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Critics are buzzing about the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. They were on the fence about the 2020 Escalade, but the 2021 version has many new features that might redefine the luxury SUV segment. In spite of this, the fuel economy is more than a little lackluster.

Here’s what MotorTrend had to say about the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade, and how its new technology couldn’t quite save it from having an abysmally low gas mileage score.

Has the 2021 Cadillac Escalade’s fuel economy improved?

The Escalade isn’t exactly known for its great fuel economy, and Cadillac’s use of new technology has done little to improve that reputation.

According to Car and Driver,

“Cadillac’s biggest SUV will be powered by either a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that makes 420 horsepower and can deactivate half of its cylinders when cruising to save fuel or a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six. A 10-speed automatic transmission will be standard with both engines, and buyers will be able to choose from rear- or all-wheel drive setups based on their individual needs.”

This sounds incredibly cool, but sadly, the numbers don’t add up. Even though half the cylinders might deactivate to save fuel, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade only gets a combined 17 mpg. To break that down a little further, it gets 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. For drivers who choose to upgrade to 4WD, these numbers drop down to 14 mpg city, 19 mpg highway, and 16 mpg combined. 

Compared to the 2020 Cadillac Escalade, nothing much as changed as far as the fuel economy goes. The 2020 model gets 14/23/17 mpg (city/highway/combined), while the 4WD dropped to 14/21/17. That’s not exactly a significant difference.

Rumor had it that Cadillac was coming out with an electric Escalade in 2021, but that seems to have been put on the back burner for the moment.

What else is new for 2021?

While the fuel mileage may not have changed much, everything else has. Cadillac has to justify that $77,490 price tag, after all. 

One of the biggest changes that will excite many potential owners is the increased interior space, especially for passengers sitting in the back. The third row is notorious for only being fit for children, but Cadillac has found a unique way to change that up.

Edmunds reports that a new independent rear suspension has been installed, making the floor lower. This means adults with long legs can now sit in a normal seated position.

Cadillac has also added some incredible new driver features that are all new. Many drivers are becoming used to self-parking features and lane departure warning, so that’s not exactly groundbreaking. However, the night vision cameras and the center console refrigerator with a freezer function are.

Music lovers will also rejoice thanks to the 19 speakers that come standard. For drivers who upgrade to the premium trim, that number jumps to 36 speakers.

Drivers will also no longer have to scream out for passengers sitting on the third row to hear them. Cadillac has added microphones that will allow everyone to speak to each other in a normal tone of voice. Other features include Cadillac’s Super Cruise, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and front and rear parking sensors. 

How does the 2021 Cadillac Escalade stack up to the competition?

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade rolling up to the red carpet
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade at The Oscars | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Cadillac

Anyone in the market for a new SUV will wonder how it compares to the competition, especially when it comes to the fuel economy. Gas prices might be low now, but that doesn’t mean they’ll remain low, especially as more restrictions for Coronavirus (COVID-19) are lifted. That’s why it’s important to think about fluctuating gas prices, and how it will affect your wallet going forward.

The 2021 Lincoln Navigator gets 16 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined. That’s certainly better than the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, but not by much.

Other competitors like the 2021 Chevy Tahoe and 2021 GMC Yukon aren’t much better. The Tahoe gets 15/20/17 mpg, and the Yukon gets 16/20/18 mpg. The Escalade clearly didn’t manage to stand out as a fuel-efficient vehicle, but neither did its competitors. Thankfully for Cadillac, the Escalade’s other features do.


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