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2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV Sport Utility

4dr AWD

Starting at | Starting at 13 MPG City - 17 MPG Highway

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  • $58,805 original MSRP
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2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV Sport Utility

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2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV Sport Utility

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2006 Cadillac Escalade

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

Escalade is a big SUV, big in the way Cadillacs were once known for being big, when the Division built big cars with big performance and big flash. Big now means trucks (which don't have to meet the same strict fuel-economy standards as cars), flash has become bling, but the old Cadillac is back, with more power, more torque, and more dazzle-per-square inch than ever before. In its maximum-length incarnation, Escalade matches exactly the wheelbase of Caddy's famous '59 finned fantasy; while exceeding its weight by more than 1000 pounds.

The Escalade nameplate includes three dramatically different though distinctly similar models: The standard Escalade is a full-size sport utility, the same size as the Chevy Tahoe. The Escalade ESV is a Suburban-sized model. The Escalade EXT is Cadillac's interpretation of the Chevy Avalanche, a brilliantly executed sport utility truck that quickly converts from a pickup with an eight-foot bed to a five-passenger luxury vehicle. All three feature a high-performance 6.0-liter V8 and all-wheel drive.

Built on GM's superb full-size truck platform, the 2006 Escalade, ESV, and EXT are fine trucks and make excellent tow vehicles. At the same time, they're roomy, luxuriously appointed vehicles that can haul family or friends or business associates in comfort. The 6.0-liter V8 supplies serious power for quick acceleration when needed along with strong torque for towing. On the road, all three Escalades are smooth and stable, nicer in ride than a Tahoe or Suburban but taut and well-controlled by full-size SUV standards for surprisingly good handling.

Cadillac made Escalade more appealing starting with the 2005 models, with richer interior appointments, a redesigned satellite-navigation option; and dual electric cooling fans and an upgraded (160-amp) alternator for better air-conditioner performance. During the model year the 6.0-liter V8 became the standard engine for all Escalades. With an all-new Escalade due for model year 2007, no additional changes have been made for 2006.

Model Lineup

The standard Escalade is available in three distinct configurations, and though they differ in appearance and packaging, they share interiors and are mechanically the same.

The plenty-full-sized Escalade is offered with two-wheel drive ($53,850) or all-wheel drive ($56,405). All-wheel-drive is standard on the extended-wheelbase Escalade ESV ($58,805); and on the clever Escalade EXT ($53,335) which, like the Chevrolet Avalanche, converts from a four-door, five-seater pickup with a short bed to a two-seater with a long bed. A high-output 6.0-liter V8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission are now standard on all models.

Cadillac is usually the first division to get GM's cutting-edge technology, and all the Escalade models come loaded with the latest: StabiliTrak electronic stability control, computer-controlled road-sensing suspension (RSS), and Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist (with lights and a warning beeper).

The list of standard luxuries is as long as the Escalade itself: Nuance leather seats with burl walnut interior trim; power heated 14-way adjustable front seats; Bose Acoustimass audio system with six-disc CD changer; XM Satellite Radio; rear seat audio controls with earphones; removable lightweight third-row seats; Heavy Duty Trailering Package.

Also standard is the OnStar communications system with Personal Calling, which allows drivers to make hands-free, voice-activated personal calls; and Virtual Advisor, which provides headlines, sports scores, weather, and personalized stock quotes (All 2006 Cadillac buyers receive a 12-month complimentary subscription to Virtual Advisor.) OnStar's latest (Gen 6) technology enhances hands-free capabilities.

The list of options is short and includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system ($1,295), touch-screen navigation integrated into the audio system ($2,145), a power glass sunroof ($1,550), and chromed wheels in 17-inch ($795) and 20-inch ($2,995) sizes. The Select Edition package ($3,490) combines the sunroof and navigation with 17-inch chrome wheels. EXT buyers may choose a powered soft tonneau cover ($1,000).

And as this is the last year for this generation of Escalade, Cadillac is offering a Collector's Edition, which became available during the '05 model year for standard-length Escalades with 4WD. It combines a unique grille, ebony interior trim, and 20-inch chrome wheels; the price depends on whether you also order the Select Edition ($2,300) or not ($3.095).

