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Pricing And Features
Engine And Performance
Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide
Coming to the powertrain front, well, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade carries on with the same gasoline engine as the 2020 model. Which happens to be a 6.2L Naturally Aspirated V8 engine belting out 420 hp. However, what comes in as a wildcard entry is an all-new 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel inline-6 engine that churns out 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Yes, Cadillac Escalade Diesel is indeed a reality now. The prices of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade Diesel starts from $76,195.
Talking of its competition, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade continues to compete against the likes of Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW X7 both of which have also been extensively updated in terms of design and feature listing. Its arch-rival, the 2021 Lincoln Navigator, however, remains the same with subtle updates. But that doesn't make it any less aggressive in comparison to the Caddy. But with the new generation upgrade for the Escalade for 2021, Cadillac has truly amplified up its game.
5.0/10 Pricing and Features
7.6/10 Engine and Performance
7.5/10 Fuel Economy
2021 Cadillac Escalade Pricing and Features
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade, just like the 2020 version, can be had in 5 trims, namely - Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury Platinum, and Sport Platinum. The prices for the 2021 Cadillac Escalade initiate at $77,490 for the base Luxury trim and go up to $104,290 for the range-topping Sport Platinum trim. Leasing a 2021 Cadillac Escalade will start from $881 for 36 months for the base 2WD Luxury trim, with $7080 due at signing.
The Escalade comes topped with loads and loads of features and technologies, and you will be exhausted while reading the list. Some of the notable features though are mentioned here.
Premium Luxury Platinum
HD Radio, Satellite Radio
Additional to the Luxury Trim
Additional Premium Luxury Trim
Additional to the Sport Trim
Additional to the Premium Luxury Platinum Trim
Smart Device Integration
Jet Black, Leather seating surfaces with precision perforated inserts; Whisper Beige with Jet Black accents, Leather seating surfaces with precision perforated inserts
Premium Sound System
Dark Auburn with Jet Black accents, Full leather seats with semi-aniline leather seating surfaces with Mondrian quilting
Power Passenger and Driver Power Lift Gate Seat
WIFI Hotspot; Auxiliary Audio Input; Entertainment System
Heated Front Seat(s), Heated Rear Seat(s), Heated Steering Wheel
Optional Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive Cruise Control
22-inch 10-Spoke alloy wheels
The Luxury trim is the entry-level trim of the Escalade and is priced at around $76,000. It comes with basic functional features and some luxury features too. The trim is utilitarian, and that is pretty much of it. The Premium Luxury trim has all the features of the Luxury trim. However, this trim also underscores highlights such as an Entertainment System, perforated leather seats, and much more that enhance the appeal of this trim. The Sport trim, which as the name suggests, has some sporty underpinnings such as luxury tires, adaptive cruise control, and sports-inspired styling.
The variant is priced at around $85,000. The Premium Luxury Platinum is the top-of-the-line trim and comes truly loaded with features such as Night Vision, Multi-zone A/C, seat memory, and whatnot. The price for the Premium Luxury trim crosses the $100k mark. The Sports Platinum, is the Sports trim with additional luxury features and sportier looks.
2021 Cadillac Escalade Buying Advice
The Escalade is quite a compelling package, and all the trims have a decent equipment list and modern technology alongside a host of creature comforts. The Luxury trim is the entry-level trim, and though it has some really nice features, it does miss out on some fancy ones. The Premium Luxury trim is where most buyers would want to put their money and by what we can predict, there will be a battle between the Premium Luxury and Sport trims for most buyers.
It is quite easy to comprehend as these variants have all the essential tech and creature comforts alongside a soft and suiting price tag that would attract most buyers. The Sport trim would be for someone looking for something flashier and more arrogant while the Premium Luxury is for the mainstream buyer. Now, if you want to put a leash on what you spend on the Escalade, we would recommend the Premium Luxury or Sport trim based on your taste and liking as they tick all major checkboxes, and will appeal to both, younger and middle-aged audience.
Power comes nicely and the shifts are slick, though slightly unresponsive sometimes, but athletic for the majority of the drive. Cylinder deactivation is a neat feature that helps improve performance as well as efficiency in the Caddy. In cities, it helps to eliminate unwanted turbo lag which is prevalent in higher displacement engines and this pave way for a smooth driving experience. The Escalade is a nice car to drive, but it does keep reminding you all the time that you are driving a mammoth. Under normal circumstances, the engine and tranny push the car forward effortlessly, and the engine revs decently.
SUVs with such bulk and size are supposedly very rough on the handling front and are downright referred to as buses because of the body roll it provides with. But Cadillac has worked its way over all these years of having the Escalade on the roads and the 2021 model is impressively stern on the roads, even winding ones. It comes with a standard spring load suspension system that has been tuned well for occupants' comfort. Couple that with the standard mechanical limited-slip differential, and you have an SUV that shows some traits of a sedan when it comes to driving dynamics.
