When it comes to luxury vehicles, Cadillac is a brand that is not only immensely popular, but also one of the most reliable. The company has been making cars since 1902 and its vehicles have largely been in the media. Cadillac has cornered just about every aspect of the luxury car market. It has some of the sportiest two-door rides, the sedans are the definition of luxury, and while it was a little late to play 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 in their lineups long before that time. You certainly have an idea which model inspired this letter, and it is none other than the iconic Escalade. People really liked this option from one of the main players in the luxury car game. So much so that the Cadillac Escalade is still going strong today.
We took a look at the original Cadillac Escalade to determine what made it so special. There’s 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 greatest strengths
The problem with SUVs of this size, and perhaps the reason Cadillac has waited so long to produce one, is that it’s hard to make them powerful. To do this, a large motor is needed. Fortunately, the 1999 Cadillac Escalade is powered by a hefty 5.7-liter V8. It produces 255 horsepower and a maximum torque of 330 lb-ft.
This is a 4 wheel drive SUV with a 4 speed automatic transmission.
Another disadvantage of vehicles of this size is that they are considered gas guzzlers. It 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 on the gallon and a total range of 330 miles in the city and 450 on the highway. The 1999 Escalade has a 30 gallon fuel tank and uses regular unleaded fuel. It should be noted that this option from Cadillac weighs a reported 6800 lbs.
If you want a vehicle that can assist with towing, this is for you too. According to Edmunds, it can pull 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 great too
Another great feature of the 1999 Cadillac Escalade is the interior. Cadillac knew they had to compete with the Lincoln Navigator, and it really shows in this car. The first model Escalade had 5 seats as standard and offered many storage options. First, buyers got both lower and upper consoles that were packed with storage compartments.
In addition to the storage space, this late 90s ride came with things like reading lights, cup holders, a rear power source, and audio controls. To make things more exciting, the instrument panel is illuminated in blue with white hands. This includes a tachometer.
In addition to the luxurious character of this SUV, it has zebrano wood trim, heated leather-trimmed seats, as well as a Bose sound system with a six-disc CD changer and single in-dash CD player. Of course, the CD player would be almost obsolete these days, but this was all the rage back then before streaming became the dominant form of music consumption.
This car also came standard with GM’s OnStar system.
For safety, the 1999 Cadillac Escalade also came with next-generation dual front airbags, as well as remote keyless entry. The keyless remote also came with an adjustable and shock-sensitive anti-theft system.
Everything about this vehicle was intended 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 was to become the Cadillac Escalade.
The Cadillac Escalade has evolved since then
When it comes to large SUVs, whether you’re just looking at luxury options or this segment 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 easiest to spot on the road. Not only because of its large size, but also because Cadillac has always found ways to differentiate the Escalade 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 has changed. As mentioned earlier, the 1999 model had quite low fuel consumption. This was to be expected from a ride as tough as the Escalade. However, the latest model 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 means this iconic SUV has too. Despite this, the first model of the Escalade is still special and was a great start to Cadillac’s SUV legacy.