Types of Gas a Cadillac Escalade Uses

Types of Gas a Cadillac Escalade Uses: All Generations

We cover all sorts of American vehicles in our gas-type articles, and now we’re adding the Cadillac Escalade full-size luxury SUV to that list!

As with any other SUV, the Cadillac Escalade demands the right kind of fuel depending on the generation and engine option of your choice.

Thus, if you plan on buying an Escalade yourself, then this guide will help ensure that you know what kinds of gas or fuel it can and cannot take.

What kind of gas does a Cadillac Escalade take?

Cadillac Escalades equipped with 5.3L V8s and 5.7L V8s can take 87-octane gas. Models with 6.0L V8s, 6.2L V8s, and 6.0L V8 Hybrids can also take 87-octane, but 91-octane or higher is recommended for optimum performance.


In addition to the summary above, the Cadillac Escalade-V’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 requires premium gas, while the 3-liter Duramax I6 Diesel specifically needs ultra-low sulfur diesel with less than 15 ppm of sulfur content.

As you can see, since the Cadillac Escalade offers many different engine options with varying performance levels, it’s to be expected that they’re not going to be identical in terms of fuel requirements.

Does the Cadillac Escalade require premium gasoline?

Only the Cadillac Escalade-V’s supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 engine requires premium gas (between 91 and 94 octane). Otherwise, the other engine options only recommend premium gas for optimum power output.

Cadillac Escalade Fuel Requirements by Generation and Engine Option

Almost all engine options of all Cadillac Escalade generations require at least 87-octane gasoline, except for the 5th gen’s supercharged 6.2L V8 and 3.0L Duramax Diesel I6, which need premium gas and ultra-low sulfur diesel (max 15 ppm), respectively.

1st-Generation Cadillac Escalade (GMT400) (1999 to 2000)

Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
5.7L Vortec 5700 L31 V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular)

The first Cadillac Escalade generation was built on the GMT400 platform, which is the same platform used for vehicles like the GMC Yukon (2021 gmc yukon denali gas type) and the Chevy Tahoe of that time period.

There was only one engine option offered for the 1st-gen Escalade, and that is the 5.7-liter Vortec 5700 V8, dubbed as the “L31”.

The 5.7-liter L31 V8 of the 1st-gen Cadillac Escalade is designed to take regular 87-octane gasoline, so there is no need to spend a little extra on premium gas while filling it up at the pump.

2nd-Generation Cadillac Escalade (GMT800) (2002 to 2006)

Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
5.3L Vortec LM7 V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular)
6.0L High-Output Vortec LQ9 V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular)(91-Octane or Higher Recommended)

After a two-year gap since the 1st-gen model’s end of production, the Cadillac Escalade made its return for the 2nd generation in 2002.

An updated version of the previous gen’s 5.3-liter V8 was given to the 2nd-gen model under the “LM7” engine code, and just like its predecessor, it also runs perfectly fine on regular 87-octane gasoline.

However, another engine option was added for the 2nd-gen Escalade in the form of the 6-liter High-Ouput (HO) Vortec LQ9 V8, which can also run on 87-octane gasoline.

But for optimum engine performance on the 6-liter LQ9 V8, the manufacturer recommends switching to 91-octane gas or higher.

3rd-Generation Cadillac Escalade (GMT900) (2007 to 2014)

Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
6.2L Vortec 6200 V8(L92/L9H/L94)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular)(91-Octane or Higher Recommended)(E-85/Flex-Fuel Capable for L9H/L94)
6.0L LFA/LZ1 V8 Hybrid(Escalade Hybrid)87-Octane Gasoline (Regular) or Higher

The 3rd-generation Cadillac Escalade completely revamped its engine options for the 2007 model year along with redesigned exterior and interior features.

Offered until the 2014 model year, the 3rd-gen Escalade made use of a 6.2-liter Vortec 6200 V8 engine as the standard option, which requires 87-octane gasoline to avoid heavy engine knocking.

But according to its owner’s manual, the 3rd-gen Escalade’s 6.2-liter V8 will get better performance when filled up with premium 91-octane fuel or higher.

Furthermore, the updated “L9H” and “L94” versions of the 6.2-liter V8 received E-85/Flex-Fuel capability, meaning that they are capable of taking gasoline with up to 85% ethanol content, otherwise known as E-85 or Flex-Fuel.

Should you prefer your 3rd-gen Escalade with a more fuel-efficient powerplant, a 6-liter V8 hybrid engine was also offered for 2009 to 2013 models that can also run on 87-octane gasoline or higher.

