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Cadillac Escalade



  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Well, I agree with Gaskins and ttcad here.

    The only thing Caddy did wrong was wait too long to enter the luxury truck market. They admit to that, know they are behind, and as such are about to introduce several hot new SUVs over the course of the next 3 years (and beyond if the market still demands).

    The first generation Escalade makes no apologies for being an upgraded Denali. The Navigator, LX470, QX4, and several others are upgraded models of lesser "sister" vehicles. Why a large number of people seem to point out the Escalade for its lesser roots, as if it's the only vehicle of its kind to have such a lineage, I do not understand.

    The current Escalade has already brought in younger buyers to Cadillac showrooms, and yes, including enough people in the entertainment industry to be relevant and countable. He'll remain nameless here, but I have a relative in the entertainment industry in his low 30's who bought an Escalade and could afford essentially any damn vehicle he wants. He chose the Escalade...a Cadillac.

    Regarding the Edmunds review of the new '02 Escalade, given that these guys have seemingly gone out of their way to find things wrong with any other Cadillac they have tested and written about, the fact that they were so impressed with the new Escalade that they say it is equal to, if not better than, the other luxury SUVs, both import and domestic, speaks volumes. Frankly, I was amazed when I read it, and excited, since the '02 Escalade really represents the first of the "new breed" of Cadillac vehicles that will begin to be introduced for the '02 model year.

    Anyway, as of now all we can do is speculate as to how the consumer market will react to the new '02 Escalade. I have a feeling that we'll be seeing a lot more Escalades hitting the road, and a lot of them will be "suped up" with aftermarket goodies that'll make them look even hotter. This will be a very profitable vehicle for Cadillac, and it will set new standards in many areas for the large luxury SUV market.

    Competition is good. All of us consumers win in the end.

    Like it or not, Cadillacs are becoming cool again.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    You've made a number of valid points. Excellent post.

    Your comments regarding the Navigator, LX470, QX4, are absolutely true. You can also add the Acura STX to that list. I'm not a fan of those models either. I don't like "badge engineering" in any way, shape or form. You can argue, and rightfully so, that this is the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to bring a new model to market. The problem is -- no matter how much you dress it up -- you still end up with a mediocre product -- because its roots (which you can't change) are mediocre to begin with.

    Of those other badge-engineered vehicles I have hope (strong hope) for the next Navigator, which is due out in a couple of years. From what I've read so far, it will have many of the features the current models "should" have right now.

    The excellent 2002 Explorer is a good tip-off as to what you can expect to find on the next Navigator. It will have virtually all the items (that I feel should be there) that are currently missing from the current Navigator, Escalade, etc. It will have IRS, a roomy, easy-to-access and fold-away third seat, and most likely a 5-speed automatic. All of these features will make it a class-leading vehicle. Yes the next Expedition will also have many, if not all those features. The difference is that the next Navigator will start off using a much more sophisticated platform to begin with.

  • I have to apologize for the earlier post. To come out attacking was wrong. I guess I was just having a bad day.

    The only real problem I see with your conclusion is that you are comparing vehicles that were built off of car chassis. The ML is a product of the E class. The X5 is a tall 5 series. What would happen if they but bigger tires on an STS and called it an SUV? No one could come close to the technology. I have driven (BTW, I am not an owner of a Cadillac, I run a dealership) all the inports for a good spin. I have to say that I do like the trucks. I use the term truck VERY loosely though. After all, they are still just big, tall cars. When the new 02 escalade hits, the technology will be greater than anything else out there. Stabilitrac in a sport ute?!? So they won't have a 5 speed tranny. Being able to pull 8700 pounds in complete luxury and safety doesn't require 5 gears. Besides, for the most part, the only thing a 5 speed does for you is give you more torque off the line because of the lower gear ratio in first. Not really needed.

    I can say that interest in the vehicle is tremondous and Cadillac is accomodating that. I currently have 6 orders for them. All at list plus (whatever it might be). One of the orders is for a gentleman that had to extend the lease on his current escalade 6 months. This is unheard of on a GMAC lease. 2 month extensions are usually the most. Cadillac expects big things with this new one. So do I.

    Again, I have to apologize for the scathing post earlier. As most people here such as Robh knows, I don't like to do that. Everyone has, and is entitled to, their own opinions.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    No apology is necessary. My comments are directed at getting better products made. I have no ax to grind with Cadillac. I just want to see the best Cadillac SUV possible. From what I've seen of their future product with cars, they seem to be headed in the right direction. I do wish, however, that they would embrace AWD (for "ALL" their cars) like Subaru has. If they did, I would be singing nothing but praise for Cadillac.

