2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV vs. 2020 Infiniti QX80

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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An active infrared night vision system optional on the Escalade ESV Premium/Platinum/Sport helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The QX80 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, around view monitors, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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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

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The Escalade ESV has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The QX80 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

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

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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.

The Escalade ESV’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 47 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 413) than the QX80’s 5.6 DOHC V8.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Escalade ESV

RWD

6.2 OHV V8

15 city/20 hwy

AWD

6.2 OHV V8

14 city/19 hwy

QX80

RWD

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 some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Escalade ESV V8’s fuel efficiency. The QX80 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escalade ESV’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The QX80 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Escalade ESV has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX80 (28.3 vs. 26 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A ten-speed automatic is available 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.

Tires and Wheels

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The Escalade ESV’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the QX80’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade ESV has standard 22-inch wheels. Smaller 20-inch wheels are standard on the QX80.

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

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The Escalade ESV offers an available 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 13 inches longer than on the QX80 (134.1 inches vs. 121.1 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Escalade ESV (except Diesel) 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.

Passenger Space

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The Escalade ESV has 17.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX80 (170.4 vs. 152.5).

The Escalade ESV has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 4.9 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more rear hip room, 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.4 inches more third row headroom, 7.8 inches more third row legroom, .6 inches more third row hip room and 2.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the QX80.

Cargo Capacity

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

Escalade ESV

QX80

Behind Third Seat

41.5 cubic feet

16.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

94.1 cubic feet

49.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

142.8 cubic feet

95.1 cubic feet

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.

Towing

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The Escalade ESV 4WD with optional equipment can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Escalade ESV can be unhitched and driven around locally. The QX80 can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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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

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the QX80, the Escalade ESV has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Escalade ESV Premium/Platinum/Sport has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 Escalade ESV’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The QX80’s parking brake has to released manually.

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 Platinum has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the QX80.

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 QX80 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Escalade ESV Premium/Platinum/Sport’s Adaptive Park Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The QX80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/15

The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Infiniti QX80 by 85% during 2019.

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