2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV

2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV
MSRP range
$76,995 - $99,095

Pros

  • Strong V8 engine never lacks for power
  • Cabin remains quiet and serene on any type of road
  • Seats up to eight passengers
  • Tows up to 8,100 pounds

Cons

  • Infotainment interface isn't always intuitive
  • High cargo floor hinders easy luggage and cargo loading
  • Sheer size requires careful maneuvering in tight quarters
  • Ride quality is less refined than that of some other luxury SUVs


Which Escalade ESV does Edmunds recommend

All versions of the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV come with the same powerful V8, sophisticated suspension and unmistakable styling. To get the best features on the inside, we suggest going with the Premium Luxury trim. You'll get desirable extras from the lower Luxury trim, such as blind-spot monitoring and forward collision mitigation, with the Premium Luxury's rear entertainment system and adaptive cruise control.

Edmunds' Expert Review

overall rating

3.5 / 5

With undeniable road presence and luxury cachet, the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV offers an admirable skill set. Its chiseled design is bold and distinctive, and it adds brawn to its beauty with a powerful V8 engine, traditional body-on-frame construction, and an ability to tow up to 8,100 pounds. Being the long-wheelbase version with enhanced passenger and cargo room, the ESV can accommodate eight passengers with exceptional room and comfort.

Those truck-based underpinnings come back to haunt the Escalade, however: It rides rougher than most other luxury SUVs (not helped any by massive 20- and 22-inch wheels). Other rivals are also easier to live with every day and achieve better fuel economy, even if they lack the Escalade's power and capabilities. But if you need to ferry several passengers in grand style, and maybe even pull an Airstream trailer while doing it, the Escalade ESV is among the best.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV is a full-size 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 is generously appointed both inside and out. Standard features include a 6.2-liter V8 engine (420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet), a 10-speed automatic transmission, rear-wheel drive (four-wheel drive is optional on every trim), 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, an automatic parking system, a hands-free power liftgate and remote start.

Inside the cabin, you'll find tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, and power-folding split 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 gauge cluster, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Bose 16-speaker audio system with satellite radio, five USB ports and a wireless device charger.

For additional driver aids and more plush equipment, the Luxury trim adds 22-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic high beams, power-folding second-row seats, a head-up display, a camera-based rearview mirror system in which the rearview mirror is a screen displaying what the camera sees behind the vehicle. It also includes a blind-spot monitoring system, lane departure warning and intervention, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic braking.

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 lavish Escalade ESV is the Platinum trim, which 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 the ability to display individual video sources, for times when your passengers can't agree on what to watch.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium (6.2L V8 | 8-speed automatic | 4WD).

Note: The ESV has a longer wheelbase and more room for passengers and cargo than the regular Escalade. Additionally, there have been some changes since this test was conducted, including this year's new 10-speed transmission. Our findings, however, remain broadly applicable to this year's Cadillac Escalade ESV.

driving

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

acceleration

The big 420-hp V8 has tons of torque, which helps give the Escalade easy and effortless acceleration. It also makes a great V8 rumble along the way.

braking

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.

steering

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

handling

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. The seat bolstering isn't up to the task of twisty roads or quick freeway exits.

drivability

Despite its size, the Cadillac Escalade is exceptionally easy to drive. The eight-speed transmission and 6.2-liter V8 make a good pairing. For 2018, a 10-speed transmission should make cruising at high speeds even more effortless.

comfort

3
In a category that should be a slam dunk for Cadillac, the Escalade ESV is less than perfect. As expected, the interior is admirably quiet, but the busy ride, so-so seat comfort, and nearly unusable third-row seat take their toll on overall comfort.

seat comfort

2.5
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

2.5
The Magnetic Ride Control suspension helps the Escalade manage its heavy 22-inch rims. But the ride is not particularly polished and well-isolated. Expect truckish behavior on anything less than a glass-smooth surface.

noise & vibration

4
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 sideview mirrors. Even so, it's pretty silent. Road noise is well-managed apart from the occasional tire thunk over pavement cracks.

