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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV

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Expert's Rating

4.0Excellent

MPG 14 City / 18 Highway
Pros
  • Plenty of power
  • Spacious cabin
  • Luxurious and refined interior
  • Many standard safety features
Cons
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Difficult to park
, Automotive Editor -
Though sales aren't what they used to be, the Escalade ESV continues to offer an unparalleled combination of size, power and style.

Introduction

First produced in 1999, the Cadillac Escalade was a luxury SUV created in haste as a direct response to the success of the Lincoln Navigator. When GM realized the profit to be had in a then-booming SUV market, however, it got serious with the Cadillac and introduced what is sure to be an automotive classic: the 2002 Escalade. Never before had the car-buying public seen such a large SUV that made such a pronounced style statement.

Even more stylish lines are found on the 2013 Escalade, a carryover from 2012 that continues the tradition of eye-catching design for a third generation of Cadillac's full-size SUV.

Based on a longer wheelbase that is 14 inches longer than the standard Escalade, the Escalade ESV has an overall length of 222.9 inches. The ESV's 130-inch wheelbase enhances highway ride, but also creates additional body roll in cornering.

Buyers who usually have more than four passengers should consider the benefits of the long-wheelbase ESV. Not only does it have an additional cargo volume of almost 30 cubic feet, the ESV's third row also offers an extra 9.3 inches of third-row legroom. Furthermore, longer rear doors in ESV provide easier access to the rear rows of seats.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV
Starting price
$44,855

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV Base

Recommended for: Buyers who like the Escalade look but need more interior room.

The Escalade ESV is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 and six-speed automatic transmission with fuel mileage up to 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. Rear-wheel-drive is standard across the ESV lineup, but four-wheel drive is available. The rear suspension is equipped with automatic load level control. Eighteen-inch wheels, black assist steps, a power liftgate, and a roof-mounted luggage rack are standard. Rectangular fog lamps complement HID headlamps. The interior has a navigation system, plus premium Bose sound system with 10 speakers.

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV
Starting price
$44,855

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV Luxury

Recommended for: Those seeking a longer Escalade with chrome wheels.

Adding more features to an already-luxurious Escalade, the Luxury trim has options like a heated, power-adjustable steering wheel with audio/cruise controls and wood trim. Both front seats are 14-way adjustable; the driver's seat has memory settings for two drivers. Power-release seats in the second row allow almost unimpeded access to the third row of seats. Other Luxury standard features include a sunroof and 22-inch chrome wheels.

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV
Starting price
$44,855

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Edition

Recommended for: Drivers wanting an SUV with a cabin as jaw-dropping as the exterior.

The ESV Platinum takes luxury to a whole new level with heated and cooled front seats, a 10-speaker Bose system, with Cabin Surround. Leather covers the dashboard and upper door panels. Seats are upholstered in super-soft aniline leather pair with olive ash and burled walnut wood trim. Even the cupholders are upscale, keeping beverages at a preferred temperature, whether hot or cold.

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV
Starting price
$44,855

2013 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium

Recommended for: SUV-shoppers worried about style and keeping the kids occupied.

The Premium starts with 22-inch wheels in an ultra bright finish and an attractive split-spoke design. The assist steps are now power-retractable which means Premium owners have the convenience of easy entry/exit without having to see an ugly step all the time. The regular Escalade's chrome grille is exchanged for one that matches the ESV's body-color, and dual exhausts are integrated into the rear fascia. Rear passengers are treated to two roof-mounted eight-inch screens (one for each row) that are connected to an in-dash DVD player. A rearview backup camera is standard, as is the auto-dimming function on the rearview mirror.

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