2021 Cadillac Escalade: Everything You Need to Know | In-Depth Review

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2021 Cadillac Escalade

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is, without a doubt, among the top luxury full-size SUVs. It packs advanced tech features, sophisticated safety systems, modern interior styling, and an elegant exterior.

If you are looking for a luxurious SUV with spacious seats and intelligent driving, you should definitely put the 2021 Cadillac Escalade on your shortlist.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Luxury — Base Trim

Starting price: $76,195

Powertrain

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade Luxury trim features a standard 6.2-liter V8 base engine paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, good enough for 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Such a powerful engine makes a real difference on the road. In this category, you really shouldn’t bother with naturally-aspirated V6 engines.

2021 Cadillac Escalade

However, if you care more about efficiency than power, Cadillac also offers a Duramax turbodiesel six-cylinder engine. Of course, the diesel is a bit short on power at only 277 hp, which might be a bit low for such a massive truck. However, it produces the same 460 pound-feet of torque—it’s decent, at best.

With the Luxury trim, customers get two drivetrain selections, either a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) or a four-wheel-drive system (4WD) configuration.

In the RWD Luxury model, the V8 receives an underperforming EPA rating of 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. Meanwhile, the 4WD variant is even a little thirstier at 14 mpg city and 19 mpg on the highway.

The Duramax turbodiesel is much more economical, though. The RWD model burns 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Interior

Every Escalade trim has a refined and neatly designed interior. The cabin is modern and comfortable, featuring three roomy rows of seats. Moreover, materials utilized to craft the new Escalade’s cabin range from natural wood to handmade leather decorations and premium fabric options.

The Escalade Luxury comes standard with 12-way power-customizable heated front seats for outstanding comfort. Furthermore, the cabin is quite relaxing, thanks to the ambient interior lighting. Standard seats are wrapped in easy-to-maintain artificial leather upholstery.

Additional standard features include a power-folding third row, a power tilt-and-telescoping heated steering wheel, driver’s seat memory, proximity keyless access, remote start, tri-zone automatic climate supervision, a household-style power outlet, a hands-free power liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a traditional garage door opener.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade Luxury doesn’t shy out on displays as it incorporates three screens with sharp graphics, oriented towards the driver. More specifically, you’ll find a 16.9-inch main screen with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, an additional 7.2-inch advanced instrument panel to the left, and a 14.2-inch instrument binnacle. All screens combined measure around 38 inches, and are the highlight of the Escalade’s interior.

Other standard features include a 19-speaker AKG Studio stereo, a wireless smartphone charger, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB ports, Navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a satellite radio, and an HD Radio.

Safety

Like any high-end SUV these days, the 2021 Cadillac Luxury offers a plethora of standard safety features, including:

  • A forward automatic emergency braking system that monitors vehicles ahead and alerts the driver of a possible collision and can also reduce the vehicle’s speed, if needed.
  • Rear parking sensors alert drivers of obstacles while parking the SUV.
  • A surround-view parking camera reveals an overhead image of the area around your SUV, including rear and front vision cameras.
  • Forward collision warning monitors the road ahead and notifies the driver if there is a risk of impact.
  • Front and rear pedestrian detection observe people coming into the vehicle’s driving line.
  • Automatic high beam headlights help to turn on and off your high beams automatically when necessary. This technology switches on your high beams when driving on dark roads but returns to the low beams automatically when there’s a car ahead.
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers activate by sensing rainfall or snow.
  • A safety alert in the seat vibrates from left, right, or both sides to notify the driver of the direction in which a collision will occur so he or she could take action quickly.
  • The Teen Driver monitoring system helps your teenagers develop good driving habits and drive safely.
  • A rear-seat reminder helps detect if the rear doors are open or closed within ten minutes before starting the vehicle.

Exterior

Cadillac is known for its classic and fashionable exterior designs and the 2021 Escalade Luxury is no exception. Notably, Cadillac’s full-size SUV features a modern exterior with a gloss-black grille and a sharp chrome chevron form. It also comes with LED daytime running lamps, rain sense wipers, and 22″ 14-spoke alloys with a radiant silver finish.

2021 Cadillac Escalade

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury

Starting price: $82,995

Powertrain

The Premium Luxury trim features the same engine, transmission, and drivetrain options as the Luxury base trim. However, with the Premium Luxury, you can opt for the Performance Package with magnetic ride control and a limited-slip differential.

