2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV

2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV
MSRP range
$76,395 - $98,195
2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV


  • Strong V8 engine is never at a loss for power
  • Capable of towing up to 8,100 pounds
  • Cabin remains quiet regardless of road conditions
  • Seating for up to eight passengers


  • Less refined ride quality than some other luxury SUVs
  • Sheer size requires careful maneuvering in tight quarters
  • High cargo floor makes loading baggage difficult
  • Infotainment interface isn't always intuitive
Cadillac Escalade ESV years

Which Escalade ESV does Edmunds recommend?

All versions of the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV come with the same powerful V8, sophisticated suspension and unmistakable styling. In order to get the best features on the inside, however, we suggest going with the Premium Luxury trim. This way you'll get some desirable extras from the one-tier-lower Luxury trim (such as blind-spot monitoring and forward collision mitigation) but with the Premium Luxury's rear entertainment system and adaptive cruise control.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

An undeniable presence on the road, the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV meets a very specific list of requirements. Need to carry lots of people? The ESV can haul up to eight passengers. What if you want your luxury SUV to stand out from the crowd? This bold Caddy is one of the most stylish you'll find. And maybe you've got plans for an Airstream trailer. No problem; the Escalade ESV can tow up to 8,100 pounds, thanks in part to its traditional body-on-frame construction and strong V8 engine. Finally, the ESV's longer wheelbase (compared to the standard Escalade) provides 10 additional inches of legroom and more than 25 additional cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded.

Unfortunately, the Escalade ESV's ride is a bit rough because of those truck-based underpinnings and massive wheels, so it isn't the most comfortable vehicle in the class. Some rival crossover SUVs are easier to live with and get better fuel economy to boot. But if you need the kind of capability the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV provides, it's worth a close look.

2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV configurations

The 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV is a large luxury SUV available in four trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum. The base trim comes with a dizzying array of equipment, but the Premium Luxury and Platinum take this big, plush American machine to a whole different level.

The base trim, as you probably expected, is generously appointed both inside and out. Standard gear includes the 6.2-liter V8 engine (420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet), an eight-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive (four-wheel drive is optional on every trim), 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, LED headlights, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parallel and perpendicular parking assist, a hands-free power liftgate, remote start, tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated, power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power front seats, driver-seat memory settings, heated rear seats and split power-folding third-row seats. Standard electronic features include the CUE infotainment interface (with an 8-inch touchscreen), OnStar (with 4G in-vehicle Wi-Fi), a surround-view camera system, a customizable instrument panel, a navigation system, and a Bose 16-speaker audio system with satellite radio, five USB ports and an auxiliary audio jack.

For a few more driver aids and a bit more plush equipment, you can step up to the Luxury trim, which adds 22-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic high beams, power-folding second-row seats, a head-up display, a camera-based rearview mirror system (the rearview mirror is actually a screen displaying what the camera sees behind the vehicle), a blind-spot monitoring system, lane departure warning and intervention, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and mitigation (with automatic braking), and a safety-alert driver seat that buzzes to warn of potential hazards.

Our recommended trim, the Premium Luxury, hits the sweet spot with the above features plus adaptive cruise control, a rear entertainment system with a Blu-ray player and two overhead-mounted displays, adaptive cruise control, and a more advanced collision mitigation system with both forward and reverse automatic braking.

The most expensive (and most lavishly appointed) Escalade ESV is the Platinum trim level. It certainly has all the bells and whistles, but you may not need all the extras it provides. The Platinum adds power-retracting side steps, upgraded power front seats (with massaging function), upgraded leather upholstery, a cooled front-seat center console and two more rear entertainment screens (mounted in the front headrests) with individual display capacity for viewing multiple videos when your passengers just can't decide on one.

Trim tested

The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium (6.2L V8 | 8-speed automatic | 4WD), which is the standard-wheelbase Escalade. The ESV has more cargo space, a longer wheelbase and more room for passengers. Our findings however, remain broadly applicable to this year's Cadillac Escalade ESV.


The 6.2-liter V8, with its 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, is the star of the Escalade ESV show. Paired with the six-speed automatic, the big V8 has power to spare. But there's no denying the ESV's size and bulk.


The big, 420-hp V8 has tons of torque, which helps give the Escalade easy and effortless acceleration. A regular Escalade we tested accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds, and the ESV is likely just a few tenths slower. It also makes a great V8 rumble along the way.


The brake pedal travel is long, soft and predictable, but there is a noticeable nosedive from this massive machine when you brake hard. Our panic stop from 60 mph in a regular Escalade took 131 feet, which is long but about what we'd expect. The ESV could fare a bit worse.


It is surprisingly easy to place the big Cadillac exactly where you want, though the wheel does require more turning than most drivers are used to. Steering effort is very, very heavy — almost to a fault.


