What you’re getting with the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a strong and efficient SUV capable of towing more than most in its class, but falls far behind in most other regards. It ranks fairly low according to most critics and even long-time Cadillac enthusiasts, despite its power and strength.
While the Lincoln Navigator and Mercedes-Benz GLS-class lead the class in refinement and style, the Cadillac Escalade struggles to compete. The ride is not as smooth as most other Luxury SUVs and the seating can be compact and confined. The materials in its design are genuine and quality, and elegant enough to classify as premier Luxury, but it can’t keep up with the posh interior of Mercedes-Benz rivals. Bonus features made available in upgraded additions include heated seats, standard high-quality surround sound, and massage features.
Though it’s not all gloom for the cabin of the Escalade. As far as interior cargo space, it boasts an above average 51.6 cubic feet, and a terrific 94.2 cubic feet once the seats are collapsed.
With loads of cargo space it, another bright feature of the Escalade rides on its excellent highway fuel economy. A strong 23mpg for the class. With that economy also with an impressive 420 horsepower in base models. A muscular V8 engine that’s powerful enough to appreciate a refined, smooth shifting 10-speed automatic transmission.
All that power can lead to an awkward bulkiness and slightly below average handling for the class, and although the refined suspension in the Escalade helps to smooth out some of the body roll, it’s still not quite as smooth as previous Cadillac models. Favoring its strength and capability over general drive quality.
However, in response to the bulky driving and handling, the Cadillac Escalade includes more than a few safety and control features to help out. Including an impressive and innovative 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, and low-speed automatic collision braking. A nifty feature when visibility becomes an issue.
The Escalade also scores high in safety. Receiving a four of five star rating from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. As far as general reliability goes, testing results from J.D. Power have yet to come out. Though it is worth noting 2017 Cadillac models did receive a below average rating for the class.
Overall, the average-for-class priced Escalade, bottoming out at $75,000 base model price, is a solid option worth consideration. Though most buyers would benefit from a careful consideration into its competitors.