WITH ANYWHERE FROM $10,000 TO $15,000 accumulation to be fabricated from acutely annihilation a car aggregation slots into the burgeon-ing affluence SUV market, about every carmaker is scrambling to acquisition article to fit into the bigger accumulation allowance in the business.
A Cadillac barter ability accept articulate cool a brace of years ago (but again so did a Lincoln truck) but GM’s affluence ysis is no exception. Aback Ford biconcave GM with a redesigned F-150 auto from which it fabricated the hot-selling Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, GM’s all-new Silverado/Sierra-based SUVs were still two archetypal years off. So Cadillac took the Tahoe/Yukon/Denali triplets and fabricated them into quadruplets by creating the Escalade.
Granted, an Escalade is aloof a loaded Tahoe with “soft dash leather,” wood-and-leather council wheel, a added cautiously sprung bench and chargeless OnStar as a accepted affection for the aboriginal year, but Cadillac bare it to absorb buyers who may accept been affected to devious alfresco the cast for an SUV.
So affairs are you will not apprehension the aberration in ride or administration between, say, the GMC Denali and Cadillac Escalade. Through our AutoFile slalom we begin the Escalade formed and wallowed to a actual SUV-like 39.0 mph,
despite compact advanced and rear antiroll bars.
With bewilderment confined in advanced and blade springs authoritative the rear arbor axle, it’s boxy to ascendancy the Escalade’s 5573 pounds.
If you appetite achievement from a big SUV you’ll accept to go with the smaller, lighter (by 1500 pounds) Grand Cherokee, which sailed through the slalom in a actual un-SUV-like 41.7 mph, bigger than any of its competitors. To get a faster time than that, you’d accept to drive one of the crossover wagons assuming to be an SUV.
Likewise, in a beeline band the Escalade showed its weight, accepting to 60 mph aloof a few hundredths beneath 10 seconds. The 5.7-liter overhead-valve V8 puts out 255 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, but a lot of the ability acquainted like it was eaten by the torque advocate and the accepted full-time four-wheel-drive system. Again, Grand Cherokee is the champ amid SUVs, ablution from 0 to 60 in aloof 7.47 seconds. The Escalade’s 9.94-second run to 60 mph puts it in aggregation with the Expedition, RX 300 and Pathfinder.
In braking, Escalade was the affliction amid SUVs we’ve tested, demography 164 anxiety to stop from 60 mph, admitting 11.57-inch advanced discs backed by rear drums and controlled by ABS. And the pedal in the Escalade acquainted aloof as doughy and above as the pedal in the Tahoe/Yukon/Denali.
Though our ysis after-effects amid GM’s four ample SUVs assorted somewhat (as it did with added publications), none of the Tahoe/Yukon/Denali/ Escalade quadruplets stood advanced of the SUV backpack in instrumented testing.
But as with its GM siblings, the Escalade’s truck-based anatomy balustrade and advantageous arena approval fabricated it a accomplished abettor off-road. Escalade’s accepted AutoTrac arrangement was accessible to use, operated by dash-mounted ons. 2HI routes all torque through the rear wheels; Auto 4-Wheel Drive employs a adhesive clamp to alteration torque to the advanced arbor as it’s needed; 4HI splits torque appropriately amid advanced and rear axles; and 4LO uses a acceptable alteration case for aggressive or bottomward absolutely brusque trails.
And the Escalade additionally has all those SUV attributes buyers love: added allowance for gear, advantage and dogs than all but Expeditions, Excursions and Suburbans, aerial afterimage in cartage and that rugged, lifestyle-statement exterior.
But the bigness of the Escalade additionally has drawbacks. One tester had to bend one mirror collapsed in adjustment to get it into a not-small garage, and activity it about in our appointment parking barn was not easy. We can alone brainstorm what Ford’s monster Excursion will be like.
The Escalade is additionally pricey. With about aggregate on it accepted equipment, its sticker is $46,525. That’s a big bound from a abject Tahoe, which starts at aloof $24,550, or a abject Expedi-tion, which starts at alone $29,370. But with abounding advantage packages, both Tahoe and Expedition can sticker aural a brace thousand of the Escalade.
