ABS standard. Side air bags standard 2002-2006, not available 2007-2009, standard from 2010. ESC available in 2002, standard from 2003. Head protection air bags standard from 2007.
An early 2002 redesign brought an edgy new look and significant mechanical improvements to Cadillac's once-forgettable luxury SUV. Now based on the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon platform that debuted for 2000, the Escalade exhibits braking, handling, and ride characteristics that are much improved over those of its antiquated predecessor. Rear-drive models use GM's ubiquitous 5.3-liter, 285-hp V8, while Escalades equipped with the available all-wheel-drive system get a 345-hp, 6.0-liter version. A standard removable split third-row seat brings passenger capacity to eight. AWD Escalades are equipped with StabiliTrak electronic stability control, as well as a "road-sensing" suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers. GM's OnStar driver-assistance system is also included.