2020 Cadillac Escalade ESV vs. 2019 Ford Expedition Max

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Escalade ESV Premium Luxury/Platinum’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac Escalade ESV are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Ford Expedition Max doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

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 Expedition Max 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 Expedition Max 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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Escalade ESV and the Expedition Max have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Cadillac Escalade ESV is safer than the Ford Expedition Max:

Escalade ESV

Expedition Max

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

32%

Neck Stress

248 lbs.

361 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

147 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Cadillac Escalade ESV is safer than the Ford Expedition Max:

Escalade ESV

Expedition Max

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

25 G’s

27 G’s

Hip Force

399 lbs.

434 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Escalade ESV comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Expedition Max’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the Escalade ESV 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Expedition Max. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Expedition Max ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Escalade ESV’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Expedition Max’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade ESV first among large premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Expedition Max was rated third in its category.

Engine

The Escalade ESV’s 6.2 V8 produces 45 more horsepower (420 vs. 375) than the Expedition Max’s standard 3.5 turbo V6. The Escalade ESV’s 6.2 V8 produces 20 more horsepower (420 vs. 400) than the Expedition Max Platinum’s standard 3.5 turbo V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac Escalade ESV is faster than the Expedition Max Platinum:

Escalade ESV

Expedition Max

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.2 MPH

88.2 MPH

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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Escalade ESV has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Expedition Max (31 vs. 28.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Drivetrain

The Escalade ESV has a true four-wheel drive system, which uses a four wheel traction control system to redirect engine power to the axle and wheel that still has traction to keep the Escalade ESV moving if even only one wheel still has traction. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer a true four-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Brakes and Stopping

The Escalade ESV stops much shorter than the Expedition Max:

Escalade ESV

Expedition Max

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Escalade ESV’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Expedition Max’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade ESV has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Expedition Max.

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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade ESV is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Expedition Max.

Chassis

The front grille of the Escalade ESV uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Escalade ESV has .8 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom and 1.1 inches more third row headroom than the Expedition Max.

Cargo Capacity

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

Escalade ESV

Expedition Max

Behind Third Seat

39.3 cubic feet

34.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

73.3 cubic feet

Towing

The Escalade ESV’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Expedition Max’s (7900 vs. 6000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 69% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

The Escalade ESV’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Expedition Max.

The Escalade ESV Luxury/Premium Luxury/Platinum has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Escalade ESV’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its front windows also automatically close, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Expedition Max’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Escalade ESV has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Escalade ESV’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Expedition Max’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Escalade ESV Premium Luxury/Platinum has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Escalade ESV is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Expedition Max’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 Expedition Max.

The Escalade ESV has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Expedition Max.

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

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