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2021 Cadillac Escalade: First Look Autotrader

  • The 2021 Cadillac Escalade has a 6.2-liter gasoline V8 and a diesel engine available.
  • The curved OLED display is huge.
  • It comes with the Cadillac Super Cruise hands-free driving system.
  • The 36-speaker AKG audio system will please audiophiles.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a full-size luxury SUV. Unlike most luxury SUVs, the Escalade is truck-based, and it’s mechanically similar to the Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon. The Escalade is likely the vehicle with the best name recognition in the entire Cadillac lineup, so getting it just right is important. The new look is a bit of a departure from the previous Escalade, but you can see the relationship to the Tahoe if you compare the front-end treatment in side-by-side pictures.

How Big Is the 2021 Cadillac Escalade?

For 2021, the overall length is 211 inches for the standard version, and the Escalade ESV is 227 inches long. The 2021 Escalade has more interior space — specifically a 80% improvement in the space behind the third row of seats and a 40% increase in third-row legroom. It’s 7.1 inches longer overall, with a wheelbase that’s 4.9 inches longer. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear wheels and can affect ride comfort.

For 2021, the Escalade gets a new independent rear suspension, and that setup makes for more cargo space in the back.

What Powertrain Options Are Available for the Cadillac Escalade?

A gasoline-powered 6.2-liter V8 is the standard engine. It makes 420 horsepower and is now equipped with cylinder deactivation and automatic stop and start. A 3.0-liter diesel is offered as well, a first for the Escalade. The diesel engine makes 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Both engines use the same transmission, and the Escalade has a towing package available, too.

What Safety Features Are Available on the 2021 Escalade?

Standard safety features include front automatic braking, front and rear parking assist, lane-keep assist, front and rear pedestrian detection, a safety alert seat and forward-collision warning. Trims above the Luxury trim get adaptive parking assist, a head-up display, a rear camera mirror, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change alert.

The 2021 Escalade will get Cadillac’s Super Cruise hands-free driving system. Because Cadillac uses super detailed and accurate GPS, Super Cruise really is a hands-free system unlike most other automated driver-assist features. Super Cruise now has automated lane-changing, which lets the driver change lanes when Super Cruise is engaged just by signaling. There’s also a new feature that moves your Cadillac over slightly within its lane when another car is passing, simply for passenger peace of mind.

Why Should You Consider Buying a 2021 Cadillac Escalade?

There are a lot of good larger luxury SUVs available, but this new Escalade looks like it will be one of the best. The new interior is light years beyond the previous version and now doesn’t look anything like the other large SUVs made by General Motors. Simply put, this new Escalade is easily as good as — or better than — other great luxury SUVs, such as the Lincoln Navigator, the Land Rover Range Rover and the Audi Q7.

Inside, the OLED screen is really three screens in one, and it provides a commanding at-a-glance view of everything that’s going on with the car. There are also unique colors, textures and patterns throughout the new Escalade.

Audiophiles will like the two available AKG audio systems. These are the first AKG in-car systems. The standard version is a 14-channel, 19-speaker system with a dedicated subwoofer and enclosure. The AKG Studio Reference audio system has 28 channels running through 36 speakers, including speakers in the front headrests. This high-end system has three amplifiers and Studio 3D surround sound. There’s a graphic display on the center screen that shows a visual representation of the sound parameters the driver has picked. This AKG system also has something called conversation enhancement, which uses microphones inside the Escalade to amplify the voices of people speaking inside the car.

How Much Is the New Cadillac Escalade?

A $76,000 base price is what we’re expecting when pricing is announced. The price for the top trim level with options will exceed $120,000.

There are five trim levels offered: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury Platinum and Sport Platinum. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will be on sale in fall 2020. Find a Cadillac Escalade for sale

Brian Moody
Brian Moody
Brian Moody is an author specializing in transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used, and certified pre-owned advice. He also specializes in liking ridiculous cars like the Buick Reatta, Studebaker Lark, and the GM A-Body wagons from the late 80s and mid-90s. Why? You'd have to ask him. Brian graduated from Cal State Long Beach and has been creating written... Read More about Brian Moody

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