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Types Of Gas A Cadillac Escalade Takes (All Generations)

Types Of Gas A Cadillac Escalade Takes (All Generations)

On this blog, we’ve written extensively about the Cadillac Escalade, its capacities, and its various features. Today, we will discuss what fuel this SUV needs and what fuels are strictly prohibited. Please keep in mind that we’ve gone through the owners’ manuals of all Escalades. Let’s start with a quick answer:

Cadillac Escalades with a 5.3L engine make use of regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87. For the 6.0L engine, 91 octane is recommended, and for the 6.2L engine, 93 octane is recommended. Both the 6.0L and 6.2L engines can run on gasoline with an octane as low as 87, although this will cause a decrease in engine performance.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ve outlined recommendations and requirements for different fuels and fuel additives. Furthermore, we discuss the fuel mileage of all generations ever manufactured, and we give an overview of the tank size of these generations. Read on!

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Infographic explaining the different fuel types for a Cadillac Escalade.

Does The Cadillac Escalade Require Premium Gasoline?

2014 – Present-day

Cadillac Escalades or Escalades-V manufactured between 2014 – Present-day that have a 6.2L engine make use of premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 93 or higher, although they can also use regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87 – 92. However, this will reduce the performance of the engine.

2006 – 2013

Cadillac Escalades manufactured between 2006 – 2013 that have a 6.2L engine make use of premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher, although they can also use regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87. However, this may reduce the performance of the engine.

87 octane, 89 octane and 91 octane fuel levels explained

2000 – 2006

Cadillac Escalades manufactured between 2000 – 2006 with a 5.3L engine make use of regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. Escalades with a 6.0L engine use premium gasoline with an octane of 91, although they can also use regular unleaded gasoline with an octane of 87. However, this may reduce the performance of the engine.

If you’re interested in the different gasoline requirements for all Cadillacs, please read the article we just linked.

Reformulated Gasoline

Reformulated gasoline is gasoline that’s designed to burn cleaner than regular gasoline. In some states, this reformulated gasoline is mandatory by state law. Cadillac does not mention the compatibility of the Escalade with this kind of fuel. However, it’s safe to assume that the Escalade is compatible with this kind of fuel, given that it’s mandatory in 19 different regions or states in the USA.

Furthermore, we would highly advise you to use reformulated gasoline whenever available. The reason for this is that this gasoline, as mentioned, burns cleaner and thereby has less of an adverse effect on the air quality than regular non-reformulated gasoline. Also, it has no negative effect on the driveability or durability of the Escalade.

Gasoline With Additives

As a general rule of thumb, Cadillac advises against adding additives to the fuel you’re using. The reason for this is the fact that some additives may contain materials such as silicon or metals that will increase the number of harmful deposits in your engine or that may damage the intake valves or injectors.

To keep these parts clean, Cadillac generally advises using TOP TIER gas, which has all the proper additives already mixed in. TOP TIER gasoline can be found via

This is true for all generations of the Escalade. A special note has to be made about the 2006 – 2013 Escalade. If TOP TIER gasoline is unavailable, Cadillac advises pouring in one bottle of GM Fuel System Treatment PLUS in the fuel tank at every oil change. Other Escalades do not have this advice in their owners’ manuals.

Gasoline With Ethanol Or Methanol

Before we talk about using ethanol or methanol in the fuel for your Escalade, it’s essential to know that there are two different Escalade in this regard: the ‘normal’ Escalade and the ‘FlexFuel’ versions.

Let’s start with the FlexFuel versions. Some Escalades manufactured between 2009 – 2020 are FlexFuel which means they can run on regular/premium gasoline or use gasoline with 85% ethanol. These vehicles can be recognized by the FlexFuel badge and a yellow fuel cap. Cadillac has the following to say about the use of E-85 in FlexFuel vehicles:

At a minimum, E85 should meet ASTM Specification D 5798 or CGSB Specification 3.512. Filling the tank with fuel mixtures that do not meet ASTM or CGSB specifications can affect driveability and could cause the malfunction indicator lamp to come on. As the outside temperature approaches freezing, ethanol fuel distributors should supply winter grade ethanol,the same as with unleaded gasoline.

Furthermore, it’s advised not to switch between 100% gasoline and E-85 repeatedly. When you do switch from one to the other, it’s recommended you fill the tank up with the new fuel as much as possible. Do not add less than 3 gallons (11 liters). After refilling, drive the car immediately for at least 7 miles (11 kilometers). This way, you ensure the Escalade gets used to the new fuel.

Ethanol levels for cars explained, E10, E15 and E85

Escalades without a FlexFuel badge or a yellow fuel cap should never use fuel with 15% or more ethanol. E-15 and E-85 are, therefore, not an option, and doing so will damage the car. Escalades are, however, compatible with E-10, which contains 10% ethanol.

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling?

Hearing a slight knocking sound coming from the engine is an entirely normal occurrence. Especially when the car is performing at peak levels, such as when towing, a slight knocking sound can be heard. However, if this knocking sound becomes very audible and happens right after refilling, you may have more significant problems.

First off, in this case, it’s very likely you’re using gasoline with a lower-than-recommended octane rating. For example, Cadillac states 87 octane can be used in some instances even though 91 or 93 octane is recommended. However, if this creates a situation where you hear a loud knocking from the engine, it’s advised to stop immediately.

This knocking noise tells you the engine is misfiring because it can’t handle the octane level used. It’s best to stop your car immediately and call your dealer or garage. Your car will need to be drained from its fuel, and the fuel filter will need to be replaced. Continuing to drive will result in severe engine damage.

Fuel Mileage Of A Cadillac Escalade

As can be expected, the Escalade is definitely not an economical vehicle. Even the hybrid versions of this car get around 20 miles per gallon. In the table below, we’ve outlined the exact mpg for combined, city, and highway use. Please keep in mind that the below-stated numbers are for the use of regular gasoline. When using E-85, you’ll have far worse fuel economy.

silver cadillac escalade-v parked on salt plains in front of mountains
YearEngineCombined MPGCity MPGHighway MPG
2000 – 20065.3151419
6.0 ESV131216
6.0 EXT131216
2006 – 20136.0 Hybrid212023
6.2 ESV141318
6.2 EXT141318
2014 – 20206.2171421
2020 – Present-day3.0222026

Fuel Tank Size Of A Cadillac Escalade

  • The 2000 – 2006 Cadillac Escalade has a fuel tank size of 26 gallons (98 liters) for the regular Escalade and a tank size of 31 gallons (117 liters) for the Escalade ESV.
  • The 2006 – 2020 Cadillac Escalade has a fuel tank size of 26 gallons (98 liters) for the regular, short-base, Escalade and a tank size of 31.5 gallons (119.2 liters) for the Escalade, long-base, ESV.
  • The 2020 – Present-day Cadillac Escalade has a fuel tank size of 24 gallons (90.8 liters) for the short-base Escalade and 28 gallons (106 liters) for the long-base Escalade.


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