The 2021 Cadillac Escalade Gets New Looks, Independent Suspension, and Optional Diesel Power
Cadillac revealed its all-new 2021 Escalade SUV today, sporting a redesigned look, a revamped interior, new powertrain options, and independent suspension for the first time.
As before, the 2021 Escalade is based on the same platform as General Motors’ other big SUVs, the recently redesigned Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, and GMC Yukon. But the looks are distinctly Cadillac. Taking cues from the company’s 2016 Escala concept, the new Escalade sports a vast chrome grille marked by a set of slim horizontal headlights, complemented by a set of long vertical lights on each edge. The vertical-ness continues out back, with a set of massive taillights that stretch almost the entire height of the vehicle—a Cadillac mainstay.
Those massive 22-inch wheels? Standard. The wheelbase has been extended by 4.9 inches in the standard model, and 4.1 inches in the long-wheelbase ESV.
Perhaps the biggest change lies hidden underneath the Escalade. Gone is the live-axle rear suspension design of the previous truck, replaced by a fully independent system that promises a smoother ride and more interior space. Magnetorheological dampers come standard on upper trim levels, while adjustable air suspension is available as an option.
Standard equipment under the hood of the 2021 Escalade is a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 making 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, sporting cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. For the first time ever, buyers will also be able to option a diesel engine: a turbo inline-six making 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Both power plants are connected to all four wheels via GM’s widely used 10-speed automatic.
Cadillac didn’t cut any corners in the new Escalade’s interior. It’s been totally redesigned with a new dash, steering wheel, and center console. The main attraction here is the collection of OLED screens up top, which Cadillac claims have twice the pixel density of a 4K television. There are three displays in total, adding up to a combined 38 inches of digital display. The standard AKG audio system comes with 19 speakers, while the optional system, also by AKG, comes with an absurd 38 speakers. Both systems come with speakers in the head rests. If you’ve owned a first-gen Miata, you know how cool that is.
Available on the Escalade for the first time is Cadillac’s Super Cruise assisted driving tech, now with the ability to automatically change lanes. There’s also a rear-camera mirror (first seen on the CT6) and Surround Vision, a four-camera system that displays a bird’s eye view around the vehicle. There’s an available tow package with nine cameras for easier hitching, and an optional night vision mode that can detect pedestrians or animals in low-light environments.
Cadillac says the 2021 Escalade will be built at GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly plant. The company has yet to release pricing for the SUV, but says it’ll go on sale in late 2020. We can’t wait to get our hands on one.
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