When it comes to luxury vehicles, one brand that stands out as being not only immensely popular, but also as one of the most reliable is Cadillac. The company have been making cars since 1902 and its vehicles have been largely featured in the media. Cadillac has cornered just about every aspect of the luxury car market. It has some of the sportiest two-door rides, its sedans are the definition of upscale, and while it was a bit late to the game, Cadillac's SUVs are some of the roomiest yet most powerful options out there.
Cadillac didn’t produce an SUV until 1999, although most companies had these larger vehicles as a part of their lineup long before that time. You sure do have a clue what model has inspired all this epistle, and it's non-other than the iconic Escalade. People truly loved this option from one of the most important players in the luxury car game. So much so that the Cadillac Escalade is still going strong today.
We took a look into the original Cadillac Escalade to determine what made it so special. There is a lot to love about this large SUV, but what are the best features of the 1999 Cadillac Escalade?
Performance Is One Of The Cadillac Escalade's Strongest Points
The problem with SUVs of this size, and perhaps the reason Cadillac waited this long to produce one, is that it’s hard to make them powerful. It requires a big engine to accomplish this. Luckily, the 1999 Cadillac Escalade is powered by a hefty 5.7-liter V8. It produces 255 horsepower and a max torque of 330 lb-ft.
This is a four-well drive SUV with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Another downside to vehicles of this size is that they are considered gas guzzlers. This one can go 11 miles on a single gallon of fuel in the city and 15 on the highway. This leads to a combined 13 miles to the gallon and an overall range of 330 miles in the city and 450 on the highway. The 1999 Escalade has a 30-gallon fuel tank, and it uses regular unleaded fuel. It should be noted that this option from Cadillac weighs a reported 6,800 lbs.
If you want a vehicle that can help in the towing department, this is also the one for you. According to Edmunds, it can tow up to 5,000 LBS. This gives even more use to this vehicle beyond the large interior.
The Interior Of The 1999 Cadillac Escalade Is Also Great
Another great feature of the 1999 Cadillac Escalade is the interior. Cadillac knew they had to compete with the Lincoln Navigator, and it truly shows in this car. The first model Escalade had standard seating room for 5 and came with plenty of storage options. For one, buyers got both lower and upper consoles that were packed with storage cubbies.
Besides the storage room, this late '90s ride came with things such as reading lamps, cupholders, and a rear power source as well as audio controls. To spice things up, the instrument cluster is backlit in blue with white pointers. This includes a tachometer.
Adding to the luxurious nature of this SUV, it has Zebrano wood trim, heated seats with leather trim, as well as a Bose sound system with a six-cd changer as well as a single CD in-dash player. Of course, the CD player would be almost obsolete today, but this was all the rage back then before streaming became the dominant form of music consumption.
This car also came with GM’s OnStar system as a standard feature.
For safety, the 1999 Cadillac Escalade also came with dual front next-generation airbags, as well as keyless remote entry. The keyless remote also came with an adjustable and shock-sensing anti-theft system.
Everything about this vehicle was meant to establish it as the leader of the pack. It may not have been the perfect SUV, but it served as a great foundation for what the Cadillac Escalade was to become.
The Cadillac Escalade Has Since Evolved
When it comes to large SUVs, whether you’re looking at only luxury options or this section of vehicles as a whole, the Escalade is one of the most important of all time. This is because this vehicle is one of the most easily recognized on the road. Not only because of its large size, but also because Cadillac has always found ways to make the Escalade stand out from the other SUVs in its class.
Vehicles like the Escalade that have been around for a long time are also great because they show how much things have changed. As mentioned before, the 1999 model had pretty poor fuel economy. This was to be expected from a ride as heavy as the Escalade. However, the latest model actually gets 27 miles to the gallon on the highway and 21 in the city. While this isn’t perfect, it’s pretty awesome. Technology has evolved, which also means this iconic SUV has as well. Despite this, the first model of the Escalade is still special and was a good start to Cadillac’s SUV legacy.