2021 Cadillac Escalade Pros and Cons Review: The Boss Is Back
- Elegant interior
- Advanced technology
- Shameless style
- Below-average ride quality
- Chevrolet parts here and there
- Downgraded fuel economy
The Cadillac Escalade didn’t invent the concept of the full-size luxury SUV, but it has been so dominant for so long that you’d be forgiven for thinking. Even though the competition has caught up and overtaken it, the Bigger Caddy has remained a staple in red carpet premieres, music videos and valet lots. Now, however, the boss is back. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade takes all the criticism of itself and the Cadillac brand head-on and comes away with barely a scratch.
We can’t start anywhere except the inside. For years, we’ve begged GM to give Cadillac the budget and the freedom to design world-class interiors, and what we’ve received are high-quality materials held back by lackluster design, frustrating technology and too many pieces in the crib. Chevrolet bin. Finally, finally, Cadillac received the license to provide a truly wonderful interior. The interior of this Escalade is exactly what we ask for and what we know Cadillac is capable of.
See other 2021 SUV of the Year contenders and finalists here
With so many obvious examples to point out, let’s start with a less obvious but more effective one. The Cadillac-inspired use of a linen-like woven fabric on the door panels and lower dashboard surfaces is one of the best interior design features we’ve seen in years. In places where most luxury automakers are content to fill with (pretty) plastic, Cadillac has brought both aesthetic and tactile value.
The expert application of wood complements the intelligent use of fabric. The stunning parquet inlays that extend across the dashboard, doors, and center console are the sort of thing we’re used to only seeing in much more expensive hand-built vehicles.
The showstopper relies on all that fabric, wood, and the best quality leather we can remember seeing in a modern Cadillac: 38 inches of curved OLED touchscreen. Not only massive, the screens produce crisp images, respond immediately to touch, and offer cutting-edge functionality. We especially like the way it extends the functionality of the touchscreen on the left side of the instrument cluster.
Further on, GM engineers get all the credit for finally ditching the dynamic rear axle and installing an independent rear suspension that allows for a fold-flat third row capable of comfortably seating adults.
The true measure of luxury, however, is in the details, and Cadillac has missed out on a couple of. As good as the interior is, we always find parts borrowed from significantly cheaper Chevrolets, such as the shifter, shift rods and minor knobs. Cadillac won’t be outfitting the Escalades with its cutting-edge Super Cruise technology until the 2022 model year, and in the meantime Adaptive Cruise Control is far too aggressive under acceleration and braking for a luxury product.
While the Escalade performs incredibly well for a 6,000-pound monster, our editors were disappointed with its ride quality. Whether it’s because it’s a Sport Platinum model, because of its heavy 22-inch wheels, or both, “the Cadillac is better when it’s driven sporty, and it rolls like a trash can. Touring mode on rough roads, ”editorial editor Ed Dit Loh. “Small bumps reverberate through the seat and the wheel in the form of stone tremors.”
We know Cadillac can do better because we had the Chevrolet and GMC versions of this chassis with the same magnetic shocks and air suspension, and both had superior ride quality.
We were also disappointed to see that despite the application of the latest fuel-saving technology, the Escalade fell in efficiency compared to the old model (from 17 to 16 mpg combined with 4WD) .
The new Escalade is without a doubt a massive improvement, and it’s a long-desired validation of what Cadillac can do. “It’s not a slam dunk package overall, but it’s absolutely solid,” said Zach Gale, boss of the Buyer’s Guide. “Escalade is no longer just about reputation.”
With a little more polishing, it will be flawless.
|Cadillac Escalade 600 2021 (Sport)|
|TRANSMISSION ARRANGEMENT||Front engine, 4 wheel drive|
|TYPE OF ENGINE||90 degree V-8, aluminum block / heads|
|VALVE TRAIN||OHV, 2 valves / cylinder|
|SHIFTING||376.0 cubic inches / 6162 cm3|
|COMPRESSION RATIO||11.5: 1|
|POWER (SAE NET)||420 hp at 5,600 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||460 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm|
|RED LINE||6500 revolutions per minute|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||14.4 lb / hp|
|TRANSMISSION||10 speed automatic|
|AXLE / FINAL DRIVE / LOW GEAR||3.23: 1 / 2.05: 1 / 2.72: 1|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; BACK||Control arms, air springs, adj shock absorbers, anti-roll bar; multi-link, air springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar|
|MANAGEMENT RATIO||16.6: 1|
|BRAKES, F; R||13.5 ” ventilated disc; 13.6 ” ventilated disc, ABS|
|WHEELS||9.0 x 22 ” cast aluminum|
|TIRES||275 / 50R22 111H (M + S) Bridgestone Alenza A / S 02|
|TRACK, F / R||68.5 / 68.3 inch|
|Length x Width x Height||211.9 x 81.1 x 76.7 inches|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||8.0-10.0 inch|
|APPRCH / DEPARTURE ANGLE||22.0-25.0 / 20.5-22.5 degree|
|ROTATING CIRCLE||39.7 feet|
|WEIGHT ON BOARD||6.036 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F / R||50/50%|
|TOWING CAPACITY||8,000 pounds|
|NUMBER OF PLACES||7|
|HEADROOM, F / M / R||42.3 / 38.9 / 38.2 inch|
|Legs, F / M / R||44.5 / 41.7 / 34.9 inch|
|SHOULDER CHAMBER, F / M / R||65.5 / 64.6 / 62.7 inch|
|BEH F / M / R LOADING VOLUME||109.1 / 63.0 / 25.5 cubic feet|
|ACCELERATION AT MPH|
|PASSAGE, 45-65 MPH||3.2|
|QUARTER MILE||14.6 seconds at 95.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||122 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.60 g (average)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||30.1 s at 0.53 g (average)|
|TOP-GEAR TOURS @ 60 MPH||1,300 revolutions per minute|
|STARTING PRICE||$ 86,890|
|PRICE TESTED||$ 110,565|
|STABILITY / TENSION CONTROL||Yes Yes|
|AIRBAGS||7: front double, front side, front / rear curtain, front center|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 years / 50,000 miles|
|MOTORPROPELLER WARRANTY||6 years / 70,000 miles|
|ROAD ASSISTANCE||6 years / 70,000 miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||24.0 gal|
|EPA CITY / HWY / COMB ECON||14/19/16 mpg|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY / ROAD||241/177 kW-h / 100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.22 lbs / mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Premium unleaded|
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade Pros and Cons review: The Boss Is Back appeared first on MotorTrend.