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2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV Review

What's New for 2008
For 2008, two-wheel drive becomes available on the Cadillac Escalade ESV (late availability).

2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV-2Introduction
For the first half of 2007, overall sales of full-size SUVs were down relative to the previous year's figures, but it was a different story for a subset of this group. Full-size luxury SUVs, a glamorous bunch that includes the Cadillac Escalade ESV, saw a slight sales increase. Apparently, not even high gas prices and changing consumer tastes can slow the demand for rides that are big on flash and prestige.

Power is another of this SUV's strengths. The ESV, like the regular Escalade, comes with a 403-horsepower V8. Of course, with a curb weight approaching 3 tons, the Escalade ESV is most definitely a plus-sized model, and you'll never find yourself bragging about fuel economy. Still, acceleration is vigorous, and there's enough towing capacity to make short work of most hauling tasks.

Given its deluxe price tag, you expect lots of luxury from this Caddy, and for the most part, it delivers. Its interior scores high marks for comfort. Overall materials quality is respectable and ergonomics are spot on, with user-friendly controls -- particularly the large, optional navigation touchscreen. Though the 2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV is awash with convenience features (standard amenities include a power liftgate, surround-sound audio and three-zone climate control), it's missing one very useful feature: fold-flat third-row seating.

Powertrains and Performance
The Escalade ESV is available with either two-wheel drive (late availability) or all-wheel drive. All models are powered by a 6.2-liter V8 that boasts 403 hp and 417 pound-feet of torque. The standard six-speed automatic transmission features both a tow/haul and a manual shift mode. According to revised EPA fuel estimates, the 2008 Cadillac Escalade ESV gets 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway -- figures that are right in step with those offered by others in its segment. This Cadillac tows up to 7,800 pounds.


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