New Vehicle Review

2002 Cadillac Escalade

Checkmark ON THE STICKER... 2002 Cadillac Escalade

By: Kristi Bannen

Now this is more like that Cadillac style theyíre always talking about!I enjoyed testing the 2002 Cadillac Escalade; it drives nicely and looks great too.


Itís refined with a polished, classy exterior and impressive interior.


I was surprised at how comfortable I felt behind the wheel driving this full-size SUV. In fact, I wasnít intimidated at all by its size once I started driving.†† I was definitely impressed with its maneuverability especially for a vehicle that weighs over 5800 pounds (thatís nearly 3 tons and minus the wheels is comparable to one elephant ), is just over 16 Ĺ feet long, 6 Ĺ feet wide and over 6 feet tall.Remarkably, itís still about two feet shorter than the Ford Excursion.††


It wasnít hard to park either.The Escalade comes equipped with the helpful ultrasonic rear park assist.When in reverse, a sound goes off if the truck gets too close to any objects behind.


For a BIG ďguyĒ, the all wheel drive Cadillac Escalade is quite powerful with its 8-cylinder, 345 horsepower engine.I found it very responsive and stable even on dirt and bumpy roads.It was quiet too.†† Youíd think it would be a bit sluggish when it comes to breaking fast because of its size.But I tested it (yes, on purpose!) and the brakes reacted quickly and firmly.Iíd say itís more luxurious than rugged ,yet it obviously handlesdifferently based onroad conditions.†††


As for comfort, itís like sitting in your living room in a nice leather chair except in the Escalade, the seats heatand there are more sophisticated seat controls.It comes with a 10-way power front seat selection with heated cushions AND backrests, plus, your passengers can get toasty too.Thatís always a bonus. J

The electronic lumbar system was noticeably comfortable too.The front seats have built-in armrests that move up or down.††


Cadillac logo Cadillac has provided easy to use instruments in the Escalade by making them accessible and convenient.Thereís a button for power folding heated mirrors; a headlight warmer; rear wiper; and Bose stereo and temperature controls built right into the steering wheel.†† Plus, the memory garage door opener too. Rear passengers also benefit from their own temperature and audio controls that come with their own earphones too.There is plenty of legroomwhether youíre in the front or the second seat row.The Escalade can seat eight people fairly comfortably yet I would get a bit claustrophobic sitting in the third row back with no immediate door opening near.††††


The 2002 Cadillac Escalade is built more for passenger transportation than for itís hauling capabilities.There is not much storage room in the rear unless you remove the third row seats or fold the split seats down.Without removing or folding the very rear seats, I fit about 4 bags of groceries in the cargo net and thatís it.It wasnít immediately obvious or easy to figure out how to use the split seat option or how to remove the seat either.†† I had to study it for a long time.My philosophy on that is that things should be made as simple as possible so you donít feel you need to turn to the manual! Yuk!†††††


The interior was clean looking and impressive with wood accents and shiny instrumentation.†† The Bose audio system came with a 6-disc CD player that you loaded right there in the front console.And there was plenty of storage in the center armrest compartment.It was wide and deep enough for a purse or CD carrier; coins in a built in coin dispenser; and a secure and discrete place to plug your cell phone in.††† The very top of the armrest console (about 2 inches deep) could store phone cords or smaller items too.††††††


The Cadillac Escalade also is equipped with Onstar Communications and provides one-year premium service.Iíll tell you what, if youíve never used Onstar or if youíre not familiar with it, itís the best!I tested it out twice in the Escalade and it can be a life safer, or at least a patience-saver, when youíre truly lost.Hereís how it works. You simply press the Onstar button and youíll hear a live person talk to you through the audio system in the vehicle.Theyíll ask for your name and ask what your destination is.They then can track your location and tell you step by step how to get back on the right track.And theyíre unbelievably cordial too!††† What a nice attribute to have in such a busy, crazy world nowadays.


Overall, out of a four tire rating, with four being the very best, I give the 2002 Cadillac Escalade three tires for an above average rating.It was fun to drive, stylish and powerful and a nice vehicle to share with others.†††††


Kristiís Fun Fact:

flame The passenger seats in the 2002 Escalade only warm up with the seat heater button on AND the seat belts buckled - unlike a lot of cars equipped with seat warmers that stay on until you physically shut them off.


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