Home » Mercedes GLS, BMW X7 Chip Away At Cadillac Escalade Sales

Mercedes GLS, BMW X7 Chip Away At Cadillac Escalade Sales

Mercedes GLS, BMW X7 Chip Away At Cadillac Escalade Sales

There was a time when Cadillac and Lincoln were the undisputed leaders in the full-size luxury SUV space, with Cadillac Escalade sales dominating the market. But over the past decade, German automakers have nosed into the segment. Mercedes-Benz was first to enter the fray with the GLS-Class (formerly GL-Class), followed by the BMW X7. Both of these have been steadily increasing sales volume, eating into sales of the Escalade.

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that German marques like Mercedes-Benz and BMW typically lead all segments where Cadillac completes, with the Escalade’s full-size SUV space historically being the key exception. Today, however, Bimmer and Benz are within striking distance of previously-untouchable Cadillac Escalade sales.

Sales Numbers - Full-Size Luxury Utility Vehicles - 2023 - USA

CADILLAC ESCALADE +8.10% 26,257 24,290 20% 21%
CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV -3.29% 15,432 15,957 12% 14%
BMW X7 -6.22% 28,797 30,706 22% 27%
MERCEDES-BENZ GLS-CLASS +15.36% 24,056 20,853 18% 18%
LINCOLN NAVIGATOR +32.89% 17,549 13,206 13% 11%
INFINITI QX80 +76.19% 12,696 7,206 10% 6%
LEXUS LX +91.08% 6,959 3,642 5% 3%
TOTAL +13.71% 131,746 115,860

In fact, the X7 outsold its primary rival, the regular-length Escalade, by over 300 units during the 2023 calendar year. Meanwhile, the GLS-Class sold approximately 3,000 units less than the regular-length Escalade, which is cause for Caddy to keep a close eye on it in the near future. Meanwhile, both the X7 and the GLS-Class outsold the Navigator, which has historically enjoyed a second-class showing in the segment, tailing only Cadillac Escalade sales. Note that in the table above, Navigator sales include both the standard Navigator and the extended-length Navigator L.

Sales Numbers - Cadillac Escalade - Q4 2023 - USA

CADILLAC ESCALADE +8.10% 26,257 24,290 63% 60%
CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV -3.29% 15,432 15,957 37% 40%
TOTAL +3.58% 41,689 40,247

It’s worth noting that the GLS-Class and X7 are both a bit smaller than the regular-length Escalade, and substantially smaller than the extended-length Escalade ESV. This, however, doesn’t seem to have dissuaded the public from purchasing the GLS or X7, which sold more than the Navigator and more than the regular-length Escalade.


Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class

With Mercedes-Benz and BMW outselling Cadillac in nearly every other segment and now encroaching on the Escalade, it’s safe to say that they are a not-insignificant threat to the seemingly indominable Escalade.

What’s more, the Escalade is now in its fifth generation, compared to the GLS-Class, technically in its third generation (counting the first-gen GL-Class and first-gen GLS-Class) while the X7 is in its first generation. A midcycle refresh is on deck for the 2025 Escalade, and it will need to be enough to prevent more buyers from going to BMW and Mercedes.

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Written by
Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.


  1. Actually sold my Escalade in favor of an X5 instead of an X7.

    • And I myself just bought an X7 (Escalade was my second choice, GLS was third). BMW and Mercedes do the details better than Cadillac, starting with such small and seemingly inconsequential things as door handles, buttons and switches. The door handles on the Escalade are straight off the Silverado, which isn’t great.

      The Vistiq looks very promising in this regard, but I have yet to see it in person.

      • Thanks Alex, exactly what i always say. In fact I don’t understand why GM is unable to see the opportunity within the crossover segment. Is it difficult to compete with the Germans with their Unibody architecture?
        I don’t understand why GM doesn’t have any crossover in that segment. Escalade should’ve been in a league on its own without direct competition from crossover SUVs sitting on unibody.

  2. I think Escalade has seen better days…I think Cadillac needs to build a Traverse size SUV to supplement Escalade sales. Called XT7 or XT8 or Escalade XT. I just took delivery of a 2024 XT6 and I love it, but the third row is a bit tight for adults.

  3. Cadillac is quite focused on the Chinese market with the CT line up, including the 6, and now the XT5. Given GM/Cadillac emphasis on EVs, IMO, it’s only a matter of time before the Escalade is phased out.

  4. In my opinion, Cadillac is making two HUGE mistakes. One is focusing on the Chinese Market and the other is a complete change over to Electric power. Even if Cadillac can survive one…I don’t think it can survive both. I hope they figure it out before Cadillac becomes the next Pontiac.

    • Unfortunately, I think that you are on to something here Frank. While Cadillac is capable of building EVs and selling in the Chinese market, I don’t view either of these emphasizes as playing to Cadillac’s strengths. I’m not sure what the answer is for Cadillac, but I don’t see the automaker being particularly competitive in the medium to long term in China or with EVs.

    • China is the one market where literally any product will see immense success, so not sure what the “mistake” here is.

      EVs is a different story, however. The timeline might need to be scaled back a bit… or a lot.

  5. I prefer the Escalade my first Escalade I bought in 23 and I love it. I’ve driven the xt4 five and six they’re very nice but for my needs is the Escalade a little more roomier 3rd row seat it works for me can’t let BMW of Mercedes take over Cadillac has to excel just my opinion I’ve owned four Cadillacs the Escalade is my first and an SUV and I love it keep the V going.

    • Problem is, BMW and Mercedes (and to a certain extent, Audi) have already overshadowed Cadillac in every other segment from a sales standpoint. I see no reason that this won’t eventually carry over to segment where the Escalade lives.


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