The Cadillac Escalade is known as one of the best luxury vehicles on the market. However, Cadillac has been slipping in terms of popularity over the years. According to MotorTrend, there’s another luxury automaker that’s more popular with American consumers.
The luxury brand Lincoln, owned by the Ford Motor Company, has proven to be a worthy competitor for Cadillac. For example, the Lincoln Navigator is currently listed as the best large luxury SUV on U.S. News. However, MotorTrend believes that with enough new changes for the 2021 model year, Cadillac could make a comeback.
Exciting changes for some Cadillac models
The Cadillac Escalade already has a great reputation, but it may get even better for 2021. The SUV looks completely refreshed on the outside, with a larger grille, bigger wheels, and a refreshed headlight design. The cabin also got some nice new upgrades, including soft-closing doors, cut-and-sew stitching, and a variety of wood trim options.
Drivers can also choose between several different suspension options, which all promise to drastically improve the Cadillac’s ride quality. An available package includes a 36-speaker premium sound system with 3D audio. Cadillac’s autonomous driving system, Super Cruise, will also be added sometime after the new Escalade’s release.
MotorTrend is also excited about the release of the Cadillac Lyriq for the 2023 model year. This EV will also be outfitted with Super Cruise, plus a large touchscreen and two head-up displays. The electric motor will reportedly have 300 miles of all-electric range, so it’s worthy competition for big dogs like Tesla.
The Cadillac CT4 was just released for 2020, so it doesn’t have that many extraordinary updates. Still, the 2021 model will have standard smartphone integration and a new digital instrument cluster. The 2021 Cadillac CT5 got the same upgrades, plus a performance package for the sportier versions.
Cadillac models that could use some improvement
The 2021 Cadillac XT5 features new driver aids and standard smartphone integration. The 2020 XT5 got several new upgrades for 2020, like a revamped infotainment system, heated front seats, and a new engine. Despite this, MotorTrend is still hesitant to recommend the XT5 because of its interior quality.
Testers felt that the interior feels very unorganized, and there are too many hard plastics for a luxury model. The Cadillac XT6 also didn’t impress MotorTrend in terms of interior quality, which isn’t helped by overpowering exterior noise. To make matters worse, the 2021 changes seem to make the SUV actually decrease in value.
The 2020 XT6 comes standard with a 310-hp V6 engine, but there’s a new base engine for 2021. It’s a turbo-four capable of only 237 hp, so you’ll have to get a more expensive trim for the V6. Additionally, it won’t have the Super Cruise tech that will be added to several other 2021 Cadillacs.
The Cadillac XT4 is also relatively new to the automaker’s lineup, so it only comes with some small revisions. However, MotorTrend cautions readers that their money is better spent elsewhere. The interior feels cheap, the engine is unrefined, and there’s some unsettling body lean on winding roads.
Does Lincoln make better alternatives?
Unlike the XT4, the Lincoln Corsair’s interior is described as luxurious and quiet during extended drives. It’s not the sportiest subcompact, but it’s easy to handle thanks to its well-weighted steering wheel. The Lincoln Aviator is also a good midsize SUV option, with a comfortable drive and an intuitive infotainment system.
Cadillac still has some work to do if it wants to catch up to Lincoln. New upgrades are always a great thing, but there’s only so much you can do to improve a lackluster vehicle.