2020 Cadillac Escalade ESV vs. 2020 Toyota Sequoia

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 Sequoia doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Escalade ESV and Sequoia 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 Sequoia’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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Escalade ESV. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Sequoia.

The Escalade ESV has a standard Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sequoia only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Escalade ESV has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Escalade ESV and the Sequoia 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Sequoia’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 Toyota covers the Sequoia. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Sequoia ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Escalade ESV’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Sequoia’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 Sequoia was rated second in its category.

Engine

The Escalade ESV’s 6.2 V8 produces 39 more horsepower (420 vs. 381) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 401) than the Sequoia’s 5.7 DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac Escalade ESV is faster than the Toyota Sequoia:

Escalade ESV

Sequoia

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.8 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.2 MPH

91.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Escalade

FWD

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/23 hwy

AWD

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/21 hwy

Sequoia

FWD

5.7 DOHC V8

13 city/17 hwy

AWD

5.7 DOHC V8

13 city/17 hwy

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

The Escalade ESV has 4.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Sequoia (31 vs. 26.4 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 Sequoia 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 six-speed automatic is available for the Sequoia.

Brakes and Stopping

The Escalade ESV stops much shorter than the Sequoia:

Escalade ESV

Sequoia

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Escalade ESV’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sequoia (285/45R22 vs. 275/65R18).

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 Sequoia SR5’s standard 65 series tires. The Escalade ESV’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Sequoia TRD Sport/Limited/Platinum/TRD Pro’s 55 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 Sequoia SR5. The Escalade ESV’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Sequoia TRD Sport/Limited/Platinum/TRD Pro.

The Cadillac Escalade ESV’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Sequoia 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 Sequoia doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade ESV’s wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the Sequoia (130 inches vs. 122 inches).

The Escalade ESV 4WD handles at .76 G’s, while the Sequoia Limited 4x4 pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escalade ESV 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Sequoia Limited 4x4 (27.9 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 29.8 seconds @ .55 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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Escalade ESV has 8 inches more front headroom, 2.8 inches more front legroom, 4.2 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear hip room and 4 inches more third row headroom than the Sequoia.

Cargo Capacity

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

Escalade ESV

Sequoia

Behind Third Seat

39.3 cubic feet

18.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

66.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

120.9 cubic feet

120.1 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 Sequoia’s liftover is 33 inches.

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

Escalade ESV

Sequoia

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

31.6”/63.6”/100.3”

18.5”/52.5”/90.5”

Min Width

49.3”

50”

Height

34.9”

36”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Escalade ESV’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Sequoia doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

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 Sequoia doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, 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 Sequoia’s (7900 vs. 7100 pounds).

The Escalade ESV has a higher standard payload capacity than the Sequoia (1390 vs. 1250 lbs.).

The Escalade ESV has a higher maximum payload capacity than the Sequoia (1440 vs. 1350 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 40% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the Escalade ESV automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Sequoia’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 Sequoia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Escalade ESV and the Sequoia 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 Sequoia prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Escalade ESV’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Sequoia’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

On a hot day the Escalade ESV’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Sequoia can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Escalade ESV’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Sequoia’s power window (except driver window), power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 Sequoia 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 Sequoia’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Sequoia doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Escalade ESV’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Sequoia’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

On extremely cold winter days, the Escalade ESV’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Sequoia doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Cadillac Escalade ESV has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Sequoia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Sequoia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escalade ESV is less expensive to operate than the Sequoia because typical repairs cost much less on the Escalade ESV than the Sequoia, including $53 less for a water pump, $643 less for a starter, $69 less for a fuel pump and $357 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 Sequoia isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Toyota Sequoia by over three to one during 2018.

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

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