One of the most popular used auto brands is Cadillac. As a luxury automaker, Cadillac has a lot of fans who jump at the chance to purchase these vehicles when they pop up on used dealership lots. A pre-owned Cadillac Escalade is the perfect option for families who are on a budget but still want to drive around town in style. In this article, we will cover the history of the Cadillac Escalade and share with you why it’s just a popular pre-owned vehicle.
The First-Generation (1999 – 2000)
The Cadillac Escalade was first introduced back in 1999. Only in production for two years, the first-generation model set the bar high for the next generations and competitors.
Built to compete against the Lincoln Navigator, the original Escalade boasted a five-door SUV body style from General Motors. However, there were a few drawbacks to this initial model. For example, it was only available in one base trim and could only carry five people. Larger families couldn’t find much use for it, but smaller families could.
Under the hood rested a 5.7-liter V8 engine mated with a four-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. It also had an estimated fuel economy set at 13 mpg combined (11 city/15 highway), which was not well-received by many interested parties.
Rolling on 16-inch aluminum wheels coated in chrome, this vehicle featured OnStar telematics, an AM/FM radio with a CD player, a clock, and a six-speaker Bose stereo system. The cabin was covered in leather, and this SUV also had full power accessories. Wood and leather decorated the steering wheel, and keyless entry made it easy to start your mornings. Fog lights were added for optimized visibility, and roof rails were included for additional storage space.
The Second-Generation (2002 – 2006)
From 2002 until 2006, the second-generation Escalade reigned supreme. Throughout these early production years, this vehicle was built with the original five-door SUV body style and with the new four-door sport utility truck body style. The best part about this generation is that it could seat up to eight people. Taking the market into consideration, Cadillac designers and engineers knew that they needed to build a bigger version of this luxurious SUV in order for it to survive.
New engine options became available as well. The standard was a 5.3-liter V8 paired with the same four-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Buyers could also opt for the more powerful 6.0-liter V8 engine with the same transmission but with all-wheel drive.
Standard features included upgrades such as electronic stability control, HID low-beam headlights, power-adjustable pedals, and exterior side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators.
This generation came in a few trims as well. The highest was known as the Platinum, and it rolled on 20-inch chrome wheels. Featuring heated and ventilated seats throughout the cabin, heated and cooled cup holders, and a moonroof, this was unlike any other vehicle on the market. The chrome grille added a sleek look to the exterior, and the subtle leather upholstery gave the interior a stately feel. The back seat passengers could also enjoy the rear-seat entertainment system.
The Third-Generation (2007 – 2014)
In production from 2007 until 2014, the third-generation models kept the same body style options but added two engine choices, including a hybrid. The 6.0-liter V8 hybrid engine used two 60-kWh nickel-hydride battery packs to generate 332 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque. The conventional gasoline engine was a 6.2-liter V8 that got up to 403 hp.
Standard features for the third-generation included air conditioning, trim-zone climate control, leather seating, a steering wheel decorated with wood and leather, cruise control, and heated seats. It also came with advanced features such as a power liftgate, remote engine start, and 6-disc CD player.
As for the top-tier Platinum model, this luxury ride came with premium leather upholstery, ventilated seats, retractable running board, cooled cup holders, a rearview camera, a navigation system, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system for the kids to stay occupied on long drives.
As the years progressed, each one came with its own set of updates. In 2008, the Escalade received Express-Up for the front power windows, a restyled key fob for keyless entry system, and seating for eight people. In 2009, Bluetooth connectivity became standard. Also added for this production year were features such as a power tilt steering column and a satellite navigation system with instant traffic updates. For 2010, Active Fuel Management was incorporated for better gas mileage, and a USB port was added to the console. From 2011 until 2014, only minor updates were made, including new paint colors.
Running from 2015 until 2020, the fourth-generation of Escalade models are the best pre-owned Cadillacs to look for on the used car market. These come with the most advanced features without the steep price tag attached to new models. Boasting a four-door SUV body style, this generation is different from all the others.
For starters, it’s powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that pumps out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Available transmissions included a 6-speed, 8-speed, or 10-speed automatic. Magnetic Ride Control was also added with Tour and Sport modes for a smoother experience behind the wheel.
Again, many updates came about as the years progressed. In 2016, IntelliBeam headlights were added along with a lane-keeping assist system, a 12.3-inch customizable cluster screen, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and four new paint colors. By 2017, the grille and headlights were restyled. Also added during this year were features such as a Live-View rearview camera and Teen driver technology. Two more paint colors were also added to the lineup. For 2018, the entire console was redesigned along with the cupholders and driver’s seat memory system. Minor changes were made to the 2019 version, including a logo light on the hands-free liftgate, and a Sport package was added to several trim levels.
2015 Hennessey HPE550
Hennessey offered an HPE550 supercharger to the fourth-generation models as well. This belt-driven enhancement also came with recalibrated engine management software, an air-to-water intercooler, and other optimizations to the engine to boost its overall performance. This 6.2-liter V8 could push out a staggering 557 hp and 542 lb-ft of torque. As an upgraded version of the Escalade, it also got 20-inch forged monoblock wheels for ultimate performance.
Finding a Pre-Owned Cadillac
If you are looking for the ultimate family-friendly luxury SUV, you should consider the Cadillac Escalade. Depending on which model you get, it most likely has seating for up to eight people. You can cruise around town in style or head off on weekend adventures with the whole family in tow. The Escalade can also haul a trailer loaded with recreational equipment, a boat, or a camper with no problem. Find your local dealer to take on our for a spin today!