The 2021 Escalade in its RWD guise returns 15 MPG in the city and 20 MPG on the highway which is commendable. And when it comes to its AWD format, the numbers go marginally lower to 14 MPG in the city and 19 MPG on the highway. Now, it is obvious that the Escalade is a fuel burner, and though there is some improvement owing to the new motor and some tweaks to the older one as well, the Escalade is still behind the European rivals. The Europeans have smartly, put 3.0L inline engines, and made their cars quite fuel-efficient.
One good addition, to all of these cars, is cylinder deactivation technology that actively shuts down the extra cylinders for fuel-efficiency when not needed. This helps in ensuring that when the car is being driven at a mild pace, the extra cylinders do not burn fuel and though slightly, it does help to ease the burden on your pocket.
"As the flagship of the Cadillac lineup, the 2021 Escalade is expected to up the ante on in-cabin luxury." - Car and Driver
The Escalade is quite an intriguing car to look at from the outside, but enter inside and you step into a whole new world of sheer luxury and opulence. Cadillac has gone that extra mile and given the Escalade a truly phenomenal interior. You can see flowing lines, beautiful colors, and an enormous infotainment system. The interiors truly stand out and are a great leap forward from the outgoing version.
The Escalade surely looks like an SUV from the outside, but it is more a luxury Limo on the inside. The dash is adorned by two immensely beautiful and clear info-display screens that catch your attention immediately. The materials used on the dash and in the cabin are truly top-notch, and you will literally have to look for flaws with a very close eye, and you still might not be able to find one.
The layout of the dashboard and the center console is clean and functional, and everything falls to hand very easily. The buttons, the switchgear, the gear lever, and almost all other bits are very sound ergonomically. You find some beautiful wooden accents and brushed aluminum inserts on the dash, and you can choose from different color schemes as well. The seats are wrapped in supreme quality leather and you even get the option of quilting and contrast stitching as well.
2021 Cadillac Escalade
2020 BMW X7
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS
2020 Lincoln Navigator
First Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)
42.8/ 64.9/ 45.3
41.9/ 60.0/ 39.8
39.4/ 59.3/ 40.3
39.5/ 65.2/ 43.9
Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)
38.7/ 64.4/ 39.0
39.9/ 58.1/ 37.6
40.2/ 58.5/ 41.9
37.9/ 65.1/ 41.1
Third Row in inches (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)
38.2/ 62.7/ 34.9
36.6/ 47.9/ 33.3
N/A/ N/A/ 34.6
37.3/ 64.2/ 40.9
The seats are perfectly bolstered and hold you very well in place. They are electrically adjustable and have lumbar support as well. On the rear, you get two superb captain seats, which are adjustable as well the seats are very supportive and offer great under-thigh support, and as you might have thought, looking at the Escalade, that space is not even a question in this car. The MID display is immensely crisp and clear and the interface is truly a pleasurable experience.
The Escalade has a truly mesmerizing infotainment system. The screens have a very high resolution and have a host of features on offer. It gets a 19-speaker audio system, and also a 3D surround system. The system is also paired to a 14-channel amplifier with an optional 36 speaker setup including 3 woofers and 28 channels.
The car has an Augmented Navigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Night Vision as well, and the information display also shows driving dynamics options, damper settings, suspension settings, and other systems too. The Escalade also has entertainment screens for the middle row and they too, have a very clear and crisp display and a smooth interface.
Creature comfort features in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade are:
4-way power driver and front passenger lumbar control
Heated and ventilated driver and front passenger seats
Heated second-row outboard seats
Tri-zone automatic climate control system with Cabin Air Ionizer
Cadillac OLED Displays (7.2-inch diagonal control panel and 14.2-inch instrument cluster)
Front center console refrigerator with freezer mode and covered storage
110-volt power outlets (3-prong auxiliary household-style outlet located on the rear of the front console and rear cargo area)
16.9-inch OLED touchscreen infotainment screen
AKG Studio 19-speaker system audio system (Optional AKGStudio Reference 36-speaker audio system)
"The 2021 Cadillac Escalade doesn’t stray too far from the bold, blocky look it’s always presented." - TheCarConnection
The Escalade has always had an immense street presence, and the new iteration is going to draw even more attention. The 2021 Escalade looks more mature, calm, and composed, it has a certain poise. The lines are now sharper and better sculpted, the front end is adorned by a brand-new grille and headlamps. But even with all these dense updates, it still flaunts the unmistakable Escalade cues including the taillight layout and side profile. The SUV has also grown considerably in size which was also not a very subtle aspect of it, before as well!
The front bumper has a new design and the fog lamps and LED DRLs are all new. The stance is still as bold as ever and the Escalade is nothing less of a behemoth on the road. The Cadillac Escalade has the longest wheelbase and outshines the Europeans by a chunky margin. The Sport trim stands out from the rest with its blacked-out elements which give this composed SUV a well to do sporty appeal.
2021 Cadillac Escalade
2021 BMW X7
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS
2021 Lincoln Navigator
Curb Weight (lbs.)
However, the Navigator's dimensions give a very close competition to that of the Escalade and though the Escalade has a longer wheelbase on paper, the Navigator has quite identical space to Escalade on the inside, owing to a slightly different layout and some extra carved out space. It also has the option of adding curated exterior design packages that include aesthetic updates to stand apart from the rest.
