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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV
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MPG

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Automotive Editor -

For times when a run-of-the-mill Cadillac Escalade just isn't big enough, the automaker offers the Escalade ESV, which is downright ginormous. Measuring in at 224.3 inches, the 2018 ESV is roughly 20 inches longer than the regular Escalade. Thanks to the elongated body, the ESV has more third-row legroom, a larger fuel tank, and more cargo space. In the case of the ESV, bigger really does mean better.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, the Cadillac Escalade ESV gets various updates. The most noteworthy addition is a standard 10-speed automatic gearbox. With the 6.2-liter engine and the 10-speed transmission, the rear-wheel-drive ESV can get to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in just 5.98 seconds, which is impressive for its enormous size.

On the inside, the 2018 ESV benefits from two new color combinations: Shale with Jet Black and Maple Sugar with Jet Black accents. The ESV also gets a redesigned center console and a new console bin organizer. As far as the massive SUV's exterior goes, the ESV gets a new Satin Steel Metallic exterior paint scheme, while 22-inch polished wheels are an optional extra. The ESV also gets an updated version of the old SUV's full-speed adaptive cruise control system, which can guide the vehicle to a complete stop and have it take off again.

Cadillac Escalade ESV

Choosing Your Cadillac Escalade ESV

Power for the Escalade ESV comes from a 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The engine is now paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and puts its power down to either the rear wheels or to all four through an all-wheel-drive system. While consumers looking for excellent fuel economy won't cross-shop the ESV and a Toyota Prius, the large SUV isn't too bad with a rating of 14 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel-drive model results in a loss of two mpg on the highway.

With its extended body, the ESV offers an impressive 120.9 cubic feet of cargo space. With the second row in place, there's 75.7 cubic feet of available space, and 39.3 cubic feet behind the third row. Those figures put the ESV at the top end of the spectrum when it comes to large SUVs.

The Escalade ESV is available in four different trims:

Base

The entry-level Escalade ESV starts at $78,290 (all prices include the $1,295 destination fee) for the two-wheel-drive model and $81,290 for the all-wheel-drive variant. Standard exterior features include: 20-inch chrome-plated wheels, black assist steps, front active aero shutters, LED headlights and taillights, a hands-free liftgate, exterior heated power-adjustable mirrors, and automatic wipers.

On the inside, the ESV comes with a 12-inch color information center, a Bose 16-speaker sound system, Cadillac's CUE infotainment system with navigation, a 12-way passenger seat, heated and cooled front seats, heated second row seats, a heated steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, a power-folding third row, power-adjustable pedals, second row bucket seats, surround vision, tri-zone automatic climate control, and wireless charging.

The Radiant Package ($3,905) adds 22-inch chrome seven-split spoke wheels, a Galvano surround grille with silver painted mesh, and a polished exhaust tip. The only other package is the Interior Protection Package ($250) that brings all-weather floor mats and an all-weather cargo mat.

Luxury

Stepping up to the ESV Luxury costs $83,690, while all-wheel drive is an additional $3,000. The ESV Luxury adds 22-inch wheels, the Driver Awareness Package – that includes forward collision warning, low-speed forward automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change alert, and IntelliBeam headlights – and a power sunroof. The interior comes with a few more goodies than the Base trim, including a head-up display, a rear camera mirror, a safety alert seat, and second row power bucket seats.

The Theft Deterrent Package is also standard on the ESV Luxury trim. The package adds a self-powered horn, an interior movement sensor, vehicle inclination sensors, door lock shields, and glass breakage sensors. The Radiant Package ($2,905) and the Interior Protection Package ($250) are optional on the ESV Luxury.

Premium Luxury

Starting at $88,290, the ESV Premium Luxury trim adds a bit of technology over the Luxury trim. The Premium Luxury trim comes with the Driver Assist Package, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, automatic seat belt tightening, front cornering headlights, illuminated exterior door handles, and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a 9.0-inch overhead screen.

The Premium Luxury trim has the same optional packages as the Luxury trim.

Platinum

The range-topping Platinum trim is priced at $97,390 and adds a plethora of high-end features over the lower trims. The SUV's exterior is fitted with 22-inch premium painted wheels, power-retractable assist steps, and a unique chrome grille standard. A leather-wrapped instrument panel, sueded microfiber headliner and door pillar trim, 18-way front seats with massaging functions, an integrated center console cooler, illuminated “Platinum” door sills, premium floor mats, and 7.0-inch screens in the front seat headrests are included as standard on the inside.

The Interior Protection Package ($250) is the only available package for the Platinum trim.

CarsDirect Tip

While the Cadillac ESV's size and opulent features can be eye-catching, few consumers truly require all of the space that the ESV offers. At $3,000 more than the regular Escalade, it's a hard sell for the majority of consumers. If extra space is necessary, the ESV Luxury, with all of the modern safety features, is the trim we'd go for, as driving the beast in urban areas would be an easier task.

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