There's a surprising amount of response and confidence on twisting roads, but because of sheer size and weight, the Escalade ESV's limits are quite low. Seat bolstering isn't up to the task of twisty roads or quick freeway exits either.


Despite its size, the Cadillac Escalade is exceptionally easy to drive. The eight-speed transmission and 6.2-liter V8 make a good pairing.


The big 22-inch wheels hurt any pretense of off-roading, but the Escalade does have retractable steps, selectable four-wheel drive and adequate ground clearance. It won't get you through the Rubicon but should get you to the cabin in the woods.


In a category that should be a slam-dunk for Cadillac, the Escalade ESV is less than perfect. Things start off as expected with an admirably quiet interior, but the busy ride, so-so seat comfort and nearly unusable third-row seat take their toll on overall comfort.

Seat comfort

For a luxury vehicle, the seats are a surprising low point. Stiff, wide and featureless, they simply don't provide enough support or comfort for long drives. Taller drivers will wish for more thigh support.

Ride comfort

The Magnetic Ride Control suspension helps the Escalade manage its heavy 22-inch rims. This does not, however, mean the ride is polished and well-isolated. Expect truckish behavior on anything less than a glass-smooth surface.

Noise & vibration

As you'd expect from Cadillac, the Escalade ESV has a pleasantly quiet ride. At times there's a touch of wind noise from the side-view mirrors. Even so, it's pretty silent. Road noise is well managed apart from the occasional tire thunk over pavement cracks.


If you're going just by the numbers, the Escalade ESV's interior is pretty great. Interior quality, though, especially compared to high-dollar rivals, isn't. The Escalade has a pleasant interior, but for buyers in this segment that may not be enough.

Ease of use

Major controls such as the gear selector, headlights and wipers are very good. The instrument panel is crisp and clear. But the touch-based CUE system is slow and hard to use. Some of the radio and climate controls that you use the most suffer from CUE's drawbacks.

Getting in/getting out

An optional power-retractable step aids access without getting in the way, but shorter (sub 5-foot-5) passengers will wish it was lower still. The doors are wide enough for easy entry and egress, and a tumble feature in the second row makes third-row access a snap.


The Escalade ESV is one of the biggest vehicles on the road, and the inside makes pretty good use of that space. Headroom and legroom are exceptional in the first and second rows and acceptable in the third row for the kids. Oddly, all three rows feel narrow at the shoulders.


You'd think that driving an Escalade ESV would require the use of the blind-spot monitors, parking sensors and backup camera, but it doesn't. There is good enough visibility all around to make it impressively easy to park. That said, the camera is useful in close quarters.


The latest Escalade generally looks and feels significantly improved from the previous generation, but that's not quite enough. Much of the competition feels more substantial and more precisely tailored. Our tester had a rocking driver seat and squeaky second row.


Able to tow 8,100 pounds and capable of carrying eight passengers, the Escalade is one of the most utilitarian luxury vehicles you can find. The ESV's massive cargo space helps you haul quite a bit of luggage as well.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Won't start, just click, click, click, click
This is a 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV buyback. We knew they put a new motor in it. We bought it 14 hours away from home. Then stopped 9 hours away from home for dinner. It would not start back up just click, click , click. Had it towed to the nearest Cadillac dealer, stayed in a hotel, got a rental . Called Cadillac customer service and since we had AAA tow it they refused to help me with anything. ( Hello, I JUST purchased the vehicle a few hours previous.) Went back over to the dealership in the morning with the rental after getting uber to take us to the nearest rental place open on a sunday hoping it would start and it did. Took the rental back, drove straight home did not shut it off at all. Once home we shut it off , then tried to start it again and it would not start just click, click, click. Had it towed to a dealership near us. It would not, not start for them (4 days). I went up and got it. I had e-mailed Cadillac Customer service 3 times by now with no response. I called Cadillac customer service got a case# and was told to e-mail my receipts of being stranded in Toledo Ohio, so I put the receipts in the next e-mail for reimbursement. Afraid to shut it off wherever we went, two weeks later it acted up again. no start, just click, click, click. My guys bumped the bottom of the starter and it started so WE knew it was the starter and the dealership confirmed that 20 miles after the motor was put in they put in a starter ( not told to us when we bought the vehicle) . Back up to the dealership it went. For a week this time. I e-mailed Cadillac customer service again asking for the status of my case# and to advise them the vehicle would still not start intermittently . Still no response from Cadillac customer service. Still it would not, not start for them. I went back up to pick it up. Now today June 19 2018 exactly a month from the day we bought it . It will not start just click click, click. I know if we put it on the tow truck to go back it will jostle the starter and it will start again for them. I called the dealership and they can not send someone to my house. So, I am again stuck with a vehicle I do not dare drive anywhere without leaving it running. Cadillac Customer Service is a Joke. I have a case# and yet still nothing has been done. I have e-mailed them 5 times called 9 times and the only contact I have had from them is from me making the effort to contact them. I have received 1 phone call from them on June 16th(Saturday I was with my children and do not answer my phone) and it was on my voice mail that if I did not contact them by June 18th they were closing the case. I called them and got NO ONE, only a voice mail and I left a message. Still no call back. So I called another # this morning and they transferred me to the same "Senior Rep" for me to leave another voice mail. I received a call on my cell phone which I had told them only to use after 5pm. She "Sheila" the senior customer rep stated they denied my reimbursement and told me to have the dealership near me reimburse me. Then they possibly would reimburse the dealership. WHAT it is not the dealership I am taking it to to be fixed fault that the vehicle stranded me 9 hours from home 5 hours after I bought it . I told her it is not the money, I have the money to cover the hotel, uber, rental, it is the principal that Cadillac is suppose to be the ELITE of customer service !! I asked to have her supr call me. She said it will be 1-2 business days. Then preceeded to tell me that they consider business days as 8 hours a day and it would be before 48 "business" hours that I would receive a call. So, maybe 5-6 days before I get a call and in the meantime I am stuck with a Cadillac I can not depend on !!!!! BEYOND FRUSTRATED !!!!!
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Features & Specs

