Is the 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV Worth $3,000 Over the Standard Escalade?

The all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade is available now. The new fifth-generation of the popular luxury SUV is available as the standard-length Escalade and the extended-length ESV model. 

There’s a clear size difference between the two models. How is the supersized model different from the standard Escalade? Is it worth the extra money?

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade 

The latest version of the popular luxury SUV is all-new in 2021 with bold new styling, a new platform, and new exterior and interior dimensions. As Car and Driver explains, the Escalade got its start as a rebadged GMC Yukon. Over time, it has not only become Cadillac’s flagship SUV, but it’s also considered a status symbol for many.

Marking the start of the fifth generation, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade has come a long way from where it started. The latest version is luxurious, elegant, and loaded with all the latest technology features. With new elements from the 2016 Escala concept car, the new Escalade offers a striking visage that the team at Car and Driver thinks justifies the huge price tag alone.

You have a choice of two impressive engines. The 6.2-liter V8 gets 420 hp and can save fuel thanks to a feature that allows it to deactivate half its cylinders when cruising down the road. The other is a new turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V6 engine. The diesel engine doesn’t have the quiet demeanor of the V8 but for many, the fuel savings and low-end torque are worth the compromise. 

Both engines pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission and you can choose either a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive configuration to suit your needs and tastes. In 2021, the Escalade got a new platform with an independent rear suspension which improves the quality of an already smooth ride. There is also an air suspension with adaptive dampers available on higher trims that feature computer-controlled shock absorbers.

Car and Driver really liked the smart use of curved OLED displays that makes up Escalade’s new digital dashboard. It combines the infotainment system and all the vehicle’s gauges in one convenient command center.

A choice of two lengths

RELATED: You Really Can’t Go Wrong With the 2021 Cadillac Escalade

ESV stands for Escalade Stretch Vehicle, and you can easily see the difference in size between the standard Cadillac Escalade and the ESV models. 

According to Cadillac Society, both models have the exact same track width front and back. The overall height and width are virtually identical too. 

What’s not the same? Let’s start with the exterior. The 2021 Escalade ESV has an additional 13.2 inches for the wheelbase and an additional 15.9 inches for the overall length over the standard Escalade model. 

When looking at the interior, you’d think with the extra length, the ESV would offer a lot more room for passengers. It does offer extra space in the third row of seats in terms of shoulder and legroom. Otherwise, the interior is exactly the same as the standard Escalade.

Finally, we look at the cargo dimensions. The ESV models get more cargo space across the board. There’s an additional 33.7 cubic feet of space behind the first row, an additional 31.1 cubic feet behind the second row, and 16 additional cubic feet behind the third.

Is the Cadillac Escalade ESV worth the extra cost?

The extended-length 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV offers an impressive increase in cargo space along with some extra space for third-row passengers. 

For all that extra room, there’s a price bump of $3,000 for the base model of the 2021 Escalade ESV. The standard model Escalade starts at $77,490 with the ESV version starting at $80,490.

The extra room would be worthwhile if you have frequent passengers who use the back row. In that case, the additional cargo space comes in very handy. It might also be that if you’re going to own a big luxury SUV, you’ll want to pay the extra money to get the supersized version. 

Either way, those who enjoy the Escalade as a status symbol will definitely find a lot to love about the all-new 2021 models.