Notable Exterior features of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade are:
22-inch alloy wheels in two designs (Dark android finish and standard polished finish)
Heated, driver-side auto-dimming power-folding outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators
Power-retractable assist steps with LED perimeter lighting
Black Roof rack cross rails
Chrome bodyside moldings
LED headlamps and taillamps with Auto leveling function for headlamps
Radiant Package includes (22" 12-Spoke Chrome alloy wheels, Premium carpeted floor mats, Bright Sport mesh grille with Galvano surround, Monochromatic Cadillac emblem, Puddle lamps with Cadillac crest)
The car is new and so it has not yet been rated by the IIHS yet, however, we do know about the tech on offer. But to bring things into perspective the 2020 Escalade was awarded the 5-star rating by NHTSA, which is the highest it goes. Another notable addition is the new Super Cruise semi-autonomous drive mode that allows for hands-free driving on certain pre-approved highways.
The most prominent safety features of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade are as follows:
7 standard airbags
Front and rear ventilated disc brakes
Remote activated perimeter/approach lights
Manual adjustable front head restraints
Underbody mounted spare tire w/crackdown
Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Braking
ABS and driveline traction control
Height adjustable front seatbelts
Remote keyless entry
2021 Cadillac Escalade Competition
2021 Cadillac Escalade Vs BMW X7
The Escalade has been in the American market for a very long time and has been well acquainted with the country, more importantly, it is a mammoth and has got some serious street presence. The Escalade has a lot of things that suit the American palette and it has proved all of that over the years with its impressive performance and reliable nature.
The BMW X7 on the other hand is a European offering and a very capable one of them. The X7 does have a lot of things going for it, it is very luxurious and engaging to drive SUV, with superb interiors and top-notch materials and underpinnings. The X7 too is a big car, but it lacks the street presence and lavish cabin space that the Escalade offers.
2021 Cadillac Escalade Vs Mercedes-Benz GLS
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is the only European which can come close to the Escalade in terms of space. The GLS is also a great looker and is a very sophisticated and well-engineered car, which also carries the goodwill of Mercedes as a part of the great package it offers. It has been well put together that reciprocates well with the "three-pointed star".
The latest iteration of the GLS has made it curvier and it looks subtle, yet pleasing. While the Escalade shouts of big American lux-appeal, the GLS is more of a tranquil and sophisticated European SUV and this face-off boils down to personal choices as if you are a person who wants to have a light-on-the-wallet aftersales experience, then the Caddy is the one for you otherwise its the Merc for all your luxury family getaway.
2021 Cadillac Escalade Vs Lincoln Navigator
Lincoln Navigator is the closest one comes in challenging the Cadillac Escalade. The Navigator follows a similar formula to provide a luxury 3-row SUV which is easy to live by and at the same time loaded with ample technology features to keep up with the modern wave of SUVs. Dimensionally also, it manages to go hand in hand with the Caddy.
But the Escalade has a notable edge here, as it gets an all-new generation for 2021, whereas the Lincoln Navigator gets subtle updates and continues with its 2018 generation. This puts the Escalade in a much superior position in terms of driving dynamics, comfort, and technology features. But Navigator is the only other true American luxury 3-Row SUV in this segment and thus enjoys a fair bit of additional privileges.
2021 Cadillac Escalade Final Verdict
The Escalade has been a very popular choice amongst a very classy set of buyers, and the vehicle ticks all the checkboxes for a luxury full-size SUV. With the onslaught of the completely redesigned 2021 model, Cadillac has raised the bar further with its incredible attention-demanding design language and a luxurious cabin layout for up to 7 occupants. Technology features have also gone for a spiraling improvement as compared to the last generation.
Cadillac has immensely improved its styling, interiors, and ride with this new iteration and the new Escalade comes out as an even stronger package. It stands tall in terms of performance and reliability. In a nutshell, this Caddy shines forth in almost every aspect and poses as the perfect luxury family caravan.
Does the 2021 Cadillac Escalade have paddle shifters?
No, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade doesn't come with paddle shifters but it does come with the Cadillac Precision shifter that is included in the center console and shifts with the click of a button.
What is the warranty on the 2021 Cadillac Escalade?
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade has an impressive warranty package that includes:
Standard Limited Warranty for 4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever comes earlier
Powertrain Warranty for 4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever comes earlier
24-hr Roadside Assistance for 6 years/ 70,000 miles; whichever is earlier
Warranty against perforation for 4 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever is earlier
Sheet Metal rust resistance warranty for 6 years/ unlimited miles; whichever comes earlier
Does the 2021 Cadillac Escalade have Adaptive Cruise Control?
Yes, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade comes equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control as well as a new innovative feature called Super Cruise which allows for hand-free driving for certain highways. It also adapts and can utilize the lane-change on-demand functionality as well.
Does the 2021 Cadillac Escalade have heated seats?
Yes, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade comes equipped with standard heated and ventilated front row and second-row outboard seats.
Does the 2021 Cadillac Escalade come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?
Yes, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade comes standard with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.