: Why buy an Escalade?



Northstar125
04-22-13, 04:30 PM
First off I could care less about the name or what people think. I drive what I like, because I chose it not because of what someone else thinks. We have never really had a "luxury" vehicle, although every vehicle we have ever owned we have boughten in its top trim level. (Always GM vehicles: Suburban, tahoe, grand prix, bonnevilles)

But I think its time for something different.


I was just wondering how different the escalade is compared to the other GM trucks. Right now we've got a 1999 Suburban SLT top model in 1999. Its been a very nice and reliable truck for us and I don't see getting rid of it anytime soon. Had very few problems with it in the 10 years we've had it.

But I would like a new vehicle for myself. I like the look of the escalades. And seem like they would be a step up from the suburban.


I'm looking at an 02-06 model year. Budget not decided yet but most of what I can afford is already at or beyond 100k miles. I know the 03+ has an upgraded interior and the newer ones have nav, but I see a lot of 02's in my budget with decent mileage.


Just curious what makes the escalade so much better, couldn't really find any good comparison.

I've seen people talk about air ride? Are these just air struts with an Electronic leveling pump, instead of gas-charged or is there more to it.

What more does the escalade have over a top model suburban or tahoe?

Also, any common problems?

Would you recommend the 5.3 2WD or the 6.0 AWD?

RippyPartsDept
04-22-13, 05:25 PM
test drive a yukon denali and an escalade that are as closely optioned as possible
make note of the differences on paper (what can be optioned in the denali to make it like an escalade, etc)

after your test drives you can then compare the things that don't show on paper
like how you liked the looks of the exterior and interior and the feel of the interior, the ride and handling, etc
then you can take the difference in cost between the two (which basically comes down to all the stuff on the escalade that you can't get in the denali)
compare the dollar amount difference to those things that you can't get the same
(interior and exterior design/styling, lights/lamps, and other things that aren't available)

then you can make a decision: is this stuff worth this extra money?

Northstar125
04-22-13, 06:12 PM
Had a mechanic friend tell me not to get the Escalade because of all the problems and electronic gizmos going wrong and the 6.0 getting bad gas mileage.

But to me it seems like its pretty much a more luxurious suburban/tahoe, so shouldn't be that difference maintenance wise. Aside from air ride and the AWD transfer case. (Not sure what else, I have yet to drive one).

I've got a 1999 Tahoe now, that I've put a lot of money and work into. Its got 216k but although the drivetrain is rock solid, its got a lot of little stupid problems and figured if I could upgrade to an escalade with less miles, I might just do it.

the cadillac man
04-22-13, 06:36 PM
Had a mechanic friend tell me not to get the Escalade because of all the problems and electronic gizmos going wrong and the 6.0 getting bad gas mileage.

But to me it seems like its pretty much a more luxurious suburban/tahoe, so shouldn't be that difference maintenance wise. Aside from air ride and the AWD transfer case. (Not sure what else, I have yet to drive one).

I've got a 1999 Tahoe now, that I've put a lot of money and work into. Its got 216k but although the drivetrain is rock solid, its got a lot of little stupid problems and figured if I could upgrade to an escalade with less miles, I might just do it.

Your mechanic apparently knows nothing about a escalade (not knocking him but its true) as they are built on the same lines as the Chevy and gmc counterparts the only differences are hid low beams(03-06) better ride and much better seats(certain years and trims have heated and cooled seats)
But the body panels and frame along with the power-train(except the 6.0 has 345 hp) are the same as the Chevy and gmc counterparts
The all wheel drive is great in the winter(no forgetting to engage it) and on long trips I average 15-16.7 mpg(that's great for a full size body on frame suv)

I will admit that have had to replace a few things(PCM, radio, and soon the rear air shocks and compressor) but it wouldn't keep me from getting one(ps the air shock system is also on the Chevy and gmc counterparts in the same years)

I suggest you test drive one and see for yourself

spirit man
04-22-13, 06:54 PM
I owned a 2006 Sierra Z71 SLT crew cab and a 2004 Yukon Denali. I was in the market like you were. I looked at several 02 models and they were less expensive in most cases. I didn't want to get another Denali and I didn't want to go Lincoln or some other brand. I got an 04 Escalade Saturday and I'm happy with my purchase. I like the OEM HID light, easy double din fitment, and how the console looks....just to name a few things.

sprink60
04-22-13, 07:04 PM
I have owned a Tahoe, Suburban, and now an Escalade. The 6.0 and AWD is the break over for me plus the smoothness. My Suburban was the 8.1 Big Block 4 x 4. It didn't perform nearly as well as the Escalade...amongst all of the others the Cadillac is smoother, quieter and more responsive. I am older than most of the guys on this Forum (60) and I enjoy my comforts. Yukon Denali = Escalade = Yukon Denali ...they are the same with different badging.

