By on December 11, 2019

No, it doesn’t take on water, though we won’t really know for sure until a thorough on- and off-road evaluation puts that assertion to the test. Rather, the headline refers to images of the upcoming Cadillac range-topper that appeared on Instagram Wednesday.

Borrowing a colossal grille inspired by the Escala concept (now firmly in place as the brand’s corporate face), the revamped full-size SUV’s unplanned reveal comes on the heels of the public debut of its Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban platform mates.

As you see here, narrow gun slit headlamps look somewhat odd when paired with a grille ten miles tall. Instagram user @Allcarnews brought these images, apparently taken within the bowels of a General Motors production facility, to the public realm; Jalopnik was first to notice the dropped towel.


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A post shared by A L L C A R N E W S (@allcarnews) on

The images are blurry and do not contain a view of the vehicle’s rear; however, the user claims the current-generation’s towering vertical LED taillights remain. Everywhere, the 2021 Escalade’s genetics are on clear display. Like the Tahoe and Suburban, this Escalade will boast an increased wheelbase and slightly increased overall length thanks to its new underpinnings, especially in short wheelbase form. Rear-seat legroom and cargo volume will expand significantly over the current model, and a newly independent rear suspension should smooth out the ride.

Up front, sizeable LED light bars flank what appears to be massive side vents. Meanwhile, much smaller horizontal light bars underscore the diminutive headlight arrays. There’ll be little doubt as to what vehicle is barreling towards you on a dark night. Overall, the look is most reminiscent of the recent XT6 crossover.

While the model’s Chevy siblings will offer buyers the option of Duramax diesel propulsion, don’t expect Cadillac to go that route. Nothing’s stopping the brand; it just doesn’t seem likely. Cadillac buyers would probably prefer to keep some distance from the bowtie brand its its Silverado 1500-sourced diesel.

Expect the public reveal of the 2021 Escalade in short order. GMC will also need to set aside time for a debut of its Yukon and Yukon XL. The on-sale date for all of these BOF rigs should occur in the summer of 2020.

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44 Comments on “Yikes! 2021 Cadillac Escalade Leaks...”

  • avatar

    Looks like the 26″ crowd will eat it up.

  • avatar

    Warning, the Escalade has struck an iceberg! I repeat we have struck an iceberg and are leaking!

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    Baron Werner Ünderbheit edition.

  • avatar

    The only thing I can say is that it looks better than the Tahoe / Suburban. I don’t understand why the wheelbase needed lengthening. Who said to themselves, I need more length?

  • avatar

    Better looking than Tahoe and the Burbon but made from the same cheap low quality crap.

    • 0 avatar

      Nailed it. GM can roll out technology and innovation with the best of them, but are let down by the cheap parts (and these days, the Chinesium).

      It’s like asking Hank Aaron to hit balls out of the park, and then tossing him meatballs. Kinda sad, really.

      • 0 avatar

        This is my General Motors feeling as well.

        Great engineering when they want. Great style when they want. Great driving when they want.

        Then they cheapen it out until it falls apart by 100,000 miles.

        Tho I might argue the trucks don’t QUITE fit this trend…. If I were to trust their vehicles these and the full-size trucks would be #1.

  • avatar

    I just see a big goofy grin on the front of that thing.

  • avatar

    I sometimes wonder to myself who is still buying these. Navi spanks it and truly monied folks or professional who actually use trucks (i.e. construction) have so many other options inc Denali/Tahoe.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d go Land Cruiser over either of them, but at least the Escalade has a V8 instead of a lit fuse.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t see a lot of these, but the ones I do see aren’t being driven around the most expensive neighborhoods. Instead it’s Yukon Denalis, G-Wagens, and Audi Q7s.

    • 0 avatar

      Here in my part of the midwest they still seem to be popular and NOT with the stereotypical demographic, rich older white guys seem to love them for trailering their boats/horses/Harleys/etc.

    • 0 avatar

      Who buys this? Answer: someone with a f*cking *epic* inferiority complex.

    • 0 avatar

      In West and East coast cities, there are two categories of buyers: 1) livery companies (and freelance livery drivers) and 2) people who will most likely add headrest TVs and 26″ wheels.

    • 0 avatar

      They are a dime a dozen in Detroit area. Everyone works for an OEM or supplier. It is a sea of pickups and full size SUVs around here. Among other vehicles of course, but Slades are extremely common here. I think its an obligatory purchase for any GM or Tier One, Two supplier exec, manager, janitor.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not so sure.

      Ford went the cheap route in a few areas—one the lift gate that is prone to rattles and it still has the previous versions rear wiper assembly.

  • avatar

    Someone at GM watched a little too much Battlestar Galactica and seems to have a soft spot for Cylons…

  • avatar

    It’s gonna be fun when shops like Ekstensive Metal Works in Houston (the show “Texas Metal”) get one of these from a pro athlete or a rapper, and are asked to lower it. Have at it, Bill!

  • avatar

    A conversation secretly recorded somewhere in Orange County, California between a husband and wife:

    “Did you see this new Escalade?”

    “Oooooh, that’s huge. Much bigger than my RX.”


    “You know, that grill would scare that little b*tch Karen and her bratty kids when I pull up at the day care. Can I have it? Pleeeeeeaaaaaase?”

