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2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Overview
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2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.7

In the world of full-size luxury SUVs, they don't come much fuller or more luxurious than the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV. Based on the popular Chevrolet Suburban, the ESV gets the full-blown Cadillac treatment, including a unique suspension, engine, and options list. With its three-row seating and massive towing ability, there really isn't anything like the Escalade ESV from Europe or Japan. Its closest rival is probably the Lincoln Navigator L, which has some obvious advantages over the Cadillac ESV, but can't quite match the big Escalade ESV's "wow" factor. Status does have its price, and the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV seems to have met the bar set by the country club set and the urban elite alike.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you desire a capable, full-size premium luxury SUV that isn't shy about attracting attention, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV belongs in your driveway. That's partially because it probably won't fit in your garage.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't need the massive interior and towing ability of the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV, there are plenty of other luxury brands that are a bit more refined and a lot less flashy (think Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL and Audi Q7, just to name a few.)

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV gets Cadillac's Premium Care Maintenance Program that covers scheduled maintenance for four years or 50,000 miles. Physical upgrades include enhanced noise-reduction measures, available cocoa carpet color for the Platinum Edition and the ninth-generation OnStar with enhanced voice recognition software.

Driving the Escalade ESV

Driving Impressions That the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV doesn't ride and handle like a sport sedan should come as no surprise. However, that it rides and handles better than any...

full-size truck we've driven is an eye opener. Thanks to a phalanx of electronic stability, traction and suspension controls, twisting curves that would have lesser SUVs heaving and tossing are simply tamed. All the electronic goodies in the world, however, can't help make the Escalade ESV easy to park. As for power, the ESV's 6.2-liter V8 is as smooth as glass and has what feels like endless reserves of torque on hand. If you need to tow a boat or horse trailer, the Escalade's V8 suddenly becomes indispensable.
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. A the touch of a key-fob button from afar can start the engine and begin cooling or heating the cabin before you're even inside.

Heated and Cooling Cupolders
Available only on the Platinum Edition, these decadent luxury items actually seems to be one of the most logical inventions since the cup holder itself.

2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Details
Interior

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV is awash in leather, French-stitched seams and soft-touch everything. Seating can be ordered with a second-row bench or captain's chair configuration, with both the front- and second-row seats heated. A power flip-and-tumble second-row seat allows easy access to the third row. The cargo floor does not flood flush, which is a bit of a miss. On Platinum trims, comfort levels rise to new heights with such items as heated and cooled cup holders, a heated steering wheel and Tehama aniline leather covering all three rows. Even base models are lavish beyond measure, with leather covering the seats, doors, steering wheel and center console, and the interior pillars wearing rich-looking fabric.

Exterior

From its massive Cadillac signature grille to its chrome-clad fender vent ports to its giant 22-inch chrome wheels, there is nothing about the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV that is subtle. Its road presence is made all the more apparent by the sharp-edged lines, flush-mounted headlamps and ridiculously long side-glass panels. Stepping into the Escalade ESV requires a hike up, but thankfully, Cadillac supplies an available power retractable assist step to help out. While most of the Escalade ESV's body is bold and upright, its windshield is laid back at a 57-degree angle, a design that helps this mammoth SUV slice through the wind. It boasts a segment-best drag coefficient of 0.36, so the design apparently works. Cadillac offers the Escalade ESV in a number of colors, but let's face it, if you want the full Escalade ESV effect, it's Ice Metallic Black or nothing.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV's comprehensive standard equipment begins with 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 navigation with MP3/CD-changer, rear backup camera, Bose Surround Sound and rear-seat LCD monitor, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar with Turn-by-turn navigation.

Optional Equipment

With so much standard equipment, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV's option list is not long. It includes 22-inch tires on chromed aluminum wheels, power retractable running boards, a power sliding sunroof, and a Luxury Package (Blind-spot Alert, IntelliBeam headlamps, power center seat release, heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel).

Under the Hood

Powering every 2011 Cadillac Escalade is a 403-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management, which deactivates half of the cylinders under light load. Variable valve timing (VVT) optimizes camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm power, along with emissions and fuel economy. The Escalade ESV's V8 engine is also E85 compatible.

6.2-liter V8
403 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD, gas), 10/15 (2WD, E85), 14/18 (AWD, gas), 9/13 (AWD, E85)

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2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 149 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great vehicle.

By on Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,300

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: "Very safe"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"Can't wait until spring when the 2015's come out. Had a 2010 with AWD, got 16 mpg on average. The 2013 has RWD I get only 12.5 mpg on average. The 2013 has a better GPS system. Great ride as long as you don't use 22 inch tires."

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Tremendous comfort, easy handling, perfect height

By on Sunday, January 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"This is the coolest, finest vehicle I have ever owned. Perfect for me personally. Perfect for my family and excellent for business outings. I loved this car for 7 years. I'm only now considering a trade-in or upgrade. It looks and feels like it would go another 125,000 miles"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Several Issues

By on Monday, December 02, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "looks great"

Cons: "poor performance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"This is my 3rd Escalade ESV. I had minor issues with my last (2009) so felt comfortable buying a new 2013. Two days after I bought the car, I drove to FL. I had driven approx 100 miles and I had to stop and stretch due to a slight "tremor" that I could feel in the steering wheel and the seats. I had never had this problem in my other 2 Escalades. The dealer has replaced the tires 4 times in 7 months yet the problem continues. The shop manager told me that it "drives as designed". It is so uncomfortable on trips longer than 50 miles. I also have had numerous problems with the navigation system. Was told it "operates as designed, and could not duplicate the issue" until a couple of weeks ago when it completely went blank. Now they have figured the SD card is bad and can't get a replacement for 6 weeks. Im a very disappointed owner."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

At 71 I have owned dozens of automobiles and this

By on Monday, November 11, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,563

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"is without a doubt the best,great ride,and confort,low maint. easy handeling,overall just a super vehicle."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Luxury at its finest,always room for improvement

By on Friday, October 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "You will Love what it does for You. ;)"

Cons: "The third row seat is a pain in the Rear End."

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

"Have been owning Foreign Cars forever. Have decided to be patriotic and support the American GOP and do what I can to help get GM back to the upper tier status. Bought my first American Made Car and went straight to the top. The 2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Platinum. Top of the line Vehicle with all the trim. Surprised that it did not come with the heated steering wheel though. Vehicle came with everything else. Hand Stitched French Leather trim all around the dash, Seats, doors and Olive wood panel accents...truly a work of art. Bose Stereo system with 10 Speakers is top quality and the even though hybrid, the engine give's a major punch upon request. Same hybrid technology used in buses for years. Complete Battery runs when 30MPH or below. Heated and Cooled seats in the front and heated in the back row. Why not cool the back row also? heated and cooled Cup Holder in the front seats. 4 Monitors to watch and 2 to play video games. Watch the DVD in the front when parked. HID lights are super bright with automatic brights when driving in the worst of darkest of areas. Blind Spot warning on the mirrors keeps you aware of your surroundings without having to completely turn your head. If you can afford the luxury, you will be completely spoiled in it. The best part of the Deal is the maintenance that Cadillac provides. Inspection Stickers, oil Changes, all filter changes, everything, I mean Every single maintenance issue is provided by Cadillac at no extra cost. Absolute worry free Pampered Perfection."

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

By far, the best vehicle I have ever owned.

By on Monday, October 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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: "Absolute pleasure to drive, every single time."

Cons: "No matter the road or weather condition."

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

"The versatility of the EXT bed being able to open into the cab was the biggest selling point for me. I have used this feature numerous times and I am very disappointed that Cadillac has decided not to continue building the EXT product."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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