2021 Cadillac Escalade - Driven
The Escalade hasn’t had an easy life. It started as a ripped-off GMC Yukon back in the 90s, but was soon spun off as a standalone SUV. That didn’t change its fortunes either. It was never perceived as a strong contender in the market despite having its own set of advantages. This went on for three generations but GM didn’t give up on the moniker. For the 2021 model, the automaker decided to up the ante and how. For the fifth-gen, Cadillac turned the Escalade into a big, attention-seeking SUV with oodles of space inside and a tech-savvy cabin. Stuff like a 38-inch screen, 36-speaker setup, and Super Cruise technology, are only some of its accolades. Can fifth time be the charm for Cadillac and the Escalade?
2021 Cadillac Escalade
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is the fifth generation of the company’s luxury SUV. Unveiled at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, it replaces a fourth-generation SUV that’s six years old. Just like its predecessor, the 2021 Escalade shares underpinnings with the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe. But unlike the old Escalade, it features an independent rear suspension, a first for the nameplate. It’s also the first production vehicle ever to feature curved OLED displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Power comes from a big-displacement V-8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, but Cadillac also offers a new 3.0-liter diesel engine, a premiere for the nameplate. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Traveling in style is pretty easy these days with luxury cars now breaking into the upper-$20,000 price range, but for those who feel that size matters when it comes to true luxury, there are still plenty of land yachts on the market. And when it comes to big luxury, few vehicles do it as well as the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. This luxury behemoth is an icon among wealthy motorists – even if their last name isn’t Kardashian or they’re not “real housewives” – and to see just how important this SUV is to Cadillac, consider the fact that the Escalade name is the only real name left in the luxury brand’s lineup, while monikers like Eldorado, Seville and deVille have since been killed off.
As such, the fourth-generation Escalade pulls out all the stops and is loaded with improved luxury, better styling and more cabin tech, but Cadillac had even more changes in store for its flagship vehicle. Shortly after its launch last year, the 2015 Cadillac received a few updates, including the latest Cadillac badge as well as the eight-speed automatic, and that’s exactly the model that showed up for me to review. Now my neighbors are used to seeing some high-end vehicles cycle through my driveway, but the 2015 Cadillac Escalade seemed to garner a little bit more attention than usual.
Continue reading for the full review.
The Cadillac Escalade may have lost its pop-culture credibility in recent years, but it’s still a popular SUV by all accounts. The launch of the all-new 2015 model continues a proud tradition for the American automaker. But Cadillac still didn’t take long to offer numerous enhancements to the just-launched Escalade when it announced the launch of the range-topping Escalade Platinum Collection.
As you can expect, the Platinum Collection has a lot of shiny, new hand-crafted luxury additions to both the exterior and interior of this hulking luxury SUV, providing new incentives for buyers to toss moolah in Cadillac’s direction. That’s what customers are expected to receive with the new Escalade Platinum Edition and yet, it’s not the only change Cadillac has given to the new Escalade.
Equally important updates come in the form of new tech features for the entire Escalade range, beginning with the base model all the way to the Platinum Collection. A new eight-speed automatic transmission is now standard on all models, replacing the six-speed automatic version that came with the first wave of 2015 Escalade models. The new batch of luxury SUVs will also receive 4G LTE connectivity with a WiFi hotspot courtesy of OnStar, as well as the Surround View technology that provides a bird’s-eye view of the immediate vicinity surrounding the Escalade.
It’s a little surprising that Cadillac already has updates for the Escalade so soon after the new model was launched. It’s unlikely we’ll see the Escalade receive the same pop culture treatment it once did, but for what it’s worth, this luxury SUV will continue to have a place in the market now and in the future.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac Platinum Collection.
The Cadillac Escalade really doesn’t need an introduction. Even the most oblivious, non-car-enthusiast consumer could easily identify — and lust after — an Escalade. Car shoppers buy Tahoes and Yukons, which the Escalade is based on, because they need them to tow boats, carry gear, and haul large families around in. Other individuals buy the Escalade simply because they want it. Seeing as a loaded-out Yukon Denali can top $70,000, what’s the big deal to pay a few grand more for the Caddy? A nicely-equipped, four-wheel-drive model can be yours for $75,290.
