By on April 16, 2020

gm

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.

gm

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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28 Comments on “Report: 2021 Cadillac Escalade to Offer Extra MPGs for No Extra Dollars...”


  • avatar
    cprescott

    What a shame the Cadihack Escalator continues to look like a Chevrolet for tens of thousands of extra dollars. That design doesn’t work at all – that front looks a total mess and the side looks like a Chevrolet with a $2 chrome piece tacked onto the c-pillar. What a joke. The inside is the best looking Cadihack interior in the last two decades, but that is not saying much.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    With each incarnation the Escalade gets a little bit less distinctive, yeah I know it was over the top for a long time, but that’s why people bought it

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I agree. The big visual pizzazz is pretty much gone as is the cool raked stance of the prior gens.
      The nicer interior and increased interior volume may offset it, but Cadillac is obviously going after a kinder, gentler customer here.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        Let us all remember, GM, and the Cadillac team (people just clustered in a cubicle area) did not make a full-size Cadillac SUV till Lincoln did it circa late 1990. Let’s lower our expectations for them, during this time or real thinking/decisions are needed.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    How to make your $100k Cadillac slow and stinky, in one easy step.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Are they calling the engine the Blackstink?

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    The limo companies will be pleased, as for them the diesel would make sense in terms of the additional MPG and in theory longevity. Though the durability of the 6.2 is nothing to sneeze at either. In the end, the 6.2 will probably need less costly maintenance, which in diesel will eat the cost savings in fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      While a diesel without SCR/urea doesn’t get bothered by sitting and idling all they long, the new diesels need to be driven long and hard on the hwy, otherwise regeneration doesn’t complete which means early failures. Great as a family car used for long distance crusing ( more than 100 mile trips). Probably a fuel sipper ( 27-29 mpg easily achieved and it is great for such a heavy beast) and wonderful hwy cruiser.

    • 0 avatar
      ThomasSchiffer

      If you use a modern Diesel engine for short distances only, you are asking for an early death of that engine. As I understand it, it’s not the engine which is at fault, but the particulate filter which can clog up due to not reaching its optimal operating temperature. The particulate filter needs heat to regenerate and cleanse itself. Diesels naturally take longer to get warm (40 km+) and so will their particulate filters.

      If your driving journeys are short, do not buy a diesel. For long distance driving at high speeds (like on the German Autobahn), nothing beats the power and efficiency of a modern Diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        The EGR systems as well. The cooler these engines run, the more spot builds up. Since most of that is stopped by the DPF, everything upstream of the DPF gets plugged up.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The most tasteful Escalade to date………a perfect example of how less is usually more.

    I suspect GM will sell a lot of these oil burner FS SUV’s to people that tow regularly.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Local fuel prices:

    93 octane: $1.79

    ULSD: $2.59

    Yeah, this will be a tough sell to anyone who has ever driven a 6.2L equipped vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Carrera

      Obviously these fuel prices are an anomaly. I wouldn’t make a vehicle purchase decision on how much gas is today. In normal circumstances, in the whole state of Florida, diesel price is on par with 89 fuel, sometimes slightly less.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Depends where you live I guess.

        In the Midwest, 93 premium has been close to or less than diesel for pretty much the last 5-6 years. The spread now is obviously wider than its ever been, but at the same time, I don’t see a realistic path where diesel becomes cheaper than gas any time soon.

        Basically buying this is asking me to give up 150 hp for an uncertain return. The diesel doesn’t tow better, it costs more in maintenance, I wouldn’t make any bets on its longevity, I’d take serious exception to anyone saying it drove better, it’s obviously slower, so the only purported benefit is saving money on fuel. Leaving aside how ridiculous it is to buy a $80-100K SUV and worry about a few bucks per tank, right now I might not even get that benefit. So who is this really for?

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “The diesel doesn’t tow better, ”

          Yes, it probably does. Have never owned a diesel truck but I’ve towed with enough of them to know that as a general rule they outperform a gasser every time when it comes to towing . My bet is the I6 diesel will get the job done with much less effort and drama than the 6.2 and make for a much more comfortable towing experience.

          But until you have the opportunity to hook the same RV, Boat, enclosed race car trailer or whatever to each and do a back to back towing comparison you can’t hardly know what will tow better.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Diesels will tend to tow at lower RPMs, which for most people is more “comfortable” and exhaust brakes are nice to have. Plus there will usually be an MPG benefit for some longer range. If someone buying an Escalade is planning to do *a lot* of 5,000+lb enclosed trailer towing then the 3.0L is probably worth a look.

            However, I think “diesel is better” is a loaded conclusion. The chassis, brakes, and suspension will also have a big impact on towing. I’d personally much rather tow 8,000 lbs of RV with a Silverado 2500 gasser than a Silverado 1500 diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            I actually have owned a diesel truck and several gassers and towed with them all.

            It’s true that comparing towing with a 3/4 ton diesel to gasser will be favorable to the diesel every time. They have more hp and much more torque down low. That is not the case here. The 6.2L has 400 lb-ft at 2500 rpm, just behind the diesel. It has 150 more hp up high. It is rated to tow more in the pickups than the I6 is. The heavier weight of the diesel engine will reduce payload which limits trailer weight. I have absolutely zero reservation saying the gas engine is a better towing partner than an undersized fuel economy focused diesel.

  • avatar

    I think Tellureed has better mpg and has more luxurious interior and exterior. And comes with manual transmission/brown color too.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    That is what I have heard as well that if you don’t drive much or drive only short distances then a diesel is not worth the cost and are more prone to problems. Diesels are good for those who do a lot of driving especially interstate driving–great for limo services.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    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.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    “Extra MPGs”

    Who cares at this price range?

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