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: SUV. Available styles include Platinum 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Premium Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), and Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A). Escalade ESV models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The 2018 Escalade ESV comes with four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 10-speed shiftable automatic. The 2018 Escalade ESV comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
Is the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV a good car? 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.
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Is the 2018 Cadillac Escalade-esv safe? The 2018 Cadillac Escalade-esv earned a 4-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and "GOOD" ratings from the IIHS in the following caregories: and a JD POWER overall quality rating of 2.5 out of 5. Among Edmunds' many tools and resources for finding your perfect car are detailed safety ratings and analysis from NHTSA, IIHS, and JD Power, including overall ratings, frontal barrier crash ratings, side impact tests and crash ratings, rollover test results, roof strength tests, rear crash protection and head restraint ratings, side barrier ratings, combined side barrier and pole ratings, and more.
Exterior Colors: Black Raven, White Diamond Tricoat, Crystal White Tricoat, Dark Granite Metallic, Radiant Silver Metallic, Dark Adriatic Blue Metallic, White Diamond, Gold Mist, Silver Coast Metallic, Bronze Dune Metallic, Red Passion Tintcoat, Black Ice Metallic, Blue Chip, Mocha Steel Metallic, Quicksilver, Satin Steel Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Deep Amethyst Metallic, Evolution Green Metallic, Galaxy Gray Metallic, Infrared Tintcoat, Majestic Plum Metallic, Radiant Bronze, Red E, Sapphire Blue Metallic
Interior Colors: Jet Black leather, Kona Brown w/Jet Black Accents leather, Ebony w/Ebony Accents leather, Shale w/Jet Black Accents leather, Shale w/Cocoa Accents leather, Jet Black w/Jet Black Accents premium leather, Cocoa/Very Light Cashmere leather, Cashmere w/Cocoa Accents leather, Ebony leather, Cocoa/Light Linen premium leather, Ebony w/Ebony Accents premium leather, Tuscan Brown premium leather, Shale, Pewter
Popular Features: Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Heated seats, Leather Seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Parking sensors, Power Driver Seat, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Third-row seating, Towing Hitch, Trip Computer, Upgraded Headlights, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Alarm, Post-collision safety system, Tire Pressure Warning, 6000lb Towing Capacity, AWD/4WD, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Remote Start, Navigation, Sunroof/Moonroof, Cooled Seats, Bluetooth, Blind Spot Monitoring, USB Inputs, Rear Entertainment System, Aux Audio Inputs, Heads up display, Lane Departure Warning, Keyless Entry/Start, Pre-collision safety system, Back-up camera, 360-degree camera, Mobile Internet, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise Control, Upgraded Stereo, 8000lb Towing Capacity