The new-for-2015 Escalade has been well-received by critics. The undisputed king-of-bling in this segment, combining sharp, polarizing styling, a plenty-powerful, 420-horsepower V-8, and, finally, a gorgeous interior worthy of the price. Dealers will likely not be able to keep these on their lots.
However, that isn’t stopping Cadillac from possibly introducing a few new variants in the next year or so. Cadillac is reportedly considering a Vsport edition, likely powered by the 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6. Expect more than the current 420 horsepower it provides for the CTS Vsport. Even a turbodiesel V-6 could be in the works.
Note: Standard Cadillac Escalade pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Cadillac Escalade Vsport.
With 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, the brand-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade leads the full-size luxury SUV segment in terms of power. But if that’s not enough for you, then you’ll be happy to learn that the folks over at Hennessey Performance have taken the V-8’s output even further.
Using its new HPE550 package, the Texas-based specialist upgraded the 6.2-liter mill to deliver 557 horsepower and 542 pound-feet of torque, which translates into 32 percent and 18 percent increases respectively. As with most Hennessey tweaks, the package also includes an air-to-water intercooler system and engine management recalibration.
In a conversation with John Hennessey, the company expects one-second faster 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times, but they won’t have the official numbers until testing is completed in late-May 2014. By our estimates, this would put it at around five seconds flat. We will bring you the official numbers as soon as they become available. Top speed, however, will likely not be affected by the HPE550 kit, due to the electronic limiter on the Escalade.
The SUV’s exterior, however, remains unchanged, save for a set of lightweight Hennessey H10 forged, monoblock wheels that can be ordered separately for a hefty $6,950. The 20-inch rollers are supposed to allow more power to reach the pavement, thanks to their reduced rotating mass, which could mean a slight acceleration improvement.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade HPE550.
We’ve brought you all the important details about Cadillac’s newest flagship SUV: the totally new 2015 Escalade and Escalade ESV. Now we bring you live images and our first impressions of the beastly, all-American luxury SUV.
Over the weekend at the Miami International Auto Show, we had the chance to climb inside the completely redesigned Escalade to see the improvements first hand. The Escalade is based on its GM cousins, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, along with the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. Across the board, the interiors are much improved in regards to roominess and use of space. Finally for the first time, the full-size General Motors SUVs have folding rear seats that allow for a flat load floor.
The second row has grown two inches in the footwell for added ease of entry and exit for taller, larger-footed passengers. Their height won’t be a problem inside either, as headroom is quite generous throughout the cabin. The Escalade we sampled was equipped with the second-row captains chairs. The center aisle was wide enough for easy access to the third row and the nearly flat floor kept tripping hazards to the minimum.
Up front, the driver is treated to the same huge TFT display found in the Cadillac CTS and XTS. Real wood trim is abundant and contrasts nicely with the soft leather seating. Fit and finish is unmatched by any Cadillacs of past. Gaps and seams were tight even and intricate details abound throughout the cabin. The details continue outside with etched Cadillac crests appearing within the clear plastic tail lamps.
Such details were a welcome addition to what will assuredly be a home run for General Motors.
Click past the jump for detailed photos of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.
The all-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade has arrived! Official images followed a posh event in New York last night, debuting the production version of the new Cadillac flagship.
After becoming quite familiar with the updates to the similar 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon Denali, it is clear that all three of these machines are vastly improved in almost every way. As the Cadillac of the line, the Escalade naturally brings the best 420-horsepower, V-8 engine and third-gen magnetic shocks as standard.
The Caddy’s exterior is defined by some striking LED lighting front and back. Luxury details abound inside the cabin, including special leathers and better seats than its cheaper siblings. Offered as a gurgling rear-drive or refined all-wheel-drive setup in regular or ESV sizes, the new Escalade is faster, smoother and more efficient than ever before.
