By KBB.com Editors
Cadillac's three-row Escalade ESV is the luxury king of SUVs. Lincoln's equally-new long-wheelbase Navigator L offers a few competitive advantages, including its fold-flat third seat, but has 103 less horsepower and nine less cubic feet of cargo space than Cadillac's biggest SUV. The Navigator L boasts more towing capacity and a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of nearly $9,000 less, but the Escalade dominates in image. The full-size Escalade ESV has become the status symbol choice for country clubbers and the urban cool affluent, and this 21-inch longer version offers even more than the previous generation.You'll Like This Car If...
If you want or need and can afford a truck this size with these levels of luxury and capability, along with the fast-rising Cadillac brand image, there is no better choice.You May Not Like This Car If...
If want or need Escalade ESV capabilities without the Cadillac price, GM's three-row Chevy Suburban or GMC Yukon XL are available with nearly as much power for much less money. Lincoln's Navigator L is an excellent domestic alternative, while import-brand luxury SUV competitors are available from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.What's New for 2007
The 2007 Escalade ESV raises the bar on luxury SUVs. It may be in a shrinking segment, due to high fuel prices, but for those who need full-size truck capabilities and want luxury-level appointments, features and image, the stretched ESV is the ultimate aspiration.Driving It Driving Impressions
This heavy full-frame truck-based SUV drives like a very large car. It's no sport sedan, but it is more agile, sure-footed and Cadillac-comfortable than most any other full-size truck you'll encounter. Rival Lincoln's new Navigator is very good as well, and has the advantage of independent rear suspension, but we judge the Escalade ESV as better overall in ride and handling. Most of this is due to its fully-boxed frame, redesigned suspension, wider tracks and new rack-and-pinion steering. The 6.2-liter V8 idles aggressively at rest and roars impressively at full throttle as it surges the big Caddy forward with eye-opening authority.Favorite Features
Remote Vehicle Start
This is one of those features that you may not want to live without once you've become used to it, especially in hot summer or cold winter weather. At the touch of a key-fob button from afar, it can start the engine and begin cooling or heating the cabin before you're even inside.
Heated Windshield Washer Fluid
Forget frozen washer fluid with this long-overdue feature. What could be better than warming it before you need it to melt annoying and dangerous windshield ice?
The Escalade's all-new interior is luxury-car plush and surprisingly quiet, and raises the luxury and refinement bars another couple of notches. The instrument panel, set lower and farther forward to improve real and perceived room, houses quad round gauges with white needles, blue-light inlays and white LED backlighting. "Nuance" leather covers the seats, doors, steering wheel and center console, while the interior pillars wear rich-looking fabric.Exterior
Those who liked the previous Escalade should love this one, beginning with its styling. It looks powerful, purposeful and streamlined, not unlike a 1950s diesel locomotive. Slightly larger and heavier than before, due to added structure and features, it appears somewhat smaller thanks to its sleek, tightly-wrapped new body. The swept-back 57-degree windshield contributes to a segment-best aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.36, which helps improve fuel economy and reduce wind noise, and careful detailing shows in its large, finely-crafted Cadillac signature grille, front fender vent ports and tasteful chrome accents.Notable Standard Equipment
The Escalade ESV's comprehensive standard equipment begins with all-wheel drive, road-sensing suspension, automatic rear leveling, ultrasonic rear park assist, power liftgate and remote vehicle starting. Inside are leather-covered 14-way power heated front seats, heated fold-and-tumble second-row seats, three-passenger third-row seating, tri-zone automatic climate system, steering wheel radio controls, rear audio controls, power adjustable pedals, DVD/MP3/CD-changer with Bose Surround Sound, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation. Safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), Stabilitrak, advanced front air bags with passenger sensing, head-curtain side air bags for all three rows, rain-sensing wipers and heated washer fluid.Notable Optional Equipment
With so much standard equipment, the ESV's option list is not long, and includes 22-inch tires on chromed aluminum wheels, rear-seat entertainment system, power retractable running boards, a power sliding sunroof, a Climate Package (heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel) and an Information package that includes DVD touch-screen navigation, a rearview camera and Intellibeam automatic headlamps.Under the Hood
Powering every 2007 Escalade is a new 6.2-liter V8 with variable valve timing (VVT), which optimizes camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm power, along with emissions and fuel economy. This engine does not yet have GM's Active Fuel Management (AFM), which deactivates half of the cylinders under light load.
403 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19
The 2007 Escalade ESV has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $60,540 and a Fair Purchase Price of $58,029. That compares to values of $52,213 for the four-wheel drive Lincoln Navigator L, $54,005 for the V8 Mercedes-Benz GL 450 and $55,275 for the all-wheel-drive V8 BMW X5. Comparing residual values, the ESV should return 39 percent of its MSRP after five years, slightly higher than the Navigator but lower than the GL 450 and the X5. Be sure to check Fair Purchase Prices to see what consumers are actually paying for the Escalade ESV in your area.