interior

3
If you're going just by the numbers, the Escalade ESV's interior is pretty great. The interior quality, especially compared to high-dollar rivals, isn't, though. The Escalade has a pleasant interior, but for buyers in this class that may not be enough.

ease of use

2.5
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 most used radio and climate controls suffer from CUE's drawbacks.

getting in/getting out

4.5
An optional power-retractable step aids access without getting in the way, but shorter (under 5-foot-5) passengers will wish it was lower. The doors are wide enough for easy entry and egress, and a tumble feature in the second row makes third-row access a snap.

roominess

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.

visibility

4
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.

quality

2
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's seat and a squeaky second row.

utility

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.

technology

For such a stylishly forward SUV, the Escalade ESV's infotainment tech comes up short. Cadillac's CUE system continues to improve incrementally, but we still find it awkward to navigate its menus and structure, more so than rival systems from Mercedes and Lincoln.

audio & navigation

A navigation system with an 8-inch display comes standard on all Escalade ESV models.

driver aids

The Escalade ESV packs impressive driver assistance features, including an automated parking system for parallel and perpendicular spaces, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warnings and assist, automatic emergency braking, and a driver's seat that buzzes to warn of potential hazards.

Consumer reviews

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Features & Specs

MSRP
$99,095
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
MSRP
$89,995
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
MSRP
$85,395
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
MSRP
$82,395
MPG
14 city / 23 hwy
Seats 7
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Escalade ESV safety features:

Rear Camera Mirror
Cadillac's rearview camera mirror doubles as a screen that displays what the rearview camera sees out of the back of the car.
OnStar
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%

2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV for Sale

Cadillac Escalade ESV 2018 Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
New 2018
Cadillac Escalade ESV
Luxury
MSRP$87,615
Est.Loan: $1,583/mo
View Details
Dealer Notes
Dark Granite 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Luxury 4WD 10-Speed Automatic V8 Fresh Oil Change, 4WD.At Jim Coleman, we offer new cars in Bethesda. Silver Spring, Rockville, Gaithersburg and the Washington D.C. Area, along with used cars, trucks and SUVs by top manufacturers. Our sales staff will help you find that new or used car you have been searching for. For years, our financial staff at Jim Coleman has offered expert advice for those seeking a great car loan or lease. Our service doesn't stop there. Bethesda customers can come in and take advantage of our knowledgeable car repair technicians and a fully-stocked inventory of car parts. You can reach Jim Coleman any time by filling out our contact form, by calling us or simply visiting our Bethesda dealerships.
Cadillac Escalade ESV 2018 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
New 2018
Cadillac Escalade ESV
Base
MSRP$82,215
Est.Loan: $1,497/mo
View Details
Cadillac Escalade ESV 2018 Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
New 2018
Cadillac Escalade ESV
Luxury
Capitol Cadillac
31.9 mi away
MSRP$94,040
Est.Loan: $1,694/mo
View Details
More about the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Large and in charge: That's what we think when we see the 2018 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 will be only a few tenths of a second behind. EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg combined for both rear- and four-wheel-drive versions. For 2018, a new 10-speed transmission notches up highway fuel economy to 23 mpg combined for rear-wheel-drive models and 21 mpg highway for four-wheel-drive models.

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 were 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 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 the 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, yet the Premium Luxury model launches the Escalade ESV to an entirely different level. The most plush Platinum offers every feature you could possibly want and a few you didn't know you needed. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV for you.

2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Overview

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Premium Luxury 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Platinum 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), and 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A).

What do people think of the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV and all its trim types. 0 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 2018 Escalade ESV.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort2.5 / 5.0
Ride comfort2.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use2.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Visibility4.0 / 5.0
Quality2.0 / 5.0
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.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV?
2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
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2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
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2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
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We are showing 1 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
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We are showing 4 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Which 2018 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) 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV for sale near. There are currently 89 new 2018 Escalade ESVS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $81,990 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 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV.

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