2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV

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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Interior materials quality
  • High-tech safety features
  • Towing capacity

The Bad

  • Blocky exterior design
  • Interior space, considering exterior bulk
  • Maximum cargo room is less than predecessor's

Notable Features of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV

  • Redesigned for 2015
  • Regular- and long-wheelbase versions
  • Standard CUE touch-sensitive entertainment system
  • Standard 420-hp V-8 engine
  • Rear- or four-wheel drive

2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

GM has been steadily updating its full-size pickup truck and SUV lineup over the past year, and the capstone is its 2015 Cadillac Escalade SUV, the most expensive and luxurious one of all. Offered in regular- and extended-wheelbase ESV form, the redesigned Escalade has a bold new face punctuated by distinctive headlights, a revamped interior with a focus on premium materials, more entertainment and safety technology and a new V-8 drivetrain. Hybrid and EXT pickup truck versions are no longer offered. The SUV hits dealerships in spring 2014.

Exterior
Like its Chevrolet and GMC siblings, the redesigned Escalade has a more angular, chiseled shape than before. There's a clear connection to the prior SUV in its front-end design, but the look is amplified by a giant three-bar grille and LED headlights with vertical accent lighting. Lighting also plays a role in the SUV's rear styling, which features tall LED taillights with an illuminated Cadillac wreath-and-crest logo.

The Escalade has an aluminum hood and liftgate to save weight, but at 5,603 pounds in base form, it isn't exactly light. The liftgate includes hands-free operation and programmable opening heights. Naturally, 20-inch aluminum wheels are standard with 22-inch rims available.

Interior
The all-new interior is reminiscent of the one in Cadillac's XTS full-size sedan with its focus on premium materials like real wood and integrated technology. The Escalade comes standard with the Cadil...

Vehicle Overview

GM has been steadily updating its full-size pickup truck and SUV lineup over the past year, and the capstone is its 2015 Cadillac Escalade SUV, the most expensive and luxurious one of all. Offered in regular- and extended-wheelbase ESV form, the redesigned Escalade has a bold new face punctuated by distinctive headlights, a revamped interior with a focus on premium materials, more entertainment and safety technology and a new V-8 drivetrain. Hybrid and EXT pickup truck versions are no longer offered. The SUV hits dealerships in spring 2014.

Exterior
Like its Chevrolet and GMC siblings, the redesigned Escalade has a more angular, chiseled shape than before. There's a clear connection to the prior SUV in its front-end design, but the look is amplified by a giant three-bar grille and LED headlights with vertical accent lighting. Lighting also plays a role in the SUV's rear styling, which features tall LED taillights with an illuminated Cadillac wreath-and-crest logo.

The Escalade has an aluminum hood and liftgate to save weight, but at 5,603 pounds in base form, it isn't exactly light. The liftgate includes hands-free operation and programmable opening heights. Naturally, 20-inch aluminum wheels are standard with 22-inch rims available.

Interior
The all-new interior is reminiscent of the one in Cadillac's XTS full-size sedan with its focus on premium materials like real wood and integrated technology. The Escalade comes standard with the Cadillac User Experience multimedia system, which consists of an 8-inch touch-screen and touch-sensitive controls. There's also a 12.3-inch screen in place of traditional analog instrumentation. A full-color head-up display that projects vehicle information at the base of the windshield is available, as is a Blu-ray-compatible rear entertainment system that has one 9-inch screen in the Escalade and two 9-inch screens in the ESV.

The front bucket seats should be more accommodating as the Escalade gains 4 inches of legroom and nearly 2 inches of extra headroom. Heated and cooling functions for the front seats are standard.

The extended-wheelbase version of the Escalade provides more headroom and legroom in the second and third rows, with third-row legroom benefiting the most as passengers gain nearly 10 inches extra. Cargo room behind the third row jumps considerably, too, from 15.3 cubic feet to 38.7 cubic feet in the ESV.

The Escalade now has a fold-flat third-row seat, which makes it easier to go from hauling people to cargo compared to the prior generation's removable third row, but maximum cargo volume for the regular Escalade (94.2 cubic feet) and ESV (120.5) is about 15 cubic feet less than before.

Under the Hood
The Escalade's 6.2-liter V-8 engine has been overhauled and now makes more power at 420 horsepower and torque at 460 pounds-feet. The engine features direct injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation for improved performance and efficiency (official fuel-economy estimates haven't been released as of this writing). There are also active shutters in front of the radiator that close at highway speeds for better aerodynamics.

Rear- and four-wheel-drive models are offered, and power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 8,200 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive regular-length Escalade and 8,000 pounds for the four-wheel-drive version.

The Escalade still uses an independent front suspension and a solid rear axle, but GM's Magnetic Ride Control adaptive damping system is now standard. Magnetic Ride Control varies suspension firmness by charging iron-particle-infused shock absorber fluid. It also includes two driver-selectable modes: Tour and Sport.

Safety Features
Though the Escalade's popularity with thieves has waned a little recently, it's still a prime target. The 2015 version has a number of technology features designed to make it harder to steal, including an intrusion sensor, inclination sensor and sensors that monitor if a window has been smashed. It also has a stolen vehicle tracking feature through GM's OnStar emergency communication system.

Safety features designed to protect people inside and outside the SUV include front and rear automatic braking, which issues alerts and can autonomously apply the brakes to avoid a low-speed collision. The Escalade also offers a center-mounted side airbag between the front seats.

Additional available safety features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a safety alert seat that warns the driver by vibrating sections of the cushion, a blind spot warning system and rear cross-traffic alert.


Latest 2015 Escalade ESV Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.8)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Most luxurious, and bold car I have ever owned

by Jyrgal from Chicago, IL on September 22, 2018

This SUV has everything I and my family needs. It is super beautiful inside and outside. Also very expensive but it is worth the money. Read full review

(5.0)

Love it!

by VanessaM from Trenton, NJ on August 13, 2018

I?ve owned 3 Escalades, best reliable car! Best bucks for your money. May be expensive but worth it, maintenance is not bad. Lasts forever!!! Period! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV currently has 4 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV has not been tested.

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Cadillac

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, trip-interruption services, 24-hour consumer relations center hot line, Free OnStar service for six months and Vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    6 years / 100,000 miles

    Every certified Pre-Owned Cadillac comes with a 6 year or 100,000 mile Certified limited warranty coverage
  • Eligibility

    Under 5 years / 60,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 172 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Escalade ESV received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker