Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book
KBB.com 2004 Cadillac Escalade Overview
Bridging the Generation Gap
You can just imagine what the conversation might be like. Sitting in a Cadillac dealership waiting for delivery of their brand new Escalades, a rap star and Wall Street CEO have just purchased the same vehicle. Like proud fathers, they fawn over their new babies, somehow managing to bridge the language barrier that often separates one generation from the next. Upon delivery, the rap star learns that he has exquisite taste in automobiles, while the CEO is left to ponder the meaning of the words bling bling. Its hard to image any car with this type of universal appeal, let alone an SUV, but the Escalade has itin spades.
Built from the same rugged platform as the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, the Escalade elevates an already great vehicle to new heights of accomplishment. Cadillac has added an extensive list of luxury items in addition to completely overhauling the suspension and systems that control ride comfort and vehicle stability. To compare an old Cadillac sedan of the past to today's Escalade would be like comparing the Wright Brothers' first plane to a Boeing 777.
The Escalade's bold front end is the first indicator that this is one mean SUV. The enormous HID headlamps and angled egg-crate grille are enough to frighten even the most stubborn left-lane bandit as they watch the menacing face grow larger in their rear view mirror. Additional side surrounds have been added above the wheel arches and on the lower doors, further establishing the Escalade identity with just one glance. Cadillac tops off its styling frenzy with a set of 17-inch chrome wheels.
The real meat and potatoes of the Escalade reside in its engineering prowess and cannot always be seen with the naked eye. Cadillac wanted to make sure the Escalade could do more than just accelerate; it had to really move mountains. Officially celebrated as the most powerful SUV in the world, the Escalade has been blessed with a 345-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 engine nestled neatly beneath its hood. The Vortec 6000 is unbelievably smooth at idle and just as pleasant when under full-throttle. Even when fully-loaded, you'll notice that the engine is barely breaking a sweat as the tachometer hovers somewhere in the 2000 rpm range. Two-wheel drive Escalades get a slightly less powerful, but equally potent, 5.3-liter V8 rated at 285 horsepower. Power to pull is also impressive, with a tow rating of 7400 lbs.
To manage the engine's massive power output and still be sure the Escalade remains safe in all driving conditions, Cadillac has equipped their SUV with a full armory of its most sophisticated suspension and driveline components. Rear-wheel drive models include 4-channel ABS and GM's StabiliTrak traction control system. AWD models provide even better road holding thanks to an upgraded StabiliTrak system that allows each wheel to be independently controlled by the system's computer. Once behind the wheel, you can really feel the difference between the rear-drive model and the AWD Escalade. The AWD vehicle tracks better, with less possibility of fishtailing and exhibits an amazing level of cornering prowess. Even in emergency maneuvers, its almost impossible to lose control of the Escalade as its little electronic driver's ed teacher seems to intervene each time you get in over your head; it's a seamless system that truly offers piece of mind to those concerned about the stability of vehicles with a high center of gravity.
Since we assume you will not be driving your Escalade in SCCA competition, you probably are more interested in the luxury side of the big Caddy. The Escalade will not disappoint you or your lucky passengers. Bathed in leather and wood from stem to stern, the Escalade's interior looks like it belongs in a penthouse suite rather than an SUV. Front and center row captain's chair seating features independent armrests on each seat. Front seat passengers enjoy a wide center console and a freshened dash with new chrome trim ring surrounds; the driver is treated to a new eight-button steering wheel and power-adjustable foot pedals. Seating is high in the Escalade, giving you an excellent view over the vehicles in front of you while large side mirrors let you see what's coming up behind and beside you. For 2004, Cadillac now offers a second-row bench seat as a no-charge option. Also new this year are such standard features as XM satellite radio, a tire-pressure monitor and the trailer package.
Some of the many luxury items available on the Escalade include an ultra-sonic rear parking assist, tri-zone automatic air conditioning, dual heated side mirrors with tilt-down feature when in reverse, OnStar telematics, front side impact airbags, power 10-way heated leather seats and a Bose audio system. Options include a Navigation unit, Panasonic DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system, heated center-row seats, XM satellite radio and a power glass moonroof.