2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV a Real ‘Stunner’

Prepare to be shocked. Sticker-shocked that is. Are you sitting down? I am about to give you the window sticker price of the new 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV I recently tested. Set your faces to stunned …

88 – and I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout no Benjamins either. 88 grand, 88 large, ochenta y ocho mil, 88 Grover Clevelands.

The big Jag we just had wasn’t that much, and it gave massages.

Yes, Cadillac’s biggest SUV is sporting quite the pricetag these days, although in its defense this was the Platinum edition.

With the launch of Escalade over a decade ago Cadillac became the large luxury SUV segment leader against the likes of Land Rover’s Range Rover, Mercedes’ GL, the Lexus LX and the Infiniti QX.

The ESV is some 21 inches longer than the standard Escalade with most of that coming behind the third row of seating. This is the ultimate luxury hauler, both people and gear.

It is powered by the same big-honkin’ 6.2-liter V-8 found in most of GMs large vehicles these days (along with some sports cars). In this application it generates 403hp and 417 lb. ft. of torque. The Escalade ESV is available in rear- or all-wheel-drive. Fuel economy is rated for 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway, but if I can afford the payments (or the upfront) on this baby I can certainly afford to gas ‘er up.

Driving this big beauty is a bit intimidating at first. A lot of folks staring and I am not sure if it is envy or ire. I also am aware of modern reality, and a vehicle of this stature can have a limited ownership window.

OK, I mentioned that the Caddy does not dole out massages like the big Jag, but just about every other amenity is included such as up to five video monitors — and I think I counted about 10 sets of wireless headphones and at least two remotes.

Here is a roster of some of the other highlights in the Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum:
• Side blind zone alert;
• Power retractable assist steps;
• Automatic headlamps with IntelliBeam automatic high/low beams;
• Ultrasonic rear parking assist;
• Rear vision camera system;
• Bose AudioPilot active noise cancellation technology, which continuously adjusts the music in response to background noise;
• Fully functioning LED headlamps (exclusive to Escalade Platinum);
• Heated and cooled cupholders (exclusive to Escalade Platinum)
• Magnetic Ride Control;
• Power-titling and heated steering wheel;
• Eight-inch navigation radio with new CompactFlash memory and auxiliary jack;
• Rear-seat, DVD entertainment system;
• Heated and cooled front seats;
• Adaptive remote star;
• Power liftgate.

Also available is an advanced navigation system with real-time traffic, expanded voice prompts and 3D imaging of major landmarks.

Not to be outdone by its technological advancements, Escalade also has a full array of safety features: Front row-dual stage airbags, head curtain side airbags for all passenger rows, front row thorax airbags, and front row seat pretensioners.

A vehicle of this size and stature is certainly not for everyone, and that is why the automaker also delivers the likes of the Cadillac SRX,but Escalade and especially Escalade ESV still have their place and their buyers. Time will tell what their life expectancy is given the ever-constant fuel economy struggles but for now they are here, they are big on luxury and big on the road and they are … 88 thousand dollars.

This just in, some great news for the luxury marque:
DETROIT – The Cadillac Escalade ranked first among all models in AutoPacific’s 2011 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards and topped the Luxury SUV segment for the fourth consecutive year.

The ranking is based on more than 68,000 surveys completed by owners of new cars and light trucks in the United States in the first quarter this year.

“It’s especially gratifying to be honored by AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Awards because they’re chosen by owners,” said Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing. “Escalade’s consistent strong showing in these awards is a testament to its ability to deliver what customers want in a luxury vehicle.”

AutoPacific’s research measures owner satisfaction across specific areas such as comfort, safety and the overall purchase/lease experience. AutoPacific is an automotive market research and consulting firm that publishes a variety of studies annually on the industry.

Categories: Autos, Reviews

Tags: , ,

1 reply

  1. That is one really unattractive vehicle. And 13 MPG? Oooooch.