In advance of Oscar Week, Cadillac unveiled an all-new 2021 Escalade in Los Angeles, an appropriate location given the vehicle’s long-standing relationship with Hollywood elite and self-made American success stories.
“There is something special about driving an Escalade,” said Cadillac president Steve Carlisle. “It has the bold presence and exclusive technology to elevate the extraordinary and make every drive feel like an occasion.”
Here’s what you need to know about the new model.
The Cadillac Escalade features a clean dashboard design.Photo courtesy of Cadillac
The exterior is sleek and stylish.
The new full-size premium Escalade SUV’s exterior is understated and elegant, with a classic, large grill and on-trend distinctive slim horizontal and vertical light treatments throughout.
The large, square windows provide excellent visibility. The slab-sided doors have stationary handles with a hidden release latch for a clean, sleek look. Upper trims offer soft-close for a premium feel.
There are two powertrain options.
The new Escalade comes with a powerful 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 with 460 pound-feet of torque. For the first time ever, the Escalade will offer a 277-horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline six cylinder, with the same 460 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and available inn either a rear-wheel or four-wheel configuration.
The diesel is ideal for trailering and towing, as well as longer trips. While fuel economy and range are not yet available, count on the diesel offering better numbers than the gas engine but at a higher price point.
The OLED screen curves in such a way that a hood is not required to cut down on glare.Photo courtesy of Cadillac
Escalade’s most impressive updates are in its cabin.
While the exterior received a modern and appealing redesign, the interior is the real showstopper, with a car-like experience contrasting the masculinity of the truck.
The curved OLED screen is (literally) a big deal.
The eight-passenger, three-row Escalade features a trio of huge, paper-thin, first-to-market curved screens covering a total of 38 inches of total diagonal display area. The first screen is a 7.2-inch diagonal touch control panel on the driver’s left side. The second screen is a 14.2-inch-diagonal instrument panel cluster display centered on the steering wheel. The third screen supports the infotainment features and measures 16.9-inch-diagonal area.
The screens are sourced from consumer electronics giant LG and include Organic Light Emitting Diode, more commonly known as OLED. OLED technology provides stunning, vivid light and true black with no light bleed often seen with LED. The center screen is touch but can also be manipulated via knobs and dials, a dual-operational mode designed to appeal to a wide audience of users. A discreet row of buttons control climate.
A full suite of vehicle functions, tasks, and apps including Android Auto and Apple Car Play are supported via the screens and can be customized and arranged according to preference. Monitoring fuel economy, tire pressure, trailering, navigation, and audio are just a few choices.
Rear seat passengers can be entertained via seat-back screens.Photo courtesy of Cadillac
Cadillac has given the Escalade a long list of desirable standard features.
Key standard features include a full suite of enhanced driver assist systems such as hands-free Super Cruise with over-the-air update capability and on-demand lane change. The Escalade offers five different trim levels, eight exterior colors and at least eight interior color and trim choices. Cadillac is rolling out a new 360 visualizer for full customization of the Escalade available on the brand’s website.
A rear camera mirror is available, particularly useful when trailering or when the cargo area is packed and visibility is compromised. The mirror uses a rear-facing camera to provide real-time rear-view visibility.
Cadillac’s Super Cruise technology is the only hands-free system in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Cadillac
The navigation system uses augmented reality.
Cadillac’s infotainment system features an all-new augmented reality-enabled navigation, with live street views with directional overviews to aid in driving directions. Surround Vision, standard in all Escalades, provides a birds-eye view of the area around the vehicle, providing additional visual assistance especially when parking.
Rear passengers can be entertained and easily heard throughout the cabin without having to shout.
The second-row entertainment package offers a pair of 12.6-inch-diagonal independent touch display screens featuring navigation, streaming games, music, and videos via USB or HDMI inputs. Strategically placed microphones, part of the available 36-speaker industry-first AKG audio technology, provide easy front and rear-passenger communication.
The Escalade features spacious, comfortable seats.Photo courtesy of Cadillac
The 2021 Escalade is longer than the 2021 model.
The 2021 Escalade has a longer wheelbase and overall longer vehicle, providing 40 percent more third-row legroom (34.9 inches) and a 68 percent increase in maximum cargo capacity behind the third row (25.5 cubic feet) in the standard length vehicle.
The Escalade ESV adds another nearly 14 inches to the wheelbase and nearly 16 inches to the overall length. In both models, the new independent rear suspension not only improves overall ride comfort, but also allows for a lower interior floor, increasing leg room in the last row by 10 inches.
The Escalade will once again be offered in an extended wheelbase variant.Photo courtesy of Cadillac
The Escalade is made in America.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will be manufactured at GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly plant and will be in dealer showrooms in late 2020.