ESV buyers may choose the Platinum Edition ($11,370), which includes (among other things) an ebony and shale dash; shale leather seating surfaces and pleated door-panel bolsters; a floor console with heated and cooled cupholders; independent heated and cooled seat cushions and seatbacks; color-keyed wood-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel with chrome accents; 20-inch, nine-spoke chromed aluminum wheels; and floor mats all around embroidered with the Cadillac wreath.

Walkaround

Though they differ in body style, the Cadillac Escalade, ESV, and EXT share drivetrains, chassis architecture and styling cues. All are built on GM's full-size truck platform and share much in common with their counterparts from Chevrolet and GMC.

These are big vehicles. Stretching 221.4 inches, the EXT and ESV are 2 inches longer than a Suburban, placing them among the longest vehicles on the road. Likewise, the Escalade is 2 inches longer than the Tahoe, the former measuring 198.9 inches. In terms of length, a Lincoln Navigator falls between Escalade and ESV (measuring 207.5 inches).

If their size gives them presence, their bold styling pushes the Escalades over the top. When it debuted in 2002, the Escalade was the first production vehicle to embody Cadillac's progressive new styling, with sharp, chiseled, vertical lines, and a grille inspired by the Evoq concept car. It was the first new vehicle to reflect Cadillac's "art and science" philosophy, aimed at blending forward-thinking technology with expressive design. Now, Cadillac has a full stable of edgy new designs, including the CTS, STS, and XLR, exciting cars that represent nothing less than a renaissance at Cadillac.

Escalade's front end is massive and looks it, with a big satin-nickel plastic grille and vertical halogen headlight clusters that measure 16 by 12 inches. High intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with chrome bezels reflect a jewel-like appearance, and are integrated with rectangular parking lamps and turn signals. The vehicle's front fascia incorporates recessed tow hooks and rectangular fog lamps.

A simplified wreath-and-crest insignia designed to symbolize the new Cadillac appears on the grille and liftgate. Chrome trim emblazons the nameplate, running boards and roof rack. Big 17-inch forged alloy wheels with seven short, wide spokes carry P265/70R17 Goodyear all-season radials. These standard wheels are attractive, but are less dynamic than the rest of the styling.

Somehow the sheer size of the Escalade ESV makes it look less intimidating than the Escalade. Perhaps that's because it's essentially a Suburban with the Escalade's bold styling and more standard luxuries (including the big 6.0-liter V8 and all-wheel drive). There's something familiar and friendly about a Suburban. But there's still no doubt that the Escalade ESV represents the ultimate in SUV excess. Pulling up in one of these makes a strong statement.

Buyers who want to make an even stronger statement can opt for 20-inch rims, with P275/55R20 tires, though we don't recommend such low-profile tires on a truck. For ultimate eye-popping power, choose the ESV Platinum Edition, which rides about an inch lower than the standard ESV. A chrome grille and chromed 20-inch wheels add to the flash, along with Platinum lettering on the liftgate.

The EXT is the most unusual of the line, with its open pickup bed. In its standard configuration, the EXT offers a roomy, luxurious, comfortable five-passenger cab and a 5-foot, 3-inch long open cargo box. When more cargo room is needed, the driver can easily extend the bed to 8 feet. To accomplish this, the rear seats and Midgate fold into the interior of the cab to create a 4-by-8-foot cargo area. Items can be protected from the elements and theft with a well-designed three-piece cargo cover and lockable tailgate, both of which come standard. The sides of the cargo box, along with the Midgate and tailgate, are constructed of Pro-Tec, an extremely strong composite material. The rear window is removable to allow for additional cargo space or for added air circulation. The window is easily stowed on board and works in conjunction with the Midgate. It's an innovative and brilliantly executed solution to the problem of needing both passenger and cargo space at different times. In the morning it's a full-size work truck, in the afternoon it's a luxury crew cab. The system can be configur

Interior Features

The seats are great, because they not only provide adjustable lumbar support, but another adjustment that nicely squeezes you at the sides. The 14-way power driver's seat comes with a memory feature. His and hers key fobs allow each driver to program their own seat position; unlock the doors with your personal remote entry fob, and the seat slides to your position. This doesn't work when borrowing your spouse's keys, but you'll still be able to press a button near the armrest to get your seating position back. Buttons for the seat heaters are conveniently located here as well.