    (Pause, then sound of belt being unbuckled, followed by an unzipping noise…)

  • avatar

    The RX owners I know are medical doctors who trade them in every time Toyota thinks of a new safety-related acronym.

    That being said, there are some housewives driving around southern California in Escalades with big after-market wheels. I don’t know what motivate them. Are they women who need to blend when seeing their boyfriends in Compton? Women with fantasies that involve being car-jacked?

    • 0 avatar

      “Sorry Ma’am, they all come like that from the factory. There’s nothing we can do about the wheels or the extra charges. No, no you don’t need to call your husband. Tell ya what, buy this SUV today, and we’ll thrown in free car washes for life.”

  • avatar

    Behold! I am Gorfe, slayer of peons. Pimperor of fat behinds.

    Bow down before Me! Scamperand scatter before my very presence!

    Oops, not you, Mrs Peterbilt. No I didn’t mean it. Hey! You’ve bent my wheel and smashed my grille, you big bully! That’s not fair. Pick on someone your own size. Ow! Onstar? Yes I’d like to report I’ve been attacked and wounded by a degenerate common-order semi-truck with 3 stick axles and a unionized driver.

  • avatar

    Honest opinion? This looks underwhelming. The CT-whatever language doesn’t work on Escalades. Hard pass.

  • avatar

    GM has cancelled the only competitive Cadillac the CT6-V. With the termination of the black wing engine Cadillac is returning to 80’s mediocrity. I am shocked GM has cancelled the whole V-series line of vehicles. They brought a little pride to this lackluster division.

    Remember, Cadillac is ranked as the least reliable carmaker by Consumer Reports. How does Cadillac recover from that one?

    • 0 avatar

      akear: An advertising campaign on Facebook and with rapping basketball players.
      And the board voting on whether or not to bring back Ziggy the Duck.

      • 0 avatar

        I had to look that up. Got a bunch of hits for some dude who killed his duck by buying it drinks at “Delores’ Bar”.

        Then I discovered the Catera advertisement; and finally I think I have my answer to “what happened to the six “sitting ducks” on the Cadillac Crest”. They died of shock.

        In regards to the maw of the new Escalade, I think it’s an update on the ever-popular, award-winning, best-seller 1957 Hudson.

        Oh, wait. The ’57 Hudson didn’t have a Hudson engine in it, and it was the end-of-the-line for that nameplate.

        Works for me. We can hope. GM has promised to kill Cadillac by the end of the decade anyway.

  • avatar

    WTF is going on at GM? They’ve totally lost their way, styling wise, at least. I don’t hate the rest of it, but the front end, wow, is that bad. The Sub and Tahoe look like works of art next to it. And they aren’t good.

  • avatar

    Some of these comments are absolutely hilarious. This idea that only people with no taste buy these cars probably don’t have the money to afford them anyway. It’s as if I’m reading comments of those who envy the people who can actually afford them. Comical.

    Then there’s the people who say “The rich prefer the Yukon Denali”. That’s because many of those people haven’t actually compared the two due to these ridiculous stereotypes and tropes that drive their purchasing decisions and can’t think for themselves. Sad, really.

    I’ve owned a 2011 Escalade, 2016 Yukon XL Denali and a 2018 Escalade Platinum. You couldn’t pay me to own another Yukon Denali. The seats are rock hard and uncomfortable, all of the leather sucks (yes, all of it), the interior fit and finish isn’t nearly as good, the steering isn’t as good, the ride quality, even with the Mag Ride, isn’t as good, the throttle response is odd, compared to the Escalade. They feel very different and it becomes apparent why people spend the extra money. This isn’t me test driving them and forming an opinion based on a 10 minute test drive. This is me OWNING both.

    I will say I like the way the Yukon Denali looks. So there’s that.

    Sure most of you will dismiss my “anecdote” and fall back on your confirmation biases (Err buy here pay here in 2 years! Big wheels! Stereos! Big Wheels! Rappers!) But that doesn’t dismiss the fact that there are many happy customers who buy these cars that could care less about these ridiculous stereotypes and tropes.

    I live in an upper middle class neighborhood in a major metro area on the east coast. There was one Yukon Denali in my neighborhood and I was the owner until we sold it and bought our second Escalade. There’s quite a few Escalades, RRs, and MB GLSs.

    I haven’t seen an Escalade with aftermarket wheels in years around here. Maybe that’s the case where YOU live.

    JC, some of you really need to get out more.

  • avatar

    A big fan of the Michelin A/S 3+ Have great tread wear for a performance a/s and very good brake performance also. Easily matched performance of my older Pilot summers from the early 2000’s with the added safety of shoulder season use.

    Heavy SUV use may make tires vary greatly due to weight and suspension setup. Putting way more wear onto tires. I drive sedans with usually on uprated sports suspensions. I usually exceed any tread wear ratings. Also manual transmission means I ride the brakes less.

  • avatar

    What Cadillac needs is a return to Eldorado styling. But instead of a FWD personal luxury coupe, make it a RWD personal luxury wagon – but keep it a 2 door, like the Nomad, with an AWD option. It’s sell like pumpkin spice lattes.

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