The Escalade is still the king of the road in many places, and the new grille is certainly enough to grab some flash bulbs. This big truck looks great versus the previous three generations of Cadillac full-size SUVs. With pricing and dimensions that put most other SUVs in "time out," the Escalade is tipped for pricing between $65,000 and $95,000 when it arrives in early Spring 2014.
Update 11/8/2013: The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is making tis auto show debut at the 2013 Miami International Auto Show today. We will bring you any new information that comes from this debut as soon as we hear it. Stay tuned!
Updated 01/20/2014: A leaked image of the 2015 Escalade reveals that the new SUV will arrive at dealerships this spring at a price of $71,695 - which represents a price increase of $3,725 over the previous year. (GM Inside News)
Updated 02/11/2014: Cadillac revealed a new video in which it highlights the SUV’s new headlamps that combine the precision and execution of advanced technology with elegance and beauty of fine artistry.
Updated 06/02/2014: Cadillac unveiled a series of new images - about 80 - revealing new details of the exterior and the interior. Check them out in the "Images" tab.
Click past the jump for all the official launch details from Cadillac on the exciting new 2015 Escalade.
The Cadillac Escalade has always been a love-it-or-hate-it type of vehicle, thanks to its awesome styling but terrible fuel economy. Sales have been falling off lately and incoming CAFÉ regulations are really putting the squeeze on GM to increase the overall fuel economy of its sole luxury automaker. This led to talks of the Escalade getting the axe in coming years, but apparently GM is not ready to throw in the towel yet.
Reports are pointing to an all-new Cadillac Escalade arriving in 2014 as an early-2015 model year. Instead of Caddy going the direction that many other SUV builders have gone, it will keep the Escalade on a truck frame, whereas many builders are changing SUVs to sit upon car platforms. This means that the 2015 Escalade will ride on the same platform as the soon-to-be released new Chevy Silverado and Sierra.
Unfortunately, we have nothing to really offer except speculation on the incoming Chevy and GMC trucks, as we have only seen heavily camouflaged models. All we can say for certain is that the Cadillac will share the same platform as its pickup brethren. Some experts are anticipating a change in the Silverado/Sierra twins that rivals the 1996 space shuttle treatment that the F-150 received. If this is the case, we can also expect a vastly redesigned Escalade.
We also know that GM has to work on the fuel economy of this luxury SUV to help it meet CAFÉ regulations in the future and the 18 highway mpg that the 2012 Escalade gets is simply not going to cut it. Look for GM to develop an engine that rivals the Ford’s EcoBoost V-6, like the 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that has been mentioned, and toss it into the Escalade. The only other option would be to go turbo diesel, which may not sit well with Cadillac owners.
We will continue to bring you more information as it becomes available on the upcoming 2015 Escalade.
Updated 9/23/2013: Cadillac has unveiled a pair of teaser images of the 2015 Escalade, and it announced that it will reveal the 2015 Escalade on October 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. EST. You can see the reveal live, by clicking here. Additionally, Cadillac also released a series of teaser videos outlining some of the highlights of the model. You can see these videos after the jump.
Updated 10/01/2013: With just a few days before its official debut, Cadillac unveiled a new teaser image, this time revealing the interior of the 2015 Escalade. As expected the new SUV combines luxurious handcrafted elements with state-of-the-art advanced technology, this way offering the latest features in luxury, connectivity and safety for up to eight occupants.
Read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade after the jump
The Cadillac Escalade is a legend in multiple segments: as a celebrity limousine, a wealthy outdoorsman’s shuttle and do-it-all hauler for large families. These core attributes continue for the new model year with detail revisions to the LED lights front and back and two new grille designs in the higher-dollar models.
The Cadillac’s exterior style and enhanced image is the main justification for its prices at the very top of the GM SUV line that also includes the Chevrolet Suburban and the GMC Yukon. The Escalade also has unique interior trims, much better noise/vibration/harshness ratings and top-level performance to match its flashy chrome exterior.
The Cadillac brings serious levels of style, luxury and power with a better drivetrain than its cheaper siblings, standard air suspension with electronically adjustable dampers and even magnetic ride control on the top Platinum model.
