Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, Off-Roading with the Escalade? in Cadillac Escalade Forums; I used to drive a '99 Yukon before the '04 Escalade that I currently own and proud of. I used ...
I used to drive a '99 Yukon before the '04 Escalade that I currently own and proud of. I used the Yukon for a number of off-road activities, ranging from towing stuck vehicles to transporting camping equipment to 4-wheeling on sand dunes, I even used it as an overnight shelter a couple of times. (Desert camping is a favorite past-time during the winter season in Kuwait, where I live)
I know this is too much to ask of an Escalade, but i was just wondering if anyone was curious enough to try the AWD system on it and going offroad. I just bought an '04 model, sans the DVD & navi equipment, and i was hoping to find anyone testing the AWD in an environment that demanded AWD.
My apologies if i raised some eyebrows in shock & awe! :-)
Automobile(s): 2013 CTSV Coupe , 2012 Escalade, 2014 SRX
H.V., Pa/Town of Webb, NY
Re: Off-Roading with the Escalade?
Your Escalade will be as good as your Tukon was off road, I drive my Escalade through foot deep mud, and through snow that is several feet deep at my upstate NY home without any problems, don't try that with the stock tires, but with good tires you will not have any problems.
My 2000 sees sand a lot more than it should.. atleast my giovannas seem to think so. But anyhow, I surf and I'm on the beach quite often. After a few dry spells the sand gets really deep and soft. A few times I bogged down in 2wd and threw it in 4wd and crimbed right out with no problems on my Perilli Scorpion Zeros. I wouldn't say I'd go nuts in the dunes... But I have been considering lifting her and getting some of those 35" all terrain Nittos that fit 22s. The only problem I see with escalades off roads is the cost of replacing broken parts. If your running her hard off-road theres not much avoiding a broken part once in a while. If you got the cash for it and a mechanic you trust, knock yourself out.
If you REALLY want to go off-roading, I'd save the Escalade as a posh luxury road cruiser and get something like a HUMMER H1 or H2, a Jeep CJ or YJ, or a LandCruiser. My wife and I have our toys (my Blingscalade/family wagon and her H2 off-road behemoth) and it works out nicely.
I have my escalade at the sand dunes quite often. However you need to spinn your wheels to move the sand. If you have the AWD version, you will need to turn off the stability control, otherwise the computer will not allow the wheens to spin in the deep sand. I had to turn mine off just to pull my ATV trailer out of the sand
Just like Sambossa said- the AWD and traction control will immobilize your truck in a low traction sandy condition. I experienced this crippling condition in a Deville one time while high centerd on a stump with one wheel not touching the ground. I wouldn't move. The OBS with the low range transfer case and locking diff can function with only one wheel on the ground. I have bent my running boards up on both sides rock climbing in Wa state where no 02 dare show its face. Fun indeed!
I agree, Stabilitrak, ground clearance, tires, cost of replacement parts, all these factors do play a significant part in the lower-than-desired off-road capability of the Escalade, compared to the Yukon, at least.
Regarding the broken parts, assuming that the warranty ran out on the Escalade, you can pretty much use any Denali-specified GM part that's compatible. H2 is another distant cousin...the Escalade shares the same 6.0 as the H2, doesn't it?
I agree with the above, one of the things that drew me to my Avalanche and away from the Escalade EXT this time around (though next time I probably will get a last series Escalade anyway) is the fact that I found it somewhat odd that the Chevy has BOTH switchable ALL/2WD AND a USABLE low range gear. It has been beyond me why the Escalade doesnt have the same system, but I can guarantee you the Escalade would find many situations where getting stuck would be a possibility with just AWD. Its just not designed for that kind of abuse. Its primary goal is to provide pavement pounders with just enough to save themselves if found in a sticky situation, and then to protect them in slippery or loose traction surfaces with the Stabilitrac.
On the flipside of the argument, my 04 Av does not have Stabilitrak, but I have found the AWD system to be adequate for most situations on pavement. 05's have it now.
I would like an AWD/2WD drive selector, my reasoning for it being left off the Escalades is that Cadillac probably figured that the people who would buy an Escalade didn't need the ability to choose between the modes. They probably figured that the people who wanted that ability would go the Yukon/Tahoe route.
See, that's what i don't get! Just below it in the luxury hierarchy, you got your fully-loaded Denali readily available, and it has an area just right of the driver's A/C vent that houses a selector switch that responds to the driver's off-roading whims. That's because it's 6.0 is coupled with a part-time 4x4 tranny, whereas in the Escalade, the same housing is an empty orifice!
OK, fine, caddy owners are less prone to going off-road for their Starbuck's, but wouldn't it be nice to have the option of having the AWD system switched on or off?
More to the point, i drove my Escalade off-road last night, just to feel it out. It wasn't the fine sand terrain, just a couple of miles of dirt road with pockets soft sand. I was delighted to find the following:
1-I can't make any difference between the drivability of the AWD on-road or off-road. The feeling was the same, no slight pulls on the sterring wheel while cornering or turning.
2-The suspension system is a dream! On rippled dirt roads you can feel the ripples, but significantly LESS than my old Yukon, or a Mitsubishi Montero (AKA Pajero in the Middle East) or even a Ford Expedition. I drove it over sand dunes and it swiftly cruised over them like silk!
3-Switching off the Stabilitrak DOES help in forced driving on dirt roads, where you use the understeer/oversteer physics to your advantage as part of controlling the vehicle.
4-My escalade comes equipped with HID's for driving lights, but standard ones for high-beams and foglights. I found that with all three lighting systems on, there's no "significant" improvement in illuminating my dirt path at night than with just simply having the HID's on.