15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 7
8-speed shiftable automatic
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 7
8-speed shiftable automatic
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 7
8-speed shiftable automatic
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
15 city / 22 hwy
Seats 7
8-speed shiftable automatic
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Escalade ESV safety features:

Rear Camera Mirror
Cadillac's rearview camera mirror doubles as a screen the displays what the rearview camera sees out of the back of the car.
Cadillac's OnStar system includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance and remote door unlocking.
Adaptive Cruise Control
The Escalade's adaptive cruise control is paired with forward and rear collision warning with automatic braking.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover20.4%

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More about the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Large and in charge: That's what we think when we see the Cadillac Escalade ESV. An extended-length version of the full-size Escalade, the ESV can seat up to eight people, stow up to 120.9 cubic feet of cargo and tow up to 8,100 pounds. Despite its blue-collar work ethic, this is a white-collar vehicle brimming with luxury features and fancy technology.

GM's 6.2-liter V8 powers the Escalade ESV, giving it 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.  This engine has power to spare. We haven't timed the ESV to 60 mph, but the shorter (and slightly lighter) Escalade does it in 6.4 seconds, and we expect the ESV is only a few tenths of a second behind that. EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg combined for both rear- and four-wheel-drive versions. The rear-wheel-drive version is rated at 15 city/22 highway and the 4x4 at 15 city/20 highway.

Posh as it may be, the Escalade ESV is still a full-size body-on-frame truck and it drives accordingly. The interior is quiet, but despite the use of GM's Magnetic Ride Control suspension, it still rides harder than a car-based SUV. Handling response is better than we expected, but given its weight and bulk, it's no surprise that the Escalade ESV's limits of traction are relatively low and its braking distances are long. What did surprise us was the steering — though it's very precise, it's also very heavy.

Another surprise was the third-row accommodations. In a vehicle this size, we expect plenty of stretch-out space, so why is the Escalade ESV's third row so cramped? With a massive 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, surely those in the way, way back could have better accommodations. Head- and legroom in the first and second rows are generous, though all three rows feel narrow at the shoulders. And the front seats are a disappointment: They are stiff and wide and don't provide the comfort or support we want for long drives. As for the rest of the interior, it's just OK. Though the basic driving controls are easy to find and use, the Cue infotainment system is difficult and slow to respond, and cabin build quality isn't up to the standards we expect in a vehicle this expensive.

The Cadillac Escalade ESV is available in base, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum trim levels. All, including the base model, are lavishly equipped. The Luxury offers a long list of premium equipment, and yet the Premium Luxury model launches the Escalade ESV to an entirely different level while the Platinum offers every feature you could possibly want and a few you didn't know you needed. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV for you.

2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV Overview

The 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV is offered in the following submodels: Escalade ESV SUV. Available styles include Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Platinum 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), Premium Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A), and 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A).

What do people think of the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Escalade ESV 1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Escalade ESV.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Escalade ESV featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5


4.0 / 5

Steering3.0 / 5
Handling3.0 / 5
Drivability4.0 / 5


3.0 / 5

Seat comfort2.5 / 5
Ride comfort2.5 / 5
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5


3.0 / 5

Ease of use2.5 / 5
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5
Visibility4.0 / 5
Quality2.0 / 5
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESVS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV for sale near. There are currently 6 new 2017 Escalade ESVS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $81,360 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Cadillac Escalade ESV?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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