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2009 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Overview
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2009 Cadillac Escalade ESV Review

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Called the luxury king of SUVs, Cadillac's three-row Escalade ESV offers more horsepower and nine more cubic feet of cargo space than Lincoln's 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 2009 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 New for 2009

New features include HID headlamps on Platinum models, while a power tilt steering wheel and enhanced OnStar navigation tools are added to all Escalade models. A new safety option is Cadillac's Side Blind Zone Alert system that alerts the driver to vehicles not in the side mirror's field of view.

Driving the Escalade ESV

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, wide track and improved 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.

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?

2009 Cadillac Escalade ESV Details
2009 Cadillac Escalade ESV photo Interior

The 2009 Cadillac Escalade's interior is luxury-car plush and surprisingly quiet, and raises the luxury and refinement bars another couple of notches. The instrument panel is set low and far forward to improve real and perceived room. It 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

The 2009 Escalade ESV looks powerful, purposeful and streamlined, not unlike a 1950s diesel locomotive. The largest and heaviest Escalade to date, Cadillac's stylist have clever created a vehicle that appears somewhat smaller thanks to its sleek, tightly-wrapped new body. Stepping in requires the use of the side step rails for all but the tallest passengers, and reaching the roof-mounted luggage rack is best left to those with the longest arms. 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 Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 Cadillac 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 and rear-seat LCD monitor, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar with Turn-by-turn navigation. Safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), StabiliTrak stability control, advanced front air bags with passenger sensing, head-curtain side air bags for all three rows, rain-sensing wipers and heated washer fluid.

Optional Equipment

With so much standard equipment, the ESV's option list is not long, and includes 22-inch tires on chromed aluminum wheels, 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, Side Blind Zone Alert and Intellibeam automatic headlamps.

Under the Hood

Powering every 2009 Cadillac Escalade is a 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, but is now E85 compatible.

6.2-liter V8
403 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/19 (2WD, gas), 10/14 (2WD, E85), N/A (AWD)

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2009 Cadillac Escalade ESV Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 55 Ratings for the 2007 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Love it!

By on Saturday, October 13, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Eveything!"

Cons: "It loves Gasoline (as it should)."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Cadillac Escalade ESV is the ultimate symbol of American flag waving, hot dog eating, highest ranking (if this were the military, it would be a 5 star General) car/truck in the world. I love the fact that it symbolizes American excellence. You Prius drivers, when I am behind you, I have deep desire to see you Prius be turned into a boat anchor. "But the toyota's are built in America" I hear all the time. Well, they also make Japanese flags at companies here in America, Fly one of those in front of your house and see what folks say. The Escalade can go through anything, you are safe, secure and comfortable. It is American in design and symbol after all."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Car Comfortable and Safe

By on Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great car I heard a lot of negative reviews with this year of 2007 esclade. We had a couple small items that were under warranty at the time. Like motor mount, Electric seat button, wind sheild wiper radomly came on. Still we love the car I've been out of warranty for about 2 years and haven't had any problems. The service at the car dealerships are amazing they really take care of you when you own a Cadillac"

Best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Best car for the value"

Cons: "low gas mileage - I fill up twice a week!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Best car I have ever owned! I bought it with 19,000 miles and have put 80,000 miles on it in just 3.5 years, but it has handled it well. The cadillac warranty is by far the best i have ever experienced as well. Beware - It only gets 12 miles per gallon city and 14mpg Highway. You also can only use the highest grade gas, so it is expensive, but well worth it!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

LOVE MY ESCALADE

By on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, lots of room"

Cons: "Price"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is classy and a joy to drive. We are a family of five and it is perfect getting the kids to soccer, etc. I traded in my GMC Denali for the Escalade and I am so glad I did. LOVE IT!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Have had several cosmetic problems with trim

By on Monday, December 26, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very comfortable and sturdy...got lots of power."

Cons: "Trim and handles poorly made"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have had to have several pieces of trim and door handles replaced. For what you pay this SHOULD not happen."

Nice kid hauler

By on Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Luxury and Comfort bumper to bumper"

Cons: "Expensive to fix if your not covered"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This ESV gets my family of five around in complete comfort and style. We all love the two rear entertainment stations in the seatbacks. I love the fact that the All Wheel Drive gets around the snow and ice very well. I have had two Cadillacs in my life and this one seams to be much better than the late 80's car I owned in the 90's. I have had a few small issues and would recommend an extended warranty if you are buying used."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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