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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
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 168 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

WORTH ALL THE HYPE

By on Sunday, April 19, 2015

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
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"ESCALADES HAVE NO COMPARISON. ELEGANT, ATHLETIC, SHARP AND NIMBLE. AVERAGING 23 MPG WITH AWD/HYBRID..."

8 people out of 18 found this review helpful

I'm an Escalade guy (Not a Cadillac guy)

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Powerful, Stylish, Tons of Torque, Sophisticated"

Cons: "No spare tire, rigged exhaust."

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

Exchanged the stock 22's for 24's

"I always keep an SUV in the driveway to pull our family ski boat. Traditionally, I've been a Navigator person because of the value and overall cost. Cadillac cut me a great deal on a Platinum loaded and it's been a real gem. My wife owns a Range Rover HSE and we attempted to pull the boat a few times with it. That was not a good idea! It was too much of a chore for it. The HP and torque is perfect and the seats are comfortable. Granted we use premium fuel and get about 17 MPG on the highway but, that's with the boat behind us. It does have the 4 cylinder disable option so, I'm sure we would get much better mileage if we weren't pulling anything and driving 65 MPH. On the negative side. There isn't a SPARE TIRE! Because of GM (and their infinite wisdom to incorporate a dual exhaust. They removed the spare and rigged the exhaust to accommodate the two tips. In summary. I believe Cadillac makes substandard cars (I owned a poor quality (CTS-V) but, they make a great SUV."

16 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Exchanged the stock 22's for 24's

Big Cadillac fan

By on Friday, February 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Awesome drive, and beautiful vehicle"

Cons: "Don't keep value"

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

"II love Cadillac and their service is amazing. I feel so happy when I go into my local dealership knowing I'm completely taken care of. love my Escalade. It's my 3rd Cadillac and my 2nd Escalade. I've been very satisfied with all of my Cadillac vehicles except that they unfortunately don't keep their value. This is a huge issue for me and honestly may keep me from investing in another Cadillac. As much as I love the vehicle I'm leaning more towards the Lexus luxury SUV that keeps it's value much better long term."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Best vehicle ever!

By on Sunday, February 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

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: "Smooth comfort, easy to handle, safe family car"

Cons: "Bad gas mileage and expensive to repair."

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

"The only downside to owning this car is the bad gas mileage and if it breaks down the price to get it fixed."

15 people out of 28 found this review helpful

Not at all impressed with the quality for $85K car

By on Saturday, January 03, 2015

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

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "very quiet and truly comfy ride"

Cons: "cosmetic issues were toooo many, back seats do not"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"The appliqué literally fell off the back side of the vehicle. The passenger door handle came very loose. The leather in the passenger row is worn with not much use at all, had to have been inferior quality. too many issues to mention. Never again will I buy American. Back to Lexus!!…Pretty SUV but not nearly worth my $85K… Cadillac emblem faded in less than a year of ownership (vehicle is not left in the sun for any extended period). They replaced it and It faded again just as quickly. HORRIBLE QUALITY in the cosmetic details. Back seats do no recline,really Cadillac??"

29 people out of 56 found this review helpful

Great truck! 130k and still going strong!

By on Saturday, December 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 132,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great deal used, looks great, super comfortable,"

Cons: "Gas mileage, 3rd row seats dont flatten"

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

"We love this truck. My wife prefers it to our 2007 Mercedes S550 and our 2007 Maserati QP. Its like driving a comfortable couch. Everything is easy. The 6.2 liter engine is silky smooth. Great for taking kids around. Just feels strong, hard to describe. Only downside is the gas mileage."

15 people out of 30 found this review helpful

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