Ever since Cadillac Escalade was introduced to the United States 2002, it gained a noteworthy reputation as one of the most modishly designed luxury SUV’s on the market. The vivacious looking SUV embraced the SUV buyers with a luxury price tag of $ 63,000*.
Over the past 14 years, Escalade has received various accolades and rewards. Let’s take a sneak peek at the brand’s history and look at how the escalade cruised through luxury lane.
History: (1999- present)
It started in the year 1999 when the first generation Escalades were assembled at the Arlington plant at Texas (US) the layout of the assembled 5-door Escalade SUV’s consisted of a Front engine and a four wheel drive with a 5.7 L (L31) V8 gasoline engine with a 4 speed (4L60-E) Auto transmission. The escalades had a wheelbase of 117.5 inches. The plush interiors were stunning and had Bose surround system which was a new addition to SUV’s (then)
An interesting fact about the Escalade according to the Highway Loss Data Institute is that the Cadillac Escalade is the second most stolen vehicle in the U.S. (Are you thinking what I’m thinking ;))
The second-generation escalades ruled from 2002 till 2006 and were assembled at Mexico, Guanajuato (Silao Assembly) Russia Kaliningrad (Avtotor) and at the Arlington Assembly plant in Texas.
This time the 5 door SYV and the 4-door Sport Utility trucks were launched with FR (Front-engine, Rear wheel drive) and F4 (Front engine and four wheel drive)
5.3 L (LM7) V8 and 6.0 L (LQ9) V8 gasoline engines with 4-speed (4L65-E) auto transmission with a wheelbase of 116 inches and 130 inches for the ESV and EXT variants powered the vehicles. The new models had a new and revised Chassis. The four wheel versions had the “StabiliTrak” feature (electronic stability control system) and the vehicles had power adjustable pedals, satellite radio, second-row bucket seats as well as a tire pressure monitoringsystem, During 2006 the platinum edition of the Escalade was introduced that was priced around $ 71,000. It had a grand touch of luxurious features such as chrome wheels, lowered stance, heated and cooled seats, heated and cooled interiors as well as moon roof and the classiest interiors. During 2002-2003 the 5.3 L LM7 V8 variants that were assembled, produced 285 HP, the 2004-06 5.3 LM7 V8 Vortec variants produced 295 HP where as the 2002-06 6.0 L LQ9 Vortec V8 variants produced 345 HP.
The third generation Escalades were launched in January 2006 and are still being produced (2014) These beauties are assembled at China: Shanghai GM, Mexico, Guanajuato (Silao Assembly) Russia Kaliningrad (Avtotor) and at the Arlington Assembly plant in Texas. The GMT 900 models came in both 5-door SUV as well as 4-door Sport Utility Truck versions with FR (front engine, rear wheel drive) F4 (front engine four wheel drive) and shared resemblance with vehicles such as the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and XL as well as the Chevrolet Silverado. The 6.0 L (LFA) and LZI V8 variants are available in hybrid and gasoline variants, the 6.2 L (L92) V8 version as well as the 6.2 L (L9H) and the 6.2 L (L94) V8 versions had gasoline-powered engines. These mighty SUV’s came in a 6-speed (6L80 and CVT 2ML70) auto transmissions. The prices started from $ 57,280 onwards and included standard features such as A/C with tri-zone climate controls, tilt faux wood & real leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and heated 2nd-row seats, 14-way power front seats, memory system, remote engine start, premium sound system, 6-disc CD changer, rear radio controls, compass, power lift-gate, and outside-temperature indicator. The Platinum version had a few extra add-ons such as DVD system, navigation system, rear view camera, cooled front seats as well as upgraded upholstery. Another Fact (that might sound painful) is that the 2007-08 Escalade models had the highest and worst fatality rates with the driver death rate of 33 as compared to 15, which was average (painful luxury) ISSUES: Cadillac Escalade isn’t getting the best of 2014. During May 20th 2014, General Motors announced that it would recall around 1402 Escalades and Escalade ESV (2015 models) due to the insufficiently heated plastic weld that attaches the side air bag of the front passenger to the instrument panel, which would partially deploy the airbag and prove fatal in the event of a severe accident. General Motors had also put a temporary halt on the sales of the Escalades and informed the existing Escalade owners to not allow any passengers to sit in the front passenger seat until they are taken back and replaced. Another recent news suggests that on August 20th 2014 Cadillac dealers are frustrated due to the lag in getting the new Escalades. The time from when the Escalades leave the delivery line till they reach the showroom is quite long and the information on tracking and status of the vehicles are always on hold. The customers are quite upset and the dealerships have put a stop to taking pre-orders. Customers who have placed orders in Feb 2014 are still waiting for their luxury SUV’s to arrive. Let’s hope Cadillac takes care of this issue at the earliest. PRESENTING THE ALL NEW FOURTH GENERATION (2015) ESCALADE: [caption id="attachment_2851" align="aligncenter" width="745"] Image Source: www.rides-mag.com[/caption] Produced in the year 2014, the 2015 model Escalade cannot be explained in any other word than “eye popping” The Escalades started going on sale from April 2014 and are being assembled at the Arlington Plant in Texas. The 4-door SUV has a classy front engine rear wheel drive and a four wheel drive option. