The 2013 Escalade ESV boasts a powerful 6.2-liter V8 engine, paired up with a six-speed automatic transmission to deliver 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard as a rear-wheel drive, capable of towing up to 8,000 pounds. If you opt for the optional all-wheel drive, towing capacity drops to 7,700 pounds, which is still impressive. Optional Magnetic Ride Control is available, and well worth the money. This gives you electronically controlled shocks rather than mechanical shock absorbers. This small change may seem insignificant, but it allows the vehicle to react to the road much more quickly. The ride is smooth, and it is adaptive suspensions are perfectly calibrated to provide responsive handling and comfort. This vehicle is large, so you can expect a little bit of a challenge maneuvering, however the turning circle is only 39 feet, so it is not as hard to park as you would expect. The biggest downfall of the 2013 Escalade ESV is fuel-economy, as it returns only 14 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway as a rear-wheel drive. This drops down to 13 mpg in the city for all-wheel drive.
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• Audio - This SUV features a BOSE 5.1 surround sound with 10 speakers that pairs up with navigation. An MP3/CD/DVD, voice recognition, USB interface and Radio Data System are included.
• Bluetooth - Never take your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel with this Bluetooth interface.
• Rear Seat Audio - Passengers in the back have their own audio controls with headphone jacks.
• NavTraffic - Never get stuck in traffic jams or stranded on the highway because you didn’t know how far the next gas station was. NavTraffic gives you helpful tips and alternate routes.
• Third Row DVD Screen - If you have a large family and will be making permanent use of the third row, you may as well go ahead and add on a flip-down 8-inch diagonal screen that comes with wireless headphones.
Crash tests have not been performed on the 2013 Escalade ESV, and at this high price point, they probably won’t be. Braking capabilities have not been tested either, but if it is anything like the 2012 model, prepare to be disappointed. OnStar comes standard on all 2013 models. Other safety features include:
• Four-wheel antilock brakes
• Rear door safety locks
• Side blind zone alert
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• All-speed traction control
• Ultrasonic rear park assist
• Engine immobilizer
• Post-collision safety system
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Turn signal mirrors
• Dusk-sensing headlamps
At first glance, this sport utility vehicle looks just like the Escalade, but then you notice the extended wheel base. A chrome grille, jeweled headlights and rectangular taillights all complement the boxy yet rugged and elegant design beautifully. Although the 18-inch standard wheels are certainly attractive, most will want to go big or go home and add on the 22-inch ones.
One of the biggest benefits of the extended wheelbase on the Escalade ESV is that third row passengers are granted an addition 10 inches of legroom. This makes a huge difference in comfort! First and second rows feature captain’s chairs, but you can exchange the second row for a bench seat to make it an eight-passenger vehicle. Gauges and controls are easy to identify and use, but you can’t help but feel as though it is just a little outdated, despite the abundance of lavish materials.
Here is where the 2013 Escalade ESV really excels, but also fails just a little at the same time. It leads the class with a maximum cargo space of 137 cubic feet. Even with all seats in place, you are given 46 cubic feet. The problem comes with the third row seat, as it doesn’t fold flat. Therefore, if you have bulky items, you will need to remove the heavy seat completely.