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2009 Cadillac Escalade ESV

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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
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 187 Ratings for the 2002 - 2006 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

I own this car now and it is awesome in the winter

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 138,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very comfortable vehicle. Reliable in any snow"

Cons: "It will be pricy on gas consumption but worth it"

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

"I went down to my father's house to shovel his driveway for him and most of the roads were completely covered. While shoveling his driveway I was entertained by all the people trying to make it up this steep hill across from where I was at. I seen a lot of front wheel drive cars that tried to get a running start but only end up about 15 ft up this hill. I saw even 4 wheel drive vehicles sliding and fish tailing up this hill. When I was done I thought to myself I'd like to see how my Escalade would fair. To say the least I was astonished. Not only did it make it up with ease I also came to a complete stop on the hill and accelerate again with no problems whatsoever. It may have something to do with the weight of the vehicle I don't know but it took that hill like a beast even with tires that are nearing the end of their life expectancy."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Absolutely the best vehicle I've ever owned.

By on Thursday, August 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Apart from the gas mileage which is not good, if the new Cadillac Escalades were in my price range (which they are not) I would buy another one in a second. I'm looking to downsize a bit since my kids are grown and in college now but looking to either go the GM Acadia route or the GMC Terrain. I test drove a Terrain Denali and it reminded me of a sporty version of the Escalade but not sure if it is too small....decisions, decisions..."

love this career

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "awesome for any kind of fun"

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

"Would like to update this awsome suv. She dooes everything I need her to do, especially in the snow. WE LIVE IN THE ROCKY MTS. AND I CAN DRIVE THROUGH ANYTHING WTH THIS BABE!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

The ride is superior to my Lexus GS 460

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great ride, reliable!!"

Cons: "Big car, loves petrol!,"

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

"While Lexus may score a few style points (I purchased a 2011 460 GS), I was pleased with the Escalade's superior ride after eight years. What has been a pleasant surprise is the SUV's durability and reliability. Granted, I have always had the car serviced at the dealership, but except for routine maintenance, it has had 0 problems. (Very unusual in a. Cadillac--I had had a boat back Seville and the first model year STS, both of which were mechanical nightmares)"

10 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Looks Brand New

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Drives and looks new"

Cons: "Escalade battery problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Have had this vehicle since June 2003. It looks as good as a 2014 Escalade. Replaced the Radio with a Pioneer 3500 with XM, CD, etc in 2013. One minor drawback (typical with Cadillac Escalades) is something is drawing the battery down. This has been going on for several years before the new radio system was installed. I plug it in to battery tender every other night in winter and once a week in other times. It would be a 10 if the battery problem did not exist."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

It practically drives itself.

By on Wednesday, November 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

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: "Comfort, ease, reliable"

Cons: "Gas mileage (its an suv so expect that)"

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

"Best car ever. I don't want to ever drive anything but this. It practically drives itself. My husband & I & our 3 kids drove to California and back. Straight through. We were all comfortable and I had no problems driving a 10 hour shift. Amazingly comfortable and fun to drive."

29 people out of 41 found this review helpful

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