2015 Cadillac Escalade: Ike Gauntlet – Virtual Tow-Off [Video]

2015 cadillac escalade extreme towing ike gauntlet
2015 Cadillac Escalade

How will the 2015 Cadillac Escalade perform at the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test against the rest of the luxury full-size SUVs? We hooked up the 7,000 pounds trailer (same as with the other trucks) and headed up the mountain.

This test is being virtually compared against the 2015 Lincoln Navigator and 2015 GMC Yukon XL. We also tested the 2015 Infiniti QX80 with the same trailer.


As always, it’s important to be mindful of the maximum payload rating. For example, if you hitch up an 8,100 pound trailer to the Escalade, you will have 650 pounds of payload capacity left over. This is because the trailer needs to be setup to push on the truck with 10% of its weight (or 810 pounds in this case). The leftover 650 pounds does not leave much capacity for people or cargo.  The situation is the same with the Lincoln Navigator, GMC Yukon, and the Infiniti QX80.


The Escalade is equipped with the big 6.2L V8 in the Yukon XL with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm. It’s backed up by the 8-speed automatic transmission.

Altitude Power Loss

We are measuring calculated power loss on this and all Ike Gauntlet runs.  We need three variables to get this accomplished: barometric pressure, ambient temperature, and relative humidity.  We measure this with a portable weather station near the Eisenhower Tunnel (at the top of this test).  This time the data was: 19.76 inHg of pressure, 72F temperature, and low relative humidity at around 25%.  The result is a calculated 33% loss of power at the top elevation of the test relative to the standard provided by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). This is applicable to the naturally aspirated engines.


Fullsize SUV – Ike Gauntlet

2015 Cadillac Escalade  2015 Lincoln Navigator
Model Premium 4×4 4×4
 As Tested $ $89,360 $73,895
Engine 6.2-liter V8 3.5-liter V6
Transmission 8-speed 6-speed Auto
Power (hp / lb-ft) 420 / 460 380 / 460
Tow Rating 8,100 lbs 8,600 lbs (3.73 axle)
Payload Rating 1,460 lbs 1,470 lbs
Test Load (trailer + ppl) 7,500 lbs 7,750 lbs
Suspension Sag 0 in 1.5 in
 Ambient Temp F 72F 28F
 Relative Humidity Low (25%) Low (25%)
 Barometric Pressure (at top) 19.76 inHg  19.76 inHg
 Calculated Power Loss 33 % N/A
Down: Transmission Temp normal normal
Up: Time 7:33 7:30.20
Up: MPG 4.0 3.6
Up: Transmission Temp normal  normal

2015 Cadillac Escalade – Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test.

Andre Smirnov
Andre Smirnov

Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been writing and reporting at TFL since 2011.