Where will the SUV chic end? Is there alike an end in sight? With the EPA’s 12-mpg city/16-mpg artery appraisement for Escalade, maybe the chic will end with the aing discharge in America’s amaranthine accumulation of bargain gasoline. Or maybe aback The Aing Big Thing-such as one of the amalgam ute/trucks from the Detroit show, or housewives active 18-wheelers to the supermarket-becomes fashionable. For now, attending for carmakers to accumulate advancing up with new means to accomplish lots of SUVs-and lots of money.
VIEWS AND REVIEWS:
I’VE ALWAYS LIKED CADILLACS BUT I’M 35 years old and I would never buy one because of the old-person image. You aloof account your grandmother active it. But aback they came out with the barter I said, “I can get one of those.” I knew it would be based on the Tahoe, so it would be good.
I ordered the barter seven months ago, afore it came out, for $1,000 over invoice. Then, aback it came out, they didn’t appetite to advertise me the truck. I had to abuse acknowledged action. They assuredly delivered it. If I hadn’t announced up I’d still be waiting.
I like the covering seats, the interior, the alfresco styling. It’s a archetypal style-a nice-looking truck.
My dislikes are that it has no altitude control, the stereo arrangement is terrible, it gets alone 11 mpg and there is no third row of seats-a big abrogating for me. I accept a Dodge Durango and they fit a third row in. I would accept taken [a third seat] alike if it had aloof been for kids.
JONATHAN SACKS,Franklin Lakes, N.J.
THE ITEMS I AM MOST PLEASED WITH are the styling, actual nice ride and the accomplished covering interior. A affable ancillary aftereffect is the connected comments from bodies about the great-looking allotment of accouterment and again their reactions aback they apprehend it’s a Cadillac. Everyone says they didn’t apperceive Cadillac fabricated a sport/utility.
The accolades abide as they consistently accomplish the complete amphitheater to audit it.
There are a few items I am not admiring with.
The brakes are alarmingly bendable for a barter this size. And there’s the abridgement of a rear-seat heater, which I’m reminded of anniversary time added than two bodies are in the truck.
Perhaps my bigger animosity is that this is not a “Cadillac,” it is a GMC Denali after Cadillac amenities, such as altitude control, steering-wheel-mounted radio controls, etc. Considering the dollar amount, I feel it is an cher GMC.
JACK E. LENHARDT,Alton, Ill.
I LOVE THE RICH LEATHER AND THE wheels, and the OnStar is fun to comedy with. There is a lot added rear legroom than aftermost year’s Durango.
I don’t like the on for the acrimonious seats, which is amid on the ancillary with the bench controls-someone is consistently hitting the amiss on.
And, if this is a Cadillac, breadth is the “distance to empty” reading; the anamnesis seats; the radio ascendancy at the council wheel; the altitude control? My ’97 Jeep Limited had all of that.
JIM MALEK,Grand Haven, Mich.
LIKES: IT’S VERY COMFORTABLE, QUIET and solid; the agent feels abundant and safe; actual acceptable in the snow; acrimonious alfresco mirrors and seats; acceptable complete arrangement with alone controls and headphones for the rear-seat passengers; abounding baby accumulator compartments.
Dislikes: Body panels don’t align; advanced ashtray and lighter not adequate to driver, out of reach; can’t locate antecedent of anchor and abetting ability leads to bivouac wiring, and the banker and “customer service” are clumsy to help.
MIKE SLECHTA SR.,Madison, Wis.
THE ESCALADE IS A THOROUGHLY acceptable ample luxury-ute. It’s a big, able-bodied feller, that sits alpine in the saddle and wears nice ridin’ duds. A affectionate of John Wayne with belt links. The agent is additionally a acceptable amount by lux-ute standards.
The Escalade accepted affable and adult as able-bodied as asperous and ready. The tester had admirable biscuit perforated covering seats and adroit zebrano appearance accents. The ability seats were comfortable, and the instruments and controls calmly placed. Afterimage was great, and the commuter and burden spaces were generous.
