2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum new car reviews

Why is the redesigns of the Cadillac Escalade important? Because people really, really dig SUVs–especially luxury ones.

New here: new exterior, new interior.

Caddy is particularly proud of the interior, especially the Organic Light Emitting Diode screen. From the media kit:

Escalade’s industry-first curved OLED display offers more than 38 inches of total diagonal display area, with twice the pixel density of a 4K television. The technology delivers bold imagery, perfect blacks and the largest color range of any automotive display in production today.

The system includes three screens: a 7.2-inch-diagonal touch control panel driver information center to the driver’s left, a 14.2-inch-diagonal cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 16.9-inch-diagonal Infotainment screen to the driver’s right. The OLED is paper-thin, and its curvature positions the displays for optimal visibility.

The vivid color and visual quality of OLED technology also eliminates the need for the common “hood” shrouding many typical in-vehicle screens, creating a brighter and less cluttered environment.

More technology probably not found in your NA Miata:

  • Augmented Reality-enabled navigation
  • Surround vision
  • Night vision
  • 36-speaker sound system from AKG.
  • Also from the media kit: “Conversation Enhancement using microphones and AKG speakers for front- and rear-passenger communication.”
  • Hands-free driving thanks to Super Cruise.
  • Magnetic Ride Control dampers along with air ride adaptive suspension.
  • Electronic limited-slip diff.
  • 10-speed automatic.

Oh yeah, there’s an engine, too: Standard powerplant is a 6.2-liter V8, while a 3.0-liter turbo diesel is offered. Our tester had the V8.

So, what’s it cost? Our 4WD Sport Platinum model started at almost $103,000. With options, it would cost $112,095.

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Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard

Most of us tow race cars and are always looking for the best tool to do just that. And some of us regularly need seating for six or more people. And most of us enjoy a stylish, comfortable ride.

The Cadillac Escalade offers all this and more, but at a price. While the Cadillac is Chevy Tahoe-based, you can easily spend twice as much, for what is essentially the same vehicle. The base price on a 4WD Escalade is $80,490. Our top-of-the-line 2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum stickers at an astronomical $112,095.

For someone looking for something even larger (not sure how that is even possible), Cadillac offers the Suburban-based Escalade ESV.

While the base 4WD Chevy Tahoe has a base price of $53,860, you would have to spend nearly $75,000 to get the version with the 6.2-liter engine and ten-speed transmission that brings towing capacity up to the staggering 8000 pounds of our test Escalade.

Taken in this context, the Escalade (especially in non-Sport Platinum versions) is not that much more expensive.

So, what do you get for your money?

On the plus side, you get a big, smooth, roomy, infinitely capable hauler. It has surprisingly easy steering that makes parking much easier than, say, an F-150.

The rest of the drivetrain is essentially flawless (except for the fuel mileage, which we will get into later). It is fast enough, and the ten-speed transmission shifts beautifully. The ride is very, very comfortable—if not a bit wallowing—if you are not used to driving something this big.

The seats are comfortable and the stereo rocks. The Escalade is equipped with every possible nicety including heated and cooled seats, a cooler in the console and tv screens for rear passengers.

While styling isn’t probably that important when choosing this type of vehicle, other than a huge ugly face that only a mother could love, the Titanic-like Escalade’s styling is smooth and sophisticated.

Other than coming to grips with the staggering size of this vehicle and the annoying optional running boards, we quickly had to admit we were falling in love. While our best mileage was 20.9, and an average in the 15-mpg range is not going to win any awards with the Green crowd, it wasn’t that bad considering how big this thing is and what it can do.

While we are not ready to get a 20-year loan on a new Escalade, we have developed a lot more respect for its cheaper cousin, the Chevy Tahoe.

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