2021 Cadillac Escalade Makes Bold Statement Inside And Out

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 5, 2020

2021 is shaping up to be an important model year for General Motors’ massive SUVs. First, Chevrolet unveiled the all-new Tahoe and Suburban, which were followed by the all-new GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. Now, it’s Cadillac’s turn with the all-new Escalade. Just like with earlier generations, the 2021 Escalade will utilize the same platform as the other aforementioned SUVs. But other than that, it wears drastically different styling, that actually looks darn good, and a dizzying amount of cutting-edge technology.

Interestingly, the new Escalade takes a few design cues from the gorgeous Escala concept that came out back in 2016. A large, bold grille sits high up on the front fender and has two relatively slim, rectangular headlights that slightly curve toward the side of the body. The front end also features vertically oriented LED lights that connect with the front air intake. From certain angles, it almost looks like the Escalade’s smiling. At the back, things aren’t all that drastically different, but neater. The Escalade’s iconic elongated taillights that run nearly the entire height of the SUV are still there, while the rear fender now houses two exhaust outlets. Overall, the new Escalade is still clearly an Escalade, but a much more handsome version.

The thing that will really make you say “wow” about the new Escalade is its tech. The SUV’s pièce de résistance is its infotainment system that utilizes multiple screens that are integrated into one single unit on the dashboard. There are three curved screens: a 7.2-inch driver information center, a 14.2-inch display in the instrument cluster, and a 16.9-inch infotainment screen. Instead of LCDs, Cadillac decided to use OLEDs, which haven’t really made their way to the automotive world yet. Only Audi offers an OLED screen in the e-tron, but other than that, you’re more likely to spot OLED on TVs instead of cars. That changes with the Escalade, though, as every SUV will come with roughly 38 inches of OLEDs.

Cadillac Escalade

In addition to the crisp, colorful screens, the Escalade comes with the latest tech features. Augmented reality-enabled navigation, which gives live street views with directional overlays for a more real-world view of directions, a birds-eye surround view system, and night vision. A few of these things, like night vision and navigation, can be displayed on the instrument cluster. The new OLED and tech goodies certainly help the Escalade set the bar for the luxury segment.

Cadillac’s made a huge effort to elevate the Escalade’s interior to match the rest of the luxury segment. Real wood trim and leather upholstery are everywhere, while complex piping and quilting add another luxurious element. For the first time ever in Escalade history, the column-mounted shifter makes way for a more modern console-mounted unit. A 36-speaker AKG audio system and custom-woven fabric interior trim will also be available. For the most part, the cabin looks upscale, going from slightly nicer than a GMC in the old model to something that’s befitting of the luxury segment.

Moving away from the interior and those nifty screens, boy are they really cool, Cadillac is finally going to offer Super Cruise, its hands-off semi-autonomous system, on the Escalade. The system utilizes LiDAR, GPS, sensors, and cameras to allow drivers to remove their hands from the steering wheel while the vehicle handles all aspects of driving on the highway. Recently, Cadillac added an automated lane change function to the system.

The rest of the changes are ones that we also saw on GM’s other large SUVs. The SUV has more space on the inside, which has increased cargo capacity by 68% and third-row legroom by 40%, thanks to the longer wheelbase and move to independent rear suspension. A 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 will be the SUV’s standard motor, while a new diesel engine – another first for the Escalade name – will be available. That engine is rated at 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. All Escalades will use a 10-speed automatic transmission. GM’s Magnetorheological dampers will be available, as will height-adjustable air suspension.

The new Escalade really raises the bar for the nameplate and promises to be the best version of the SUV ever. Clearly, we’re really excited about the new SUV. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but with all of the changes, we’re expecting to see prices go up. The current Escalade starts at roughly $76,000, so seeing the 2021 model creep under the $80,000 mark would be surprising. The SUV is expected to go on sale before the end of the year and will be built in Arlington, Texas.

Learn More About The 2021 Escalade »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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