Premium large SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,500 – $6,100*

2000 Cadillac Escalade

2000 Cadillac Escalade interior

2000 Cadillac Escalade

1999 Cadillac Escalade

1999 Cadillac Escalade interior

  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Trailer-towing capability
  • Entry/exit
  • Fuel economy
  • Ride/handling

Escalades came with plenty of standard features and conveniences, but on the whole this sport-utility vehicle feels more like a dashed-together collection of “luxury” SUV cues than an intelligent, cohesive design. For that reason alone, it does not rate a spot on our secondhand shopping list.


Cadillac’s first truck ever was a response to the success of the full-size Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicle. Big SUV sales were growing faster in the late 1990s than those of compact and midsize models.

Essentially a gussied-up variant of the GMC Yukon Denali, the four-wheel-drive Escalade also competed against Land Rover’s posh Range Rover and the Lexus LX 470. Familiar styling cues could be seen in the Cadillac-style grille as well as in interior trim, which used real wood and the same leather found in Cadillac passenger cars. At the rear was a drop-down tailgate combined with swing-up glass. (Denalis could be fitted with a split rear door, instead.)

Power came from a 255-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine that drove a four-speed automatic transmission. AutoTrac four-wheel drive can be used on dry pavement, and the Escalade is capable of towing up to 6500 pounds.

Escalades had more standard features than GMC’s Denali, including a wood-rimmed steering wheel and a new version of GM’s OnStar satellite-based information and emergency-assistance system. Substituting a hands-free microphone for the usual cellular phone, it included “reminder services” to track appointments, birthdays and the like.

Yearly Updates

2000 Escalade
Cadillac’s Escalade kept the basic 1999 design for one more season, as did the GMC Denali and Chevrolet’s Tahoe Z71 and Limited. Redesigned Chevrolet Tahoes and GMC Yukons, on the other hand, got new platforms, styling, and engines. Nothing was new for the second-year Escalade, except that buyers got a choice of a rear liftgate/tailgate or full center-opening doors.
Standard equipment included full-time four-wheel drive, a two-speed transfer case, limited-slip differential, antilock braking, daytime running lights, automatic climate control, and rear air-conditioner controls. Escalades were fitted with leather upholstery, cruise control, 10-way power front bucket seats, heated front/rear seats, a Bose cassette/CD player, and a six-disc CD changer.
No Escalades were offered for 2001, but a new version debuted as a 2002 model.


longitudinal front-engine/4-wheel drive

All first-generation Escalades used the same powertrain: a 255-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission. AutoTrac four-wheel drive was standard.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/350
Engine HP 255
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 330
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

In both performance and accommodations, the Escalade mirrored the closely related GMC Denali. Cadillac claimed that its SUV could accelerate to 60 mph in 10.5 seconds, which puts it around the midpoint in luxury models. Like GMC’s Denali, though, the 5500-pound Escalade feels sluggish–especially when attempting to pass on the highway. Excess weight also hurts gas mileage. Our test Escalade averaged only 11.2 mpg.

Neither the Escalade nor the Denali is as quiet or comfortable as a luxury sedan–or as refined as the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon, which were redesigned for 2000. Ride and handling are subpar by any measure, with mediocre suppression of harsh impacts and a ponderous feel through turns. Stopping power is satisfactory, but the brake pedal feels mushy.

Cadillac-grade leather upholstery imparts an impressively rich sensation, but front bucket seats are too soft and flat for optimum comfort. Lack of a powered backrest recliner and automatic climate control (on 1999 models) are telltale omissions for a vehicle in this price category.

The front cabin is spacious, with enough room in back for three adults without crowding. Lincoln’s Navigator, on the other hand–and the 2000 Tahoe/Yukon duo–can seat as many as eight.

Tall interior step-in and surprisingly narrow rear-door bottoms make getting in and out of the back seat a problem. Cargo space is generous, even with the rear seatback in use. Plenty of storage bins and cubbyholes give space for miscellaneous items. Still, an abundance of hard plastic interior panels and parts-bin switchgear give the Escalade’s cabin an ambiance that’s closer to a GM truck than a luxury automobile.


Model Tested: 2000 Cadillac Escalade

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 5
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 8


Value - 4

Total: 47


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
117.5 201.2 77.0 74.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
118.2 29.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.9 38.9 41.7 38.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine stalling
Description: The vehicle may stall and not restart occasionally, plus the antitheft light may come on due to a variety of wiring problems in the Passlock system. (1999-2000)
Hard starting
Description: The engine may be hard to start, and may backfire or kickback. Additionally, the engine may crack at the starter attachment, the starter may break or the ring gear may get broken due to a problem with the crankshaft position sensor. (1999-2000)
Ignition switch
Description: A bad ignition switch causes the check engine light to come on, the transmission to stick in third gear and the instruments to quit working. (1999-2000)
Poor transmission shift
Description: The driveline makes a clunk when shifting out of park or when shifting from drive to reverse. The company claims that this is normal. (1999-2001)
Vehicle noise
Description: The transfer case makes a bumping or clunking and a new fluid–Autotrak II– was developed to correct the problem. (1999-2000)
Description: Whenever the battery is disconnected, the On-Star system forgets where the vehicle is and must be recalibrated through the Global Positioning System (GPS). (1999-2000)
Description: The woodgrain trim may become cloudy or dull looking and were being replaced due to excessive wax buildup during manicuring. (1999-2000)
Description: The hood may flutter or vibrate requiring additional sealing material to be installed between the outer and inner panels. (1999-2000)

Recall History

Description: In the event of a crash, the right front passenger restraint systems may not meet the neck extension requirements. Dealers will install an insert to correct this.
Description: The installation of the floor-mounted entertainment system on the left side of the vehicle may interfere with the fuel system, resulting in possible fuel leakage. Dealers will reinstall the system on the correct side.
Description: Certain rear-folding head restraints may have been constructed to allow fingers to get pinched if inserted. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.