Cadillac Escalade (1999 – Present)Posted by Auto Perceptions on November 2, 2012 at 4:35 am.
Cadillac’s first major entry into the popular SUV market, the Escalade, is a full-size luxury sport utility vehicle. The Escalade was introduced to compete with German and Japanese companies in this segment. The vehicle was also a response to Ford’s 1998 release of the Lincoln Navigator.
Originally, the Escalade was based on the GMC Yukon, but was redesigned for the 2002 model year to make its appearance fall more in line with Cadillac’s new design theme.
The name Escalade is a reference to a siege warfare tactic of scaling defensive walls or ramparts with the aid of ladders or siege towers.
Its main competitors are the Range Rover Sport, Infiniti QX56, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Lexus LX, Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover LR3 and Lincoln Navigator.
The Escalade has had the same boxy look since its inception. Its look, combined with its enormous size, conveys power and strength with a heavy dose of style and refinement.
Arguably, it is now seen as the vehicle that made the company “hip”. Many professional athletes, such as basketball and football players, began purchasing the vehicle with the reasoning that their large body frames needed the roominess of the big Escalade. Of course, there’s the copycat cool factor, too. Once the athletes and entertainers start driving it, their fans want one as well.
Athletes haven’t been the only ones to popularize the Escalade. Rappers and other music artists, who loved the bold styling and dominating presence of the vehicle, featured it in their songs and music videos. Some rap videos portray the vehicle to the point of looking like an Escalade commercial.
As more and more fans want to emulate their athlete and music artist role models, Escalade sales have outpaced those of other vehicles in the Cadillac lineup and lowered the average age of Cadillac owners.
Cadillac scored a home run with the Escalade, as it became the poster child for a new mega-luxury class of SUVs.
Statement: Baller with cash to burn!