on a public 350-kW charger. A 240-volt, dual-level onboard charger is standard, recharging the Escalade at a rate of 14.8 miles of added range per hour at 7.7 kW – some back-of-the-napkin math would suggest a 0 to 100 percent chage time of about 30 hours. The IQ can also accept up to 19.2 kW from AC power, and on a 240-volt outlet that can provide that much juice, the SUV will fully recharge in about 13 hours, or 37 miles per hour.
Thanks to dual permanent-magnet motors, the Escalade IQ boasts standard all-wheel drive, with 680 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque in the SUV’s normal drive mode. Switch it over to so-called Velocity Max and those numbers jump to 750 hp and 785 lb-ft, which Cadillac claims will shove the ‘Slade to 60 miles per hour in less than 5 seconds. The 2025 Escalade IQ will also be able to tow 8,000 pounds, according to the company’s estimates. One-pedal driving and selectable brake regen are standard, as is a heat pump that helps reduce the energy load from the five-zone automatic climate control.
Like its GMC Hummer and Chevrolet Silverado EV cousins, the Escalade IQ will receive four-wheel steering, with a low-speed diagonal driving function called Cadillac Arrival Mode. An air suspension and magnetic dampers are standard, lowering the Escalade by up to 2 inches for aerodynamics or raising it an inch for clearance. The electric SUV will also boast a vehicle-to-home (V2H) function within its bi-directional charging system, meaning customers will be able to draw power directly from their cars via a properly installed at-home charger.
Every Escalade since the 1999 original has had imposing styling, and that won’t change with the new electric variant. The Escalade IQ shares a lot of design DNA with the internal combustion model, with an upright front grille and long roofline, but many of the details have been revised for better aerodynamics and a more futuristic appearance. On the latter front, vertical headlights are a departure from the ICE Escalade’s squinting eyes, with a Cadillac IQ–signature illuminated grille that looks less brash and blocky than some of us expected.
Ditto the flowing side profile, which gets a crisp shoulder line running from the front fender to the taillight, as well as a crease down low on the doors that collects some light. Although Cadillac says the silhouette is instantly recognizable, the 2025 Escalade IQ’s D-pillar is canted forward aggressively in a departure from the squarer rooflines of ICE variants. The trailing edge sports a thin, edgy strip of lighting – recalling the tailfin-like motif seen on every Escalade since the 2015 model – but now, each taillight is split into two elements, with the lower units clearly paying homage to the gorgeous, $300,000 Celestiq.
Cadillac didn’t ignore aerodynamics with the new design either, optimizing the shape of the vehicle’s trailing edges, smoothing out the underbody, and adding grille shutters to the front end that close when cooling needs are low. The net result of that work is a 15-percent lower drag coefficient – our math says the Escalade IQ might hit 0.31 or so.
Business Class Comfort
The sleek, modern appearance translates well to the cabin. Headlining the user experience is a massive, dashboard-spanning set of screens measuring a total of 55 diagonal inches. Butting up against each other, the digital instrument cluster and center touchscreen dominate the display, with a secondary touchscreen right in front of the passenger. The cabin also gets intricate herringbone perforations for the leather seats and laser-etched wood trim that’s backlit at night – think 21st-century Jay Gatsby and you’ll be on the right track.
One of those metallic knobs controls a smaller screen on the center console, handling vehicle settings and secondary controls. But there appears to be a concerning lack of hard buttons for climate controls and other frequently used functions. And unfortunately, like other future GM products, the Escalade IQ will do without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – hopefully the infotainment is well organized otherwise. On the other hand, we doubt anyone will be able to find fault with the available 40-speaker AKG audio system, as if the base 19-speaker unit isn’t enough.
The 2025 Escalade IQ is 224.3 inches long, making it 12.4 inches longer than the regular Escalade and 2.7 inches shorter than the extended Escalade ESV. Yet the electric Caddy has a longer wheelbase than both at 136.2 inches, eclipsing the ESV by 2.1. Cadillac says that in combination with the flat cabin floor, the expansive dimensions open up enough room for an optional executive second-row seat, the first time the big SUV has offered such. Go for it and you’ll get individual bucket seats in back, with a 12.3-inch entertainment screen for each second-row passenger and a smaller center touchscreen command center in the full-length console.
The Escalade also gets a spacious third-row seat and lots of cargo room: 23.7 cubic feet with all the seats in place, 69.1 cubes behind the second row, and 119.2 with all the seats folded down. If that’s still not enough, the Escalade has a sizable 12.2-cubic-foot frunk, bringing total cargo capacity to 131.4 – right in between the standard Escalade’s 121.0 and the ESV’s 142.8 cubic feet.
At Your Service, Driver
Given the new-for-2021 Escalade brought Enhanced Super Cruise to the GM lineup, it should come as no surprise that the tech-happy Escalade IQ follows suit, with a three-year OnStar Super Cruise subscription included. The hands-free driver assistance works on 400,000 miles of pre-mapped, limited-access highways in the US and Canada, and as on the Hummer EV, it can initiate lane changes to pass slow-moving traffic all on its own.
Furthermore, the Escalade IQ will come with blind zone monitoring and active collision prevention, automatic emergency braking that works at intersections and junctions, a high-definition 360-degree camera system, and pedestrian and bicycle collision prevention.
The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ will carry a starting price of “around $130,000,” according to the company. Built at GM’s Factory Zero facility in Hamtramck, Michigan, the Escalade IQ will commence production next summer for customer deliveries by the end of 2024.
It will join the internal combustion Escalade in Cadillac’s lineup, which right now starts at $81,190 including destination, rising to $152,590 for the flagship Escalade-V. A full pricing breakdown for the IQ isn’t available, but it will come in two trim levels: Luxury and Sport. Seven body colors will be available, with a contrast black-painted roof available on six of them
The Cadillac Escalade IQ has yet to be officially rated by the EPA, but if it achieves the automaker’s estimated 450-mile rating, it will be the longest-legged SUV available, beating out the admittedly cheaper Tesla Model X’s 348 miles and the Rivian R1S’ 390 miles, as well as the similarly priced Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV’s 305 miles.
Although we have a few concerns – the weight and charging cost of the large battery among them – the first electric Escalade looks to be a very promising luxury SUV. With big and bold styling, a commodious interior, impressive performance, and a long targeted range, the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ looks perfectly poised to bring the nameplate into a zero-emissions future.