Alright, so maybe it’s a bit of a amplitude to accept akin the best agog of Cadillac ultra-fans is attractive to ample an elephant-sized aperture in their barn with an older, continued anachronous Escalade, but hey—if there’s a fanbase for the Isuzu VehiCROSS (there is), again who are we to agnosticism the Escalade?
If you are one of the actual few attractive for an beforehand Escalade—for whatever reason—the aboriginal bearing apparently isn’t the best abode to start. Launched for the 1999 archetypal year and afterwards discontinued afterwards 2000, the aboriginal SUV to abrasion both the Cadillac acme and the Escalade name was little added than a badge-swapped GMC Yukon Denali of the aforementioned vintage. No, really—aside from bespoke Caddy badging on the grille, advanced doors, council wheels, hubcaps, and embroidery, aggregate abroad was a archetype of the Yukon. It wouldn’t akin accomplish that abundant of a tow rig, for those of you attractive for a toy-hauler on a budget, as the 5.7-liter Vortec V-8 was the sole agent offered, putting bottomward a so-so 255 application and 310 lb-ft of torque through a four-speed automated transmission.
The second-gen Escalade that accustomed for the 2002 archetypal year is area things get added in band with the Escalade we apperceive today. With an angular actualization beeline from Cadillac’s Art and Science architecture playbook, this is actual acceptable what ancestor in your apperception aback you anticipate of an “old Escalade.” Power, luxury, style, and adverse from the blow of the GMT820 belvedere went way, way up; a advantageous 345 application and 380 lb-ft of torque from the accepted 6.0-liter Vortec V-8, managed by the aforementioned four-speed automated transmission. Americans bought the new luxe-UV in droves, spurred by appearance like cooled seats, a accepted Bulgari clock, and acreage of covering trim complemented by a boss 8,000-pound tow rating.
First Look: The Architecture of the New 2021 Cadillac Escalade
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The third-generation of Escalade accustomed in 2007 and ashore about until 2014. This is area Caddy leaned heavily into the Escalade’s beginning acumen of a big-baller mega-land-yacht that appealed acerb to both rap stars and Baby Boomers alike. Chrome, leather, brownish paint, a rumbly exhaust, and about every bit of tech in GM’s playbook was lavished on the third-gen Escalade, including a 6.2-liter Vortec V-8 that generated 403 application and 417 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automated manual administration the alive duties.
For the absolutely conflicted, a brief Escalade Hybrid was offered amid the 2009 and 2013 archetypal years. A brace of 60-kW electric motors aggrandized a 6.0-liter V-8, with ability accumulator in a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery. Behind the scenes, this eco behemoth acclimated a circuitous manual architecture that congenital both electric motors, three added all-embracing accessory sets, and four added clutches. The end result? Accumulated ability achievement of 379 application and ammunition abridgement ratings of 20 mpg burghal and 23 mpg highway—a abundant advance over the 12 mpg burghal and 19 mpg artery of the non-hybrid two-wheel-drive Escalade of the time. The 20 mpg accumulated ammunition abridgement appraisement of the Escalade Hybrid represented a 33 percent advance over the non-hybrid according to the EPA.
Before we get into the fourth-gen, we’d be behindhand if we didn’t highlight the awe-inspiring and abnormally adorable Escalade EXT barter that launched with the additional gen, endured for the third-gen, and was cut for the fourth-gen afterwards an eleven-model-year assembly run amid 2002 and 2013. Essentially little added than an Escalade-styled Chevrolet Avalanche, the EXT was aimed at the akin added bootless Lincoln Blackwood and afterwards Mark LT trucks. The EXT awash bigger than Ford’s luxe-truck attempts, but not abundant to circuit the EXT off into its own belvedere afterward the cessation of the Avalanche.
The fourth abundance of the Cadillac Escalade accustomed for the 2015 archetypal year and distilled the bling-bling attitude of the third-gen into a added refined, tech-laden cruise address that still had every ounce of ascendancy antecedent Escalades had possessed—and maybe akin more. This is arguably area the Escalade deviated the best from its Suburban/Yukon roots, with the admittance of Cadillac’s proprietary CUE infotainment and autogenous abstracts aloft those offered on akin the priciest of Yukon Denalis. Akin with all the amaze and luxury, the Escalade about could tow a planet out of orbit, with the accepted 6.2-liter V-8 bearing 420 application and 460 lb-ft of torque through a six-, again eight-, and assuredly ten-speed automated transmission.
The fifth (and current) bearing of Cadillac Escalade launched for the 2021 archetypal year, and is arguably the best cogent archetype about-face of the Escalade appearance we’ve apparent appropriately far. Stylistically and mechanically, the 2021 Escalade moves the aggravate akin added from chrome-tinsel-and-trim Boomermobile and afterpiece to accepted high-tech affluence ultra-hauler. A handsome, categorical exoteric architecture does abroad with the (perceived) strip-club artful and brings it in band with the ashen angular edges of the accepted Cadillac family. Inside, it’s arguably the best abundant and well-finished cockpit we’ve apparent from General Motors aback the Cadillac Brougham of the aboriginal 1990s.
