Cadillac V ESV (2022): first drive in the 682 hp V8 SUV

Cadillac has caused quite a stir in the premium league in recent months with its two new electric models, the Lyriq and Celestiq. The US competitor Dodge is already showing how the V8 electrification works in American style. Those who are not yet completely enthusiastic about the electric models of the near future can indulge in a real SUV legend.


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The Cadillac Escalade puts on a radiant crown with the sporty V version. You never want to get out again, especially on long journeys, and the Escalade’s competitors are not only few and far between on the US market.
Cadillac Escalade V

The Cadillac Escalade V ESV is huge: the 682 hp flagship measures 5.76 meters!

“Of course there’s a BMW X7, Range Rover or a Mercedes GLS, but actually we’re looking at a Lincoln Navigator,” says product manager Jordan Garwood. “The other models are significantly smaller and also serve a different audience because there is no version with an extended wheelbase. Our quantities are then completely different.”

“Maximum luxury, we cannot do without it”

The Cadillac Escalade sounds like thunder in the USA, the United Arab Emirates or Russia. It’s the luxury model that the US President drives around in when “The Beast” stays in the garage.

The XXL version comes with six individual seats, which could not be more luxurious in a Learjet. “We have a sales mix of 70:30 in favor of the regular version,” Garwood continues. “However, many people want the ESV long version for maximum luxury. We couldn’t do without that.”

And it is precisely this XXL variant that is also available in the sports version of the Cadillac Escalade V. The ESV is a powerful but elegant luxury SUV, especially in black.
Cadillac Escalade V

36 loudspeakers ensure great entertainment. GM placed four of them in the front headrests.

The interior is also luxurious: 38-inch display, air-conditioned individual leather seats, separate air-conditioning. In the rear, the Escalade offers plenty of space, two 12.6-inch touchscreens and premium AKG sound from 36 speakers.

Cadillac Escalade V

The speedometer and infotainment display is 38 inches. The interior with lots of leather looks very well made.

Gone are the days when Cadillac was known for mediocre build quality. As a V-Sport version, the Escalade is a real feast for the eyes in terms of leather interior and operation.

V8 catapult with 682 hp

Like the competition, the Escalade V ESV uses a supercharged eight-cylinder engine. Displacement, even supercharged, is irreplaceable. This is underlined by the sportiest of all Escalades with its well-known 6.2-liter V8. That free-breathing eight-cylinder takes a lot of air at the request of the pilot and powerfully presses you into the seats with 682 hp.

The in-house ten-speed automatic can hardly keep up with the gear change when the US colossus sprints from a standing start to 100 km/h in around 4.5 seconds, while the driver follows the sprint on the gigantic screen or the head-up display.

Cadillac Escalade V

The Escalade delivers 682 V8 hp and a maximum of 885 Nm of torque. For this he also needs 20 liters of petrol per 100 kilometers.

If the normal enthusiasm of the eight-cylinder is not enough, you can press the comparatively inconspicuous V switch in front of the somewhat pale gear selector lever – and the colossus puts on its ears.

On the gigantic 16:9 screen, various settings for chassis, steering, transmission and other modes play a central role.

Neat sound and 885 Nm of torque

Depending on your taste and the road, you can adjust the V modes here and make the combustion colossus really sporty. The V8 engine is a real show in the particularly powerful 682 hp variant. Acceleration is fierce thanks to the 885 Nm of maximum torque, even if you don’t lose your facial features like some hypercars.

In addition, the driver enjoys the beguiling sound of the rumbling eight-wheeler, which smashes into the surroundings from the four tailpipes. You will miss something like that in electric cars with their artificial sound. Here there is still sonorous power acoustics at its finest.

US version only 200 km/h fast

With its massive dimensions, the Cadillac Escalade V ESV is one of the fastest and most powerful condominiums imaginable. However, there is a problem with the top speed, because the 155 miles per hour (250 km/h), which the Americans let many of their V-top models run in the USA, does not exist with the US version. According to Jordan Garwood, this is currently limited to a narrow 200 km/h.

Cadillac Escalade V

Stately: The trunk of the ESV variant swallows 4043 liters with the rear seats folded down.

That would be far too little in the league of a 700 hp power SUV in Europe or the Emirates. The export models should therefore get a much longer leash.

Goal: travel comfort instead of lap times

Most customers in the USA value travel comfort anyway. And the sporty colossus leaves nothing to be desired in terms of equipment and long-distance qualities.

The chassis tuning is firm and not harsh – for an SUV weighing almost 2.8 tons, whose electronic dampers have their hands full on bumpy roads or in fast corners, it has always been successful in keeping the pitching and rolling movements within limits.

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Driving report: Cadillac Escalade V ESV

The space available for the driver and passengers is just as lavish as the volume of the luggage compartment. The fact that not only the tailgate opens electrically, but also the long steps unfold electrically and the doors close as if by magic, fits into the excellent image of the Escalade V ESV.

Such a one would also find its fans in Europe, who would be only too happy to pay the minimum of 150,000 US dollars. And the XXL version, including an unmanageably large number of security systems, costs 3000 US dollars more – that too is America.

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