• (5.0) 7 reviews
  • MSRP: $17,749–$45,561
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 15-16
  • Engine: 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 (flexible; E85)
  • Drivetrain: 4x2
  • Seats: 7-8
2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV

Our Take on the Latest Model 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV

What We Don't Like

  • Ungainly proportions
  • Third-row seat doesn't fold flat
  • Gas mileage

Notable Features

  • 403-hp V-8 with cylinder deactivation
  • More than 20 inches longer than regular Escalade
  • Increased cargo capacity and third-row room
  • Upgraded navigation system
  • Several new anti-theft features

2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV Reviews

Vehicle Overview

Cadillac's Escalade ESV offers more room for those who find the Escalade, a full-size SUV, just a bit too small. Its wheelbase is 14 inches longer than the full-size Escalade, and its total length exceeds the standard model by more than 20 inches. Third-row occupants benefit from increased legroom, and cargo capacity behind them nearly triples. With seating for up to eight, the ESV competes with other luxury SUVs such as the Lincoln Navigator L and Lexus LX 570.

As with the regular-wheelbase Escalade, the Escalade ESV gets a full complement of luxury equipment, including leather seats, plenty of exterior chrome and optional 22-inch wheels. It's available with rear- or all-wheel drive.

New for 2012
Apart from navigation system upgrades and a variety of new anti-theft features, there are no significant changes for 2012.

Exterior
Built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL, the Escalade ESV stretches more than 20 inches longer than the regular Escalade. Fourteen of those inches go to extending the wheelbase, which allows for larger rear doors unconstrained by wheel wells. Despite the bigger dimensions, curb weight increases by just 241 pounds for rear-wheel-drive models. Exterior features include:

  • Jeweled headlights
  • Cadillac's now-familiar grille
  • Rectangular taillights in back
  • Eighteen-inch wheels standard; 22-inch wheels optional
  • Available Platinum Edition features LED headlamps and unique 22-inch wheels
  • Power liftgate standard

Interior
The ESV's extended dimensions don't yield significant gains for first- or second-row occupants, but third-row passengers gain nearly 10 inches of legroom. Cargo volume behind the third row increases from 16.9 cubic feet to 45.8 cubic feet. With the third-row seat removed and the second row folded forward, maximum cargo volume is 137.4 cubic feet — about 28 cubic feet more than the regular Escalade. Interior features include:

  • Optional DVD entertainment system includes a second 8-inch screen for third-row passengers
  • Standard leather interior, automatic climate control and power-operated front seats
  • Standard seating capacity is seven; available second-row bench expands capacity to eight
  • Available Platinum Edition features a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled cupholders, a leather-wrapped interior and a dual-DVD entertainment system with screens integrated into the back of the front head restraints

Under the Hood
The Escalade ESV uses the same engine as the regular Escalade: a 6.2-liter V-8 with 403 horsepower and 417 pounds-feet of torque. It works with a six-speed automatic transmission.  Cadillac includes standard scheduled oil changes, tire rotations, replacement of engine and cabin air filters and multipoint vehicle inspections for four years or 50,000 miles. Mechanical features include:

  • 8,000 pounds (RWD) or 7,700 pounds (AWD) of towing capacity when properly equipped
  • Optional Magnetic Ride Control replaces mechanical shock absorbers with electronically controlled shocks that GM says react to the road more quickly
  • Available full-time all-wheel drive

Safety
Safety equipment includes:

  • Standard four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
  • Standard electronic stability system with rollover-mitigation technology
  • Standard side curtain airbags in all three rows of seats
  • Front-seat side-impact airbags
  • Optional blind spot warning system

 

Consumer Reviews

(5.0)

Average based on 7 reviews

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Best of the best

by SamL from on August 26, 2017

Great car that is one of the only on the market that has a third row while having plenty of trunk space. It also performs and drives like a champ, one of the reasons why I'm getting the 2017 version o... Read Full Review

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8 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV trim comparison will help you decide.

2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Cadillac Escalade ESV Base

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Cadillac Escalade ESV Base

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Front Seat
Rear Seat
Side Barrier
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There is currently 1 recall for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years