In summary...if I could get the Lq9 6.0 in any of the others it wouldn't matter but the Cadillac with the power is a game changer for me.

MrHolland
04-22-13, 11:02 PM
Why buy an Escalade?? Its simple to me, its a Cadillac!!!

the cadillac man
04-22-13, 11:50 PM
Why buy an Escalade?? Its simple to me, its a Cadillac!!!

Simply put its the standard of the world is another reason

RippyPartsDept
04-23-13, 08:55 AM
also, wasn't Magneride an option that was available on the Escalades of this generation that wasn't available for it's siblings

Jophusp
04-23-13, 09:38 AM
4 Wheel Stabilitrack, Smoother ride, better sound system, more powerful powertrain, wood grain interior, Nice little Clock! lol.

bigirb2002
04-23-13, 09:49 AM
^^^^^^ + people see you in a escalade they think ur a boss!!!!!!!!!!!!! i average 20mpg hwy and 18.4 city on 6.0. with a intake being my only engine mod. then i got a hypertech max power unit tune

the cadillac man
04-23-13, 12:55 PM
also, wasn't Magneride an option that was available on the Escalades of this generation that wasn't available for it's siblings

In 04 it was

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^^^^^^ + people see you in a escalade they think ur a boss!!!!!!!!!!!!! i average 20mpg hwy and 18.4 city on 6.0. with a intake being my only engine mod. then i got a hypertech max power unit tune

So true I have had people switch lanes to get out my way when I go through town(some think I am the FBI)

RippyPartsDept
04-23-13, 01:21 PM
why would anyone think you're the FBI

FBI never drives Cadillac ... Chevy or maybe GMC ... but almost never Cadillac

YoshiMan
04-23-13, 02:03 PM
In my opinion the Escalade handles much better than it's "lesser" counterparts as well. I have a few same generation Suburbans we use at work, and they feel very wonky and top heavy when turning corners. My Escalade had much less body roll and handles more like carlike than they do.

the cadillac man
04-23-13, 03:14 PM
why would anyone think you're the FBI

FBI never drives Cadillac ... Chevy or maybe GMC ... but almost never Cadillac

My uncle did(no he isn't a drug dealer) I guess it was because my truck is black and he had never seen it before
But you are right they drive gmc or Chevy(the pres has a caddy though that is built on a escalade frame(the beast is not a true car)

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In my opinion the Escalade handles much better than it's "lesser" counterparts as well. I have a few same generation Suburbans we use at work, and they feel very wonky and top heavy when turning corners. My Escalade had much less body roll and handles more like carlike than they do.

Try driving a hummer h2 after driving your escalade(not bad but nowhere near as stable) the reason the caddy handles as great as it does is because of the suspension system

RippyPartsDept
04-23-13, 03:55 PM
the presidential limo is actually built on a medium-duty truck platform ... not the escalade

sprink60
04-23-13, 05:47 PM
why would anyone think you're the FBI

FBI never drives Cadillac ... Chevy or maybe GMC ... but almost never Cadillac

However...the CiA, Secret Service and FBI do have some Escalade ESV models. They are available with the same GSA Prefered Equipment Group that the others are. That equipment group includes a few things that only the GM SUV's are available with which is why you very rarely see Ford or Chrysler products in that service.

the cadillac man
04-23-13, 06:01 PM
the presidential limo is actually built on a medium-duty truck platform ... not the escalade

From what I have read its the same frame as the top kick trucks(but not 100% sure)which is one heavy frame for a limo

wesyder
04-23-13, 07:35 PM
From what I have read its the same frame as the top kick trucks(but not 100% sure)which is one heavy frame for a limo

Thats probably cuz it weighs almost as much

the cadillac man
04-23-13, 09:32 PM
Thats probably cuz it weighs almost as much

I figured

Northstar125
04-23-13, 11:54 PM
I really do want one and I feel some some of my fears have been calmed. As it seems for the most part they are very reliable.

Have seen many with lots of miles. Saw an '02 today for sale with 290k miles.

Hoping to find an 03-04 as will be ideal for the mileage and price that I want. Just have to keep my eyes open and wait for the right one.

the cadillac man
04-24-13, 12:31 AM
I really do want one and I feel some some of my fears have been calmed. As it seems for the most part they are very reliable.

Have seen many with lots of miles. Saw an '02 today for sale with 290k miles.