Meanwhile, the optional Trailering Integration Package enables the Escalade to tow heavier trailers. It even comes with nine extra cameras with dynamic guidelines for easy towing. Cadillac also included an advanced trailering app with trailer theft alert, an air pressure monitoring system, and an extended side-blind zone signal.

Interior

The Premium Luxury variant has a neat and fashionable cabin. The seating surfaces are now dressed in nicer Mulan leather. Moreover, apart from the standard features from the Luxury trim, it adds a 12-way power driver- and front-passenger heated and ventilated seats with lumbar function and a panoramic sunroof.

The infotainment system remains the same, including a 16.9-inch touchscreen, a 7.2-inch digital control panel, and a 14.2-inch digital instrument cluster. Besides, the displays feature OLED technology, making them much more vibrant and contrasty.

Worth mentioning, in this trim, you also get an augmented reality software, using the front camera to display the road ahead, with additional information overlayed on top.

Other standard features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 19-speaker AKG studio stereo, wireless device charging, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, and HD Radio. A head-up display projecting phone apps on the windshield is also available.

The Premium Luxury trim also offers an optional Rear Seat Entertainment Package adding double independent 12.6″ diagonal LCDs and a Hi-Fi AKG studio reference 36-speaker audio system.

Safety

The 2021 Cadillac Premium Luxury comes with the same advanced standard safety features as the Luxury trim. These features are:

  • An automatic braking system that activates the car’s brakes when it detects a possible collision.

  • A rear camera mirror washer sprays a concealed fluid that cleans the rear camera mirror lens.

  • A forward-collision warning monitors your speed, the speed of other autos ahead, and the distance between you and the vehicles.

  • A front pedestrian braking system prevents your vehicle from hitting pedestrians or bicyclists by automatically applying your vehicle’s brakes.

  • Rear pedestrian alert adopts a rear vision camera to monitor the area behind your vehicle for passersby.

  • Improved mechanical parking assist helps you to park your vehicle suitably using various sensors.

  • HD surround vision borrows numerous camera views to show an overhead picture of the area around your vehicle.

  • A safety alert seat vibrates from left, right, or both sides to notify the driver of the direction in which a collision might occur.

You’ll also get the Driver Awareness Package, adding side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic signal, and lane-keep assist with lane departure indication.

Optional features include Power Assist Steps and Driver Technology Packages. The second option provides illuminated sill plates, improved automatic emergency braking, air ride adaptive suspension, front- and rear-soft close/-cinching doors, adaptive control, reverse mechanical braking, and mechanical seat belt-tightening. Cadillac also added the newly created Super Cruise driver-assistance feature and an optional Night Vision for this trim.

2021 Cadillac Escalade

Exterior

The exterior receives a Galvano texture on the grille, door handles, bodyside molding, exhaust bezel, and front fascia trim. Again, it offers standard 22″ 14-spoke alloy wheels with a chrome finish.

If you want extra options, you have an available 22″ multi-spoke wheels with a Dark Android finish, 22″ 12-spoke wheels with Chrome finish, and 22″ 12-spoke wheels in High-Gloss Black finish.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport

Starting price: $85,595

Powertrain

The Sport trim features the same gas and diesel powertrains as the two previous trims.

Interior

The Escalade Sport’s cabin shares equivalent details with the Luxury Premium, including Mulan seating skins, panoramic sunroof, 12-way power driver- and front-passenger heated and ventilated seats, plus lumbar support.

Inside, the Escalade Sport features the same three-screen infotainment system, with the optional Rear Seat Entertainment Package with double independent 12.6″ displays and an AKG studio reference 36-speaker audio system.

Safety

2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport utilizes comparable standard safety features as the Premium Luxury trim, including automatic accident braking, forward collision warning, rear camera mirror washer, front pedestrian braking, driver awareness package (listed in the Premium Luxury safety features), improved mechanical parking assist, HD surround vision, and safety alert seat. You can also get an available driver-assist package and power assist steps to expand the SUV’s capabilities.

Exterior

The Sport trims, as the name implies, receives a sportier styling with a gloss-black front fascia ornament, rugged roof racks, window trim, bodyside molding, running boards, liftgate trim, exhaust bezel, and standard 22″ 14-spoke alloy wheels.

Other wheels options include 22″ multi-spoke wheels with a Dark Android finish, 22″ 12-spoke wheels with a Chrome finish, and accessible 22″ 12-spoke wheels with a High-Gloss Black finish.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury Platinum

Starting price: $99,995

Powertrain

The Premium Luxury Platinum features the same powertrain options and optional Performance Package.

