If you’re in the market for a big luxury SUV, odds are you know what you’re in for when it comes to fuel economy. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is big and it’s thirty, and that comes with the territory. Official EPA figures are in for the all-new model, but it’s a mixed bag when you look at it against its predecessor, as well as against its competition.
So, here are the headline figures: the 2021 Cadillac Escalade scores a rating of 15 City / 20 Highway / 17 Combined mpg in its rear-wheel drive form. Spring for the four-wheel drive version, and you should get 14 City / 19 Highway / 16 Combined mpg. According to the EPA’s ratings, that means the new Escalade is actually less efficient than its predecessor.
It more or less matches the Yukon, but…
As you’d expect, those figures are more or less on par with the 2021 Chevy Tahoe and the GMC Yukon. However, even with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque from its 6.2-liter V8 and a 10-speed automatic transmission, it’s not as efficient as the Lincoln Navigator. That manages up to 22 mpg on the highway, while even the V8-powered BMW X7 xDrive50i manages 21 mpg. Only the Infiniti QX80 fares worse, at just 14 City / 20 Highway / 16 Combined mpg.
Fortunately, GM’s latest crop of SUVs have an ace up their sleeves: a 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel. Official EPA numbers aren’t available for that yet, but it should be substantially more efficient than the big gas V8. It also manages the same torque, at 460 lb-ft, while also making 277 horsepower. The diesel Silverado’s rated fuel economy is about 32 percent higher than the 6.2 V8 in four-wheel drive configuration. Once that engine comes into play, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade could wind up being the most efficient big SUV out there.
The new Escalade will go on sale in the next few months, with prices starting at $77,490 (including Cadillac’s $1,295 destination charge). The larger Escalade ESV will run you another $3,000, at $80,490.