Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2016 Cadillac Escalade ESV OVERVIEW
In case the standard Escalade doesn't quite measure up to your lifestyle, Cadillac offers the Escalade ESV, a truly enormous SUV in the tradition of luxury dreamboats from bygone eras. Like its tail-finned ancestors, the ESV does nothing if not make a statement.
What's New for 2016
The bundle of safety features now includes active lane-keeping assist and automatic high-beams. The Platinum Collection model (added in late 2015) take its official place at the top of the line.
Choosing Your Cadillac Escalade ESV
The ESV's extra length allows for a lounge-like interior with stretch-out space for eight adults. Cargo room is generous even with a full crew aboard, and grows to 121 cubic feet with the middle and back rows folded. Only a van can hold more.
The ESV's 6.2-liter V8 engine lays down 420 horsepower and comes paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-drive is standard, but most buyers opt for the four-wheel drive setup. The magnetic ride control system features Sport and Comfort modes.
The enormous load of standard equipment leaves no doubt about the Escalade's luxury mission. Every example gets navigation, chrome wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a power-folding third row, a Bose 16-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, and parking sensors.
The trim levels differ mainly in safety technology:
You won't feel deprived in the least by selecting the Standard model -- unless you can't live without a sunroof. Whether to upgrade depends mainly on your comfort level with piloting a vehicle of this size. The extra safety features are reassuring, especially in urban traffic.