Front-row roominess and accommodations are essentially the same for the Escalade, ESV, and EXT. A big center console serves as a front armrest and opens in a couple of different ways to reveal storage areas. Two large cup holders, a CD rack and coin holder are all in there. A power outlet inside the center console is handy for plugging in and storing cell phones and other accessories.

The dashboard is squarish, like a big flat tray. A leather-wrapped handgrip runs across the top of the dash on the passenger side, with big stitching that faces out. Walnut burl wood trim adds warmth. Chrome trim and detailed graphics on the instruments emphasizes their stylish, retro-tech look. A transmission temperature gauge is included, reassuring when towing.

The optional navigation system ($2,145) was upgraded last year, with touch-screen technology replacing the joystick used previously. At the same time, the screen itself expanded from 5.8 to 6.5 inches.

The Platinum Edition ESV gets premium interior features and materials, including an ebony and shale dash, shale leather seating surfaces and pleated door-panel bolsters. Seats are both heated and cooled in the first and second rows; even the cup holders are heated and cooled. Walnut burl accents appear on the steering wheel, console, door pulls, window switch bezels and dashboard trim. Chrome trim highlights the steering wheel, speaker covers and gauge cluster. Satellite navigation is standard, along with a DVD entertainment system with separate 7-inch screens for the second and third rows.

On all Escalades, a message center provides status reports including total hours on the engine and miles driven during each of the previous seven days. (Good for checking up on teens, it even reports the top speed reached.) A computer in the center dash allows the driver to program such things as whether the locks operate automatically, how locking with the key fob is confirmed (horn, lights), whether the mirrors tilt when backing up, length of headlamp delay, etc. The steering-wheel audio controls are set into the center of the butterfly four-spoke burl wood trim wheel (so they can't be reached with your thumb).

The climate controls work very well. They are easy to understand and operate, yet quite sophisticated, and allow fine-tuning of everyone's temperature. Likewise, the audio system works very well and the XM Satellite Radio is easy to operate. A six-disc CD changer mounted at the bottom of the center stack is convenient and easy to operate. New Gen 6 OnStar is standard.

Second-row passengers have luxurious accommodations, regardless of model. Captain's chairs are standard on Escalade and ESV; they give second-row passengers front-row comfort. EXT comes with a 60/40 split bench, which is available at no charge on the other two models. The center of the bench seat folds to reveal a virtual fold-down table. Lift the vinyl top and there's a black felt compartment with little round recesses designed for the headphones.

Second-row passengers enjoy their own climate controls, seat heaters, audio system controls, map lights, and adjustable vents. Second-row accommodations for the three models are nearly the same, all within an inch. There's less legroom than you might expect in a vehicle this large, particularly if the front seats are moved all the way back. Big hangi

Driving Impressions

Powered by the big 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine, the Escalade, ESV, and EXT offer strong acceleration performance with deep torque for pulling trailers. Punch it and the Vortec's 345 horsepower provides terrific response for passing on two-lane roads. Ease the pedal down on long grades and 380 pound-feet of torque propel the Escalade with authority. These big Cadillacs are easily among the most powerful of all the full-size trucks on the road, and among the quickest SUVs. They accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 8.5 seconds, according to Cadillac. The engine delivers good throttle response, making it easy to control speed when tooling around town.

The four-speed transmission shifts smoothly, particularly around town. Like other full-size SUVs from GM, the Escalade is equipped with a Tow/Haul mode. Press a button on the end of the shift lever, and the Tow/Haul function reduces hunting between gears by delaying upshifts and downshifts. The shifting is also harder and more abrupt. This saves wear by reducing heat buildup in the transmission.

The Escalade, ESV and EXT are all superb choices for towing. The Escalade AWD offers a towing capacity of 8100 pounds. The big ESV is rated to pull 7700 pounds, while the EXT can pull 7300 pounds.

All-wheel drive increases stability and performance in slippery conditions. The computer-controlled system directs engine power where it's needed and compensates whenever and wherever wheel spin occurs. In dry conditions, the front wheels get 38 percent of the driving torque, and the rear wheels get 62 percent. Whenever a wheel slips, the power is transferred forward or rearward, depending on where grip is best, until traction can be restored to regain that 38/62 optimum split.

