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2021 Cadillac Escalade Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2021 Cadillac Escalade?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James MurdochNorman Ruckpaul

Are You Considering a 2021 Cadillac Escalade? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a showpiece. Big and bold, this full-size SUV seems to command attention everywhere it goes. As a luxury vehicle, it has all the amenities one would expect, such as high-tech components, premium cabin materials, and more. As long as someone has the budget to accommodate such a hefty price tag, it would be an excellent choice to go with the Cadillac Escalade. The available trims are the Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury Platinum, and Sport Platinum.

What's New for 2021?

For 2021, the Escalade has been redesigned. It has a lower load floor and new rear suspension, and this comes with a double advantage since the rear seats now feel more spacious and the ride is smoother. Overall, the Cadillac is larger than its predecessor. This translates into more cargo room and more comfort for the people in the back. Everyone can stay comfortable and entertained, thanks to an advanced infotainment system. A 36-speaker sound system is available, and the column shifter has been replaced with an electronic console shifter.

Under the hood of the SUV, there have been some changes. A diesel engine is now available, and all models come with a 10-speed automatic transmission. On the outside of the vehicle, there have been some upgrades. The grille is larger and the headlights have a slightly different design that can accentuate the width of the SUV.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 Cadillac Escalade – The Pros

1. Bigger Means Better

Size definitely matters when it comes to full-size SUVs. After all, a main attraction of these vehicles is their ability to hold all sorts of cargo and/or passengers. The 2021 Escalade is eight inches longer than it was in the previous model year, and the floor has been lowered. This provides a little more cargo space as well as 10.1 more inches of third-row leg room. The third row may have once been something to avoid if possible, but not anymore.

2. Multiple Engines Available

Standard on this model is a 6.2-liter V8 engine. This can generate up to 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. To maximize efficiency and provide the best results, the dynamic fuel management system can adjust the number of cylinders that are in use. In some cases, the engine can do just fine using two cylinders, and in other cases, all eight cylinders will be used.

Also available with the Cadillac is a Duramax turbo diesel with a displacement of three liters. It comes with 277 horsepower and the same amount of torque as the gas-powered engine. The diesel has a towing capacity of 8,000 pounds, which is comparable with the 8,200-pound towing capacity of the gas engine.

3. The Ride is Smooth

The Escalade can either be a 2WD or 4WD vehicle, and it has the ability to go off-roading. When doing so, people can still enjoy a peaceful ride, thanks to the high-quality independent rear suspension that allows each side to do what's necessary to improve control and handling. Magnetic ride control is available, and it lets the vehicle respond almost instantly to what's going on with the road. Likewise, the available air ride adaptive suspension can isolate the cabin from any bumpiness in the terrain. It does so through the use of air springs that are electronically controlled.

4. Truly Welcoming

When the Escalade is described as a welcoming vehicle, it's more than just a metaphor. The Escalade can actually put on a light show to greet people as they walk up to it. The Daytime Running Lamps pulsate, the rear lights are illuminated, and the Cadillac Crest is projected onto the ground near the driver's door once the key fob is detected in close proximity. There's nothing like being given a warm greeting everyday.

5. Sleek Exterior Style

The Cadillac rides on massive 22-inch wheels with a sophisticated look that matches the overall aesthetic of the SUV. In the back, the taillamps are slim, but they can easily be seen because they use LED technology and are three-feet tall. The Cadillac Crest has even been incorporated into their light blades. In the front, the headlights are also thin and modern, and they have the word "Cadillac" etched into them.

6. Has Its Own Pair of Eyes

It's always reassuring to know that there's a back-up plan in case a driver gets into a tricky situation. The Escalade itself is that back-up plan, as it can hit the brakes to prevent collisions whether the vehicle is moving forwards or backwards. It can also correct steering through the Lane Keep Assist program. Before any of this happens, the vehicle's warning systems will engage immediately when they detect potential issues. They'll send out alerts if it seems like the driver is veering out of a lane, about to hit something or someone in front of the SUV, about to back into an object, or going to change lanes at the wrong time.

