2020 Cadillac Escalade ESV vs. 2019 Infiniti QX80

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Escalade ESV and QX80 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 QX80’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 QX80 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 QX80 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Escalade ESV and the QX80 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, around view monitors, 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 Infiniti QX80:

Escalade ESV

QX80

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

2 Stars

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

3 Stars

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

Warranty

There are over 4 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escalade ESV’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Escalade ESV has a standard 170-amp alternator. The QX80’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade ESV first among large premium suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The QX80 isn’t in the top three.

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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 19th.

Engine

The Escalade ESV’s 6.2 V8 produces 20 more horsepower (420 vs. 400) and 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac Escalade ESV is faster than the Infiniti QX80:

Escalade ESV

QX80

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.2 MPH

93.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Escalade ESV gets better fuel mileage than the QX80:

MPG

Escalade

FWD

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/21 hwy

QX80

FWD

5.6 DOHC V8

14 city/20 hwy

AWD

5.6 DOHC V8

13 city/19 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade ESV’s fuel efficiency. The QX80 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Escalade ESV has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX80 (31 vs. 26 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 QX80 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 a seven-speed automatic is available for the QX80.

Brakes and Stopping

The Escalade ESV stops much shorter than the QX80:

Escalade ESV

QX80

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escalade ESV’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the QX80 (285/45R22 vs. 275/60R20).

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 QX80’s standard 60 series tires. The Escalade ESV’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the QX80’s optional 50 series tires.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Escalade ESV has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The QX80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade ESV’s wheelbase is 8.9 inches longer than on the QX80 (130 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade ESV is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than on the QX80.

The Escalade ESV 4WD handles at .76 G’s, while the QX80 AWD pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escalade ESV 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the QX80 AWD (27.9 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

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 QX80 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 QX80 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Escalade ESV has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 5.7 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front hip room, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear hip room, .9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row headroom, 5.7 inches more third row legroom, .5 inches more third row hip room and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the QX80.

Cargo Capacity

The Escalade ESV’s cargo area provides more volume than the QX80.

Escalade ESV

QX80

Behind Third Seat

39.3 cubic feet

16.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

49.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.9 cubic feet

95.1 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escalade ESV easier. The Escalade ESV’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.6 inches, while the QX80’s liftover is 35.8 inches.

The Escalade ESV’s cargo area is larger than the QX80’s in almost every dimension:

Escalade ESV

QX80

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

31.6”/63.6”/100.3”

18.4”/48”/81”

Min Width

49.3”

49.8”

Height

34.9”

36”

The Escalade ESV’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The QX80’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The Escalade ESV has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The QX80 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Infiniti. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 2% lower rating, Infiniti is ranked fourth.

Ergonomics

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 QX80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Escalade ESV and the QX80 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escalade ESV is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The QX80 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escalade ESV’s Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 $405 to $2805 less than the QX80 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escalade ESV is less expensive to operate than the QX80 because typical repairs cost much less on the Escalade ESV than the QX80, including $167 less for a starter and $293 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escalade ESV third among large premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The QX80 isn’t in the top three.

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Infiniti QX80 by almost two to one during 2018.

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

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