4th-Generation Cadillac Escalade (GMT K2XL) (2015 to 2020)

Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
6.2L EcoTec3 L86 V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular)(91-Octane or Higher Recommended)

The 4th generation of the Cadillac Escalade came in 2015 bearing the “GMT K2XL” designation, though, unlike the last generation, only one engine option was offered for the full-size luxury SUV.

The outdated 6.2-liter Vortec V8 of the previous-gen model paved the way for the newer 6.2-liter “EcoTec3” V8 of the 4th-gen Cadillac Escalade.

But to achieve the most optimum performance and fuel economy for the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8, the 4th-gen Escalade owner’s manual recommends filling it up with premium 91-octane gas or higher instead.

5th-Generation Cadillac Escalade (GMT T1UL) (2021 to 2023/Present)

Engine OptionMinimum Fuel Requirement
6.2L EcoTec3 L87 V887-Octane Gasoline (Regular)(93-Octane Recommended)
6.2L Supercharged LT4 V8(Escalade-V)Premium Gasoline(91 to 94-Octane)
3.0L Duramax LM2 Inline-6 (I6) Turbo DieselUltra-Low Sulfur Diesel(Less Than 15 ppm)

Moving on to the newest iteration of the Cadillac Escalade, the 5th-generation model was built on its own “GMT T1UL” platform with three engine options to choose from.

The standard 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 option makes its return for the 5th-gen Escalade, and while it may be able to run at a minimum of 87-octane gas, its owner’s manual calls for premium 93-octane to extract every ounce of available horsepower from it.

Also available for the new 5th-gen model is the more performance-oriented Escalade-V trim, which is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V8 and is the perfect choice for those hungry for brute power out of the three-ton SUV.

But of course, premium performance requires premium fuel, which is why the Escalade-V’s 682-horsepower engine needs gasoline with a 91-octane rating or higher.

Types of Gasoline/Fuel That Can Be Used in a Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade can be filled up with TOP TIER detergent gasoline/diesel, reformulated gasoline, E-10/E15 (non-Flex-Fuel models), E-85/Flex-Fuel (Flex-Fuel models), and ultra-low sulfur diesel or B20 biodiesel (diesel models).

TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline/Diesel


TOP TIER fuel is the favored fuel recommendation among many major automakers, and this is also true for General Motors and the Cadillac Escalade.

TOP TIER fuel comes in both gasoline and diesel form, so whichever engine you choose for the Cadillac Escalade, you’re sure to receive the engine-cleaning benefits of fuel made according to TOP TIER standards.

Such engine-cleaning benefits stem from the fact that TOP TIER fuel contains a higher concentration of detergent additives (compared to other fuels) that are safe and effective at preventing the build-up of deposits inside your engine.

A cleaner engine means that your vehicle will be able to deliver optimum performance. Also, using TOP TIER fuel means that you don’t need to go through the trouble of adding any other additives to your fuel tank.

There are currently over 60 fuel brands that sell TOP TIER detergent gasoline in North America, while only a limited number of retailers sell TOP TIER diesel fuel.

To spot either of the two TOP TIER fuels, be sure to keep an eye out for their respective labels at your local gas pumps.


Reformulated Gasoline

The majority of vehicles on the road today can use a cleaner-burning type of fuel called reformulated gasoline (RFG), and this also applies to the Cadillac Escalade.

Gasoline-powered Cadillac Escalade models can benefit from cleaner emissions by using reformulated gasoline.

Furthermore, the use of reformulated gasoline is mandated in places that have higher concentrations of air pollution and smog, such as metropolitan areas.

Over 30% of gasoline sold in the US is in the form of reformulated gasoline, making it quite a common choice of fuel, and a cleaner one at that compared to conventional gasoline.

Up to 10 or 15% Ethanol Blends (E-10/E15) (Non-Flex-Fuel Models)


The use of gasoline containing ethanol is allowed for the Cadillac Escalade, given that you follow the specific ethanol limits that are set for each model year of the SUV.

After looking through each generation’s owner’s manual, we’ve found that 2011 and older Cadillac Escalade models are compatible with gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol (E-10).

2012 and newer models, on the other hand, are capable of taking gasoline with up to 15% ethanol content (E-15).

Vehicles that are limited to just E-10 or E-15 fuel are not Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). Therefore, they will come with a regular black gas cap instead of a yellow one.


E-85/Flex-Fuel (Flex-Fuel Models)


The majority of Cadillac Escalade models do not come with E-85/Flex-Fuel capability, but excluded from this is the 6.2-liter Vortec 6200 V8 of the 3rd-generation model.

