2019 Cadillac Escalade ESV vs. 2018 Mercedes G-Class

                        Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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                        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 G-Class doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

                        Both the Escalade ESV and G-Class 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 G-Class’ 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 G-Class 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 G-Class doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

                        The Escalade ESV offers optional Front Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The G-Class doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

                        Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escalade ESV Premium Luxury/Platinum has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The G-Class doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

                        The Escalade ESV’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The G-Class doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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

                        To help make backing safer, the Escalade ESV’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The G-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

                        The Escalade ESV’s gas tank is mounted inside the frame rails in front of the rear axle to optimally protect the fuel tank in a collision. The Mercedes G-Class’ gas tank is mounted behind the rear axle, where it is more susceptible to rear collisions.

                        Both the Escalade ESV and the G-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal 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 all-wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.


                        Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the Escalade ESV 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the G-Class. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the G-Class ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

                        Cadillac pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Escalade ESV. Cadillac will pay for an oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the G-Class.

                        There are over 2 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escalade ESV’s warranty.


                        J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.


                        The Escalade ESV’s 6.2 V8 produces 4 more horsepower (420 vs. 416) and 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 450) than the G 550’s standard 4.0 turbo V8.

                        Fuel Economy and Range

                        On the EPA test cycle the Escalade ESV 4x4 gets better fuel mileage than the G 550 (14 city/21 hwy vs. 13 city/14 hwy).

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

                        To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac Escalade ESV uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The G-Class requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

                        The Escalade ESV has 5.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the G-Class (31 vs. 25.4 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 G-Class doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.


                        A ten-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 G-Class.

                        Brakes and Stopping

                        For better stopping power the Escalade ESV’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the G-Class:


                        Escalade ESV


                        Front Rotors

                        13 inches

                        12.4 inches

                        Rear Rotors

                        13.6 inches

                        10.7 inches

                        The Escalade ESV’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the G 550 are solid, not vented.

                        The Escalade ESV stops much shorter than the G-Class:


                        Escalade ESV



                        60 to 0 MPH

                        119 feet

                        129 feet

                        Motor Trend

                        Tires and Wheels

                        For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escalade ESV has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the G 550.

                        The Cadillac Escalade ESV’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes G 550 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 G-Class doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

                        Suspension and Handling

                        The Cadillac Escalade ESV’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Mercedes G-Class’ solid front axle, which allows the Escalade ESV’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

                        The Escalade ESV has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Escalade ESV flat and controlled during cornering. The G-Class’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

                        The Escalade ESV has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The G-Class doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

                        For much better steering response and tighter handling the Escalade ESV has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the G-Class.

                        The Escalade ESV has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The G-Class doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

                        For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escalade ESV’s wheelbase is 17.8 inches longer than on the G-Class (130 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

                        For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escalade ESV is 9.3 inches wider in the front and 9.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the G-Class.

                        The Escalade ESV 4x4 handles at .76 G’s, while the G 63 pulls only .65 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

                        The Escalade ESV 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the G 550 (27.9 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

                        For better maneuverability, the Escalade ESV’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the G-Class’ (43 feet vs. 44.6 feet).

                        For greater off-road capability the Escalade ESV has a greater minimum ground clearance than the G 63 (8 vs. 7.7 inches), allowing the Escalade ESV to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.


                        For excellent aerodynamics, the Escalade ESV has standard flush composite headlights. The G-Class has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

                        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 G-Class 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 G-Class doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

                        Passenger Space

                        The Escalade ESV offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the G-Class can only carry 5.

                        The Escalade ESV has .4 inches more front headroom, 8.6 inches more front shoulder room and 8.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the G-Class.

                        For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Escalade ESV’s middle row seats recline. The G-Class’ rear seats don’t recline.

                        Cargo Capacity

                        The Escalade ESV’s cargo area provides more volume than the G-Class.


                        Escalade ESV


                        Third Seat Folded

                        76.7 cubic feet


                        Third Seat Removed


                        38.6 cubic feet

                        Second Seat Folded

                        120.9 cubic feet

                        79.5 cubic feet

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

                        The Escalade ESV’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The G-Class’ swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

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

                        To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escalade ESV’s power cargo door can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The G-Class doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.


                        The Escalade ESV’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the G-Class’ (7900 vs. 7700 pounds).

                        While the G-Class 4x4/G 65 can only tow 7000, any Escalade ESV can tow a minimum of 7900 pounds.

                        Servicing Ease

                        J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked 6th.


                        The Escalade ESV’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The G-Class does not have an oil pressure gauge.

                        The Escalade ESV offers an optional 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 G-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

                        The Escalade ESV’s front power windows open or close 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 G-Class’ power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

                        Keyless Access standard on the Escalade ESV allows you to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mercedes G-Class doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

                        To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Escalade ESV has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the G-Class only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

                        While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Escalade ESV detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The G-Class doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

                        To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Escalade ESV has standard extendable sun visors. The G-Class doesn’t offer extendable visors.

                        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 G-Class.

                        The Escalade ESV has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The G-Class doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

                        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 G-Class doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

                        Model Availability

                        The Escalade ESV is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The G-Class doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

                        Economic Advantages

                        According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escalade ESV is less expensive to operate than the G-Class because typical repairs cost much less on the Escalade ESV than the G-Class, including $459 less for a water pump, $99 less for front brake pads, $442 less for a starter and $263 less for fuel injection.

                        The headlight lenses on the Escalade ESV are made of plastic to be lighter, more resistant to damage and less expensive to replace than the glass headlight lenses on the G-Class.


                        The Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV outsold the Mercedes G-Class by over five to one during 2017.

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

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