Hoping to find an 03-04 as will be ideal for the mileage and price that I want. Just have to keep my eyes open and wait for the right one.

Try using yahoo autos that's how I found mine never know

djais1801
04-24-13, 08:05 AM
try cars.com, yahoo, craigslist, etc. i found the two that made the final cut..and the one i ended up with on Cars.com

Northstar125
04-24-13, 09:42 AM
What are the differences in model years? It seems I can find a lot of 02's for a good price but the 03-04's have more miles and cost more.

Is the interior better quality? Or just different stitch pattern on seats? Anything else I should know? Navigation would be nice but not a must.

I DO NOT want any TV's in it though.

bigirb2002
04-24-13, 10:56 AM
they dont use caddys because of cost and not needed luxury for the job. y pay 60-70,000 for a escalade when u can get surburbans much cheaper. hmmmm makes since.

RippyPartsDept
04-24-13, 10:58 AM
Top Kick trucks are medium duty

the cadillac man
04-24-13, 12:02 PM
What are the differences in model years? It seems I can find a lot of 02's for a good price but the 03-04's have more miles and cost more.

Is the interior better quality? Or just different stitch pattern on seats? Anything else I should know? Navigation would be nice but not a must.

I DO NOT want any TV's in it though.

The 03-06 has hid low beams
Better Stabilatrack system
Better audio system(its also a double din)minus the small sub
Among other things

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Top Kick trucks are medium duty

It's big for a medium duty truck

Airdorn
04-25-13, 12:25 AM
I drive an Escalade because I got this 2003 for $1,200.00 (twelve hundred) -- clear title too!

After a few minor fixes here and there it runs perfectly and reliably.

wesyder
04-25-13, 12:51 AM
I drive an Escalade because I got this 2003 for $1,200.00 (twelve hundred) -- clear title too!

After a few minor fixes here and there it runs perfectly and reliably.

Any other questions... Lmao... Smokin deal, even if it gets totalled your still gonna make money

Northstar125
04-29-13, 08:32 PM
Well, it looks like I'm gonna be waiting a while. Just put a lot of work into my tahoe and it runs great now and trying to get my business off the ground.

An escalade will be in my future, but maybe in a year or two. Then I can look at a nice 05-06. (I'll be able to afford it then).

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Sorry, forgot to ask what years or models had the heated and cooled seats?
I think that is a really cool option.

the cadillac man
04-29-13, 11:11 PM
Well, it looks like I'm gonna be waiting a while. Just put a lot of work into my tahoe and it runs great now and trying to get my business off the ground.

An escalade will be in my future, but maybe in a year or two. Then I can look at a nice 05-06. (I'll be able to afford it then).

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Sorry, forgot to ask what years or models had the heated and cooled seats?
I think that is a really cool option.

All years had heated seats the ones with the platinum package had the heated and cooled seats in those years you listed

Northstar125
04-30-13, 03:23 PM
What else "extra" does the platinum package have over other escalades?

The used ones seem to go for about the same price as base or ESV but they (Platinum) aren't all that common, at least not around here.

RippyPartsDept
04-30-13, 04:16 PM
http://www.cadillac.com/escalade-suv/features-specs/standard-optional-equipment.html
(http://www.cadillac.com/escalade-suv/features-specs/standard-optional-equipment.html)
go there and then add the platinum trim to the third column and you can see

different years might have slightly different availability of options

Black88GTA
04-30-13, 08:08 PM
First off I could care less about the name or what people think. I drive what I like, because I chose it not because of what someone else thinks. We have never really had a "luxury" vehicle, although every vehicle we have ever owned we have boughten in its top trim level. (Always GM vehicles: Suburban, tahoe, grand prix, bonnevilles)

But I think its time for something different.


I was just wondering how different the escalade is compared to the other GM trucks. Right now we've got a 1999 Suburban SLT top model in 1999. Its been a very nice and reliable truck for us and I don't see getting rid of it anytime soon. Had very few problems with it in the 10 years we've had it.

But I would like a new vehicle for myself. I like the look of the escalades. And seem like they would be a step up from the suburban.


I'm looking at an 02-06 model year. Budget not decided yet but most of what I can afford is already at or beyond 100k miles. I know the 03+ has an upgraded interior and the newer ones have nav, but I see a lot of 02's in my budget with decent mileage.


Just curious what makes the escalade so much better, couldn't really find any good comparison.

I've seen people talk about air ride? Are these just air struts with an Electronic leveling pump, instead of gas-charged or is there more to it.

What more does the escalade have over a top model suburban or tahoe?

