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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody have any experience with the ESV Off-Road?

How did it perform? Pros & Cons?


I'm particulary interested in sandy applications.
 

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Watching the Watchers
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I'd be surprised if anyone took an ESV off-road, including Cadillac. That being said, the performance should be similar to a suburban
 

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Isn't the ESV AWD instead of 4WD?
If so, I must admit I DO like AWD better. My wife's Denali has AWD and it definately is superior to any of the 4WD trucks we've had in the last few years.
That said, I agree with Brett. The chances of anybody taking one off-road is slim.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I didn't expect to hear from a lot of people with off-road experience?

I'm wondering how the AWD was compared to the 4WD in terms of off-road performance?
 

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My Denali w/AWD is WAY BETTER than the last few 4WD trucks I had with the one possible exception of the lack of a "LOW-LOCK" position. For ULTIMATE traction, I prefer to have a LOW-LOCK gear. Other than that, the overall off-road ability seems to be better with the AWD.
 

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I have a 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Boy, do I hate that thing. 180 hp and slips in the snow more than I thought. In the blizzard of 2000 when we had a 98 Jeep Wrangler, we couldnt get out of the driveway before we were stuck. Another time, goin about 20 mph in slush we fishtailed. Actually twice. If your looking for wintry off-road, I dont think a Jeep would be the best. AWD with Traction Control is better. Jeeps are for mud.
 

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Actually, any 4WD or even AWD is only mediocre at best in snow unless you put the "proper" tires on it.
Many customers have come to me complaining about how their 4WD sucks in the snow, and I always notice that they have the OEM or some other "All-Season" tire on it. Unfortunately, All-Season tires leave much to be desired when it comes to mud/snow traction.
 

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2004 Escalade, 2005, Srx V8, 2011 Cts
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I have actually taken my 2004 Escalade off road. Not babying it, real serious off roading. The AWD is great. I have the regular short version, not the ESV or The truck. The performance on these are better than any truck of other SUV I have ever driven off road and on the road. Nothing can beat it in my opinion.
 

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03 cadillac escalade
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Try driving on solid ice for the first time I never had a problem in my lade and yes it is the base lade(not esv or ext)with the awd I love it ran in the snow like a champ can't say that about a ford or dodge.
 

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I have a 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Boy, do I hate that thing. 180 hp and slips in the snow more than I thought. In the blizzard of 2000 when we had a 98 Jeep Wrangler, we couldnt get out of the driveway before we were stuck. Another time, goin about 20 mph in slush we fishtailed. Actually twice. If your looking for wintry off-road, I dont think a Jeep would be the best. AWD with Traction Control is better. Jeeps are for mud.
Which level of 4WD did you have?

I shopped for GCs at one point and learned there are three levels of 4WD. I believe it was Select Trak II that was the true 4wd.

Most people I've come across don't realize that the majority of 4wd vehicles on the road are not really 4wd. They're open differentials front and rear, meaning that only one front and one rear wheel actually provide power to the ground.

My first 4WD vehicle was a Trailblazer, it came stock with open differentials front and rear. There wasn't anything I could do with the front as it had a cheap non-standard differential that nobody made aftermarket parts for. The rear was a standard 8.5" GM though and I did put a G80 mechanical locker in it. It was a night and day difference the second winter I owned the vehicle with the new rear differential.

I'm new to the Escalade world so I haven't experienced a real winter with it yet, but I was very disappointed to learn that GM's top of the line luxury SUV didn't come with some type of LSD or locker as standard equipment.
 

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03 cadillac escalade
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wake said:
Which level of 4WD did you have?

I shopped for GCs at one point and learned there are three levels of 4WD. I believe it was Select Trak II that was the true 4wd.

Most people I've come across don't realize that the majority of 4wd vehicles on the road are not really 4wd. They're open differentials front and rear, meaning that only one front and one rear wheel actually provide power to the ground.

My first 4WD vehicle was a Trailblazer, it came stock with open differentials front and rear. There wasn't anything I could do with the front as it had a cheap non-standard differential that nobody made aftermarket parts for. The rear was a standard 8.5" GM though and I did put a G80 mechanical locker in it. It was a night and day difference the second winter I owned the vehicle with the new rear differential.

I'm new to the Escalade world so I haven't experienced a real winter with it yet, but I was very disappointed to learn that GM's top of the line luxury SUV didn't come with some type of LSD or locker as standard equipment.
You only get a locking rear diff in the hummer h2's or h3's
I guess they don't think those of us that own these high class caddies take them off road.

I do know mine has a LSD in the rear idk about the front there are sites where you can run the rpo codes or call a dealer and have them run your Vin and you can find out.
 

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Cadillac 99
I have taken my escalade on some easier trails and its done great. How rough of trails have you been on: light rock, steep dirt hills, wet grass, rutted,etc...? I think I could keep up with most stock 4x4 but don't want to get struck so your experience probably proves the escalade is very off road capable. I leveled mine 2" front and rear, ride
is a little harder but the under body has 14" ground clearance and axle 9.5" better than a jeep!
 

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You only get a locking rear diff in the hummer h2's or h3's
I guess they don't think those of us that own these high class caddies take them off road.

I do know mine has a LSD in the rear idk about the front there are sites where you can run the rpo codes or call a dealer and have them run your Vin and you can find out.
Not only the Hummers. From what I remember the G80 locker rear was an option on the Denali which is essentially an Escalade in different clothing. I thought some Escalades had it as an orderable option as well.

It's a safe bet that most won't see any off road conditions heavier than a dirt driveway. I remember living in the L.A. area and saw 4wd Jeeps with, "Mall Rated" stickers on them above a silouhette of a jeep with it's front wheel on the parking curb. LOL. One of my coworkers who kept his vehicles long term told me he had his truck in 4wd one time in 14 years of owning it. He didn't know if it even worked anymore since it had been about that much time since it was last engaged.

My Trailblazer had a big increase in off road capability with the G80 I added to it, if I understood the stability system (active braking system) a little better I'd attempt a transplant into the Escalade as well.

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I have actually taken my 2004 Escalade off road. Not babying it, real serious off roading. The AWD is great. I have the regular short version, not the ESV or The truck. The performance on these are better than any truck of other SUV I have ever driven off road and on the road. Nothing can beat it in my opinion.
Out of curiousity, do you have the locking rear differential (G80 RPO)?

Also, how did it behave in low traction conditions like dirt and mud? Stability/Traction control on or off?
 

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wake said:
Not only the Hummers. From what I remember the G80 locker rear was an option on the Denali which is essentially an Escalade in different clothing. I thought some Escalades had it as an orderable option as well.

It's a safe bet that most won't see any off road conditions heavier than a dirt driveway. I remember living in the L.A. area and saw 4wd Jeeps with, "Mall Rated" stickers on them above a silouhette of a jeep with it's front wheel on the parking curb. LOL. One of my coworkers who kept his vehicles long term told me he had his truck in 4wd one time in 14 years of owning it. He didn't know if it even worked anymore since it had been about that much time since it was last engaged.

My Trailblazer had a big increase in off road capability with the G80 I added to it, if I understood the stability system (active braking system) a little better I'd attempt a transplant into the Escalade as well.

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Out of curiousity, do you have the locking rear differential (G80 RPO)?

Also, how did it behave in low traction conditions like dirt and mud? Stability/Traction control on or off?
I have had my truck in both dirt and mud dirt it don't matter the speed mud you have make sure you keep your momentum unless you want to break a wheel free of traction but that was with my old tires I haven't tried mud yet with my new tires.
 

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I have an 03 esv, and have taken it off road a few times. The way I look at is, its still a SUV. So I am going to use it that way. The only down side is the long wheel base, so going on steeper inclines or really rocky trails is not adviseable. However I do plan on lifting it this summer, maybe a four inch. I'll let you guys know how that goes. Another reason for the lift is because I want to go back to 22's with some larger profile tires. And tires do make all the difference in the world. My last set of 4WD tires were the NITTO TERRA GRAPPLERS, awesome set. I will be going with those once again. I currently have 20's with GENERAL GRABBERS and they're ok but the Grapplers are more aggresive.
 

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I think the G80 RPO code is just a limited slip diff. I have a 2wd suburban with the G80 RPO code written in the glove box. When in snow, when one wheel starts to spin, the other side kicks in and both wheels spin and typically give better traction. My suburban is a 05. It actually has a suspension and body lift and 37" BFG Mud terrains on it. Kind of corny since it's a 2wd, but, I just had it out on some snowy dirt trails this past weekend and it went everywhere! Even up some fairly steep hills that I didn't think it would make it up. I just keep my foot lightly on the gas and it fishtailed it's way up the trail. Pretty fun actually.
 

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smelly$cat said:
I think the G80 RPO code is just a limited slip diff. I have a 2wd suburban with the G80 RPO code written in the glove box. When in snow, when one wheel starts to spin, the other side kicks in and both wheels spin and typically give better traction. My suburban is a 05. It actually has a suspension and body lift and 37" BFG Mud terrains on it. Kind of corny since it's a 2wd, but, I just had it out on some snowy dirt trails this past weekend and it went everywhere! Even up some fairly steep hills that I didn't think it would make it up. I just keep my foot lightly on the gas and it fishtailed it's way up the trail. Pretty fun actually.
I have experienced this in a older ford explorer it is fun to fishtail the rear end around just be aware of trees(not even thinking of trying this in my truck)
 
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