Highly anticipated 2021 Cadillac Escalade is now available in the UAE.
The Cadillac Escalade SUV is a king-sized luxury luminary, and the debut of an all-new version goes beyond simple car introduction to full-scale cultural event.
Entering its fifth generation, what started as a rebadges GMC Yukon, is now a distinctively styled flagship, albeit one that still shares its basic mechanicals with that GMC as well as the Chevy Tahoe.
But General Motors has worked hard to ensure its latest batch of full-size SUV triplets are fraternal rather than identical, an effort most apparent inside the Escalade’s decadent cabin.
This truck is really is all about its interior, a tech- and feature-dense cocoon that finally befits a six-figure luxury SUV—at least in the top-spec Premium Luxury Platinum. It is seriously nice in there.
The star of the show is the massive OLED screen—all 38.0 inches of it—that’s subdivided into three distinct sections ahead of the driver. There’s the 7.2-inch capacitive menu panel to the left of the steering wheel, the 14.2-inch display that serves as the instrument cluster, and the incredible 16.9-inch screen perched atop the center stack.
All are contained within one arcing frame with an illuminated crystal Cadillac emblem on its rear face. The clever packaging, as well as the tonally warm strips of wood placed near the screens, help the Escalade avoid the cold, clinical feel of other models featuring vast amounts of digital real estate.
As in GM’s other full-size SUVs, the Escalade offers a lot more interior space thanks to stretches in overall length and wheelbase, as well as a move to an independent rear suspension.
There’s a 68 percent increase in cargo space behind the third row—you can now fit more than a couple of pool noodles—and 41 percent more legroom in the way-back, and Cadillac claims more cargo space in any seat up or down configurations than any other vehicle in its class.
The Escalade’s mighty 6.2-liter V-8 packs 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft, all delivered in the effortless manner common to the great Cadillacs of the past, those huge, whooshing couches that surfed around town on a wave of power and torque.
But this Caddy is no couch, in that the 2021 Escalade drives with newfound refinement and confidence. Credit the Platinum’s standard air springs and Magnetic Ride Control, which admirably corral body motions and are better tuned than in the aforementioned Denali.
There’s still some of the GMC’s wheel patter over high-frequency imperfections, and larger bumps will send some shudders to occupants—the Escalade doesn’t quite reach Audi or Mercedes-level ride quality. But it all comes well within the acceptable range for a body-on-frame luxury SUV that can tow up to 8,200 pounds with the V-8.
The steering is nicely weighted and quite accurate, important for parking a vehicle stretching 17 and a half feet from stem to stern, but it also means few adjustments are needed to track straight on the freeway.
The brakes are strong and confidence-inspiring, with linear pedal travel, and the standard 10-speed automatic transmission is so invisible you’d think the gears were made of sateen-covered velvet. The Escalade has a stately comportment suiting its status as the brand’s flagship.
The 2021 Escalade seems to indicate Cadillac is once again capable of delivering a decadent, class-competitive luxury vehicle. The brand has for years said it wants to again be known as the Standard of the World, and if this new SUV is any indication, it’s closer to doing so than it has been in a very long time.
Available at all Premier Motors and Al Tayer Motors Showrooms across the UAE.