2021 Cadillac Escalade Review

Escalade

Looking for a Used Escalade in your area?

CarGurus has 10,486 nationwide Escalade listings starting at $2,550.

ZIP:

2021 Cadillac Escalade Overview

The fully redesigned 2021 Cadillac Escalade barges into its fifth generation with a bold yet sophisticated design, innovative technology, and more passenger and cargo space. These updates position Cadillac as an even more formidable competitor against full-size luxury SUVs such as the Lincoln Navigator, Land Rover Range Rover, Lexus LX, Infiniti QX80, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

The Escalade’s new exterior design is familiar, with a boxy profile stretched over a massive footprint. The vertical lighting design carries over, but with sophisticated new details. The Escalade rides on standard 22-inch wheels, and premium trim levels get exclusive trim and grille packages.

The Escalade comes standard with what Cadillac says is a new 6.2-liter V8 engine, although it has the same 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque as the previous generation. A 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine is newly available with 277 hp and 460 lb-ft. A 10-speed automatic transmission comes with both engines, and enhanced suspension features such as magnetic ride control and adaptive air ride are available. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) comes standard, and 4-wheel drive (4WD) is optional. Fuel-economy ratings are not yet available.

The larger cabin emphasizes the elegance of the new Escalade, with highlights such as a curved OLED display, a comprehensive palette of color and trim combinations, and unique upholstery designs and patterns. Five trim levels are available: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Platinum Luxury, Sport, and Platinum Sport. Standard features include power front seats, heated first- and second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. Notable options include a panoramic sunroof, soft-close doors, and a power-sliding second row.

The infotainment system includes a 16.9-inch central OLED infotainment display as well as a 7.2-inch touchscreen to the driver's left and a 14.2-inch digital information cluster behind the steering wheel. Standard features include a 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system and wireless device charging. Options include a 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference audio system with embedded microphones for better passenger communication, augmented reality-enhanced navigation with live street views, and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual 12.6-inch touch displays.

The 2021 Escalade has not received an overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and it’s unclear if it will be tested. The new Escalade offers Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driver-assistance technology, which provides hands-free driving on 200,000 miles of designated highways throughout the United States and Canada, a first for the large luxury SUV segment. Other highlights include a standard surround-vision camera system and an available rear-camera mirror system for a constant view behind the vehicle. Standard safety features include forward-collision alert, automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, front and rear pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and a safety alert seat. Options include adaptive park assist, a head-up display, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, night vision, advanced cruise control, and automatic seat-belt tightening.

The new Cadillac Escalade shoulders a significant burden upholding the reputation of this storied SUV, but seems poised for the task. The new Escalade will be manufactured in Arlington, Texas, and is anticipated in Cadillac showrooms in late 2021.

Updated Mar 9, 2020

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

What's your take on the 2021 Cadillac Escalade?

Have you driven a 2021 Cadillac Escalade?  
Rank This Car

Cars compared to 2021 Cadillac Escalade

Escalade

Looking for a Used Escalade in your area?

CarGurus has 10,486 nationwide Escalade listings starting at $2,550.

ZIP:
Have questions?   Ask a question

Cadillac Escalade Questions

There aren't any questions yet. Ask the first question!