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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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Offers better third-row room but has an underpowered engine.
Has a tight third row yet an exciting powertrain.
The ESV's corporate cousin with a more digestible price.
Funky style with functional capability.