With a break for the 2001 model year, the 2002 Cadillac Escalade is the new model in a second generation of this luxury SUV from the car manufacturer. Built on the same platform as the GMC Yukon Denali, the Cadillac Escalade is the first truck-based vehicle. With the launch of the redesigned second generation, it has gone even further in trying to create a vehicle that combines the best features of an SUV with those found in a luxury sedan. It's available in the base model only, but drivers can choose between models equipped with all-wheel drive, or those with rear drive only.
Body Styles: five-door SUV
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Cadillac Escalade
The 2002 Cadillac Escalade gained horsepower, extra seating capacity, an additional drive system, and much more standard features over the previous version. It is a five-door SUV that now seats eight passengers. As well as being equipped with all-wheel drive, rear-drive model are also available. Two different engines are based on which drive system is installed. A new 6.0-liter V-8 powers the all-wheel drive models. With the inclusion of even more standard features, it is one of the best-equipped SUVs on the market, if not the best.
The 2002 Cadillac Escalade was restyled and gained size with the launch of this new generation. The prominent grille at the front of the SUV and the sharp lines of the overall body form give an impression of power and aggressiveness, while still remaining elegant. A new Cadillac wreath and crest is used on the front and the rear of the SUV, and seven-spoke 17-inch aluminum wheels are standard. While the width and height remains very close to the first generation models, it grew significantly in length, which allows for up to eight passengers to ride comfortably in the interior.
The 2002 Cadillac Escalade increases in size provides for more head, leg, and hip room in the second and third rows of seats. Leather upholstery is standard for all seats, and the second and third rows fold to provide optimal use of cargo and passenger room. The second row has a 60/40 split and folds into the floor, while the third row has a 50/50 split and can also be removed from the SUV.
The 2002 Cadillac Escalade is very similar to that found in the Yukon Denali with a bit more luxury and a few more standard features. A new center console and a new instrument cluster with gauges with aluminum rims provide a touch of elegance to the interior. Standard features include a Bose audio system with an in-dash CD changer, power seats, air-conditioning, power windows, locks, and mirrors, and the OnStar Communications system.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 Cadillac Escalade is equipped with one of two engines based on whether the model is equipped with all-wheel drive or rear drive. The all-wheel drive models come with a new 6.0-liter V-8 that produces 345 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The rear-drive models are equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine that provides 285 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission only. Both engines provide more than enough power. For its size, acceleration is good from a start, and there is plenty of punch when needed to perform highway maneuvers. Handling is adequate, but steering can feel light and unresponsive. Significant body lean will be felt in all but the slowest of corners. The ride is truck-like, but relatively comfortable and quiet. It improves as weight is added.
For both trim levels of the 2002 Cadillac Escalade, standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, front side airbags, and the StabiliTrak electronic stability system. Traction control is included as standard for the all-wheel drive models.
EPA Fuel Economy
Cadillac Escalade, 5.3-liter V-8: 13/17 mpg city/highway
Cadillac Escalade, 6.0-liter V-8: 10/14 mpg city/highway
- Increased passenger capacity and room
- Powerful engines
- Towing capacity
You Won't Like
- Steering and handling
- Gas mileage
All new and improved luxury SUV with a class-leading V-8 engine.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW X5
- Infiniti QX4
- Lexus RX300