The agent additionally accepted solid, quiet, and nice riding, although its rear springs didn’t acquiesce absolutely the abundance akin afforded by the coiled springs in the Lincoln Navigator.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
ON SMOOTH ROADS, I SUPPOSE IT’S OK. But aback you alpha abacus twists, turns, switchbacks and bumps, the Escalade begins falling abaft the luxo-pack in a hurry.
Basically, this big cruiser strikes me as undersuspended. There’s aloof not abundant ascendancy in the bounce ante or shock cushion damping for any affectionate of asperous going, brusque assignment or both.
It has little activity for alteration directions, and alike beneath for alteration aback already the change has been initiated.
Part of this abhorrence is abeyance affability aimed at allowance occupants. But it’s additionally a action of the Escalade’s 2.75-ton mass, and a anatomy that’s audibly anachronous compared with GM’s new pickup-truck frames, as able-bodied as the Escalade’s competition.
Detroit Chargeless Press
PERHAPS THE ESCALADE IS MORE absorbing for what it lacks than for what it possesses, that is, Cadillac’s accomplished Northstar V8 and accomplished dual-control air conditioning system. That said, the big ark handles like a.*.*. big ark. Straight-line biking is decidedly abiding and silent, although the aforementioned could be said for the USS Eisenhower. Like all cruiser-class SUVs, it is alpine and long, alms biggy captain breadth for any crosswinds that ability be encountered. Although GM’s AutoTrac four-wheel-drive arrangement is accepted (with two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive aerial and low, additional four-wheel-drive accessible alone aback wheelspin occurs) the adventitious of a Cadillac buyer agronomics cross-country in this chrome-wheeled capital brigand about equals that of its actualization on the filigree at Le Mans.
Car and Driver
WITH THE HELP OF PREMIUM SHOCK absorbers and appropriate abeyance tweaks, Escalade delivers a bland ride on all but the affliction of roads. Like all added tall, abundant SUVs, acceptable from ancillary to ancillary on asperous anchorage boodle the apparition of luxury. Council and administration on ambagious anchorage are annihilation but quick and agile. The Escalade’s admeasurement and weight crave slowing bottomward on turns that a car could booty easily.
The active position allows a abounding appearance of the alley advanced and ample mirrors advice the appearance to the sides. Roof pillars, headrests, and the vehicle’s aerial attitude bind the appearance to the rear. Backing up and parking crave your abounding attention, and the ample axis ambit restricts maneuverability. Entry and avenue can alone be declared as SUV-like, acute either a ascend up or a accelerate down. Running boards are accessible for abate folks, but alone advice others get their clothes y.
AAA Autograph ’99
THIS SHEEP IN CASHMERE CLOTHING pretends to be an all-new affluence SUV, but it’s aloof a rebadged Chevy Tahoe with covering upholstery, copse trim, a cushier ride, and an aggrandized amount tag. Virtues accommodate a able engine, a smooth-shifting transmission, selectable full-time four-wheel drive, and a ample interior.
But apprehend awkward administration and bottomless ammunition economy. This Escalade will be short-lived-a quick fix so Cadillac dealers accept an SUV to advertise this year. The aing Escalade, forth with the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, will ride on GM’s new pickup-truck anatomy aing year.
ROAD TEST DATA:
0-30 mph: 3.18 sec
0-40 mph: 4.95 sec
0-50 mph: 7.26 sec
0-60 mph: 9.94 sec
0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 10.57 sec
0-80 mph: N/A
0-quarter-mile: 78.6 mph, 17.38 sec
20-40 mph (first
and additional gears): 3.3 sec
(second gear): 5.5 sec
60-80 mph (second
and third gears): 9.1 sec
80 mph-0: 291 ft
60 mph-0: 164 ft
30 mph-0: 43 ft
EPA combined: 14 mpg
AW overall: 13.9 mpg
490-foot slalom: 39.0 mph
(200-foot skidpad): 0.69 g
INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
Full throttle: 74
Steady 60 mph: 67
0-60 mph: 9.94 sec (AW)
SS-quarter-mile: 17.38 sec (AW)
60-0: 164 ft (AW)
Skidpad: 0.69 g (AW)
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