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Cadillac Escalade



  • 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: 19,788
    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: 19,788
    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: 19,788
    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.

  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    Just recieved the official caddy brochure for the truck yesterday. It does exactly what you say, no low range. However, and I am no expert on this, isn't it the torque that gets you out of a tight jam? That is all the low range does. If this vehicle can pull 8500 pounds using 385 torque at 4000 rpm, I would imagine that it can get you out of some tight jams. With the computers they are using today, the split is 32/68 front to back on power until it senses one of the wheels losing control. It then puts the power to one or more of the other wheels to regain a proper footing. I realize this truck is not meant for off road use. I know you would be crazy to go strutting around in Moab with it. I still think low range might be overkill on this truck.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Yes, torque is very important in term of getting you moving. What low range does -- it multiplys the torque factor, in effect giving you more torque for difficult conditions.

    I don't thinks it's overkill. The Suburban offers the same engine - with a low range. I think the Tahoe does too (same engine/low range). The Navigator, the Escalade's closest competitor, also has a low range.

    Again, Cadillac is GM's premium brand. "Overkill" should be part of the package. That's what Cadillac customers pay for.

  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    If you are pulling a heavy load up a steep incline, there is no substitute for a low range.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I just think Cadillac is betting that most of their customers won't be pulling heavy loads, or put their Escalades in really tough situations.

    I honestly think, most people who pull heavy (boat/horse/car) trailers - and who really understand trailering - are going to opt for a vehicle that gives them a low range, for just those situations described in post #239.

    I think most Escalades will be used as foul-weather vehicles. And frankly, if that's the case, a Subaru, a Mercedes 4-Matic, a Volvo V-70 Cross Country or an Audi Quattro, would be far more sensible choices. For what it's worth, I have two Subarus and an Explorer, and I much prefer to drive the Subarus in the snow than the Explorer.

  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    In all sincerity, most (90%+) of the escalade buyers don't ever pull anything with their vehicles. For that matter, most won't ever be put through anything worse than a pot hole either. Only thing I can figure is that Cadillac knows this, has accepted it, and is going through with it. They must think that the number of customers they will lose doesn't outweigh the number they will gain by lack of knowledge. Let's face it, the AVERAGE consumer doesn't care what it has as long as someone tells them it is good in the snow.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I agree completely. And... that's my big problem
    with Cadillac.

    I go back to my original point, which got everyone
    upset, and that is: Cadillac has given in to be
    "average" (and not superior) on this item. Cadillac should be building the best SUV it's capable of, not compromising to be less than they can be.

    The Escalade's demographics/usage aren't that much
    different from those of the Lexus RX470, or
    the Range Rover, or the Navigator. Yet those
    vehicles didn't compromise like Cadillac did.

    Again, as I stated in post #240, there are better and more sensible "snow vehicles" than the Escalade, or the other luxury SUVs out there -- and that's the numerous AWD cars that are available.

    If Cadillac "really" wants to stand out (and be superior) from the crowd, they should make all (not some, but ALL!) their vehicles AWD. Maybe that's why GM just bought 20% of Subaru? It's no secret that GM wants Subaru's AWD technology for future GM products. Although I've heard rumors it may go into future Saabs, it should also go into future Cadillacs.

  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    I dont know how much an Scalade cost, I magine at least in the 40's, since we are dealing with an SUV it should have at least AWD and deep reduction, (or low range), and I am not talking about off roading, no one is going to to take an expensive luxury vehicle and trash it about in the wilderness, I have an ML430 and would not do it, but in the sense that one is purchasing a vehicle that is supossed to be more capable than a sedan, not just to seat higher.

    Remember the old saying, Is better to have and not need, than need and not have.
  • robh3robh3 Posts: 157
    Most people who have an SUV meet the criteria of the old saying you shared, that is; they HAVE an SUV, but they do not NEED an SUV/truck of any type. Simple as that.

    The new '02 Escalade will be the top selling high-end luxury SUV because it will appeal to the masses of those who are in the market for such a vehicle by virtue of its features, power, towingf capability, style, comfort, new/uniqueness, and yes, "pinache". No sense in adding stuff that will not be used in the real world (other than perhaps for bragging rights) that will only add more to the cost. This SUV will be priced right to sway people away from the Navigators and Land Cruisers/RX470's of the world.

    I see a winner coming and I am frankly not even an SUV fan. Am I biased, yes, but if someone where to tell me that my only choice in vehicles was among all of the luxury SUVs, I'd choose the '02 Escalade based on what I have seen and know about the choices out there.
  • tccad1tccad1 Posts: 46
    has just bumped up production on it. I should start to see them in Mid February now. The current Escalade will be built in VERY small numbers until end of November, beginning of December. And Thor8, I agree. I do wish that cadillac put in a low range. However, like Robh said, that would just add to the cost. Seems we agree and disagree on the low range issue. That is why they have these boards.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    Less than 3 years ago the wife and I, while towing two jet skies with my pickup while driving along the gulf coast decided to go off the road, park in the sand and explore the beach behind the sand dunes, needless to say I got stuck, in a desolated place, a couple of hours later help came, after huffing and puffing in the sand for a long time, just that inocently things can happen.