    I take exception with your comment about the ML Mercedes being built off the E-Class chassis. That's just not true. The ML has a full-frame chassis. The E-Class is a unit-body design. Granted, it does share some components with the E-Class, but not the chassis.

    I'm glad you mentioned the M-Class however. I have felt from day one that this vehicle would be the blueprint for future SUVs. I still do, in spite of numerous problems that the M-Class has encountered to date. As I mentioned, it has a full-frame, truck-like chassis, yet employs a car-like independent rear suspension. It also is the only "new-generation" SUV that continues to have a low range in the transfer case. I've noticed that the new 2002 Escalade has abandoned the low range. This is a mistake on Caddy's part. I am convinced that if an SUV is to truly be an SUV, a low range needs to be part of the package -- even if it's only used once a year -- it needs to be there.

    I'm sure that when Mercedes introduces its next-generation ML, which is due around MY 2004, it will again raise the bar for this type of vehicle. I wish I could plug Cadillac's name in the above sentence, but to date, I've seen no evidence of that.

  • The M-Class does deliver advanced engineering and technology at an affordable price, but it has lessened the value of the Mercedes star. As a current Mercedes owner, I tried hard to make myself like the M-Class, but to no avail. Plain and simple, the M-Class is a lemon. It's build quality is worse than an Isuzu Rodeo - Check Consumer Reports. I know you referenced comparison tests on SUV's and the Escalade finishing near or at the bottom of the list. Well the same can be said for the M-Class. I know styling is mostly subjective, but the M does not have the same presence or prestige of other Mercedes. Even the entry level C-class surpasses the M in ergonomics, build quality, styling, and overall panache.

    The Acura MDX has great features and technology, but it suffers from the same condition as most Japanese luxury vehicles--It has no soul.

    The current Caddy was clearly an attempt to get product to the market as quickly as possible in the most profitable segment. It has serious shortcomings, but it has succeeded in bringing younger, wealthier people to the Cadillac Marquee. When Caddy modified the Tahoe platform, they were aiming squarely at the Lincoln Navigator and to a lesser extent Lexus LX470. The Acura, M-Class, X5, RX300, and Infiniti were never intended targets. They are not even in the same category. Not only are they smaller, they are also hybrid vehicles intended for different buyers and purposes.

    The 02' Escalade will be even more successful for Cadillac because it will have the engineering and technology to rival all Full size luxury SUV's. It will provide the third row seating, stabilitrac, and the presence/prestige that discerning buyers demand.

    The 2005 M-Class will also address most of the current M's shortcomings, but unfortunately most buyers can't afford to wait that long.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I'm well aware of the M-Class's shortcomings, as I alluded to. The problems are in execution, not in concept. I am hoping, as I am sure are too, that these issues will have been rectified by the time the next-generation M-Class hits the streets.

    I agree with you regarding the Acura MDX. I will also add that it too lacks a low range, and I believe(?) also comes with a temp spare tire, which is absurd in an SUV.

    From what I've read, it sounds like the updated Navigator, which should debut on or around 2003, will be the leading "American" luxury SUV. All, or most of what I feel is lacking in the Escalade, will be featured on this vehicle.

  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    The last three or four post have got to represent the most "ideal" type of dialogue Edmunds ever intended when they created this "Townhall" forum. I love it; Objective and meaningful discussion!

    Truthfuly, I am not even an SUV fan. But, I am a Cadillac fan. It has taken me all these years to figure out what the heck all the buzz is about with these overpriced, gas guzzling, tip-over prone vehicles called "utility" vehicles that most people never take off the freeways and city streets!

    Having come to terms with the fact that the SUV craze just won't seem to die, I have also come to terms with the fact that the next generation Escalade will certainly open the doors to Cadillac dealerships even wider than than the 1st generation one has. Combine that with the new "near luxury" CTS that will debut in '02 (is it '02 or '03?), and things are certain to start changing in the Cadillac realm!

    By the way, I have not ever said that I will NEVER own an SUV. Ya' never know...
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    For those who are looking for more pictures of the new Escalade, go to this site, and in the SEARCH area type in "Escalade."

