CADILLAC Escalade ESV
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The Escalade was available in two body lengths, and the top-of-the-line ESV was the most expensive and the most luxurious from its lineup.
While other carmakers had their flagships as limousines, Cadillac’s top vehicle was the Escalade. Even though it was built on the same platform as a workhorse pickup, its luxurious interior and exterior design made it a flagship like no other.
With a front fascia that could be mistaken for a brick-wall, the 2021 Escalade was a commanding appearance on the road. Its broad grille sported the big Cadillac’s shield badge. Its narrow LED headlights were positioned on a higher position, on the sides, flanking the grille. The carmaker installed the daytime running lights on the bumper’s outer sides arranged as vertical strips in scoops. Unlike its smaller sibling, the regular Escalade, the ESV featured a longer bodywork and wheelbase. To conceal the added length, the designers installed an additional glass area between the rear doors and the last row of windows.
Inside, the carmaker installed a curved OLED screen at the front, which included the instrument panel in a distinct area in front of the driver. For the rear-seat entertainment, Cadillac installed additional screens behind the front seat headrests. It was available with either a captain-seat second row or a bench, while the third row was wide enough to accommodate three people. While the regular Escalade offered adequate room for the last-row passengers, the carmaker offered plenty of trunk with all the seats up in the ESV version. With the second and third-row folded, it offered.
Under the hood, Cadillac installed a choice of two engines: a 6.2-liter V-8 and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six. Both were paired to a ten-speed automatic transmission and available with rear- or all-wheel-drive.
This use to be the most expensive luxury American car at the time of the launch.
We know Tesla is more expensive, but that is not in the luxury-car segment. The 2014 Cadillac Escalade ESV had few trim levels and the top one was the Platinum.
First of all, we had to understand that underneath all the chrome and LED-lights and retractable steps to enter the car, there is a Chevrolet pickup-truck chassis. But what is bolted on it, is different.
It is impossible not to notice that this car was made to stand out. It has a high level “look-at-me” factor. First of all, there is the huge (really huge) front chromed grille guarded on the sides by tall, big, LED-headlights. On the lower part of the bumper, there are the foglights and the turn-signal. Strangely, the turn-signal bulbs are not LED but halogen type. The rear taillights are slim, on the sides, but very tall.
It is almost 6 meters (18.7 ft) long. Its footprint is 12.2 sqm (130 sq-ft). It is normal that inside there is more than enough room for seven people. It has twice the size of the wheelbase of a compact car. In the interior, it has features that you won’t find into a Mercedes-Benz GLS, such as the refrigerated box (which you can take out) and cooled cup-holders. In the Platinum trim level, it has three DVD units for the rear seats fitted as standard.
The ESV was designed for people looking to perfectly blend utility and luxury.
The first generation of Escalade was introduced back in 1999. Considering the existence of the Tahoe, the idea didn’t sound very promising, as the Escalade was basically a reworked Tahoe with lots of leather on the inside wood accents inside the cabin.
However, the refreshed 2002 model suffered many changes and quickly became one of the most appreciated SUVs on the market.
For 2006, the ESV came in a single trim level that offered everything a luxury sport-utility should give to its buyers.
The standard features included leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, OnStar communication system, a premium Bose audio system, HID headlights and many others.
Standalone options available consisted of a DVD entertainment system for the rear passengers, a 2nd row bench that allowed the ESC to accommodate up to 8 people, a sunroof and chromed alloys.
A Platinum edition was offered for those looking for a more distinctive ESV and features included wood and chrome trim, a navigation system, e chrome grille, 20-inch chrome alloys and a dual-screen DVD system.
Safety wise, the ESV featured stability control, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, side and front airbags and optional tire-pressure monitoring system, rear parking sensors. Frontal impact tests gave the Escalade 5 stars for driver protection and three for the front passenger.
The Cadillac’s first truck-based vehicle, the Escalade was designed to blend the features of a luxury car with the capabilities of an SUV.
The brand new 2002 model offered more power and improved driving dynamics.
Available with a two-wheel-drive of a four-wheel drive system, both models offered powerful engines, such as the 5.3-liter powerplant that cranked out 285 hp (with the 2-wheel-drive) and the 4-wheel-drive specific 6.0-liter V8 that developed no less than 345 hp. The V8 unit’s architecture was borrowed from the Corvette.
As expected, the more powerful engine came with a better towing capacity of 3,855 kg, while the 5.3-liter could tow up to 2,993 kg.
Not only the exterior was heavily improved, as the cabin was redesigned and brought more luxury than before. The interior featured all-new cluster gauges and the OnStart communication system that included hands-free, voice-activated phone capability, news, weather and other sort of information.
Other equipment included a 11-speaker Bose sound system, 50/50 split-bench third row, a self-levelling rear suspension, StabiliTrack (a stability control system that enhanced handling and braking on slick roads), ABS and traction control.
A Road Sensing Suspension system was available and improved the body’s stability, enhanced the ride comfort, offered better handling and towing performance.