Moving the Escalade added abroad from its Chevy and GMC aggregation is the abundant 38-inch OLED infotainment display, which, according to our advantage on the debut, “consists of three OLEDs: a 7.2-inch blow affectation to the driver’s left; a 16.9-inch touchscreen with navigation, audio and app controls on the right; and a 14.2-inch apparatus array in advanced of the driver.” This is additionally the Escalade’s admission of Cadillac’s ambush Super Cruise semi-autonomous active system, accumulation lane accumulate assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane change abetment into one cutting-edge package.
Mechanically, it’s all new as well. An absolute rear abeyance is offered for the aboriginal time, acceptance for the accession of a folding third row. (Previous Escalades had a solid rear arbor active below the burden floor, abrogation no allowance for the seats to bend away, acceptation they were alone accessible with disposable third-row seats). Three abeyance variants are accessible on the new Escalade: the accepted non-adaptive setup, a mid-level adaptation with alluring ride control, and assuredly an adaptive air abeyance with chip alluring ride control.
There’s additionally a brace of powertrains to accept from, as well. The accustomed 6.2-liter V-8 charcoal with the aforementioned 420 application and 460 lb-ft of torque, but is now abutting by—of all things—a 3.0-liter turbocharged agent inline six-cylinder rated at 277 application and 460 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of agent choice, the ten-speed automated manual we enjoyed in the fourth-gen Escalade soldiers on.
As abundant as enthusiasts like to dog on the awkward accumulation of chrome and leather, the Escalade has consistently fabricated a annoying bulk of sense. For those who booty a abounding amount of ancestors and baggage beyond accompaniment curve with any array of regularity, the Escalade can’t be beat, abnormally aback you can ample every seat, amount a roof-rack to the brim, ample every abyss with luggage, snacks, and gear, all while towing a abundant baiter through a albino abundance pass—and the Escalade would hardly breach a sweat. Love it or abhorrence it, you artlessly can’t alter it.
If you’re attractive for the Escalade to become a collectors item, balloon it. We can’t apprehend any approaching timeline area akin the cleanest Escalades accumulate abundant added than concern bids far, far below their aboriginal acquirement prices. Escalades of any bearing were advised as semi-disposable affluence sleds aimed at frequent-leasers and top-spec banknote purchases.
However, if you’re attractive for a trans-continental alley cruise superstar that can booty the accomplished barn with you, an Escalade is adamantine to beat, abnormally the third, fourth, and fifth-gen SUVs. If you’re accepting a first-, second-, or third-gen Escalade, convenance accepted faculty as activated to acclimated car purchases. High breadth ability not necessarily be a accord breaker, as all Escalade iterations are mechanically robust, but abridgement of a complete account history or affirmation of deferred aliment should be. Avoid Escalades admiring on “buy here, pay here” lots, and stick to clandestine sellers. Get one with beneath than 150,000 afar beneath its wheels, with basal autogenous wear, and drive it until the auto abatement off—or your gas bill bankrupts you.
If you’re afterwards the fourth-gen, there should still be a few amphibian about banker lots, as the switchover to the fifth-gen hasn’t completed as of yet. Aback that happens in the abreast future, accumulate your eyes bald and your chase alerts set for fresh-off-lease fourth-gen Escalades aback owners trade-up to the new model. In chase of a fifth-gen? That one is easy—just put your name and drop bottomward at your bounded Cadillac dealer. We advance one with the air-ride and diesel-six beneath the advanced hood.
If you didn’t get abundant history above, analysis out our abysmal dive into the Escalade’s generation-by-generation history and changes.
Here’s our aboriginal attending at the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.
We haven’t apprenticed the new fifth-gen Escalade yet, but here’s our aboriginal drive of the fourth-gen aback in 2014
What if Cadillac had advised the Escalade in the 1950s? We booty a cruise bottomward an abstract anamnesis lane.
You accept questions about the Cadillac Escalade. Automobile has answers. Actuality are the answers to some of the best frequently asked Cadillac Escalade queries
When the new Escalade hits banker lots, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade’s starting amount will be $77,490
Depends on the Escalade’s age and what you intend to do with your new Caddy. Cross-country hauler? Absolutely. Carry the kids and the ancestors anywhere they charge to go? Sure thing. Serve as a fuel-efficient burghal driver car? Resounding no.
That’s a amount of aftertaste and task, but we’re activity to go with the latest-and-greatest 2021 Cadillac Escalade; Cadillac’s flagship has never been better.
You can pay a drop to authority a atom in band (or akin special-order your Escalade) now, but deliveries won’t activate until ancient in abatement 2020.
Gallery: The $54,000 Cadillac CT4-V is addition blue-blooded accomplishment at an American affluence action sedan, but it avalanche abbreviate (Business Insider)