Cadillac Will Pay You to Take the Old Escalade off Its Hands

Although Cadillac still makes some good sedans, it’s the Escalade SUV that’s the brand’s biggest star. Sadly, it’s not getting the Blackwing V8. And the electric version is still a few years away. Still, the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade is already making waves. Unfortunately, some reactions have been less than positive. Particularly when it comes to dealers who still have 2020 Escalades sitting on their lots.

The Cadillac Escalade incentives

2019 Cadillac Escalade
2019 Cadillac Escalade | Cadillac

The exact number of 2020 Escalades remaining unsold isn’t known. However, it’s likely not an insignificant number. At least, not based on the information CarsDirect recently obtained.

According to a recent dealer bulletin, Cadillac will soon be emailing discount vouchers to some Escalade owners. Those who own 2014-2017 models will be eligible for a $7500 discount on a 2020 model. And for those currently leasing an Escalade, that jumps to $10,000. Jalopnik reports that, with current rebates, that could work out to $19,000 off the SUV’s $75,195 MSRP.

It’s not clear how Cadillac will select precisely which 2014-2019 Escalade owners will receive the vouchers. Nevertheless, $19k isn’t exactly chump change, and that might be enough to convince some to trade up to the last of the out-going Escalades.

This isn’t unusual

To be fair, offering massive incentives to shift soon-to-be-outdated models isn’t unheard-of.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray | Chevrolet

The moment the mid-engine C8 Corvette was officially unveiled, the C7 Corvette became old news. Road & Track and The Smoking Tire (video below—spicy language warning) reported that in November 2019, roughly 5000 C7s were sitting on dealer lots unsold.

And despite incentives of $9,500 and more, Motor1 reported that 2600 were still left by the middle of February 2020.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette convertible
2019 Chevrolet Corvette convertible | Chevrolet via Instagram

This does make some sense. After all, the C8’s engine is in a completely different place than the C7’s. Going from one to another is a massive shift. But what about the 2020 vs. 2021 Escalade? Is the upcoming SUV going to be that much better over the current model to justify losing out on the savings?

Will the new Cadillac Escalade be worth waiting for?

As of this writing, no one’s actually driven the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. That being said, based on early impressions of the new model, and reviews of the outgoing one, it might be worth ignoring that discount voucher.

Autoweek found the Lincoln Navigator’s interior significantly better than the Escalade’s. YouTube channel Autobytel felt the same way. And The Straight Pipes reported that the Cadillac was showing its age and that the half-as-expensive Kia Telluride was actually a better-built SUV.

2021 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV
2021 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV | Cadillac

Meanwhile, the 2021 model is moving to the same platform as the new Tahoe, which means independent rear suspension. That’s going to give the Cadillac SUV more interior space and a smoother ride; magnetorheological dampers and optional air suspension should also help with the latter.

2021 Cadillac Escalade interior
2021 Cadillac Escalade interior | Cadillac

R&T and Car and Driver report the Escalade will also get a diesel option and night vision for the first time, along with overlapping OLED screens. And Super Cruise will finally be available on another Cadillac besides the CT6.

Looks like those 2020 Cadillac Escalades will be sitting on the lots for some time.

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