More specifically, both the “L9H” (2009 to 2014) and “L94” (2010 to 2014) versions of the 6.2-liter Vortec 6200 V8 can take E-85 fuel, which can have as much as 85% ethanol.

Flex-Fuel vehicles (FFVs) will come with their own special yellow fuel cap, as shown below. Be sure to not use fuel containing more than 85% ethanol in FFVs to avoid corroding and damaging their engine and fuel system components.


Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (Less Than 15 ppm) (Duramax Diesel Models)


The Cadillac Escalade has only been released with one engine option that requires diesel fuel, and that is the turbocharged 3-liter Duramax I6 of the 5th-gen model.

More specifically, the Duramax engine calls for ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) that contains no more than 15 ppm of sulfur content.

ULSD’s lower sulfur content means that it creates more environmentally-friendly emissions that are cleaner compared to emissions by conventional diesel fuel.

Up to 20% Biodiesel (B20) (Duramax Diesel Models)


Aside from ultra-low sulfur diesel, the Cadillac Escalade’s Duramax Diesel Engine Supplement allows the use of up to 20% biodiesel, otherwise known as “B20”.

However, in very cold weather conditions that reach below 0°C (32°F), the use of biodiesel is further limited to just 5% by volume, as anything higher can cause fuel system components to freeze or gel, resulting in difficulty starting the engine.

Types of Gasoline/Fuel to Avoid for the Cadillac Escalade

Avoid filling up the Cadillac Escalade with gasoline containing MMT, methanol, methylal, ferrocene, aniline, or gasoline with a lower octane rating than 87.

Gasoline Containing MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl)


MMT is a manganese-based fuel additive that has been used as an octane booster in unleaded fuel, leaded fuel, and racing fuel.

However, the majority of today’s manufacturers do not recommend ever using it for their vehicles, and this includes General Motors (GM) and its Cadillac Escalade models.

This is because MMT has long been known to reduce the life of your vehicle’s spark plugs as well as damage other components of the emission control system.

Furthermore, the use of MMT significantly increases the toxicity of emissions coming out of your tailpipe, so it’s also quite hazardous for the environment and your health.

Such detrimental downsides have been the reason why MMT is rarely used anymore in gasoline, and if it ever does get used, it’s only limited to a small amount of 1/32 gpg Mn (grams per gallon of manganese).

Gasoline with Incompatible Materials (Methanol, Methylal, Ferrocene, Aniline)


It is stated in the Cadillac Escalade owner’s manual that certain different types of materials should not be added to the fuel that you use for the SUV.

Such materials include methanol, methylal ferrocene, and aniline. The manufacturer advises not to use fuel containing any of these materials for the Escalade, as doing so can corrode and damage various components in the fuel system.

The manual further states that if any damage occurs as a result of using these prohibited materials, it will not be covered under warranty.

What will happen if I use the wrong gas type?

Using the wrong gas type, such as filling up with fuel with too low of an octane rating than what’s required, can result in decreased engine performance, engine knocking, and possible damage to internal engine components.

Cadillac Escalade Gas Mileage Per Generation

The Cadillac Escalade has a combined gas mileage of 13 mpg (1st gen), 12 to 15 mpg (2nd gen), 11 to 22 mpg (3rd gen), 16 to 17 mpg (4th gen), and 13 to 23 mpg (5th gen) depending on the engine and drivetrain.

1st-Generation Cadillac Escalade Gas Mileage (GMT400) (1999 to 2000)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)MPG (Combined)
5.7L Vortec 5700 L31 V811 mpg15 mpg13 mpg

2nd-Generation Cadillac Escalade Gas Mileage (GMT800) (2002 to 2006)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)MPG (Combined)
5.3L Vortec LM7 V8 (2WD only)13 to 14 mpg16 to 19 mpg14 to 15 mpg
6.0L High-Output Vortec LQ9 V8 (2WD)13 mpg17 mpg14 mpg
6.0L High-Output Vortec LQ9 V8(AWD)10 to 12 mpg14 to 16 mpg12 to 13 mpg
6.0L High-Output Vortec LQ9 V8(Escalade ESV)11 to 12 mpg15 to 16 mpg13 mpg
6.0L High-Output Vortec LQ9 V8(Escalade EXT)10 to 11 mpg14 to 16 mpg12 to 13 mpg

