The Escalade is all new for ‘21. It seems crazy that the only vehicle that has exemplified Cadillac for over 20 years now is a Tahoe in a tux. But GM has gotten better at it, as the Escalade has even further distanced itself from its Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon with a totally redesigned interior as well. Here’s the pricing/options.
The Escalade is available as before in either standard length or extended ESV. Between the 2 there are 5 trim levels (Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury Platinum, Sport Platinum), 2 or 4WD and 2 engines. The big difference here over its Chevy/GMC cousins is that the Escalade is launching with the 3.0 Duramax turbo diesel as no cost option on all trims. It has 277 horses and 460 lb/ft of torque. The standard engine of course is the 6.2 liter 420 horse V8.
The base trim, Luxury, starts at the aforementioned $77,490. Standard features include a whole suite of driver safety aids, 19 speaker AKG Studio sound system, 12 way driver & passenger heated front seats, power folding 2nd & 3rd row seats, 22” wheels, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.
Even at nearly $80k, GM nickels & dimes on paint options. There are 8 exterior colors. The standard Black Raven is no charge. 5 others are $625 & 2 are $1,225. I stuck with the classic no charge Black. And again, showing how cheap GM is even with spending this much, the only interior option on this trim jet Black leatherette(!) seating. Unbelievable.
There are 3 “packages” on this trim. If you want to call them that. They are more like accessories than packages. There is a $495 Floor Liner package, an $395 Interior Protection package, and the last is a $330 all weather floor liner package that equips all 3 rows with all weather mats. I added none of these.
Exterior options are the usual crap fascia protectors, gloss black name plates and wheel locks. The only major exterior options are the choice of three $1,995 22” wheel choices. With none of these selected as well and no exterior or interior accessories, the Escalade Luxury rings in at $77,490; $80,490 for the ESV. Adding 4WD pretty much pushes the price of the standard length Escalade to the starting price of the ESV, and the ESV price goes to $83,490 with 4WD.
The next trim of the Escalade is the $84,290 Premium Luxury trim. It builds on the base by coming standard with a pano roof, full color HUD and a Driver Awareness Plus Package. All exterior colors are the same on this trim. The difference starts at the interior color choices, where you finally get standard leather seating in either Parchment, Jet Black or Brandy. However adding Brandy colored seats is a $2k option. I added these though because it goes well with the Black exterior.
Packages are the same as far as the 3 interior protection packages go. This trim sees 3 other packages:
Driver Assist Tech Package $3,650: Weirdly named as the only things in this package that are driver safety aids are auto emergency braking, reverse auto braking and adaptive cruise. It also includes adaptive air ride suspension, auto seat belt tightening. Illuminated sill plates and front and rear soft close doors.
Heavy duty trailing package which the dealer sets the price for.
Performance Package $2,700: A welcome surprise, this pack equips the behemoth with an eLSD, GM’s excellent Magnetic Ride Control, and a trailer brake controller with hitch guidance for the back up cam and trailer side blind zone alert.
The catch is that selecting the Driver Assist pack automatically includes the Performance Pack, which is also weird. So I equipped both of these. Exterior options are the same down to the same 3 22” wheel options. Interior options differ in that this trim sees a $4,600 AKG (I’ve never even heard of them before this) 36 speaker audio system, a $2k rear seat entertainment system, $2k Night Vision, and $2,500 for Super Cruise, which GM smartly labeled as a “driver assistance feature” and not full on self driving tech. I added everything except the rear seat entertainment system. All in, an Escalade Premium Luxury trim with the options here just crests 6 figures, coming in at an eye watering $101,440. Keep in mind this is before 4WD, which tacks on another $3k. The ESV with the same options and 2WD is $104,440. And still not done.
The next Escalade trim is the $86,890 Sport. What makes it Sport you ask? Its all mostly visual of course. It does come standard with the aforementioned Performance Package, but everything is just covered in Black. From the grill, accents and body molding all the way down to the 22” 12 spoke wheels. Exterior and interior colors are the same, though this time around I stuck with the standard Black leather seating and not the $2k Brandy ones.
Option packages on the Sport differ in that there is a package called Onyx. For $2,495 its all visual. It gives 22” gloss Black wheels, monochromatic Cadillac emblems, puddle lamps that project the Cadillac crest, and premium floor mats (it should be mentioned here that, with Cadillac’s new naming scheme, the Escalade wears a 600 badge; 600D with the Duramax.). I added this. In another instance of GM nickel and diming customers, some things that were in packages on the previous 2 trims are their own individual options that, when selected, require adding them all. For instance, the adaptive air suspension is alone without a package. Selecting it however requires adding :
- Reverse Automatic Braking
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Driver Assist Tech Package
- Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking
- Illuminating sill plates
- Automatic Seat Belt Tightening
- Soft-close doors
This all increases the price by $3,650. Everything listed here requires adding everything else here if you select them alone. With the same options selected as before, the Escalade Sport rings in at $101,835; $104,835 for the ESV.
The next trim is the Premium Luxury Platinum. This is the first Cadillac in years, if not ever, that has a starting price cresting 6 figures. It starts at $101,290. Standard features include:
- Unique platinum Galvano grille (I assume this is supposed to mean something?)
- 22" 10-spoke polished alloy wheels with Dark Android finish and laser etching
- Full Semi-Aniline leather seats
- Leather-wrapped instrument panel, console and upper door trim
- Sueded microfiber headliner and door pillar trim
- 16-way power driver and front-passenger heated and ventilated seats with lumbar and massage function
- AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker sound system
- Electronic Limited-Slip Differential
- Magnetic Ride Control
- Air Ride Adaptive Suspension
- Rear Seat Entertainment system
- Adaptive Cruise
Exterior colors are the same, though interior leather choices are more luxurious. You can choose between Whisper Beige, Jet Black or Dark Auburn leather seats with Mondrian quilting. All are no charge. With this thing pretty much loaded, there are no option packages. With exterior options everything is the same. The only difference is that this trim gets the option of $1,750 power retractable steps with LED lighting. I added these. I added Night Vision and Super Cruise as before, along with a $700 front center console fridge. All in, the Escalade Premium Luxury Platinum rings in at $108,240; $111,240 for the ESV.
The final Escalade Trim is the Sport Platinum. It has the same $101,290 starting price as the Premium Luxury Platinum trim before it. This trim pretty much gives you the look of the Sport outside, with the cushiness of the Premium Luxury Platinum inside. With the same options the Sport Platinum rings in at $111,070; $114,070 for the ESV.
The new Escalade might be the priciest vehicle that Cadillac has ever produced. They will sell that’s for sure. The new Druamax diesel option is also a unique touch. But with the Navigator hitting it out the park for a few years now, will people be willing to drop this much for an Escalade? Time will tell. I wouldn’t that’s for sure.