The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury sport utility vehicle sold by the General Motors Corporation luxury brand, Cadillac. It was the division's first major entry into the popular SUV market. The Escalade was introduced for the 1999 model year in response to German and Japanese competitors and to Ford's 1998 release of the Lincoln Navigator. The Escalade project went into production only 10 months after it was approved. The standard Escalade is built in Arlington, Texas.
The Escalade was originally based on sister company GMC's Yukon Denali, but was redesigned for the 2002 model year to make its appearance fall more in line with Cadillac's new design theme. The Escalade was not the first Chevrolet-based Cadillac: the first-generation Seville and mid-1980s Cadillac Cimarron were based on entry-level Chevy vehicles (Nova and Cavalier, respectively). As of today, the Escalade ESV (a luxurious Chevy Suburban), especially the Escalade EXT pickup are, together with the Cadillac BLS, the only Cadillac vehicles made outside of the United States, since the demise of the German-built Cadillac Catera in 2001. The Escalade and Escalade ESV are built in Arlington, TX, while the Escalade EXT is built in Silao, Mexico
See Wikicars' comprehensive Cadillac Escalade Review.
- 1 Recent Changes
- 2 Styles and Major Options
- 3 Pricing
- 4 Gas Mileage
- 5 Reliability
- 6 Safety
- 7 Photos
- 8 Colors
- 9 Main Competitors
- 10 Hybrid Models
- 11 Unique Attributes
- 12 Resale Values
- 13 Criticisms
- 14 Generations
- 15 Worldwide
- 16 Design quirks and oddities
- 17 Awards
- 18 See also
- 19 External Links
- The Escalade will move to the new "GMT900" platform for the 2007 model year. Its introduction was accelerated as sales began slipping. The regular Escalade will be joined by a stretched ESV version as well as a new EXT pickup truck. The 2007 Escalade was the official vehicle of Super Bowl XL, with MVP Hines Ward being awarded one of the first Escalades produced.
- Hot on the heels of the the 2008 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid's late 2007 unveiling at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Cadillac has released the uber-bling Escalade Platinum Edition. Available in both regular and ESV variations, the new range-topper will be powered by the standard fare 403 horsepower 6.2 litre OHV VVT all-aluminum V8 mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission but gets an upgraded treatment inside and out. For starters, the interior will now be swathed in hand-stitched Aniline "Cut & Sew" leather with contrast-color French stitching on the seams, carry Platinum-specific door sills and floor mats, have the front headrests ensconced with LCD screens for full DVD, CD, MP3 and XM Satellite radio passenger entertainment along with the flip-down screen mounted on the ceiling all matched to a Bose 5.1 Digital Surround system (not to mention the 8 in nav screen on the dash) plus heated steering wheel and heated and cooled cup holders. The dashboard will also be inlaid with unique double grain wood paneling. Outside, the wonderfully decadent glut continues with unique 22 inch rims on wheels controlled by Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension technology, Full LED headlamp clusters and a grille which borrows its style from the Cadillac CTS. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Styles and Major Options
The Escalade EXT pickup truck (released alongside its twin, the Chevrolet Avalanche) was introduced in 2002. It features a "Convert-a-Cab" composite pickup bed that can be expanded into the truck's cab through a bottom-hinged door. Like the Avalanche, the EXT has four full-size doors and seating for five. The EXT was only offered with the 6.0L High Output engine. high-intensity discharge headlights were offered for 2003. The Escalade EXT also appears in the movie, "The Matrix Reloaded" along with the CTS in product placement ads.
The Escalade EXT was created as a direct competitor to the failed Lincoln Blackwood, a pickup truck based on the Navigator SUV. Currently, it competes with the Lincoln Mark LT, another Navigator-based pickup truck that made its debut in 2006.
The extended-length Escalade ESV (based on the Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL) was introduced in 2003. The Escalade ESV is also Cadillac's most expensive SUV with prices ranging from $59,680 for a base "Standard" version to $71,050 for a top-of-the-line "Escalade Platinum".
The Escalade line has proven very popular with after-market tuners, who personalize vehicles for usually affluent customers. While such work is not done by the Cadillac factory, much can be ordered through a Cadillac dealer and done by third-party companies. Much like the customized Cadillacs of the 1970s (during the "pimpmobile craze"), popular modifications include larger wheels, increased engine performance and custom paint. Due to its expensive parts and exposure from celebrity ownership, the Escalade has also been proven to be popular with car thieves as well, becoming the most frequently stolen vehicle from 2001-2003 according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.
2007 Escalade Trims
Escalade ESV 4x4
Escalade EXT 4x4
While power is absolute, it won't come at the cost of fuel efficiency with the new Escalade. The all new 403-hp 6.2L Vortec V8 VVT engine produces the highest horsepower of any SUV that can seat seven or more passengers, while also offering unsurpassed highway fuel economy in its class.
