2015 to Present: Cadillac Escalade
The fourth-generation Escalade debuted in 2014 as a 2015 model. The current Escalade is based on the latest General Motors full-size truck platform, while styling was brought in line with the current Cadillac fashions, including the CUE infotainment system added inside. The 6.2-liter V8 engine was carried over, making 420 horsepower here with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Midway through the model year, the six-speed automatic was replaced with a new eight-speed unit. A new Platinum edition with upgraded styling and trim was added, and all models got a new Cadillac emblem during the 2015 calendar year.
Earlier Cadillac Escalade Models
The Escalade was introduced in summer 1998 as a 1999 model. Based on the then-new GMC Yukon, it was the ultimate version of the GM full-size SUV line that also included the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. Standard equipment included leather upholstery, wood accents, Bose audio, chrome wheels and GM's relatively new OnStar telematics. A 5.7-liter V8 with four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission was the only powertrain.
The Escalade took 2001 off and was reintroduced for 2002. Again, based on the latest GM full-size SUV platform, it gained styling lifted from the then-new Cadillac CTS that was more distinctive than its platform siblings. A third-row seat was newly available, bringing seating capacity up from five to eight. A 6.0-liter V8 became available, making the Escalade the most powerful luxury SUV around. Both two-wheel and four-wheel drive variants were offered, and most versions were equipped with leather, Bose audio and full power amenities.
Also new was the Escalade EXT, a sport utility truck based off of the Chevrolet Avalanche.
In 2003, a longer Escalade ESV model rolled out, which is based off of the Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL. Satellite radio was now available, and all Escalades got HID headlamps, tri-zone climate control and adjustable pedals. Some revisions to the interior and instrument cluster were also made.
The 2004 Escalade got standard satellite radio, tire-pressure monitoring and second-row captain's chairs. For 2005, a navigation system was introduced, in addition to some detail changes.
Cadillac redesigned the Escalade in 2006 as a 2007 model. More technology was available, including LED taillights and side curtain air bags, to match the upgraded looks. Power went up again thanks to a 6.2-liter V8 with 403 horsepower, this time routed through a six-speed automatic transmission. The Escalade got an interior design distinct from any GM truck-based vehicle, with a more sweeping design based off of Cadillac sedans. A large touch-screen navigation system was standard, as well as amenities like power-folding seats, a power liftgate and optional 22-inch wheels. Once again, EXT and ESV derivatives were offered.
A new Platinum edition arrived for 2008, boasting a special grille and upgraded materials inside and out. For 2009, Bluetooth, LED headlamps, blind-spot monitoring and a backup camera were made available.
The 2010 Escalade featured a host of improvements to safety (new structural changes and side air bags), efficiency (cylinder deactivation was added) and technology (a USB port was added) in the wake of declining sales.