  • Go to Click on the link for United states. Go to bottom left hand corner and click on link to "All New 2002 Escalade". They have 360 degree view of the exterior and interior, show how the rear seats move, have detailed info on options available, and many other things. Worth a look.
  • Anyone know the MSRP on the 2002 Escalade?
    2WD $$$$?
    AWD $$$$?
  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    Since the AWD Denali is listing for 48,900, my guess would be around 53-54 range for AWD, and 50 for 2WD. Strictly a guess though. As soon as I have more info, I will post it here
  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    Just got the dealer info package on the new escalade. It has more equipment that originally thought. Yes, it will be coming in AWD with 345 hp. However, what I didn't realize is that it WILL have a low range to it. It is a matter of pushing a button on the gear shifter. I can't wait for this one to hit the ground. Already have four other people that can't either!
  • I agree the new Escalade looks to be worlds apart from its predecessor. I do have a couple of nitpicks after reading Caddy's website.

    First, despite the new sound system and instrument cluster, the radio and climate control still looks like it's from the Tahoe/Yukon parts bin.

    Second, in an age where all Sevilles, Eldos, DHSs, DTSs all have Zebrano wood, is anyone else bothered by the fact that the Escalade's dash is fake wood (although the steering wheel is real wood)?

    Third, I know that tccad1 commented on the difficulty of adapting the Northstar to a rear wheel drive platform. Well maybe, but the Evoq will be that configuration. Of course that design team has a little more time to get the job done. Also, using the Vortec design means Caddy doesn't have to spend the money making a completely new transmission to go with it, which the Northstar would have demanded. Still, with Caddy products going RWD in the new few years, you gotta bite the bullet and spend the money to develop this sometime. The Northstar has been an extremely successful engineering and marketing platform for Cadillac. It's a shame not to use it in all applications possible.

    Lastly, it's too bad the "It's good to be the Cadillac" ad campaign was done away with. The slogan alone rocked. And I still think the name "Escalade" is lame. My pick? The Cadillac Ranch :-)
  • As excellent as the Northstar platform is, in a vehicle that demands the flexibility to tow 7500 lbs today, & quietly sneak around town tomorrow, I wonder if the torque band inherent to the LS1 based engines, presently being used, doesn't offer significant advantages.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    If what you're saying about the new Escalade
    having a low range is true, that's good news.
    Everything I've read to date, said that it would
    NOT have a low range.

    The new upscale GMC C-pickups and Denali SUVs are
    reported to have AWD w/o a low range. I'm under
    the impression that this is the same system that's
    going in the Escalade. Am I wrong?

    If the low range is button-operated, they're
    probably using the same "AutoTrac" transfer case
    that's used in the Tahoe, etc.

  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    I am at home writing this post, and will have to get the info tomorrow afternoon. The low range button called the "tow/haul" will allow for easier shifts to the transmission and allow for the 8700 pound capacity. I want to say they are using a different trans then the tahoe/yukon also. I can't remember the alphanumeric code off the top of my head.

    sevenfoot0: Actually, I just got an internal memo stating that as of right now, the deville will remain front wheel drive. The evoq is using a new version of the northstar. One that has been properly modified to allow for the RWD. The Seville will use the same engine in 2003. And sadly, yes, it will not have an auto climate control (grrrr! Bad mistake). The audio system will be upgraded (I believe) to a 250 watt 11 speaker bose system. They tested it and said it is capable of sustaining 110 db. A jet engine is 130 db. A lawn mower is 90 db. My guess is they won't put that stereo in the other suv's.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    That's different from a low range. In most vehicles, it simply means higher shift points (higher up the rpm scale before up-shifting), and may(?) also lock out the top overdrive gear.

    It is not a low range, in that it does not offer a lower set of gear ratios, that a true duel-range transfer case offers.

    A tow/haul feature is nice, but it is not a replacement for a low range. If I had my choice, I'd much rather have a true low range.

  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    However, I do believe that it will be using a different set of gear ratios to accomplish the low range. Keep in mind, I only had a 2 sentence blurb to form my opinion. Sounds like it will be a combo of the two the more I read it. I guess I will just have to drive it to see. If it snaps my neck while in tow/haul mode, it has low range. What else could possibly happen with 345 horsies!
  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    RS, you might be correct. They mention the two speed transfer case on the MB and LX470. They don't say anything about a two speed transfer case on the escalade. I guess I jumped the gun again. Thanks for pointing it out Rob. Jeff
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I think having AWD is definitely the way to go,
    same with the tow/haul mode, but not having a low
    range is a mistake. BMW and Acura have made the same mistake with their X-5 and MDX, no low range available.

    If I'm paying that kind of money for a vehicle, I want to know I can get out of virtually any situation that I would encounter. Having a low range is like additional insurance when push-comes-to-shove. The Navigator, Land Cruiser/RX470, Range Rover and ML Mercedes are the only luxury SUVs that fit the bill, as far as I'm concerned.

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