Big on styling and luxury, looks fairly reliable
History/Description: A pioneering icon of the Luxury SUV scene, Cadillac’s Escalade launched in its second generation for the 2002 model year. Featuring GM truck-frame construction, massive size and enough chrome bling to deck out a rap band, this humungous, comfortable and stylish rig was a hit with shoppers from various walks.
Of course, Escalade isn’t the cheapest way to get you and yours around, new or used—so for many, something a little more modest may make a lot more sense. If you’re interested in a hauler with maximum visibility to passersby, standard V8 power, all the goodies, and plenty of pop-culture relevance, the Escalade has few rivals.
Look for a standard six-litre V8 engine with 345 horsepower and a decision-free All Wheel Drive (AWD) system. A four-speed automatic was standard, and goodies included a sunroof, dual-zone climate control, a full leather interior with heated power leather memory seats, BOSE audio and plenty more. Parking sensors, xenon lights, navigation and even rear-seat entertainment systems were all available or standard, depending on the model selected. Where bells and whistles are concerned, the Escalade won’t disappoint.
Neither will selection. Escalade was available in standard, extended-length ESV and pickup-based EXT variants. The latter amounted to a Chevrolet Avalanche with a going over by Cadillac designers and engineers to create a high-versatility bling-mobile. High-end ‘Platinum’ models even got additional feature content and standard twenty-inch wheels.
What Owners Like: Head-turning looks, power output, interior styling and space, versatility, all-weather confidence, comfort and even highway fuel mileage were all highly rated by Escalade owners taking to the internet to share their experiences. Some even say that relative to its size, the Escalade is easy to park.
What Owners Dislike: Some owners wish for less road and wind noise, a more powerful audio system, smaller blind spots and an easier time boarding and exiting the vehicle. Others wish for a softer and less ‘truck-like’ ride.
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT Specifications
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