Report: 2021 Cadillac Escalade to Offer Extra MPGs for No Extra Dollars

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

While it remains to be seen whether the revamped 2021 Cadillac Escalade enters production on schedule this summer, other details about General Motors’s loftiest SUV have begun leaking out.

One item concerns the vehicle’s price, while the other tidbit might interest those who have a difficult time separating their eco-consciousness from their economic reality.

As reported Wednesday by GM Authority, the longer and more spacious ’21 Escalade will carry a starting price of $76,195. That price, which represents a $1,000 climb from the 2020 model, gets you into the base Luxury trim in rear-drive guise.

It isn’t known what adding all-wheel drive will set you back, but moving up to the Premium Luxury trim will cost at least $85,695, while going the Sport route carries a price tag of $85,595 to start. Both of those trims can be had with the high-zoot Platinum Package, shoving prices north of the six-figure mark.

Even with Cadillac’s flagship, there’s always a way to spend more. However, it seems the same sentiment doesn’t apply to powertrains.

Like its Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon platform mates, the upcoming Escalade offers an optional 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six diesel to go with its standard 6.2-liter V8 (Caddy doesn’t bother with the base 5.3-liter V8 found in its lesser siblings) and 10-speed automatic. Today, sources with knowledge of GM’s pricing plans told GM Authority that getting into an oil-burner Escalade won’t add a penny of cost.

If true, it’s likely a perk of the badge. With a much loftier price encompassing the greater level of standard content and having only the largest V8 under hood, the Escalade’s margins are likely broad enough to accommodate an engine that would otherwise pack a premium. While full pricing of the Tahoe and Yukon aren’t yet available, in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (a pickup Chris took a shining to in Duramax form), moving up to the 3.0L six carries a premium of just under $2,500 when you start out with a 5.3L V8, or nearly $3,900 when starting out with the don’t-call-it-a-four-cylinder 2.7-liter turbo.

Despite a horsepower figure that falls far short of the vaunted 6.2L (277 vs 420), the light-duty Duramax matched it for torque (460 lb-ft). For the average Escalade owner, who’s far more likely to add endless interstate mileage than put its towing capacity to the test, the diesel should be just fine for pulling power. More miles to the gallon for no extra cost would be a perk for consumers, but it would also help bolster GM’s limited green cred.

Swapping the 6.2-liter V8 for a 3.0-liter diesel nets a Silverado 1500 4×4 buyer an extra 8 mpg on the EPA combined driving cycle and 10 mpg on the highway, so it’s not an insignificant improvement.

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Crosley Crosley on Apr 17, 2020

    Why on Earth would someone want a diesel Escalade? I guess towing, so the .01% that bought these $100k SUVs that thought the 6.2l was insufficient I guess will be happy. Whatever fuel savings will be easily offset repairing and maintaining with the absurd emissions equipment that comes with a modern diesel.

  • Detroit-X Detroit-X on Apr 17, 2020

    "Extra MPGs" Who cares at this price range?

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.
  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand