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Cadillac Escalade
2005 Cadillac Escalade
Manufacturer General Motors
Production 1999-present
Class Full-size SUV / pickup truck
Related GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Tahoe

The Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) sold by the General Motors 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 ten months after it was approved. The Escalade is built in Arlington, Texas. The name Escalade refers to a siege warfare tactic of scaling defensive walls or ramparts with the aid of ladders or siege towers.

The Escalade was originally based on the GMC Yukon Denali, but was redesigned for the 2002 model year to make its appearance fall more in line with Cadillac's new design theme. Today, the Escalade and Escalade EXT pickup are two of only three Cadillac vehicles made outside of the United States. Both the Escalade ESV (Based on the Chevrolet Suburban) and Escalade EXT (based on the Avalanche pickup truck) were made in Silao, Mexico before the 2006 redesign; the new Escalade ESV is sourced from Arlington, Texas. The Escalade competes with the Range Rover Sport, Infiniti QX56, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class,Lexus LX,Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover LR3 and Lincoln Navigator.[1][2]


First generation

GMT 400
Cadillac Escalade
Also called GMC Yukon
Chevrolet Tahoe
Production 1999-2000
Assembly Arlington, Texas, United States
Body style(s) 5-door SUV
Layout Front engine, four-wheel drive
Platform GM GMT400 platform
Engine(s) 5.7 L Vortec V8
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 117.5 in (2985 mm)
Length 201.2 in (5110 mm)
Width 77.0 in (1956 mm)
Height 74.3 in (1887 mm)
Related Chevrolet Suburban

The introduction of the Lincoln Navigator in the 1998 model year necessitated that General Motors be able to compete in the burgeoning American market for full-size luxury-type trucks. This generation was only a five-seat SUV. The first Escalade was a largely unsuccessful endeavor from the start. Fearing the growing hegemony of the Lincoln Navigator, the Escalade was rushed through the design process to reach dealers quickly. Essentially little more than a badge-engineered GMC Yukon Denali, the SUV's aesthetics were similar and identical to the Denali and the final vehicle was smaller than the Navigator. The Escalade's wheels were borrowed from the Denali line, with the GMC logos on the center caps replaced with Cadillac's crest. The Escalade also used the same 5.7 L Vortec 5700 V8 at 255 hp (190 kW), which was underpowered compared to the Navigator's 300 hp (220 kW) and 365 lb·ft (495 N·m) 5.4 Liter InTech V-8. All first-generation Escalades featured Autotrac selectable 4x4. The interior featured all leather seats with the Escalade logo sprinkled all over the car. It also had a Bose surround system–a first for SUVs. The Escalade also used a slightly different gauge cluster from the standard Tahoes/Yukons. The Escalade gauges featured white needles instead of the standard orange and the speedometer reads to 120 mph instead of only 100 mph.

Second Generation

GMT 800
GMT800 Cadillac Escalade ESV
Also called Chevrolet Tahoe
GMC Yukon
Production 2002-2006
Assembly Arlington, Texas, United States
Silao, Mexico (EXT, ESV)
Body style(s) 5-door SUV
4-door pickup truck
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / all wheel drive
Platform GM GMT800 platform
Engine(s) 5.3 L Vortec V8
6.0 L Vortec HO V8
Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 116.0 in (2946 mm)
130.0 in (3302 mm) (ESV/EXT)
Length 198.9 in (5052 mm)
221.4 in (5624 mm) (ESV/EXT)
Width 78.9 in (2004 mm)
79.5 in (2019 mm) (ESV/EXT)
Height 76.5 in (1943 mm)
75.7 in (1923 mm) (ESV/EXT)
75.0 in (1905 mm) (ESV Platinum)
Curb weight 5,800 lbs
Related Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevrolet Suburban
Hummer H2

There was no 2001 year Escalade sold for the 2001 model year. The lineup went directly from model year 2000 to 2002. This was done by introducing the 2002 model in January 2001 while still selling the present production 2000 model year car. Rear-wheel drive was standard, as was a 5.3 L V8, with all-wheel drive and the special high-output Vortec 6.0 L V8 engine as options. All models (except for the EXT) began seating 8 people.

