The 1999 Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury sport-utility vehicle. It is the first truck ever manufactured by Cadillac. Like other mainstream luxury automakers, Cadillac wisely responded to increased buyer demand for more sport-utility vehicles. Most astonishing is the fact that Cadillac developed and introduced the Escalade in less than 12 months. It typically takes automakers at least 24 months to bring a new vehicle from concept to reality. The answer is General Motors’ managers chose to clone GMC’s Yukon Denali rather than wait for the development of a new full-size Cadillac sport-utility vehicle. This was deemed necessary with the 1998 release of the Lincoln Navigator. The Yukon Denali was rebadged as the Cadillac Escalade. The Escalade combines the amenities of a luxury automobile with the all weather and all terrain handling benefits of a sport-utility vehicle. This is reportedly a stopgap until GM’s next sport-utility vehicle project is ready for the market.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 5.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Cadillac Escalade
The 1999 Cadillac Escalade is new to the market in 1999. Derived from the GMC Yukon Denali, the Escalade is meant to be a rather large Cadillac limo with four-wheel drive. That said it is also noticeably not a Cadillac thanks to its GM parts. The Escalade is loaded with standard equipment and lavish touches. It is available in four special colors.
The 1999 Cadillac Escalade’s exterior styling differs somewhat from the Yukon Denali. The Escalade has a distinctive grille, which is surrounded by bright chrome with Cadillac’s instantly recognizable wreath and crest emblem prominently displayed in the middle. The front fascia features recessed fog lamps and halogen headlamps. There are still some generic elements of other GM SUVs noticeable in the Escalade, for example, body color bumpers and standard integrated running boards. The back of the vehicle includes a standard trailer hitch that is concealed by a functional step bumper.
The 1999 Cadillac Escalade has a curb weight of 5573 pounds and rides a wheelbase of 117.5 inches with 16-inch tires. The chromed aluminum six spoke wheels are eye catching. The vehicle’s length is 201 inches, and the Escalade stands at 74 inches tall and 77 inches wide.
The 1999 Cadillac Escalade’s interior has abundant storage cubbies and conveniences like cup holders, reading lamps, back seat power, and audio controls. The gauges and instrument panel are ergonomic with the instrumentation illuminated by a blue backlight. Even the back row has its own temperature and accessory controls. The front seats are spacious and very comfortable. The vehicle can comfortably seat up to five people with plenty of headroom and legroom. The Escalade is full of leather upholstery and glossy Zebrano wood trim.
The 1999 Cadillac Escalade's standard amenities are what separate this vehicle from its GM siblings. For starters, the standard Bose stereo system with an AM/FM radio, cassette player, and in-dash single disc CD player with a six-disc CD changer, sounds absolutely phenomenal. Air-conditioning, cruise control, tachometer, tilt steering, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and power adjustable driver and passenger seats also come standard. One downside to the Escalade’s interior is the fact that GM’s standard interior plastics don’t necessarily fit Cadillac’s reputation for luxury.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Cadillac Escalade is powered by a 5.7-liter pushrod V-8 engine that packs 255 horsepower. While this is plenty of power, a vehicle that weighs this much could benefit from some added power. The AutoTrac four-wheel-drive system can detect slippage and automatically shift between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. The Escalade is undoubtedly a head turner but there are flaws as one would expect from a rebadged decade old pickup truck design. The price tag isn’t justified by the ride quality, vague steering, and shoddy brakes. While the Escalade offers a smooth and pleasant ride, Cadillac buyers have come to expect a more sophisticated ride.
The 1999 Cadillac Escalade comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft alarm system, daytime running lights, driver and passenger front airbags, and fog lights. NHTSA crash test ratings gave the Escalade four stars for both driver and passenger safety in frontal impact crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Cadillac Escalade: 12/16 mpg city/highway
- Bose stereo
- Plenty of standard includes
- Whisper quiet
You Won't Like
- Gas mileage
- Lacking Cadillac luxury and sophistication
- Not a strong off roader
- Poor rear visibility
Plot your next escape in the Escalade.
If You Like This Vehicle