Also, any common problems?

Would you recommend the 5.3 2WD or the 6.0 AWD?

I was in exactly the same situation when I got mine last year. For me, the Escalade made the most sense for a lot of reasons.

I tend to like offbeat cars, but the problem with that is that every time I need a part, I have to find it online, order it...and wait. So I wanted a truck that had (mostly) cheap and commonly available parts that I could pick up at Autozone if necessary - so, most foreign SUVs were out (I also briefly considered P38 Range Rovers and BMW X5s, but ditched those as options for most of the reasons below). I also wanted some kind of luxury truck, since I like all the little gadgets and stuff they put in these, plus the depreciation on luxury cars is huge compared to others. The "prestige" type buyers don't want a 10 year old truck, and the "utility" type buyers don't want to deal with all of the electronics and "expensive useless stuff that breaks" so the market drops out. So, the Suburban / Tahoe seem to hold their value better than the Escalade, but the Caddy has more equipment / features, so once you got into the ~10 year old range, the prices were almost a wash. Also, I wanted the LQ9 6.0 / AWD combination. Anything with 5.3 or 2WD wasn't even considered. Plus, the Escalade has most of the optional equipment of the other trucks included as standard - or at least, as very commonly ordered options. Some of these are year dependent, but you get rear parking assist, HIDs, 4 wheel Stabilitrak, navigation, a sunroof, built in tow hitch, etc.

I do all my own work and am not a pro mechanic, so I wanted to get something that was relatively easy to work on and had a lot of knowledge available online for common issues. If you can't find something in the Escalade forum, you can go on the Tahoe / Avalanche / Suburban / whatever forums, and chances are it's on there, since GM is a big parts bin company and uses lots of the same stuff across their entire lineup that uses the same chassis. There are pros / cons to this, but when it comes to fixing things, economies of scale dictate that whatever part you need is going to be relatively cheap and the replacement procedure will be well-documented, since they sold TONS of trucks based on the GMT800 chassis. The only exception really to the "cheap parts" thing that I've found (so far) has been shock replacements (assuming you want to keep the active suspension functional). Good news is, if you don't care about that you can always switch over to passives for cheap. I opted to keep the Autoride / Stabilitrak system intact.

Another point over the other GM trucks in a similar price bracket - have you ever seen the interior of an early '00s Suburban? :ill: ugh. The Escalade interior honestly isn't great (lots of hard plastic, especially when you consider the original price tag) but it's a ton better than the sea of gray plastic and no-frills stuff you get in a similar vintage Suburban. Those are good if you like to "keep things simple" I guess, or plan on beating the interior up with pets / construction supplies / kids / what have you, but I am about as far from that as you will find. Although, I do tend to haul some not-nice stuff in the back sometimes.

This is a secondary / winter car for me - the one I take whenever I go camping, need AWD, or have to haul lots of people / stuff, or tow things. So I wanted a lot of space, and a good towing capacity. The Escalade has 8-person seating and a tow rating of over 8000 lbs - and, the second row seats fold down, and the third row is removable. Also, four heated seats, which is good because my BMW sleeps for the winter and this becomes my everyday car from about Thanksgiving through March. The LSx series of motors is very well regarded, and bulletproof. The transmissions are a bit dated but do the job just fine, and are stout, reliable, and cheap. When I was looking, I found a whole bunch of trucks with over 200k (even some with over 300k) miles on them, and they still ran great, which says something about how long these last. Mine had 176k on it when I got it, and runs just fine. Sitting at 181k now.

Gas mileage kind of sucks, but anything with better mileage wouldn't have been as capable as what I got, so I consider it the price you have to pay for something that would be good for what I wanted it to be able to do.

And lastly, I was searching for an 03 - 06 because from what I was reading, the '02s are a bit special in that they have a number of "one year only" parts that may be tough to find replacements for. GM switched the trucks over to a different communication protocol (and made numerous improvements) in the '03 and up models. Changes were also made to the instrument cluster, the DIC (driver information center), stereo, interior, etc. They also took some things out - footwell lighting, under hood lighting, cabin filters, and (I think) running board lights (not sure about that last one) were all things found in the '02s that disappeared in later models.