The computer-controlled self-leveling suspension, with extra-large high-tech Bilstein shock absorbers, sounds impressive on paper, but we found the Escalade a bit floaty. In the Columbia River valley where wind reigns supreme, the Escalade did not feel as stable as it should have. And you can feel the patches on the freeway more than you might like to. On two-lanes with curves, Escalade doesn't feel as agile as a BMW X5 or even a Ford Expedition. That said, the Escalade feels stable on on-ramps and off-ramps. It doesn't suffer from a lot of body roll. And it'll haul a lot of stuff.

Likewise, the Escalade ESV feels stable on the highway at high speeds, but it feels a little softer than a Suburban, and it conveys a distinct impression of being in control of considerable mass. Perhaps that's because the ESV weighs 5,800 pounds, about 600 pounds more than a Suburban 1500 with 4WD.

Brakes are four-wheel discs with ABS, 12-inch diameter front, 13-inch rear, not ventilated. That doesn't sound impressive for such as big vehicle, particularly if it's headed downhill with a trailer at maximum towing capacity. But the Escalade's brakes felt good in hard use on winding roads and delivered stable performance when pressed hard.

Rear Park Assist makes parking these rigs, particularly the ESV and EXT, much easier. By watching a small row of lights at the rear of the headliner, and listening for an audio tone that varies in frequency, the driver can accurately judge how much room is left behind the rear bumper. We found the system often warned us when someone stepped behind the vehicle while backing up in a crowded parking lot.

Summary

The Cadillac Escalade is one of the most luxurious SUVs available. Escalade, ESV and EXT are big, distinctive vehicles with flashy styling. With their standard 6.0-liter V8, they boast lots of horsepower, though they also have lots of weight to move. These vehicles feel stable on the road and have a relatively soft ride. They are highly capable tow vehicles.

Escalade and ESV come with three rows of seats and are rated to carry up to eight people, but those who intend to carry this many people often are better served by the Suburban-sized ESV. When set up for four people, either Escalade or ESV can carry a mountain of cargo. EXT offers the innovative Midgate system popularized by the Chevy Avalanche, and is a clever and well-executed solution for someone who alternately needs a pickup truck and a luxury passenger vehicle.

Sam Moses reported from the Columbia Gorge, with Mitch McCullough reporting from Los Angeles.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$53,850
Model lineup:
Cadillac Escalade 2WD ($53,850); Escalade AWD ($56,405); Escalade EXT ($53,335); Escalade ESV ($58,805);
Engines:
345-hp, 6.0-liter OHV V8
Transmissions:
4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual-stage front airbags and front side-impact airbags, ABS, Traction & Stability control, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, tire pressure monitor
Safety equipment (Optional):
none
Basic warranty:
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:
Arlington, Texas; Silao, Mexico
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Cadillac Escalade ESV ($58,805)
Standard equipment:
leather interior with burl wood trim; 14-way adjustable heated front bucket seats; second-row heated bucket seats with audio and climate control; removable third-row seats; Bose premium audio system with cassette and six-disc CD; XM Satellite Radio; 24-hour roadside assistance; road sensing suspension; trailering package; tire-pressure monitor; all-wheel drive; StabiliTrak with traction control
Options as tested:
rear-seat DVD entertainment ($1,295); 17-inch chrome wheels ($795)
Destination charge:
875
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$61,770
Layout:
all-wheel drive
Engine:
6.0-liter OHV V8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
345 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
380 @ 4000
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
13/17 mpg.
Wheelbase:
130.0 in.
Length/width/height:
221.4/79.5/75.7 in.
Track, f/r:
65.0/66.0 in.
Turning circle:
43.1 ft.
Seating capacity:
7
Head/hip/leg room, f:
40.7/61.4/41.3 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
38.6/49.2/37.2 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
39.0/61.6/39.1 in.
Cargo volume:
131.6 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
7700 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, upper and lower control arms, torsion bars, anti-roll bar, computer-controlled shock absorbers
Suspension R:
live axle, upper and lower trailing links, Panhard rod, coil springs, anti-roll bar, computer-controlled shock absorbers
Ground clearance:
10.7 in.
Curb weight:
5808 lbs.
Tires:
P265/70R17
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS in.
Fuel capacity:
31 gal.

Printable Version

2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV Sport Utility

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Std
Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/50,000 Miles

Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

¹Extension of new-vehicle bumper-to-bumper warranty to 6 years/70,000 miles, whichever comes first (from new-vehicle delivery date and mileage). Download Details
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection ² 172-Point Inspection
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible No

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV Sport Utility

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