So the Escalade is a shortcut to get the most loaded truck possible. Making most options standard at the Cadillac’s $65,000 base price also ratchets up the competition to the seven-passenger Range Rover Sport, the Infiniti QX56 and the aging Lincoln Navigator.
Does the flagship Cadillac SUV still capture buyer wants and needs in the final years before its replacement in 2015?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Escalade and 2014 Escalade ESV with photo comparisons of the three available grille finishes.
On paper, a race against a Japanese buzzsaw called the Cadillac Escalade SUV and the ’Godzilla’ Nissan GT-R, doesn’t seem like a fair fight, especially when you consider that the ’fight’ is actually a 0-60 mph test to see which vehicle can hit the mark first. On one end, you have the Japanese buzzsaw called the Nissan GT-R, a car that has earned the nickname, ’Godzilla’. Can a three-ton SUV whose hulking mass is enough to drag itself down compete against the faster GT-R? Hennessey has made sure of it.
This mismatch was given a fair shake by the folks over at Hennessey, which gave the Escalade an HPE1000 performance upgrade, getting the 6,000lb SUV’s 6.2L engine a total of 1008bhp at 5,900rpm and 967 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpm. This was done with a forged & balanced 427 cid LSX engine, high flow cylinder heads, a Hennessey HPE1000 camshaft, an intake manifold upgrade, upgraded fuel injectors, an upgraded fuel system (pump, lines, and Rails), twin ball bearing turbochargers, and much more.
With the playing field somewhat leveled, the two protagonists took to an isolated country road to find out which vehicle can smoke the other. To our surprise, the Escalade, which is more than twice as heavy as the GT-R, managed to outpace the Japanese supercar by the slimmest of margins - one-tenth of a second - with a time of 3.3 seconds compared to Godzilla’s 3.4-second time.
While we’re not totally blown away by the result considering the ’assistance’ the Escalade got from Hennessey, the mere fact that a mammoth of an SUV can actually outpace a powerful Japanese rocket really got us thinking just how dementedly brilliant the people over at Hennessey are.
Check out the video to watch the proceedings and hit the jump to see the full specifications for the Cadillac Escalade by Hennessey.
The Cadillac Escalade serves many purposes for the brand. For starters, it is their largest offering in the SUV segment and has become a best seller. Ever since it was first introduced as a meagerly disguised GMC Yukon the car has been a hit. It effectively saved the Cadillac brand in association with their razor edge styling that is now seen on all the models in the lineup. A favorite choice of celebrities, musicians, and athletes alike, the Escalade has become a status symbol and was immediately accepted by the “in crowd.”
As time has gone on the Escalade lineup has come to include three models with a pickup and extended wheelbase version being added. As the SUV market has been hit hard by the recession, the Escalade too suffered, but has remained alive. Its closest competition in nearly every aspect, the Lincoln Navigator, has struggled much more than the Cadillac and will cease production sooner rather than later.
Cadillac has been able to keep this vehicle moving forward, but some VIP clients still expect more. When a Range Rover is too small and a large scale van is not classy enough, Becker Automotive Design is there to take your Escalade to the next level. After this company gets done with their conversion, the Escalade has been transformed into a Gulfstream 5 for the road.
Hit the jump for more details on the Becker Escalade Conversion.
There’s big…and then there’s really big.
When it comes to SUVs, nobody does it bigger – and as some would say, better – than Cadillac and the hulking Escalade. The SUV has been one of the most popular Cadillac models in recent years, as evidenced by the enormous sales success it’s gotten here in the US. You only need to watch TV to realize that just about every celebrity is sporting an Escalade in one form or another.
The reception of the Escalade in the US isn’t the same in Europe and while the blame can mostly be placed on an incredible number of consumer choices, Cadillac is still hoping that their prized SUV gets to work across the pond.
With the new Cadillac Escalade Platinum Edition, they may have found the vehicle that can compete with the Range Rovers, X5s, and Cayennes of the world. Whether the car becomes a hit remains up in the air, but given the upgrades Cadillac put on this special edition SUV, we’re pretty sure that they like their chances.
Hit the jump to see the details for the Cadillac Escalade Platinum Edition.