- City: 13 MPG
- Highway: 19 MPG
- Combined: 15 MPG
- RECALL ALERT: On August 29, 2008, GM issued a GM-wide recall affecting 857,735 vehicles built between 2006-2008 and equipped with heated windshield washer fluid option including the 2007-2008 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT. The system was liable to short out causing cessation of function, smoke, possible fire and malfunctioning of other electronic systems in the car. GM urges owners of affected vehicles to go to their nearest local dealer so the problem can be remedied.
- RECALL ALERT: On December 23, 2010, GM issued a recall affecting approximately 1,260 Cadillac Escalades, Chevrolet Avalanche and Silverado 1500s, and GMC Sierra 1500s from MY 2011 due to a faulty rear-axle cross pin, which could fracture and become displaced within the axle. GM said that if the pin shifts out of position, it could create an interference condition and cause the rear axle to lock, in which case, the driver may not be able to maintain directional control of the vehicle and a crash could occur without prior warning.
All three Escalade trims ranked fifth for safety on Autos.com.
- Black Raven
- Blue Chip
- Gold Mist
- Radiant Branze
- Red E
- Rip Tide Blue
- Hummer H2 SUV & SUT
- Infiniti QX56
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Lincoln Navigator
- Lexus LX 470
- Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (and possibly the smaller ML-Class)
For more information, see: Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
Stretching 221.4 inches, the EXT and ESV are two inches longer than a Chevy Suburban, placing them among the longest vehicles on the road.
- The Escalade's high-intensity-discharge lights bother drivers coming toward the vehicle and they irritate those driving immediately in front of it." - Cars.com
- "Towing is rated at 8,000 pounds, which is okay for a small weekend toy. If you need more grunt, the Chevy Avalanche has a more powerful version." - Cars.com
Third generation (2007–present)
The Escalade uses an all-aluminum 6.2L Vortec V8. The pushrod engine boasts variable valve timing, a first in a mass-produced non-overhead cam engine. The system adjusts both intake and exhaust timing between two settings. This engine produces 403-hp (301 kW) and 417 ft·lbs (565 N·m). A new six-speed 6L80 Hydra-Matic automatic transmission will be used. The new body boasts a 0.363 drag coefficient, though the large frontal area will hurt aerodynamics.
One major new feature absent from the production vehicle is American Axle's "I-Ride" rear independent suspension module. Instead, a conventional five-link suspension is used.
Production of the redesigned Escalade began at Arlington Assembly in January 2006. It will be priced from $57,280, though the rear wheel drive version at this price will not be produced until August. The more expensive all wheel drive version will be produced first, followed by the long wheelbase ESV and EXT pickup in June.
A special Platinum ESV model will follow in 2007. GM's Active Fuel Management will come in 2008.
The Escalade can accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 6.8 seconds. Fuel economy is rated at 14 MPG (16.8 L/100 km) in the city and 19 MPG (13.8 L/100 km) on the highway.
Second Generation/Origins (2002–2006)
The Escalade was not offered for the 2001 model year, but returned completely redesigned for the 2002 model year. Rear-wheel drive was standard, as was a 5.3L V8, with four-wheel drive and the special High-Output Vortec 6000 6.0L V8 engine as options.
The "StabiliTrak" stability control system was upgraded to a four-wheel version for 2003 and power-adjustable pedals were added. For 2004, 20-inch chrome wheels (also known as "dubs") were offered, and XM satellite radio, second-row bucket seats, and a tire pressure monitoring system were all made standard on all Escalades except the EXT. The 5.3L engine was dropped for 2005 and the OnStar system was upgraded.
Also, the Escalade, along with the Yukon, Tahoe, Suburban, Silverado, Trailblazer and Envoy, the Escalade received criticizm for "Bland Interior and Exterior Styling". Cadillac responded in the 2007 model year.
- 2002-2003 5.3L Vortec 5300 V8, 285-hp (213kW)
- 2004 5.3L Vortec 5300 V8, 295-hp (220 kW)
- 2002-2005 6.0L High-Output Vortec 6000 V8, 345-hp (257kW)
First Generation/Origins (1999–2000)
The first Escalade was very similar to the top Denali trim of the GMC Yukon. It shared all of that truck's exterior panels, which were themselves differentiated at the front from the regular Yukon/Tahoe. Even the wheels were identical, with the GMC center caps replaced by Cadillac crests.
Design quirks and oddities
Though they differ in body style, the Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV, and Escalade EXT share drivetrains, chassis architecture and styling cues.
The Escalade has been featured in many hip-hop music videos, and it may have been the reason for Cadillac's recent popularity among the urban demographic. James Gandolfini, who plays the character of "Tony Soprano," drives around New Jersey in an Cadillac Escalade ESV in HBO's "The Sopranos". It continues to be popular among younger actors, athletes and the hip-hop community.
A black Cadillac Escalade was owned by Nick (played by Ice Cube) in a film Are We Done Yet? as a replacement of his Lincoln Navigator (which was already destroyed). By the end of the film, a ladder fell onto his Escalade and broke the windscreen.
- Caddyinfo.com - Cadillac Discussion Forum and Technical Information
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- Cadillac prices Escalade Hybrid from $71,685
- GM Security Flaw Lets Thieves Steal Cadillac Escalades In 14 Seconds