The all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade elevates the luxury SUV game with an ultra-comfortable ride, beautiful interior, and loads of latest technology. Nathan and I test this Premium Luxury model which starts out at around $88,000 but will reach above $100,000 with all the options you see here. One of these options is the new Augmented Reality (AR) Camera system. This is a high-resolution front-facing camera that displays the video in the gauge cluster screen with driving instructions overlay (when in navigation mode). We want to drive around our closed course track (IMI Motorsports) using the camera alone. Please do not try this at home.
The challenge is: drive the approximately 1-mile closed course with a blocked windshield and side glass. Nathan is behind the wheel and I am in the rear seat. We take a reconnaissance lap, and then Nathan goes for a “fast lap”. You watch the video on the TFLtruck channel for all the nauseating fun.
2021 Cadillac Escalade
The all-new Escalade rides on a new chassis that it shares with the new GMC Yukon and the new Chevy Tahoe. This is a truck platform that is modified to receive an independent rear suspension. All of GM’s new full-size SUVs benefit from the all-independent suspension, optional air springs, and optional magnetic ride shocks. Over the last two months, I had the privilege to drive and review the new Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac SUVs. The air suspension and the magnetic ride shocks on the Escalade are by far the most comfortable and floaty of them all. This is a great thing for a premium American SUV. Not all SUVs must have a really firm and sporty ride.
We take this comfy-riding big SUV on the track for a lap with the AR Camera. The resolution and the visibility are very good, although the stabilized camera view does not really match the motion and SUV. The AR Camera is NOT meant to be used as the sole vision source for the driver. Once again, we perform the test in a controlled environment and a closed course.
The AR Camera is not the only new advanced feature for the new 2021 Escalade. The lux-machine also offers a night vision camera (not available on our tester) and a semi-autonomous driving Super Cruise mode (not available on the Escalade until 2021). The high-resolution front camera is also helps the Super Cruise system to perform its semi-autonomous driving functions on pre-mapped highways.
Take a look at this detailed review (video below) of the new Escalade that shows the elegant 38-inch curved OLED digital screen, the optional 36-speaker AKG stereo system, beautifully done interior, soft-close doors, and more. Cadillac redesigned everything on this Escalade with the exception of the 6.2-liter V8 engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine still produces 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The optional 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel I6 power plant is coming a little later.
The Escalade has the luxury, the comfy ride, and the technology – it also needs an especially powerful powertrain to differentiate it from the rest and make it even quicker. The new Lincoln Navigator offers 450 horsepower. The new Mercedes-Benz GLS offers 483 horsepower or more.
Here is our “blind” driving attempt.