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Last year was indeed a rough one for almost every industry. The automotive sector was especially affected, with production halted and workers furloughed. For new model vehicles introduced in 2020, you might not expect there to be many success stories.

But, General Motors is sharing its fourth-quarter stats, and it appears Cadillac has earned back its bragging rights. Making a huge comeback late in 2020, the Cadillac Escalade is back on top and a fan favorite heading into 2021.

The official General Motors press release

General Motors had a stellar fourth quarter, outperforming the U.S. industry as a whole with a few of its champion vehicles. In a recent press release, GM is bragging about having gained in total sales, retail data, and fleet share gains for the year.

It leads the full-size pickup race with the popular Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. And seven out of every 10 large SUVs bought last year were a Tahoe, Suburban, or Yukon.

But even more impressive might be the comeback the Cadillac Escalade made in retaking the leadership of its market.

Cadillac came to dominate, pandemic or not

Pandemic conditions or not, Cadillac was ready to come out of the gate with a big win in its 2020 Escalade. With a price tag ranging between $75,000 and $100,000, depending on the equipment, some wondered if the luxury SUV market would even be appealing to consumers, given the economic and financial conditions many Americans faced for much of the year.

But the redesigned Escalade, with its trendy marketing campaigns, proved it deserved to be back on top of the luxury SUV segment once again. What did critics and consumers love about this SUV?

What the overall critics’ sentiments are about the Escalade

Consumers responded well to the new Cadillac Escalade, but what about the critics? Car and Driver champions this SUV as a noteworthy luxury master, with loads of standard features and decent tow ratings. But the Car and Driver team thinks despite its pop-culture re-emergence, it may just be an “ordinary SUV playing dress-up.”

The critics at Edmunds tout the 2020 Cadillac Escalade’s robust V8 engine and towing capacity capable of 8,300 pounds. But the truck-based origins also means a compromise in luxury refinement.

Like others in the segment, the Escalade offers three rows and a quiet cabin. But some of the Edmunds’ critics aren’t fans of the cargo capacity layout. They even cite you might be better off considering a Lincoln Navigator or the Mercedes-Benz GLS for a more luxurious experience. 

Can the Cadillac Escalade hold on to its lead this year?

The 2020 Cadillac Escalade might have regained the title as the leader in the segment for last year. But to hold on to its crown, Cadillac will need to hone in on a few improvements. There’s no question; this SUV is chock-full of features and amenities.

However, there is room for a better design for cargo capacity. True luxury comes in a smooth and refined ride, too, a characteristic common among the Escalade’s competitors. To really dominate as a full-size SUV in 2021, the Escalade will have to prove it can be the best in every category of luxury, convenience, and performance.

You won’t be disappointed with a 2020 Cadillac Escalade, regardless of the trim level you choose: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, or Platinum. You’ll enjoy the beefy 6.2-liter V8 in each variation, as well as a healthy menu of tech and luxury features.

It’s clear that consumers embraced this luxury SUV last year despite the pandemic. But if GM really hopes to clinch the title ongoing, the Escalade will need to leverage a few improvements to stay on top of the leader board.


The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is Missing 1 Crucial Feature