2011 Escalade ESV Platinum Review: 72-Hours in the biggest Cadillac of them all


I grew up with Cadillacs out the yang.

Seriously, my father, his brothers, their wives, my cousins, my in-laws, outlaws; hell, EVERYONE had a Cadillac. So, I’m resistant to driving them. Then I met the Cadillac CTS-V and every version of the CTS-V (sedan, coupe, wagon) has blown me away.

Still, big-ass Cadillacs give me pause.

Then I got the biggest Cadillac of all. Recently, I got to review the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum with every conceivable option including a chocolate-brown, two-tone interior and five (yes – 5) video screens. The 403 horsepower 6.2 liter V8 moves this nearly 3-ton beastie along rapidly. The Advanced Magnetic Ride Control system seamlessly adapts to most road conditions. It can go around a corner much better than the average SUV. All this excess is available for the paltry price of $88,295.


What do I really think of the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum?

Here’s 72 hours in the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV:

Day 1, 8:00 am: “Damn-it! This thing won’t fit in my garage! I have to park it at an angle to close the door. Great, nearly 90-grand worth of Texas built SUV and I have to park it like a Porsche owner.”

Day 1, 9:30 am: “Getting used to driving the fatty-Caddy. I must admit, with components like olive ash and burled walnut wood interior trim mixed with hand-stitched leather and real metals – this is GM’s best interior… wait a minute – – – the steering wheel only adjusts up and down with no telescoping feature!? Say what?”

Day 1, 1:15 pm: “Wow this thing hauls ass. My primitive equipment says it hits 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. Not bad for over 5,200 feet elevation and nearly 3 tons. It handles better than I thought it would; however, it still requires waiting a beat around sharp corners – cut it too quick and you’ll bounce a curb for sure – or clip an innocent pedestrian.”

Day 1, 5:55 pm: “Okay, there is something to be said about sitting in traffic in this thing. It’s a sea of ranquility and the A/C could freeze my beard; nice to have during a heat wave.”


Day 2, 9:15 am: “Turns out it won’t fit at an angle either – not unless I am willing to remove part of one of my walls. The Cadillac sat in the driveway.”

Day 2, 11:11 am: “This stereo kicks ASS!”

Day 2, 1:00 pm: “So I finished up a meeting with my peeps and opt to do some shopping. The moment after I park, a lady in an older Escalade nearly tackles me to get info. Normally I avoid conversation – but she’s hot – I give her the tour. She flips out over the automatically retracting step. I lie and say it’s very useful – which it is for kids but not for tall folk”

Day 2, 3:30 pm: “I’m such an idiot. Normally, when I have an AWD vehicle, I only take smaller crossovers on this trail by the South Platt River to fish – poorly. This time, I brought something so big it can be seen from space. Still, I’m fairly impressed at how competent it is on dirt and loose gravel.”

Day 2, 3:45 pm: “Stop Nathan! Just stop it. Stop thinking like that! I almost went onto a proper off road trail that requires at least a locking diff! This thing is JUST an AWD vehicle. Slowly, I back down the trail and reward myself with a York Peppermint Pattie for thinking about consequences – for once.”


Day 3, 8:00 am: “Very funny. Ha – ha – ha. I am laughing to myself in painful resignation as I spend a king’s ransom to top off the tank. The 26 gallon gas tank seems to have a leak. I mean, I can’t be averaging 11 mpg – right?”

Day 3, 2:00 pm: “I’m a PIMP! The ladies like me rollin’ on these 22s! Ehhh – so do the guys. Crap. Well I dare say that there are a lot of people who know an awful lot about this machine. Everyone from good ol’ boys to obnoxious trophy wives get rather excited about the Escalade.”

Day 3, 5:15 pm: “My kids love this thing. My little girl treats me a chauffer and my toddler has enough room to assault the back of my head with sippy-cups all day long. The second row captain chairs spoil the rug-rats with lots of space. Still I can’t see how so many parents can justify something so massive when they have 2 or 3 kids.”


— In three days, I’ve come to appreciate the comfort, luxury and utility of this monster while I am simply addicted to its fantastic sounding 6.2 liter V8. Man can Cadillac build a hum-dinger. Still, what the hell is up with the non telescoping steering wheel and LESS than 11 mpg!?

In a couple of days, TFLcar.com demigod Roman Mica and I will make a video with this lux-o-yacht. I know it will have something to do with how anachronistic vehicle like this are becoming. Look for that video soon!

Big luxury will become a thing of the past – soon. Let’s face it, even the wealthy will object to $4.00 and $5.00 per gallon pricing. Still, when it comes to something that is built strictly to make you feel like a million bucks while driving through inclimate weather – it’s hard to usurp the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum.

… even if its doesn’t fit in your garage.

Nathan Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com page HERE.

If you like Cadillac SUV’s you can also check out our recent review of the Cadillac SRX Turbo below:

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