IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
Power, presence, and plushness are key attributes in the premium large SUV class, and the Cadillac Escalade has them in spades… along with some cutting-edge technology features.
Prices are high, V8 fuel economy is low, and the Escalade’s sheer size can make parking a chore.
The Escalade comes in regular-length or extended-wheelbase ESV models.
WHAT IS IT?
The Escalade is the largest, most expensive SUV Cadillac makes, and it’s fully redesigned for 2021. It shares its basic platform with the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL SUVs (all of which are also redesigned for ‘21), but has exclusive styling and luxury-level trimmings inside and out. The extended-length ESV model makes the third-row seat a bit more spacious and adds more rear cargo room as well. Posh features are a staple of the Escalade; standard equipment includes a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and outboard second-row seats, wireless cellphone charger, AKG-brand premium audio system, tri-zone climate control, and a hands-free power liftgate. Standard safety features include lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, front and rear automatic braking with pedestrian detection, and GM’s Safety Alert Seat (which vibrates to warn the driver of hazards).
The redesigned Escalade inaugurates the model’s fifth generation; it gets striking new styling on a larger chassis with an independent rear suspension for improved ride and handling. Among the plethora of newly available features are Cadillac’s Enhanced Super Cruise semi-autonomous driver-assistance system (with an automatic-lane-change function), a curved-screen digital-gauge/infotainment display (boasting 38 inches of diagonal display space in total), and an augmented-reality navigation system (which uses a live forward-camera view with virtual overlays to indicate turns). A 3.0-liter turbodiesel 6-cylinder engine, with 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, is a no-cost option on some models.
EPA estimated fuel economy for the standard-length Escalade and extended-length Escalade ESV is the same: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive and 14/19 with four-wheel drive. Premium-grade gas is required. Fuel-economy numbers for the turbo-diesel engine were not available as of this writing.
VALUE IN CLASS
The premium large SUV segment is populated by thirsty, often cumbersome vehicles that seem somewhat out of step with the needs of most buyers today. However, for a core group of shoppers nothing else will do—fuel economy, sticker prices, and practicality be damned. The all-new Escalade caters to this audience even better than before, with more cabin space, welcome new features, and better all-around refinement. Simply put, the Escalade offers the luxury, technology gadgets, comfort, space—and blingy attitude—that many buyers in this segment desire.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$76,195 – $105,995|
|BODY STYLES||4-Door Wagon|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||420-HP, 6.2-Liter V8; 277-HP, 3.0-liter Turbodiesel 6-Cyl.|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Rear or Four-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||14-23 MPG|
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