Answers to common questions heard while driving a 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESV:
No, it does not have its own ZIP code.
No, you can't actually see the fuel gauge go down when you stomp on the accelerator. Almost, maybe, but no.
Yes, you do feel a little like breaking into a rap song while driving it.
Yes, I feel a bit guilty, but that's true with everything. Woody Allen has less guilt than I do.
I really have no idea how many cows died to upholster all these seats.
It weighs almost three tons.
13 miles per gallon in the city, 19 on the highway. Yes, I know that is just the EPA estimate. Yes, I know that "my mileage may differ." It does, in fact.
The gas tank holds 31 gallons. At $2.60 a gallon, that would be $80 to fill it up.
Yes, I am rich. Quite rich. Now go away.
Indeed, there is a very long list of problems with the 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESV; however, none concern the vehicle itself. It is, in fact, pretty excellent. It might be, in fact, the best big SUV built. Certainly I can't think of one I would prefer over the Escalade ESV.
But you might find yourself justifying the ESV, especially if your seat is the only one of the eight that is occupied, and you aren't towing a horse trailer, and you aren't carrying groceries to the nearest food bank.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Web site, fueleconomy.gov, breaks it down for you. The Escalade ESV's "energy score" is 22.8, representing how many barrels of oil per year the average driver will use. The Toyota Prius' energy score is 6.2 barrels. Apparently, this is like golf: Low score wins. Luckily, I don't play golf.
The ESV is the largest of the three Escalade models. The EXT is the one with the little pickup bed, like the Chevrolet Avalanche. The regular Escalade is like the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. And the ESV is 21 inches longer than the regular Escalade, about the size of a Chevrolet Suburban, upon which the ESV is based. This means that you have three usable rows of seats and still have 45.8 cubic feet of storage space in the back, with all seats occupied.
To the driver, the ESV feels smaller than it is, and I mean that as a compliment. Handling is surprisingly good, though enter a tight corner quickly, and there's no way to mask the inertia. The engine is just superb, and the six-speed automatic transmission could not be much better. No one, I mean no one, is building a better truck powertrain.
Inside, there's luxury, without being tacky or ostentatious. DVD players, a navigation system, lots of air bags and electronic safety features -- if General Motors makes it, it is probably here.
And the price reflects it, though it's pretty close to the competition. Base price on the all-wheel-drive ESV is $59,470, and the test model lists for $69,675. You can save money if, say, you don't want heated and cooled seats, but who doesn't?
I do. And that's the last question I'm answering.
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