You’re looking at a piece of automotive history. Or, at least, I think so. This is a 2000 Cadillac Escalade, and it’s probably the nicest first-generation Escalade left: It’s traveled just 46,000 miles, and it’s offered by a private seller in Connecticut for $8,500.
Before I get to why I think this is a piece of automotive history, let’s focus on this particular Escalade. It’s a 2000 model, which means it hails from the Escalade’s second year of production. Finished in burgundy with a beige leather interior, the car looks relatively well-kept on the inside, and especially clean on the outside — though the seller notes it has a few scratches "that can easily be buffed out."
Perhaps more important than this car’s specific details, however, is this Escalade’s position in history. Although the luxury SUV — and especially the full-size luxury SUV — is a well-known phenomenon today, the original Escalade (and its chief rival, the Lincoln Navigator) was blazing a trail when it came out in the late 1990s. With the Escalade’s Chevy Tahoe roots showing quite clearly — an attempt to keep costs down, in case the Escalade ended up being a failure — General Motors wasn’t sure how the market would respond to an SUV from Cadillac, known for big coupes and even bigger sedans.
Of course, the market responded hungrily: Not only did people want the Escalade, they wanted MORE Escalades, MANY more Escalades; Escalades faster than General Motors could churn them out. The result was a full redesign for the 2002 model year (the Escalade skipped 2001) with more distinctive styling and more equipment — and the rest is history: Nearly 20 years later, the Escalade remains tremendously popular, and some high-end versions can fetch a $100,000-sticker price.
This particular one is special simply because it’s probably the nicest example left of the beginning of the breed: a time capsule look back at a vehicle that helped to start one of the most profitable (and popular) trends in the automotive industry. Find a 2000 Cadillac Escalade for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.