Archive for December 10th, 2011

Mercedes-Benz S-Class W140 Fascination Video


Test Drive: 2000 Cadillac Escalade (GMT400)

White 2000 Cadillac Escalade (GMT400) On December 7, 2011, I test drove a 2000 Cadillac Escalade at Esquivel Auto depot in San Bernardino, California. This Escalade has a white exterior with a beige leather interior. It also has 150000 miles with an asking price of $5495. Under the hood is a 5.7 liter Vortec V8 engine capable of generating 255 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The engine’s name is Vortec 5700 L31. The transmission is a 4 speed automatic. This Cadillac also has 4 wheel drive. As you may already know, the Escalade is just a fancy Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon. The GMT400 Escalade is the first generation Escalade and was only built for the 1999 and 2000 model years, competing against the Lincoln Navigator. That of course, is the same thing as the Ford Expedition. General Motors also has a GMC version of the Escalade, called the Yukon Denali. Like the Escalade, the first generation (GMT400) Yukon Denali was only produced for the 1999 and 2000. If I remember correctly, the 1999-2000 Escalade only came in four colors: black, burgundy, white, and silver. The Denali has more color options, such as a stealth grey color. Also, the GMC has the word Denali, and a mountain peak (likely to resemble Mt. McKinley in Denali Nat’l Park) stitched into the leather on the door panels. Basically, both vehicles are exactly the same. I actually remember the debut of the Escalade in 1999. For some reason, I was really fond of the car and its Onstar safety system. I actually thought it would be perfect for my grandma because she would often need directions when going somewhere. I wanted her to buy a burgundy Escalade. She never bought one, and I don’t think she would like driving such a big vehicle anyway. Ever since the beginning, I have always admired the Escalade. Let’s get to the test drive. I came to the dealer to look at the Escalade, and a 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada. The salesman let me drive both cars without going along. It’s always a plus for any test drive. I drove the Bravada first, and then the Escalade. When I got into the Escalade, I noticed that something was wrong. The interior door handle of the driver’s side was dangling. In order to open the door, you’d have to open from the outside. A few times before I have noticed people open the doors of those era GM SUVs from the outside when trying to get out. I’m guessing that it’s a common problem. The rear passenger side door also had a broken interior door handle. After looking around the exterior, I hopped in the driver’s seat and started the car. Before I put it in drive, I discovered that the lever for the parking brake was broken off. In order for me to release the parking brake, I had to pull the lever stub and the foot brake back. It would be very inconvenient to do this all the time. Other than those, the interior was in good to fair condition. The exterior has some scrapes on the rear bumper, and some slight scratches here and there. Both of the rear windows couldn’t go down very much, not even close to half way. This SUV drove like a truck, but it was almost as smooth as a luxury car. The leather seats have a nice plushy feel to them too. The handling was not too bad, but it’s not sharp. The vehicle’s visibility isn’t the greatest either in my opinion. When giving it full throttle, The Escalade’s engine has a monstrous sound, with smooth shifting from the transmission. I wanted to test the radio and Bose speakers in the Escalade; unfortunately, there was just static because of a bad signal. When the test drive was over, I parked the car back onto the lot. Since there was a lot of space, I didn’t have to worry about hitting anything. If I was in a crowded parking lot, I’d definitely have to be more careful. Other than the two broken door handles, I liked the Escalade. I’m not used to driving SUVs, but this one was cool. I looked on Kelley Blue Book to see if the selling price was fair. The current retail value in excellent condition is $7164. In one craigslist ad, it was advertised for as low as $5495. That’s a fair price for the Escalade, but I would personally try to negotiate for something between $4500 to $5000. Would I buy this car if I could? I doubt it. I like it, but it’s bigger than what I need, the gas mileage I’m sure is low, and I think I can find one with lower miles in better condition. I would prefer a burgundy Escalade over a white one. The first generation Escalades and Yukon Denalis are hard to come by, but you’d find one near you eventually. Overall, the Escalade is indeed as luxurious as a Cadillac should be, and since it’s just like a Tahoe and Yukon, it’s big and powerful. The Escalade is not the best choice of vehicle to buy at this current time for the average person, but if you don’t mind GM products, family vehicles, or gas hogs, it would be perfect for you.

Photos taken by Esquivel Auto Depot.