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2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV Review

Escalade ESV

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Starting At: $70,120
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Starting At: $63,972
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Starting At: $64,898
Luxury AWD
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Starting At: $62,119
Platinum Edition
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Starting At: $73,395
Platinum Edition AWD
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Starting At: $75,470
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Starting At: $66,888
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Starting At: $68,273

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2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV Overview

Longer than its siblings, with an accompanying increase in passenger and cargo room, the 2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV luxury full-size SUV might be a challenge to fit in the big city, but that’s why they invented valet parking. Meanwhile, almost 8 feet of utility sits over a wheelbase that runs just over 1 foot longer than this big ute’s scrunched-up sibling, and it all helps accommodate 7 passengers in 3 rows of seating and tote up to 137.4 cubic feet of cargo with the second-row seats folded and the third row, alas, removed.

Unfortunately, this upscale ute is in some need of a redesign so that it may be brought in line with the more refined and versatile offerings from such potential usurpers as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. Make no mistake, however, that the Escalade ESV lineup that includes the entry-level Escalade ESV Base, the up-featured Luxury, the upper mid-level Premium and the top-shelf Platinum Edition is still a popular choice in the luxury-oriented SUV market. After all, each trim comes with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), but each again remains eligible for an available all-wheel drive (AWD) system that allows cruising in RWD under normal circumstances while standing ready to divert torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip, front or rear, when things get messy.

Powering the stretched-out Escalade ESV is the traditional 6.2-liter Flex Fuel V8 engine that puts out some 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque under the management of the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Look for towing to be maxed out at 8,000 pounds when this beauty is properly equipped, with mileage again estimated at 14 mpg city/18 highway in RWD variations and 13/18 in AWD editions.

Standard features adorning the Escalade ESV Base start with 18-inch alloy wheels, a load-leveling suspension, trailer hitch and wiring, power rear liftgate and heated power-folding and power-adjustable mirrors outside. Inside, look for leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats with memory for driver's settings, heated second-row captain’s chairs and plenty of leather and simulated wood cabin accents. Then there’re the full power accessories, power-adjustable pedals, power-adjustable tilt-wheel steering and cruise control to help the drive, along with rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and a rear-view camera. OnStar Directions and Connections technology, meantime, returns interfaced with Bluetooth hands-free calling, and all this is complemented by a flash-based navigation suite. Entertainment, finally, consists of a single-CD player with 10 premium Surround Sound speakers and satellite radio.

The luxury-liner Luxury trim adds 22-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded adaptive suspension, a power sunroof, upgraded leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel. Options like power-retractable running boards and a single-screen rear-seat DVD player remain available for this lower-midlevel trim.

Choosing the upper-crust 2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium trim begets painted alloy 22-inch wheels and the above options as standard equipment, as well as upgraded exterior bling, including dual chrome exhaust tips and eligibility for available LED headlights.

The flagship Platinum trim, meantime, boasts such standard additions as 22-inch chrome wheels, heated and cooled cupholders, and unique exterior and interior styling details that include genuine wood cabin trim inserts, while upgraded rear-seat DVD entertainment keeps back-seat denizens entertained.

Optional equipment for the lower trims again includes many items that come standard in higher trims, while all trims can have the available (or standard) dual exhaust tips deleted in favor of a full-size spare tire. Also returning for this year is the 8-passenger Platinum Edition trim that can be delivered with an available rear bench seat.

Safety-wise, besides sheer bulk, this loaded luxury ute packs 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and three-row head airbags. Xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights also come standard, as do daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. OnStar emergency assistance technology again remains standard aboard each Escalade ESV trim, along with a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm. Finally, the Luxury and higher trims sport a standard blind-spot warning system.


Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV, Head-on view. Copyright General Motors, manufacturer, exterior
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