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOg_DHLEHgw Cadillac started a campaign to promote the all new Escalade on the 14th of August 2013 and posted online teasers on the 23rd of September 2013. There was a YouTube page named “Escalade Reveal” with a countdown to unveil the new SUV. Promotions were unconventional and they sure made the buyers impatient. Engine: The new Escalade sports a 6.2 Liter EcoTec3 V8 Flex Fuel Engine with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque; all of this is mated to a six-speed auto transmission. This new engine has a revolutionary coil-over front suspension and five-link rear setup. The four-wheel drive Escalade does 0-60 in 6.4 seconds, which is quite impressive for a gigantic SUV. The EPA model returns 17 miles per gallon (15 city and 21 highway) combined while the four-wheel drive model delivers 16 miles per gallon (14 city and 21 highway) combined. [caption id="attachment_2852" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Image Source: www.rides-mag.com[/caption] Features: The 2015 Escalade has a wider track, Variable-assist power steering as well as Cadillac’s magnetic Ride Control System that has the Tour and Sports mode. [caption id="attachment_2853" align="aligncenter" width="615"] Image Source: www.zercustoms.com[/caption] The base Escalade model has 20 inch chrome wheels, magnetic ride control as well as Sport and Comfort modes along with additional features like auto LED headlights, auto wipers, front and rear parking sensors, hands-free power lift gate, auto dimming mirrors (drivers side) keyless entry and ignition, remote start trim zone auto climate control, heated power tilt, telescope steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, ventilated eight-way power front seats with 4-way lumbar adjustment and memory function. [caption id="attachment_2854" align="aligncenter" width="470"] Image Source: www.auto123.com[/caption] The Luxury model has 22 inch wheels, sunroof, automatic high beams, power-folding second row seats, a head-up display, an enhanced alarm system, a blind-spot monitoring system, a lane-departure warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert and a safety alert driver seat that buzzes to warn of potential hazards and additional security features and additional features such as Blu-Ray player, adaptive cruise control as well as reverse collision mitigation with automatic braking. Power-retracting side steps with approach lighting are optional on the Premium trim. No wonder why customers are still awaiting their Escalades. Designed to define: The new Escalade is visually quite impacting and has a blocky style. The interiors get a complete makeover and look pretty high-tech and has a great touch of infotainment with the “CUE” touch operated Cadillac interface with customizable instrument panel, real time traffic updates, Bose 16-speaker audio system with active noise cancellation and features like CD player, HD & satellite radio, 5 USB ports with Aux audio jack. [caption id="attachment_2856" align="aligncenter" width="429"] Image Source: www.caranddriver.com[/caption] A new addition (and probably a unique one too) is the addition of power-operated third row seats that folds flat into the floor unlike the competitors. The new SUV has a lot of space and feels comfortable enough to carry 7 passengers seated like kings and queens. Safety: Owing to the need for safety, Cadillac has added safety features on all the 2015 Escalade models such as include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, and an airbag located between the front seats that aids in side-impact crashes as well as On Star, which provides automatic crash notifications, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. The Luxury models have a little more safety with automatic high-beam control, a blind-spot monitoring system, a lane-departure warning system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, a forward-collision alert system and a safety seat alert system that buzzes the left, right or both sides of the driver seat depending on where attention is needed. Safety is not a constraint with the new Escalade. Price: The 2014 models start at $ 71,000 for full size and $ 74,000 for ESV. There are 3 trims available: Base, Premium and Luxury. [caption id="attachment_2857" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Image Source: www.cadillac.com[/caption] Bottom Line: One of the most beautiful SUV’s to rule the roads with high tech features and comforting luxury. Although, Cadillac is facing problems with the complaints an production, the 2015 Escalade is completely worth its dollars.