Interior

The Premium Luxury Platinum trim’s cabin is fitted with leather, including the well-defined control panel, console, and upper-door panels, plus SEMI-ANILINE leather seats.

The driver’s and front passenger’s seats are now 16-way power-adjustable and feature heating and ventilation. An interesting addition is a center console refrigerator with freezer mode.

Furthermore, the Premium Luxury Platinum features the same OLED 38-inch curved infotainment system, full-color heads-up display, rear-seat entertainment system with dual independent 12.6″ screens and optional AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker sound system.

Safety

Standard safety features include: HD surround vision, front pedestrian braking, rear camera mirror washer, forward collision alert, rear pedestrian signal, safety alert seat, improved automatic parking assist, Driver Awareness Package, and Driver Assist Tech Package. (We have explained most of these safety features in the Premium Luxury section).

The Driver Assist and Tech Package contains brightening sill plates, improved automatic emergency braking, air ride adaptive suspension, front- and rear-soft close/-cinching doors, adaptive control, reverse mechanical braking, plus mechanical seat belt-tightening. It also adds the new Super Cruise technology and Night Vision assistance.

Exterior

The outward appearance incorporates staggering Platinum Galvano grille, flawless Galvano bodyside moldings, Chrome rooftop-mounted baggage stand, and the same wheel options as the previous trim.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum

Starting price: $99,995

Powertrain

The Sport Platinum trim is also available with either the 6.2-liter V8 or Duramax 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine, either in RWD or AWD configuration.

This variant is also offered with an automatic Stop/Start option and the Performance Package for a little more oomph.

Interior

The Sport platinum carries over the same interior features as the previous trim.

Safety

Standard safety features include HD surround vision, front pedestrian braking, rear camera mirror washer, forward collision alert, rear pedestrian signal, safety alert seat, improved automatic parking assist, Driver Awareness Package, and Driver-assist Tech Package (already listed in the Premium Luxury Platinum trim).

Power Assist steps are optional. The Escalade Sport Platinum also comes with GM’s Super Cruise technology and Night Vision assistance.

Exterior

The exterior looks sporty and aggressive with gloss-black everything, such as gloss-black window trims, bodyside moldings, front fascia trim, exhaust bezel, roof stand, and running boards.

Other info

At 25.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is quite roomy. And if that’s still not enough, With all three rows in place, folding the third row increases the volume to a decent 72.9 cubic feet. With the last two rows down, the cargo space rises to a massive 121 cubic feet. The SUV can also tow between 7,400 and 8,200 pounds.

Meanwhile, Cadillac provides a four-year for 50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year or 70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Verdict

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade provides drivers and passengers with a high-quality driving experience, excellent interior, and advanced safety systems. It also comes with the brand’s SuperCruise feature, which is the best driver’s assistance system in the business—at least, as of now. It can even completely take over from the driver on highways.

We should also mention the 38-inch infotainment with OLED tech, which looks better than anything on the market. The graphics are sharp, the displays have excellent contrast, and the software is responsive.

Besides, the Cadillac Escalade is one of the few full-size SUVs available with a turbodiesel option. It might not be as powerful as the V8, but it is much less thirsty.

With everything it has going for itself, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is one of the best full-size SUVs out there. It’s a bit pricey but it’s stylish, has a spacious and luxurious interior, and the some of the most advanced safety features currently on the martket.

Specifications

Body Style(s) Sport Utility Vehicle

Engine

Engine(s) Gas V8 Turbo-Diesel V6
Displacement 6.2L 3.0L
Horsepower 420 277
Torque 460 460
Fuel Injection Direct Injection

Drivetrain

Transmission(s) 10-Speed Auto
Drive Wheels RWD, AWD

Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy – City 15 MPG 21 MPG
Fuel Economy – Hwy 20 MPG 21 MPG
Fuel Economy – Combined 17 MPG 23 MPG

Dimensions

Wheelbase (in.) 120.9
Length (in.) 211.9
Width (in.) 211.9
Height (in.) 76.7
Cargo volume (cu.ft.) 72.9
Curb weight (lbs) NA

Suspension

Front Independent
Rear Independent Multi-Link

Wheels & Tires

Wheel size 22 x -TBD-
Tire size 275/50R22SL

Gallery

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