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 were offered, and XM Satellite Radio, second-row bucket seats, and a tire pressure monitoring system were made standard on all Escalades except the EXT. The 5.3 L engine was dropped for 2005 and the OnStar system was upgraded. Also in 2005, the Platinum edition was introduced at the price of $71,025; it featured heated and cooled cup holders, 20 inch chrome wheels, moon roof, three DVD screens, and chrome accents on the steering wheel and grille.


The HO Vortec takes premium fuel while the other two engines can take a lower grade.

Specification Levels

  • 2002-2006 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2002-2006 Cadillac Escalade EXT
  • 2003-2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2004-2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum

Third Generation

GMT 900
GMT900 Cadillac Escalade
Manufacturer General Motors, Avtotor and Yulon
Also called Cadillac Escalade Platinum (Middle East)
Cadillac Escalade ESV (Middle East)
Production 2007-present
Assembly Arlington, Texas, United States
Silao, Mexico (EXT)
Kaliningrad, Russia
Miaoli, Republic of China
Body style(s) 4-door SUV
4-door pickup truck
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform GMT900 platform
Engine(s) 6.2 L Vortec V8
Transmission(s) 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 116.0 in (2946 mm)
130.0 in (3302 mm) (ESV/EXT)
Length 202.5 in (5144 mm)
222.9 in (5662 mm) (ESV)
222.0 in (5639 mm) (EXT)
Width 79.0 in (2007 mm)
79.1 in (2009 mm) (EXT only)
Height 74.7 in (1897 mm) (2007-09 2WD)
74.5 in (1892 mm) (EXT & 2007-09 ESV)
74.3 in (1887 mm) (2007-09 4WD)
2010- SWB: 75.9 in (1928 mm)
2010- ESV: 73.1 in (1857 mm)
Related Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevrolet Suburban
GMC Yukon
GMC Yukon XL
GMT900 Cadillac Escalade ESV

The Escalade moved to the new GMT900 platform for the 2007 model year. Its introduction was accelerated as sales began slipping. The regular Escalade was again 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.
Production of the redesigned Escalade began at Arlington Assembly in January 2006. It is priced from US$57,280, though the rear-wheel drive version at this price was not produced until August. The more expensive all-wheel drive version was produced first, followed by the long wheelbase ESV and EXT pickup (the latter sourced from the Silao, Mexico, plant) in June.
The Escalade uses an all-aluminum 6.2 L Vortec V8. This pushrod engine includes variable valve timing, a first in a mass-produced non-overhead cam engine. The system adjusts both intake and exhaust timing between two settings. The engine produces 403 hp (301 kW) (23 hp more than its sister competitor, the GMC Yukon Denali) and 417 ft·lbf (565 N·m) of torque. A new six-speed 6L80 automatic transmission is used. The new body completes a 0.363 drag coefficient, though the large frontal area badly affects aerodynamics.


  • 2007-present — 6.2 L Vortec 6200 V8, 403 horsepower (301 kW)

Standard Features

Standard features of the Cadillac Escalade include air conditioning w/tri-zone climate controls, tilt wood/leather-wrapped steering wheel w/radio controls, cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front and 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 liftgate, and outside-temperature indicator. The Platinum adds on a DVD entertainment system, navigation system, heated and cooled cupholders, rearview camera, cooled front seats, upgraded leather upholstery, and power-retractable running boards.



  • On the automatic trunk button, the "off" signal was changed from the letter "O" to the word "off."
  • Escalade badging on the trunk lid was moved from the left side to the right.
  • Seating capacity was increased to 9 passengers


  • The gauges were updated
  • A newly re-designed remote for keyless entry was introduced to further distinguish it from the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Denali siblings.
  • Bluetooth hands-free interface was made standard.
  • A power tilt steering wheel was made standard.
  • The Satellite Navigation System (optional) now added instant traffic updates and re-routing options.
  • Side Zone Blind Spot Alert was made standard.
  • GM's Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) was made standard on all models.


