Is the 2021 Cadillac Escalade $25,000 Safer Than the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban?

Maybe you’re torn between the sturdy 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and the luxurious 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Perhaps you’re trying to decide if the extra cost of the Escalade (an extra $25,000 minimum) is worth it? Is the Escalade safer than the Suburban? Let’s take a look at the safety ratings of the 2021 Chevy Suburban and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade to help you decide. 

A luxurious white 2021 Cadillac Escalade is parked on a city street.
2021 Cadillac Escalade | Cadillac

Both the 2021 Cadillac Escalade and the 2021 Chevy Suburban are manufactured by GM, meaning much of what makes them the strong family vehicles they are known as is the same. The 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and 2021 Cadillac Escalade are redesigned. 

In fact, both the 2021 Cadillac Escalade and the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban are so similar, they could be twins. Fraternal twins, anyway, as it’s what’s on the surface of each of these large SUVs that is entirely different. 

The 2021 2021 Chevy Suburban and the Cadillac Escalade have the same standard safety equipment

Both the 2021 Cadillac Escalade and the 2021 Chevy Suburban come standard with forward collision warning, city automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Highway emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keep assistance are going to cost you extra in each SUV. 

Both the Chevrolet Suburban and the Cadillac Escalade have rear view cameras, anti lock brakes, as well as traction and stability control. Blind spot warning and rear cross traffic warning is optional in both. The rear cross traffic warning is a nice feature, as it alerts the driver when something is out of camera range, but moving into it. 

The NHTSA crash test ratings are identical as well

Is the Escalade safer than the Suburban? No. In fact, safety ratings for the Escalade and Suburban are identical. The overall crash, overall frontal-crash and overall frontal-crash passenger scores for both are good, at four out of five stars. So is the overall frontal-crash driver score for both, at five out of five stars. 

The overall side crash, overall side-crash driver, and overall side-crash passenger ratings are also excellent, at five stars. The side pole-crash ratings for the 2021 Chevy Suburban and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade are also fantastic at five stars. 

The rollover risk for both of these full size SUVs is average, at three stars for both the 2WD and the 4WD. 

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a really nice Suburban

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The exterior of both the 2021 Cadillac Escalade and the 2021 Chevy Suburban are strikingly similar. It’s when you look inside that you’ll see the biggest difference. 

The Escalade has a more luxurious interior. Both the design and the features of the Escalade will remind you that you spent a lot of money. GM says that the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display is the first in the industry. The OLED has three screens with fantastic quality. 

The interior of a 2021 Cadillac Escalade. The inside of the Escalade is it nice, but is it worth the extra money?
2021 Cadillac Escalade interior | Cadillac

Additionally, the Escalade has a premium stereo system, so you can listen to the Trolls soundtrack on repeat and appreciate all of its intricacies. There are touch screens for second row passengers so kids can switch songs themselves, over and over (and over) again. 

On the other hand, the 2021 Chevy Suburban is as functional as ever. It has a nice leather interior, though it’s not as flashy as the Escalade. The doors are a thin plastic panel and some misaligned gaps and uneven stitching through the cabin. That’s not to say it isn’t nice, but you won’t feel like you’re on a private jet as you’re driving your kids to school. 

Consumer Reports notes that the Chevy Suburban’s front hood is “unusually tall” and can compromise visibility. Road testing on the Escalade is still being completed, so it’s yet to be seen if that’s a twin problem. 

Should you drop the extra cash on the 2021 Cadillac Escalade?

Is the 2021 Cadillac Escalade $25,000 safer than the 2021 Chevy Suburban? No. However, if you love premium quality or are the kind of person who will fixate on that one uneven stitch on the armrest and the additional $25,000 won’t faze you, then the Escalade is a better choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a reliable large SUV without compromising safety, then the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban is right for you.