Vehicles

2021 Cadillac Escalade Abounds With More Legroom

Martin Romjue
Posted on February 10, 2020
Cadillac CEO Steve Carlisle introduced the 2021 Cadillac Escalade on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 at the SUV's first vehicle debut at Red Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles. (photo: Martin Romjue)

Cadillac CEO Steve Carlisle introduced the 2021 Cadillac Escalade on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 at the SUV's first vehicle debut at Red Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles. (photo: Martin Romjue)

LOS ANGELES — The Cadillac Escalade has historically held the highest prestige status in chauffeured luxury fleets since it first entered the market in 1999-2000. Over the last two decades, it has caught the loyalty of many a VIP, celebrity, corporate executive, or any number of clients wanting to be associated with a hipster image.

The new-generation Escalade for the 2021 MY takes the automaker’s most successful model and builds on a tradition of ratcheting up the luxury rider bar, with the latest in technology, safety, and comfort.

Cadillac’s completely redesigned top-of-the-line SUV rolled out to media view for the first time on Feb. 4 in Soundstage No. 5 at Red Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles. The press event featured actor-director Spike Lee who drove onto a rotating platform stage to officially start telling the story of the Escalade for a new decade.

Academy Award winning actor-director Spike Lee tells the story of the new generation Escalade. (photo: Cadillac)

Academy Award winning actor-director Spike Lee tells the story of the new generation Escalade. (photo: Cadillac)

Space In Spades
The big bonus for chauffeured-limo operators is the greater legroom and cargo space compared to previous generations of the SUV. At a time when chauffeured fleets must markedly differentiate themselves from the ride-hail rabble, the 2021 Escalade completely embodies all the right chauffeured advantages and creates first-class experiences.

A new architecture and chassis technologies have made possible 40% more third-row legroom and a 68% increase in maximum cargo space behind the third row in the standard-length model (see fact box for stats). Third-row legroom increases more than 10 inches, giving Escalade one of the roomiest third rows in the segment.

Carlisle and Lee pose for a photo opp following the rollout. (photo: Cadillac)

Carlisle and Lee pose for a photo opp following the rollout. (photo: Cadillac)

The dramatic increases in passenger and cargo space are due primarily to a longer wheelbase and overall vehicle length, compared to the previous model, as well as a new independent rear suspension, which enables a lower interior floor — features that improve comfort by allowing easier access to the second and third rows, as well as angling a more natural seating position for third-row occupants.

“There is something special about driving an Escalade,” said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac president in prepared remarks. “It has the bold presence and exclusive technology to elevate the extraordinary and make every drive feel like an occasion.”

The event’s “storytelling experience” theme was timely since the vehicle premiered just days before the annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 9, when numerous Escalades deposit and retrieve Hollywood luminaries for the Oscars and after-parties.

Escalade Proves Profitable For Operators
An informal survey of limo operators shows the Escalade retains its pricing perch as one of the most profitable chauffeured vehicles, with all-in hourly rates ranging from $92 to $235.

Chauffeured Qualities
Here are some highlights of interest to operators about the elite luxury chariot, which enters production in the third quarter at the Cadillac plant in Arlington, Texas, and hits sales showrooms late this year:

  • Escalade’s new multilink independent rear suspension is composed of three lateral arms, a large longitudinal arm, coil springs, and a robust stabilizer bar, all of which enable the ride sophistication and isolating characteristics typically associated with smaller vehicles but scaled for the superior capability requirements of a full-size luxury SUV.
  • Enhanced driving dynamics with a new independent rear suspension and available Magnetic Ride Control, Air Ride Adaptive Suspension, and Electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD)
  • An electric motor pulls each door closed to its primary position, after it has been closed over its secondary latch position, eliminating hard door slams.
  • The industry-first curved organic LED screen technology. OLED offers 38 inches of total diagonal dashboard display area, with twice the pixel density of a 4K television. The technology delivers bold imagery, perfect blacks and the largest color range of any automotive display in production today. It has 15 million tiny pixels to create sharpness.
  • Augmented Reality-enabled navigation, which uses live street views with directional overlays and more to enhance driving directions.
  • Rear camera mirror that streams a rear-facing camera view on the conventional inside mirror screen.
  • Night Vision, an available feature that uses infrared technology to enhance forward visibility, including detection of pedestrians and large animals, projected on the center cluster display.
  • The dramatic increases in passenger and cargo space are due primarily to a longer wheelbase and longer overall vehicle length, compared to the previous model. (photo: Martin Romjue/LCT)

    The dramatic increases in passenger and cargo space are due primarily to a longer wheelbase and longer overall vehicle length, compared to the previous model. (photo: Martin Romjue/LCT)

    New rear-seat entertainment features a pair of 12.6-inch-diagonal independent touch displays with navigation as well as streaming capability to play games, music, and videos through HDMI and USB inputs. The screens can also mirror Android smartphones. Additionally, destination “suggestions” can be “sent” by rear passengers to the front navigation screen for the driver to accept or decline.
  • AKG Studio Reference system, 36 speakers powered by three amplifiers that deliver 28 channels, for an immersive sound experience.
  • Vehicle communication is enhanced for front and rear passengers as their voices are captured by embedded microphones and reproduced in the designated zone using the 36-speaker system.
  • The 2021 Escalade enters the future of mobility as the first full-size SUV with Super Cruise driver assistance technology. It enables hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways in the U.S. and Canada, using LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a state-of-the-art driver attention system, and a network of cameras and radar sensors.
  • The automotive media horde descends upon the new Escalade after the preesentation for hot shots and selfies. (photo: Cadillac)

    The automotive media horde descends upon the new Escalade after the preesentation for hot shots and selfies. (photo: Cadillac)

    Automated lane change will allow the driver to direct the system to perform a single lane change using the turn signal to indicate the direction of the desired move. Super Cruise’s driver attention system helps keep drivers engaged by detecting and signaling when drivers need to pay more attention to the road.
  • A new 6.2L V-8 engine comes as standard. With variable valve timing, stop/start and dynamic fuel management technologies, it balances performance with its 420 horsepower.
  • For the first time ever, the Escalade also offers an available 3.0L turbo-diesel engine, which is designed to produce strong torque across the power band for confident performance and trailering capability. Its peak torque matches the 6.2L V-8. Both engines are matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control.

Complete Cadillac press release here

The '21 Escalade brings 40% more third-row legroom and a 68% increase in maximum cargo space behind the third row in the standard-length model.

The '21 Escalade brings 40% more third-row legroom and a 68% increase in maximum cargo space behind the third row in the standard-length model.

FAST FACTS: 2021 Cadillac Escalade
Engine: 6.2L V-8 VVT DI with Dynamic Fuel Management and Stop/Start
Horsepower: 420 / 313 @ 5600 (SAE certified)
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 10L80 10-speed automatic
Wheelbases: 120.9 in./standard; 134.1 ESV
Wheel size: 22-in. aluminum
Legroom (Escalade/ESV):
Second row: 41.7 in.
Third row: 34.9 in./36.6 in.
Cargo room (Escalade/ESV)
Behind second row: 63 cu.ft./81.5 cu.ft.
Behind third row: 25.5 cu.ft./42.9 cu.ft.

Related Topics: Cadillac, Cadillac Escalade, new vehicles, onboard amenities, SUVs, vehicle debut, vehicle interiors

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