2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

A Hybrid version of the luxury vehicle debuted at the 2008 South Florida International Auto Show in Miami, and went on sale in 2008 as a 2009 model at a starting price of $74,085[3] for a two-wheel drive model. In August, 20% of Cadillac Escalade sales were hybrids.

The Escalade Hybrid takes 8.2 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) .[citation needed] Power is from a 6 liter V8 engine that makes 332 hp (248 kW) at 5100 rpm and 367 lb·ft (498 N·m) at 4100 rpm.

Flex-Fuel versions will join the lineup soon as well.

Escalade EXT

The Escalade EXT pickup truck (released alongside its twin, the Chevrolet Avalanche) was introduced in 2002 from the Cadillac division of General Motors. 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 6.0 L V8 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. All Escalade EXTs are built in Silao, Mexico.

The Escalade EXT (based on the Cadillac Escalade) was created as a direct competitor to the failed Lincoln Blackwood, a pickup truck based on the Ford F-150. It had competed with the Lincoln Mark LT (now discontinued in the United States and Canada), another F-150-based pickup truck that made its debut in 2006. It now competes with the Ford F-150 Platinum, which is still known as the Lincoln Mark LT in Mexico.


In 2005, Cadillac released its first version of the Platinum Escalade. It was only available in the ESV model. It had such features as heated and ventilated Seats (front and back), heated and ventilated cup holders, special 20" wheels, special leathers and interior design, extra labeling and HID headlamps.

In 2008, Cadillac offered the Platinum Edition on its redesigned Escalade and Escalade ESV models. It includes such features as heated and cooled cup holders, limited edition 22" wheels, additional chrome pieces and accents, special leathers, special interior trim and the world's first production LED headlamps.

In 2009, Cadillac released a Hybrid Platinum Escalade.


General Motors has cancelled the planned replacement for the GMT900 SUVs.[4] The automotive press has speculated that the Escalade nameplate may move to the Lambda crossover platform.[5]

U.S. sales

Calendar Year Escalade EXT ESV Total U.S. sales
1998[6] 3,089 - - 3,089
1999 23,897 - - 23,897
2000[7] 23,346 - - 23,346
2001 31,270 546 - 31,816
2002[8] 36,114 13,494 36 49,644
2003 35,621 11,256 12,866 59,743
2004[9] 36,994 9,638 15,618 62,250
2005 29,876 7,766 13,502 51,144
2006[10] 39,017 7,019 16,170 62,206
2007 36,654 7,967 16,370 60,991
2008[11] 23,947 4,709 11,054 39,710
2009[12] 16,873 2,423 6,588 25,884


  1. ^ From Velocity Journal (Escalade)
  2. ^ from Velocity Journal (Escalade ESV)
  3. ^ The 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
  4. ^ "General Motors, Driven to the Brink". New York Times. October 25, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  5. ^ "Cadillac Escalade to go Lambda". Left Lane News. September 9, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  6. ^ "mediaOnline". 2000-01-05. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  7. ^ "mediaOnline". 2002-01-03. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  8. ^ "GM Media Online". 2004-01-05. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  9. ^ "GM Reports December 2005 and Year Results". 2006-01-05. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  10. ^ "GM Media Online". 2007-01-03. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  11. ^ "GM Media Online". 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  12. ^

External links

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|200px|A white Cadillac Escalade]] The Cadillac Escalade is a large, luxury SUV. It is manufactured by General Motors and was released in 1999 to compete with German and Japanese competitors and to Ford's 1998 release of the Lincoln Navigator. The Escalade and Escalade EXT pickup are the two of only three Cadillac vehicles that are made outside of the United States.

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