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Cadillac makes a lot of high-end SUVs, and recently, Cadillac unveiled one of its latest ones. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV is an $80,000 SUV that’s even bigger than the regular Escalade, and of course, it has plenty of options. Some of those options will push the ESV’s price tag to over $100,000, but is that really worth it?

A look at the 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV’s high-end options

There are two top-of-the-line trims for the latest ESV, and these are the Sport Platinum and the Premium Luxury Platinum trims, and according to Cadillac, both are about the same in terms of what is offered.

There are minor differences of course, such as the fact that the Premium Luxury Platinum has access to Cadillac’s Radiant Package while the Sport Platinum doesn’t. Regardless, both start at about $104,000, and have a lot to offer.

For example, one of the bigger features on these Platinum ESV trims is the 36-speaker AKG premium sound system, according to Car and Driver. That high number of speakers may seem like a lot, but Car and Driver said that they allow the AKG sound system to create “differential audio levels within the cabin.”

What that means is that the sound in the second-row will be different than the sound is in the first-row, which may be helpful for parents.

Additionally, Cadillac said that the Platinum trims will have a rear-seat entertainment system that will keep passengers entertained. There are also a lot of other standard features that the regular ESV doesn’t have, and these include adaptive cruise control, automatic seat belt tightening, enhanced automatic parking assist, and more. There’s also plenty of stylistic changes that are meant to make the Platinum trims more appealing and beautiful. 

Some things stay the same however

While these Platinum ESV trims turn the ESV’s interior and exterior up a notch, it won’t don’t change everything about the ESV. All ESVs have the same two engine options right now, and customers can choose from the standard 6.2-liter V8 or the 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel. 

The V8 is the more powerful option, as it gets 420-hp and it allows the ESV to go from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.9 seconds. However, it’s not very fuel-efficient, especially compared to the diesel option. Car and Driver said that the V8 gets about 14 MPG combined, while the diesel should get about 24 MPG combined. 

Furthermore, the Platinum trims drive as comfortably as the regular ESV drives, according to Car and Driver. These all handle really well, and are all obviously very spacious and comfortable to sit around in. These facts aside, are the ESV’s Platinum trims worth it?

If you can afford the 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV, it’s worth it


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Like Car and Driver said, ultimately, the ESV, no matter which trim a customer buys, is a status symbol, and status symbols “aren’t built on rationality.” The ESV is a big, fancy SUV that can not only seat seven people, but it can also entertain them all too. 

For folks looking for an SUV that can move seven people from here to there, the ESV is obviously not worth $80,000 and it’s definitely not worth $100,000. But that’s not the people who Cadillac are selling the ESV to. The ESV is for people who want and can afford a status symbol, and as a result, the ESV’s Platinum trims are worth the high price tags. 

The Platinum trims add a lot of standard features to the ESV, and these are all improvements. Furthermore, for folks who can afford an $80,000 SUV, an extra $20,000 for more features isn’t that big of a deal to begin with.