Cadillac Escalade Model Years: Expert Opinions on the Best and Worst Versions to Buy

cadillac escalade

The new generation is pretty fresh, so we can’t judge it too much. But, the Cadillac Escalade is around the league for 25 years, so we can go through the history to check how the luxury SUV evolved. Ever since its appearance, it is drawing attention. Today, the spotlight is on the new electric version, called Escalade IQ. Let’s not forget a high-performance V-Series configuration.

The first Escalade was launched in 1999. The biggest rival is Lincoln Navigator. There are more full-size luxury SUVs nowadays. Lexus LX 600 and Mercedes GLS are leading the way in reliability and performance. But, US companies still keep up and maintain the image.

The first-ever Cadillac Escalade was built in 1999

First Generation: Not the Best, Not the Worst

The company made a debut in 1999. We can say it was forced to stop the dominance of the Lincoln Navigator. Basically, the Cadillac Escalade was rebadged GMC Yukon Denali, a luxury version of the truck-based SUV. Well, the debut was good, and in its first run, the company sold more than 100k units in 4 years.

Second Generation: Some Say it is the Best

General Motors had a lot of time to develop a new SUV. And the moves lead to the 2002 Cadillac Escalade, the first edition of the second generation, which is maybe the most reliable product with this badge. Engineers revisited the platform and made plenty of changes that were accepted well by owners. The Escalade even featured the truck version. The EXT was one of the last luxury pickups. Also, a long-wheelbase edition of the SUV became available, the ESV model we can find nowadays too.

After more than 20 years, we can probably call the 2002 Escalade the best ever. Many of those are still on the streets. Reliability ratings are high, no matter what experts you consult.

They say the 2002 Escalade is the best one ever produced

Third Generation: Ups and Downs

The next series of truck-based SUV arrived in 2007. While everyone expected further evolution, the company made some moves that came back at them fast. The 2007 Escalade is considered as one of the worst ever built. The situation didn’t change in 2008, so we can find a lot of complaints about the vehicle.

In 2009, the vehicle was updated, and it was one of the best jobs by Cadillac. The Escalade became reliable again. And the company kept this SUV rolling until 2013, when another top model was released. After the 2002 YM, this one is the second-best Escalade ever made.

Fourth Generation: Same Story

From lows to peaks – that is how we can describe the 4th-gen Escalade. And the story is similar to the previous version. The redesign didn’t fulfill expectations. But, it was not such a disappointment as the 2007 YM. Still, fans expected a lot more from the luxury SUV. The company didn’t change too much until 2018. A diesel engine was added, and it was one of the reasons why the 2019 year model is also highly rated. The resale value is good and only downsides were the high price and poor gas mileage of the petrol edition.

This is what it looks like today

Latest Version: Still Has to Prove a Lot

The highlight of the new generation is the debut of the Escalade V-Series with massive outputs. This high-performance edition can only draw attention and there are not too many buyers that will splash more than $160,000 for a new vehicle. Record sales in 2021 and 2022 say the company hit the jackpot. Rumors go even further, mentioning the comeback of the pickup truck.

Future of the Cadillac Escalade

Like all other GM vehicles, the full-size luxury SUV is becoming an EV. The Escalade IQ concept is ready. The production is not starting so soon. An all-electric SUV arrives at dealerships not before 2025. Meanwhile, the V-Series remain part of the lineup.

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