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2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV

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2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


Called the luxury king of SUVs, Cadillac's three-row Escalade ESV offers 103 more horsepower and nine more cubic feet of cargo space than Lincoln's equally-new long-wheelbase Navigator L. Though the Navigator L offers a few competitive advantages, including its fold-flat third seat, more towing capacity and a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of nearly $9,000 less, the 2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV dominates the image arena. The full-size Escalade ESV has become the status symbol of 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 Significant About This Car?

The Platinum Series makes a comeback, while a two-wheel drive model joins the ESV lineup.

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?


For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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