Available on the Escalade is a rear camera mirror. It sends a live video feed of what's behind the SUV straight to the digital rearview mirror to provide a wider perspective of wheat's going on. HD Surround Vision can generate a 360-degree view of the vehicle from above to act as a guide for drivers while they're reversing.

7. Space for Cargo

There is 121 cubic feet of storage space in the Cadillac Escalade. In the Cadillac Escalade ESV, which is a longer version of the SUV, the cargo area has a volume of 142.8 cubic feet when all rear seats are folded down. These numbers are impressive, and they give drivers a lot of freedom when it comes to bringing gear, luggage, sports equipment, or anything else with them as they travel.

8. Ride in Luxury

The Escalade has made a name for itself because its cabin is a perfect example of sophistication. There can be natural wood finishes around the cabin to complement the leather seats, and the seats can be heated and ventilated. Second-row seats can also be heated. There are multiple color schemes to choose from, ranging from a whisper beige to a dark auburn or jet black. Adding to the mood is the available ambient lighting that can be customized with a choice of 18 different colors.

9. Advanced Technology

If anyone needs constant internet access, that's not a problem since the Escalade can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. SiriusXM with 360L is standard, as is smartphone connectivity, wireless charging, and navigation. One amazing thing about the technology package is that it features a 16.9-inch OLED color display. This is in addition to a 7.2-inch control panel and a 14.2-inch cluster display. The cluster display can show a live image of what's in front of the vehicle as well as directional information when the navigation system is active.

10. Unique Features

The Escalade can be equipped with many components that are hard to find in other vehicles. For example, it can come with night vision to provide drivers with thermal information about people or other objects that may be hard to see at night. It can also park itself into a parallel or perpendicular parking space, have a 36-speaker audio system with two subwoofers and 3D Surround technology, and treat people to a bright and airy atmosphere with an UltraView sunroof that spans a vast distance over the first two rows of seats.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 Cadillac Escalade – The Cons

1. Price is Sky High

The base trim, which is the Luxury, costs over $75,000. The price only goes up from there, ending with the Premium Luxury Platinum and Sport Platinum that cost approximately $100,000. There aren't too many consumers that would be happy to fork over that much money. However, those that are willing to spend such amounts will certainly be in for a treat with the Escalade.

2. A Gas Guzzler

Most people wouldn't expect a vehicle like the Escalade to be very efficient, but it must be said that this SUV takes a lot of gas to run. It's estimated to have a fuel economy of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway. Given recent innovations in the industry and the abundance of hybrids, some consumers will be turning elsewhere for vehicles that do better in this regard.

3. Style Isn't for Everyone

There's an unmistakable style to the Escalade. Not everyone will agree with the choices that Cadillac has made, and they may prefer something less boxy and imposing.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

In all honesty, the vehicles at this price point are all very impressive. It mostly comes down to personal preference at this level, but there are some differences in the models.

2021 Cadillac Escalade vs 2021 Land Rover Range Rover

The Escalade outshines the Range Rover in towing capacity, and it's much bigger than this luxury competitor. The Range Rover doesn't have the third row that the Escalade has, and it can hold much less cargo.

2021 Cadillac Escalade vs 2021 Lincoln Navigator

These two vehicles are both standout models with many high-end amenities. The Escalade does have a slightly better technology package, and its standard 22-inch wheels are larger than the Navigator's.


It's hard to find any major faults with the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. It's spacious, powerful, elegant, and durable, and when behind the wheel of one of these SUVs, a driver can feel in control and will likely be the envy of many others. As a luxury brand, Cadillac has pulled out all the stops with the Escalade, putting in futuristic technology and sophisticated materials in all corners of the cabin. The final verdict is that the Cadillac Escalade would be a fun and exciting vehicle to drive if one has the means to do so.

Previous Cadillac Escalade Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2020 Cadillac Escalade? w/ pros vs cons