Despite its crosstown competitor, the Lincoln Navigator, outselling it by a year, the Escalade is the big, luxurious SUV that has become associated with baller status in popular culture. Cadillac’s flagship vehicle is an example of American full-size luxury SUVs with boastful styling and soft interior trimmings. The Escalades have been on the market since 1999, when they were little more than a GMC Yukon rebadged.
It’s gone through many changes since its inception, and it has now become a distinctive machine that is never more apparent than with the current fifth-generation Escalade, which is being revamped for the 2021 model year. It still rides on the same basic architecture as the Yukon and Tahoe, but it’s gotten more swaggerous.
|Premium Luxury Platinum||$103,240|
Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving function is now standard on all Premium Luxury, Sport, and Platinum trims, as well as the base Luxury trim. The new Touring option adds air suspension, soft-close doors, and illuminated door sill protector plates to Premium Luxury and Sport models.
The Premium Luxury Platinum level is the way to go if you want to fully outfit the Escalade in its greatest features. It includes semi-aniline leather, power-adjustable front seats with massage, soft-close doors, and an AKG audio system with 36 speakers. It also has a self-parking function, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise control as standard.
The biggest Cadillac SUV is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 420 horsepower and the option of shutting half of its cylinders while driving to save fuel or a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six with similar power outputs. Both engines will have a 10-speed automatic transmission as standard, and buyers will have the option of all-wheel or rear-wheel drive based on their needs. The 2021 Escalade, like its siblings, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon, rides on an all-new platform with an independent rear suspension to enhance ride comfort.
The rear seats are split 60/40 in favor of the driver with adjustable armrests and armrests that recline all the way back. The front passenger seat has three-way (60/40 split) or six-way (41/59) manual operation, while the rear passenger seat also has three-way (60/40 split) or six-way (41/59) manual adjustment.
Higher grade models include an air suspension with adaptable dampers made using computer-controlled shock absorbers. The long-wheelbase Escalade ESV with a V-8 engine accelerated to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.