There’s nothing subtle about the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.  And while the 5th–generation of Caddy’s Tahoe-based 3-row SUV is sure to attract attention everywhere it goes, thanks to its chic style and industry-leading technologies such as the 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference audio system, Super Cruise driver assistance, augmented reality navigation, and even the first curved OLED display in a production vehicle; it’s something different that lured us in for a Quick Spin...a diesel engine. 

That’s right, sensational luxury and extreme long-haul capabilities combine here with the help of GM’s 3.0-liter I6 Duramax turbo-diesel. Rated at 277–horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of torque, the Duramax delivers 27 miles-per-gallon on the highway; 23-Combined. The hardly base engine is a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8; both work through a 10-speed automatic transmission. 

The standard-length Escalade, as well as this extended Suburban-like Escalade ESV, benefit greatly from the platform’s shift to independent rear suspension; but adds to it with both Magnetic Ride Control and a new Air Ride Adaptive Suspension for a smoother demeanor with less body roll. 

We certainly appreciate the newfound agility; but more importantly, that the redesign also creates additional space for flexibility inside for cargo as well as for passengers in both the 2nd and 3rd rows. 

That previously mentioned OLED technology is actually comprised of 3-screens, providing 38-inches of total display area.  A 7.2-inch touch control panel, 14.2-inch virtual instrument cluster, and a 16.9-inch central infotainment display.  OLED technology increases visual quality of course, but also reduces glare, eliminating the need for hoods or shading over the screens. 

On sale now, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade’s starting price is just over $76,000; with the ESV kicking off just shy of $80,000.


  • Engine: 3.0L I6 Turbo-Diesel
  • Horsepower: 277
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft
  • EPA: 27 Highway / 23 Combined