3rd-Generation Cadillac Escalade Gas Mileage (GMT900) (2007 to 2014)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)MPG (Combined)
6.2L Vortec 6200 V8 (2WD)12 to 14 mpg18 to 20 mpg14 to 16 mpg
6.2L Vortec 6200 V8 (AWD)12 to 13 mpg18 to 20 mpg14 to 15 mpg
6.2L Vortec 6200 V8 (2WD)(Escalade ESV)12 to 14 mpg18 to 20 mpg14 to 16 mpg
6.2L Vortec 6200 V8 (AWD)(Escalade ESV)13 mpg18 mpg14 mpg
6.2L Vortec 6200 V8 (AWD only)(Escalade EXT)13 mpg18 mpg14 mpg
6.2L Vortec 6200 V8(E-85/Flex-Fuel)9 to 10 mpg13 to 16 mpg11 to 12 mpg
6.0L LFA/LZ1 V8 Hybrid(Escalade Hybrid)20 to 21 mpg21 to 23 mpg20 to 22 mpg

4th-Generation Cadillac Escalade Gas Mileage (GMT K2XL) (2015 to 2020)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)MPG (Combined)
6.2L EcoTec3 L86 V8 (2WD)14 to 15 mpg21 to 23 mpg17 mpg
6.2L EcoTec3 L86 V8 (4WD)14 to 15 mpg20 to 21 mpg16 to 17 mpg
6.2L EcoTec3 L86 V8 (2WD)(Escalade ESV)15 mpg21 to 22 mpg17 mpg
6.2L EcoTec3 L86 V8 (4WD)(Escalade ESV)14 mpg20 mpg16 to 17 mpg

5th-Generation Cadillac Escalade Gas Mileage (GMT T1UL) (2021 to 2023/Present)

Engine OptionMPG (City)MPG (Highway)MPG (Combined)
6.2L EcoTec3 L87 V8 (2WD)14 to 15 mpg19 to 20 mpg16 to 17 mpg
6.2L EcoTec3 L87 V8 (4WD)13 to 14 mpg18 to 19 mpg16 mpg
6.2L Supercharged LT4 V8(Escalade-V)11 mpg16 mpg13 mpg
3.0L Duramax LM2 Inline-6 (I6) Turbo Diesel (2WD)21 mpg27 mpg23 mpg
3.0L Duramax LM2 Inline-6 (I6) Turbo Diesel (4WD)20 mpg26 mpg22 mpg

Cadillac Escalade Gas Tank Size/Capacity Per Generation

The Cadillac Escalade has a gas tank size of 29.5 to 30 gallons (1st gen), 26 to 31 gallons (2nd and 4th gen), 25 to 31 gallons (3rd gen), and 24 to 28.3 gallons (5th gen) depending on the trim level.

Cadillac EscaladeGeneration/Model Years
Engine/Trim Level
Gas Tank Size/Capacity (US Gallon/Liter)
1st Generation (GMT400)(1999 to 2000)5.7L V8 AWD (1999)30 gal (113.6 l)
5.7L V8 AWD (2000)29.5 gal (111.7 l)

2nd Generation (GMT800)(2002 to 2006)
5.3L V8 2WD/RWD26 gal (98.4 l)
6.0L V8 AWD26 gal (98.4 l)
All Escalade ESV Trims31 gal (117.3 l)

3rd Generation (GMT900)(2007 to 2014)
6.2L V8 RWD26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L V8 AWD26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L V8(Platinum Edition)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L V8 (Luxury)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L V8 (Premium)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.0L V8 Hybrid(2009 to 2010)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.0L V8 Hybrid (Platinum)(2009 to 2010)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.0L V8 Hybrid(2011 to 2013)25 gal (94.6 l)
6.0L V8 Hybrid (Platinum)(2011 to 2013)25 gal (94.6 l)
All Escalade ESV Trims31 gal (117.3 l)

4th Generation (GMT K2XL)(2015 to 2020)
6.2L EcoTec3 V8 (Base/Standard)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L EcoTec3 V8(Luxury)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L EcoTec3 V8(Premium)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L EcoTec3 V8(Premium Luxury)26 gal (98.4 l)
6.2L EcoTec3 V8(Platinum)26 gal (98.4 l)
All Escalade ESV Trims31 gal (117.3 l)

5th Generation (GMT T1UL)(2021 to 2023/Present)
Sport24 gal (90.8 l)
Sport Platinum24 gal (90.8 l)
Luxury24 gal (90.8 l)
Premium Luxury24 gal (90.8 l)
Premium Luxury Platinum24 gal (90.8 l)
All Escalade ESV Trims28.3 gal (107.1 l)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)