2020 Cadillac Escalade ESV vs. 2019 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac Escalade ESV are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Both the Escalade ESV and X7 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Escalade ESV has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The X7’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Escalade ESV are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The X7 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Escalade ESV has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The X7 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escalade ESV Premium Luxury/Platinum has standard Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The X7 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Escalade ESV and the X7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the Escalade ESV 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the X7 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 3 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escalade ESV’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade ESV first among large premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The X7 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

The Escalade ESV’s 6.2 V8 produces 85 more horsepower (420 vs. 335) and 130 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 330) than the X7 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade ESV’s fuel efficiency. The X7 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac Escalade ESV uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X7 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Escalade ESV has 9.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the X7 (31 vs. 21.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Escalade ESV has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X7 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac Escalade ESV, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the X7.

Tires and Wheels

The Cadillac Escalade ESV’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The BMW X7 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Escalade ESV has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The X7 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Escalade ESV has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the X7, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade ESV’s wheelbase is 7.8 inches longer than on the X7 (130 inches vs. 122.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade ESV is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the X7.

Chassis

The Escalade ESV uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The X7 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Escalade ESV offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the X7 can only carry 7.

The Escalade ESV has .9 inches more front headroom, 5.5 inches more front legroom, 4.9 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 2.1 inches more rear legroom, 6.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.5 inches more third row headroom, 1.2 inches more third row legroom and 14.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the X7.

Cargo Capacity

The Escalade ESV’s cargo area provides more volume than the X7.

Escalade ESV

X7

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

48.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.9 cubic feet

90.4 cubic feet

The Escalade ESV’s cargo area is larger than the X7’s in every dimension:

Escalade ESV

X7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

31.6”/63.6”/100.3”

18.5”/45”/81.5”

Min Width

49.3”

43.5”

Height

34.9”

32”

The Escalade ESV’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escalade ESV’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X7 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Payload and Towing

The Escalade ESV’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the X7’s (7900 vs. 7500 pounds).

The Escalade ESV has a higher standard payload capacity than the X7 (1390 vs. 1202 lbs.).

The Escalade ESV has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the X7 (1440 vs. 1202 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 33% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

The Escalade ESV’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X7 does not have a temperature gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Escalade ESV has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Escalade ESV has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the X7.

The Escalade ESV has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Escalade ESV is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Escalade ESV owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Escalade ESV will cost $3755 to $6155 less than the X7 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Cadillac Escalade ESV will be $6218 to $8089 less than for the BMW X7.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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