Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Pathological drives the Cadillac ESV

2014 Washington Auto Show (12141232626).jpg

The bling factor on the Cadillac Escalade really does escalade to levels higher than the previous generation. (No pun intended.)

The Escalade comes with a massive 6.2-liter eight-cylinder pumping out 420hp. It really does a good job at moving the Escalade along. The engine sounds lovely when you flog it and when you feel like driving more relaxed you’ll barely hear a peep out of it. The nifty part about this eight-cylinder engine is that when you are driving around town or in stop start traffic jams the engine converts to four-cylinders to help reduce fuel consumption and also lowers emissions as well.

Driving the Escalade around is just as cumbersome as it was before, nothing has really changed here. The steering is numb if anything and it doesn’t help that it’s quite heavy when trying to do quick maneuvers in tight parking spots. The gear selector is quite fiddly to use, if you’re not used to a column shifter. We had similar issues with Mercedes column shifter as well. The standard parking aids really does take the sting out of parking it. Road noise won’t be much of an issue unless you opt for the large alloy wheels and well wind noise isn’t much of an issue, however you’d have to remember this car is as aerodynamic as a tower block.

The Escalade makes you feel like king of the road with the driving position. It really is comfortable and offers plenty of support. The second row seating is comfortable as well while those in the third row won’t have much to complain about, as there are plenty of comfort features to help make life in the back pleasant. The boot space is so-so with the third row in place, fold it down and the space increases. Fold down the second row down and you won’t even need a cargo van. The space is plenty! If you run out of space in this then you need a freight train. Visibility isn’t the greatest but the parking aids and blind spot monitoring system really does come in handy.

The CUE infotainment system is very infuriating to use. The controls are operated by the swipe of the finger. What’s wrong with simple controls and dials? The touch screen aspect of the infotainment system isn’t too bad but the various menus makes it fiddly to operate while on the go.

Our tester car (ESV Premium Luxury) comes standard with Driver’s Assist Package (adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking and automatic safety belt timing.) Front LED cornering lamps, rear entertainment system, surround vision camera and navigation system. Our tester also came kitted with 22-inch alloys, assist steps – power retractable running boards with LED lighting. Despite it having so much kit standard the ESV comes with a price tag that makes it pretty hard justify considering the numerous options that are just as good.

The attention was high with the Escalade. The only other vehicle that could rival that on attention is the Smart Fortwo. We found ourselves having mixed feelings with the Escalade. While the luxury is there and the refinement is good, it’s just such a cumbersome thing to lug around. The Mercedes GL and even the Ford Expedition are easier to maneuver and also the fact that this engine is thirsty! You’ll need deep pockets to buy one and run it.

Likes: Driving the Escalade certainly does grab attention. The driving position is spot on good and refinement is way better than before.

Dislikes: The price can escalade quickly with options. You’ll need deep pockets to be buy and for running costs. The Escalade is one of the most stolen vehicles on sale.

Our pick: The standard ESV offers a lot of standard features; and there’s nothing wrong with picking the standard form. You’ll have to pay extra for four-wheel-drive but that’s only if you really need the extra traction. Seeing that many won’t be using it for off-roading, the Escalade is best had with rear-wheel-drive.

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