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2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Overview
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2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Review

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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.

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 156 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Wife loves her Escalade

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great to drive"

Cons: "3rd row rearseats"

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

"Great driving vehicle, with enough guts to get you off to a quick start, braking is ok considering the weight of the vehicle. Drives like a dream, quite, and smooth. Very comfortable. Downside which has been corrected in their 2015 model is the removal of the 3rd. row back seats. They are heavy, and a pain to get in and out. Almost impossible for a women of normal strength to handle."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best auto I have ever owned

By on Friday, June 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,469

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "room and driving comfort"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"n excellent ride and driving experience.This is the best auto I have ever owned in 46 years of driving."

22 people out of 44 found this review helpful

I love this car!!

By on Monday, June 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

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: "Very classy car to own and drive."

Cons: "Loaded!1"

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

"This is by far the best car I've ever owned. It has class and comfort beyond compare. This car is in excellent condition. Very clean and all maintenance performed by dealer. Black with black leather interior. Fully loaded."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best luxury family vehicle ever..

By on Monday, May 12, 2014

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
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable,lots of room,smooth quiet ride"

Cons: "high price"

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

"This is our 4th Cadillac escalade esv and we simply love them for family transportation.Plenty of room and very comfortable ride and seating for long trips. Very reliable too, we have had no issues with our cadillac accept just basic oil changes and checkups..Love these cars!! only downfall is they can be a bit pricey but its worth the peace of mind."

10 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle

By on Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Dependable, easy handling, quick engine response, plenty of power. Interior could use some refinement. Nav system is not classy looking."

14 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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."

12 people out of 23 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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