    I also obverved in a particular marina I frequent a lot, how many times a pickup can not pull on the steep slipery incline the boat on tow, the wheels are spinning too fast and smoking, the good thing is that there are always lots people and they help each other, but what if one comes in an off day or after hours?

    For these reasons I decided to get the ML430, not for off roading, but because of personal experience, I decided I wanted AWD, traction control and a low range, in this particular marina I can come out easily, the low range in first gear is so slow that it truly is a creeping gear and will not break the grip of the tires.

    Please, I am not advocating the ML, I know this is an escalade topic and I respect that, I just want to point out the benefits of these features, maybe if enough prospective buyers let their feelings known..... is like insurance, it sooths the mind or again, is better to have and not need than need and not have.

    Reading prior postings, if cost is a factor, why not eliminate some frugals and add a more utilitarian feature. I ask, an SUV being what it is, what is the harm in having these features, is it not better in having substance behind the vehicle too?

    Again, I am not brand advocating, just pointing the merits of a feature that I fell strongly about.(Obviously)

  • I also own an M Class, presently an ML55, previously an ML430 & am glad these vehicles have a 2-speed transfer case. As the previous post(er) does with his M Class, I tow my Waverunners & use Low Range extensively when launching. It is very nice to be able to creep up steep ramps with Zero wheelspin. But, to keep everything in perspective I also have a Suburban I occasionaly tow the skis with, 454 engine 2WD with a locking rear differential, it will also creep up these ramps without spinning a tire using the abundant low end torque to literally idle up & away. I have a 2001 Denali XL ordered & am glad to see the new AWD system used & seriously doubt I'll ever miss the 2-speed transfer case. (If I indeed need Low Range, I'll just use the ML55 that day!) I will not be using the Denali to tow an 8,500 lb. trailer over the Rockies either, if this was my objective, the 3/4 ton Yukon XL with 4WD, the 2-speed transfer case, & the 8.1L engine would be my choice, or possibly the Diesel with the Aliison trans.! With all that said, I gladly chose the Denali over the 3/4 ton & believe it will exceed my demands, as the Escalade will the demands of it's owners. Thank you for your time.
  • Sorry, I misspelled "Allison" trans. in the previous post.
  • I'm sorry. The front end on this thing (Escalade) is just plain ugly. No. It's not "plain" ugly. It's extra-special ugly. Someone in GM's exterior design department took too many experimental drugs in college, or something. And this is coming from a HUGE Tahoe/Yukon fan. Isn't this the same hideous headlight design that Cadillac's putting on the DeVille now?

    p.s. I saw an Aztec today. Wow. Those must have been some good mushrooms.
  • I happen to really like the styling of the "02 Escalade. I think that is one of it's strongest suits. The same thing goes for the redesign of the Deville. That sedan represented a quantum leap for Cadillac styling, especially the front end.

    The new designs from Caddy are sleeker and some of the best designs from GM in years.
  • So Tina, let me understand, you find the '02 Escalade sleek looking? If that is true, then styling must indeed be subjective. I find the Escalade an extremely interesting vehicle with many innovative features. The front end styling however I find is it's weakest point, by far. It may be that when I see the actual vehicle I'll feel differently, but for now I'll stick with my initial review; "Anyone who can afford an Escalade, should be able to buy an Aztek to park beside it, the Aztek (I hope you don't find it sleek as well, Tina) is SOO extremely ugly, that by direct comparison the Escalade will appear, dare I say, even attractive!"
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Cadillac is trying to apply the new design direction of their cars to a (already designed, and in production) truck. It's the 4WD equivalent of the square-peg-in-the-round-hole. It flat out does not work.

    I do like the new styling direction that has been shown on their recent concept cars. In fact, I think it's excellent - and I've been a graphic designer for nearly 30 years, so I "know" something about design (what works, what doesn't, and why).

    The softly rounded shapes of the Tahoe/Suburban's main structure (doors, windows, etc.) do not mesh with the razor-edge shapes/creases that Cadillac is using on their cars. The styling really looks "forced," and not at all natural.

    It looks like exactly what it is: A Tahoe (sorry, a Denali) with Caddy frosting.

  • the new Escalade is one of the nicest looking trucks. I do like the engineering and technology of the Mercedes and BMW more, but the Mercedes is "funny looking" and the BMW is too small. I have not seen the Escalade in person, but the pictures my husband has shown me in magazines, and the layout on the website looks great.

    We are waiting to see the Escalade in person though. All of the negative posts have really made me want to see it in person. My husband is the kind of person that wants the latest greatest vehicles as soon as they come out. We looked hard at the BMW before it came out. We loved the test drive, but felt that the truck was not worth anywhere near $60,000.

    As for the Aztek comment, I think the Mercedes looks more like the Aztek than the Cadillac. Both give the appearance of a minivan. The nicest looking trucks in my opinion are the big Lexus 470, the Range Rover, and the Escalade.
  • The new Escalade front end reminds me of the evil 18 wheeler in the movie Maximum Overdrive. The SUV looks worse in black than it does in other colors. In fact the pictures I have on my web site ( of the Escalade in silver, make the front end look more acceptable. But I must say that I prefer the front end of my 2000 Fire Red Yukon the best of all.
  • Anyone know the MSRP on the 2002 Escalade?
    2WD $$$$?
    AWD $$$$?
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