In 1999, Cadillac entered the sport utility vehicle marketplace with the truck-based Escalade in response to luxury segment rival Lincolns success with the Navigator. The first-generation version of the Escalade was mostly a rebranded GM Yukon Denali. A different front end as well as unique a side profile was used to define the luxury-themed sport utility vehicle from platform siblings belonging to Chevrolet and GMC. Offered only with a four-wheel drivetrain, the 1999 Escalade was powered by a 255-horsepower, 5.7-liter Vortec 5700 V-8 engine.
The cabin of the 1999 and 2000 model Escalades was leather upholstered and presented seating for a maximum of five passengers. A Bose surround sound audio system was also available on the 1999 Escalade. In 2002, the Cadillac Escalade received a more individualized design and improved luxury vehicle prowess. The new Cadillac styling exhibited on the 2002 sport utility vehicle was companioned with an improved 345-horsepower 6.0-liter V-8 engine on four-wheel drive models. The 2002 model year also included a rear-wheel drive base version of the Escalade propelled by a 5.3-liter V-8 engine producing 285 horsepower. Inside, the 2002 Escalade added third-row seating and an 11-speaker, 250-watt Bose audio system. This second-generation model of the Cadillac full-sized sport utility vehicle would be heavily upgraded with HID headlights and StabiliTrak on all models starting in 2003. Styling was again enhanced on the Cadillac Escalade in 2007 leading to a cleaner, sleeker luxury vehicle appearance. The 2007 Escalade would also receive a significant power increase from a new 6.2-liter engine featuring variable valve timing. The all-wheel drive version of the 2007 vehicle provided 403 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission. A 2015 Cadillac Escalade debuts as a completely new version for the luxury sport utility vehicle with added luxury and refined performance.
A full-size luxury SUV with seating for up to seven passengers, the 2005 Cadillac Escalade has big bold styling on the outside, a large V8 under the hood, and a well-equipped and comfortable interior on the inside.