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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
report 2021 cadillac escalade to offer extra mpgs for no extra dollars

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]

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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?

  • Jeff S Some of us don't care either way we are not into this type of car. Most of these will be stored in garages waiting for their value to go up. As someone above noted this is an old body style which is retro 70s Challenger which after researching it came out in the 2008 MY which means a long run for a model that is in its 16th year. I have always liked these but if I bought one I would not spend this kind of money on one probably get the V-6 version and use it as a family car but then I am not into drag racing or muscle cars. For the type of car it is it has a decent rear seat and not too bad of a trunk. Most of us are not going to spend 100k for any vehicle at least currently so its not something most of us will buy and stick in a garage waiting for its value to increase. I am glad that these editions came out for those who can afford them and it keeps a little more color into what has become a very dull vehicle market but then with age I pick the dull appliance like reliable vehicle because that's what I need. Impressive car but not for me.
  • Jonathan The Germans. So organized they can appear disorganized. I agree with some others, classic names like Thunderbird, Imperial, Grand Prix, Ambassador etc. just have more appeal.
  • Bobbysirhan A friend had one when they first came out. He was CFO of some green California company and could charge the Volt at work. At home, the PHEV gave him an excuse to make his wife park her nicer car outdoors while the Volt get their condo's one-car garage. He liked the Volt, and he spent very little on energy during the 'first one's free!' era of EV ownership. Of course, the green company went bust soon after, and he wound up with a job that involved far more driving and ultimately the need for a more substantial car. I drove the Volt once after his wife had made a return trip to Los Angeles, depleting the battery. I don't know what a first gen Volt drives like with a charged battery, but it was really gutless with two adults, a yellow lab, and a dead battery. My other memory of it was that it had a really cramped back seat for a car that was about as large as a Civic. My friend who bought it liked it though, and that's not always been the case for GM vehicles.
  • MrIcky I think the Shakedown is more my speed of the last call editions- but this is impressive.
  • Dukeisduke I tried watching the live reveal last night, but after 15 minutes of jawing by MT+ personalities (and yes, I like Chris Jacobs and Alex Taylor), I turned it off.