Did Cadillac Make a Big Mistake With the 2021 Escalade?

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade boasts some pretty impressive interior features, and its performance features are what Escalade drivers have always counted on. However, the exterior of the 2021 Escalade has people talking, and not in a good way. Words like “disaster” and “refrigerator” are being used to describe Escalade’s new look. Has Cadillac made a big mistake with the 2021 Escalade exterior, or will its interior amenities and industry-first features make up for it?

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade leaked specs

According to GM Authority, spoilers were leaked on YouTube of the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade then immediately taken down. This gave fans their first look at the boxy new design. Interior and performance specs were also revealed, and the newest Escalade will have a high-fashion, high-performance interior with a variety of seating options and upholstery choices.

GM Authority is reporting the 2021 Cadillac Escalade to be equipped with a standard 6.2-liter V8 and an available 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine. It is expected to have a good ride and handling thanks to a fully independent rear suspension and an optional air ride adaptive suspension. 

 Exciting new technology

The all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade is displayed during the Cadillac Oscar Week Celebration at Chateau Marmont
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Cadillac

Cadillac reports that the 2021 Escalade will have at least two industry firsts onboard. One is the Escalade’s curved OLED screen, which stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode – a first-to-market advancement by Cadillac. It’s a touchscreen that is organically integrated into the dash, to help drivers intuitively control all aspects of the Escalade’s functions.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will also offer the first AKG audio system in an automobile. Known worldwide as a leader in audio technology, Escalade drivers can now enjoy the available AKG Studio Reference System custom-tailored to their vehicles. The system features never-before-heard in-car sound from 36 speakers, three amplifiers, and 28 channels. The standard AKG Studio system is also stunning, with 19 speakers, an enclosed subwoofer, and a 14-channel amplifier. 

Cadillac’s Super Cruise technology is also available for the first time in a full-size SUV. The 2021 Escalade has an enhanced version that enables confidence hands-free driving on over 200,000 roads in the United States and Canada. It uses an array of radar sensors, driver attention systems, and a network of cameras that allow drivers to make a lane change by simply using the turn signal. The Automated Lane Change system does the rest. 

The Cadillac Escalade redesign: bold or blah?

In the leaked pics of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade on GM Authority, a new look was revealed that gives the Escalade a bold new appearance. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny it has a commanding stance. In front, the grille section stretches between two narrow, horizontal headlights, and there is a large air intake on the lower front fascia.

Overall, the front end had a very blunt look. The sides of the 2021 Escalade are plain except for a crease on the lower body panels, while the 22-inch wheels give a bold look to all four corners. 

In the rear, the 2021 Escalade repeats the horizontal headlight shape in the taillights, which stretch up both sides of the liftgate. It has a prominent rear bumper with a lower fascia in black. Cadillac’s sport trim will be offered for the Escalade for the first time, giving the vehicle bold pops of black including a black mesh grille. 

Exterior changes have resulted in significantly more interior space, with 40 percent more legroom in the third row and more interior cargo space. This is the result of a longer wheelbase, new architecture, and new chassis technology. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade’s new rear suspension also enabled a lower floor, resulting in more space. 

Although not everyone is a fan of the new chunky look of the 2021 Escalade, enthusiasts will like the big, bold look that furthers the Escalade’s reputation as a beast on the road.