Silent_Assasin
05-01-13, 04:09 PM
Sold my 99 Denali a few months ago and bought a 05 Escalade EXT! I wouldnt trade it for ANYTHING! theres just so many reasons why the escalade is better then tahoe, yukon, suburban etc... Those trucks dont even compare! the way the escalade rides is untouchable by any of the others! that right there is enough for me! but honestly, the step up from the 5.7 in my Denali to the 6.0 in my EXT was a HUGE improvement! My Escalade has ALOT more power and keeps up to speed at ease! The steering is night and day difference the truck pretty much drives itself! ....I will say though, if you were going to buy one i would most def stay in the 03-06 year range! 03+ are ALOT nicer then the older models! And also newer then 06 they completely changed everything, the interior is garbage! Literally the interior on new cars is 79% recycled GARBAGE! Until they make a HUGE change in production i will never buy a 07 or newer vehicle! even outside of the really ugly clock the new models have, the carpet and dash/door panel material is so cheap its ridiculous! They are not nice at all! ....If you decide to go with the Escalade 03-06 model, i PROMISE you will not regret it! It will be by far the nicest vehicle you have ever owned! ....Just remember it is a Cadillac and parts can get pretty pricey! but of course, you get what you pay for! Good luck! :thumbsup:

the cadillac man
05-01-13, 05:00 PM
Sold my 99 Denali a few months ago and bought a 05 Escalade EXT! I wouldnt trade it for ANYTHING! theres just so many reasons why the escalade is better then tahoe, yukon, suburban etc... Those trucks dont even compare! the way the escalade rides is untouchable by any of the others! that right there is enough for me! but honestly, the step up from the 5.7 in my Denali to the 6.0 in my EXT was a HUGE improvement! My Escalade has ALOT more power and keeps up to speed at ease! The steering is night and day difference the truck pretty much drives itself! ....I will say though, if you were going to buy one i would most def stay in the 03-06 year range! 03+ are ALOT nicer then the older models! And also newer then 06 they completely changed everything, the interior is garbage! Literally the interior on new cars is 79% recycled GARBAGE! Until they make a HUGE change in production i will never buy a 07 or newer vehicle! even outside of the really ugly clock the new models have, the carpet and dash/door panel material is so cheap its ridiculous! They are not nice at all! ....If you decide to go with the Escalade 03-06 model, i PROMISE you will not regret it! It will be by far the nicest vehicle you have ever owned! ....Just remember it is a Cadillac and parts can get pretty pricey! but of course, you get what you pay for! Good luck! :thumbsup:

I can agree on the degree of differences but parts prices depends on which dealer you go to

Cadillac Cust Svc
05-05-13, 08:17 PM
Sold my 99 Denali a few months ago and bought a 05 Escalade EXT! I wouldnt trade it for ANYTHING! theres just so many reasons why the escalade is better then tahoe, yukon, suburban etc... Those trucks dont even compare! the way the escalade rides is untouchable by any of the others! that right there is enough for me! but honestly, the step up from the 5.7 in my Denali to the 6.0 in my EXT was a HUGE improvement! My Escalade has ALOT more power and keeps up to speed at ease! The steering is night and day difference the truck pretty much drives itself! ....I will say though, if you were going to buy one i would most def stay in the 03-06 year range! 03+ are ALOT nicer then the older models! And also newer then 06 they completely changed everything, the interior is garbage! Literally the interior on new cars is 79% recycled GARBAGE! Until they make a HUGE change in production i will never buy a 07 or newer vehicle! even outside of the really ugly clock the new models have, the carpet and dash/door panel material is so cheap its ridiculous! They are not nice at all! ....If you decide to go with the Escalade 03-06 model, i PROMISE you will not regret it! It will be by far the nicest vehicle you have ever owned! ....Just remember it is a Cadillac and parts can get pretty pricey! but of course, you get what you pay for! Good luck! :thumbsup:

Hi Silent_Assasin,

I love hearing how much you love your 05 Escalade! I agree with how awesome the ride is. Thanks for sharing your input for other forum members on the Escalade; I am sure your input will be valuable!

Sincerely,

Laura M.
Cadillac Customer Service

Silent_Assasin
05-08-13, 03:08 PM
I drive an Escalade because I got this 2003 for $1,200.00 (twelve hundred) -- clear title too!

After a few minor fixes here and there it runs perfectly and reliably. lol does it have 1,000,000 miles?

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Hi Silent_Assasin,

I love hearing how much you love your 05 Escalade! I agree with how awesome the ride is. Thanks for sharing your input for other forum members on the Escalade; I am sure your input will be valuable!

Sincerely,

Laura M.
Cadillac Customer Service No problem Laura! Thank you!.... people have helped me alot so I like to return the favor when possible! I may not know everything but I do know how nice of a vehicle the Cadillac Escalade is! thats a given! And any chance to help someone else be as happy with their ride as I am with mine, I will jump all over it! ....again, Thanks for your support![COLOR="Silver"]