2021 Cadillac Escalade Diesel first drive review: Oil tycoon

The new Cadillac Escalade is very good. General Motors’ new Duramax inline-six diesel engine is also very good. Combine the two and, whaddaya you know, the diesel Escalade is very, very good. But the excellence of this SUV goes beyond a plug-and-play formula.

Review editor Craig Cole was right when he called the Escalade “a top model to be proud of“and, perhaps unexpectedly, the addition of the diesel engine only adds to the experience of super luxury. It’s quiet, smooth and powerful, lending itself perfectly to the Escalade’s sweeping and powerful demeanor. Plus, it delivers on Caddy’s bigger boy a true fuel economy and not having to stop for fuel all the time is a nice little luxury in and of itself.

The 3.0-liter I6 diesel produces 277 horsepower and, more importantly, 460 pound-feet of torque.

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The diesel powertrain in question is the 3.0-liter Duramax I6 you’ll find in GM’s full-size trucks and SUVs, everything from the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban to GMC Sierra To collect. This engine delivers 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, which is more than enough to move the nearly three-ton Escalade with authority. The 460 lb-ft number matches that of Cadillac’s other choice of engines, GM’s 6.2-liter gas-powered V8 engine. But thanks to the diesel’s very low power delivery characteristics, you can dip into the engine’s maximum torque at just 1,500rpm, rather than cranking up to 4,100rpm with the V8.

A 10-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting tasks and mostly goes well. The best thing about a diesel is the aforementioned low-end torque, but the 10AT is still prone to needlessly downshifting from time to time. This engine doesn’t really like running and sounds a little rough when it does. But if you’re kind to your throttle applications, the transmission isn’t as eager to jump, so consider it an added reward for smooth driving behavior.

All in all, the EPA says a rear-wheel drive 3.0-liter diesel-powered Escalade should return 21 miles per gallon in the city, 27mpg on the highway, and 23mpg combined. That’s a big improvement over the V8’s 15mpg city, 20mpg highway, and 17mpg combined ratings, though, of course, diesel fuel is slightly more expensive. The addition of four-wheel drive decreases each fuel economy number by 1mpg across the board. Take it easy and theoretically you should be able to top a whopping 500 miles per tank. Diesel Escalades can also tow 300 pounds more than their gas equivalents, for a maximum rating of 8,000 pounds with a two-wheel drive model.

The Escalade has some of the best interior technologies in the luxury SUV space.

Steven Ewing / Roadshow

Uninterrupted, effortless power is why the diesel engine enhances the luxury factor of the Escalade. I love a good American gas V8 and all, but there is something so serene about being able to gradually step on the accelerator and have a surge of diesel torque that gently pushes you forward. Especially in combination with the standard adaptive air suspension of my Premium Luxury Platinum tester (all words!) And GM’s adorable Magnetic Ride Control, the Escalade diesel is an incredibly comfortable cruiser – easy to drive and not as heavy as it could possibly be. suggest his great stature. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive this thing from LA to NYC and back. And with the options of the Escalade Super Cruise Hands-Free Driving Assistance Technology ($ 2,500), it would also be a breeze.

The addition of the diesel engine changes nothing else on the Escalade. It’s the same huge and beautiful SUV regardless of the powertrain. Diesel models get a 600D badge on the tailgate, referencing Cadillac’s stupid naming system with metric torque rounded to the nearest multiple of 50. Actually, wait, I can’t even call it a naming system, since ” 600D “does not appear anywhere on the vehicle window sticker and you will not find it while trying to research or build an Escalade online. the badge is useless.

The interior of the Escalade is also the same and is very nice indeed. This is definitely one of Cadillac’s – and GM’s – best cabs to date, with comfortable seats, soft leather surfaces, and a clean, modern design. However it is not perfect. The wood trim on the dashboard and doors is covered in a glossy, sticky finish, which makes these accents look cheap and feel cheaper, and oddly enough there are no matte or metallic options available. A bunch of secondary switchgear is also pulled out of the generic GM parts container, which is fine on a Tahoe, but far less acceptable on an Escalade.

Where this Cadillac takes a huge step forward is in the technical department. Three incredibly clear and crisp curved OLED panels extend 38 inches across the dashboard, giving drivers and passengers a fully digital view of vehicle functions, driving data and multimedia information. The 16.9-inch main infotainment display responds quickly to inputs and has an easy-to-learn menu structure, with built-in navigation and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. wireless Apple CarPlay is Android Auto they are also standard, but Cadillac’s latest interface is intuitive enough that I rarely feel like relying on my iPhone’s software.

All standard and optional equipment of the Cadillac Escalade 2021 are carried over without even a price difference. That’s right, the Duramax 3.0-liter I6 is a free option, can be had with two or four-wheel drive, and is available on all Escalade trim from $ 77,490 Luxury to $ 101,290 Sport Platinum (prices include $ 1,295 per destination ). That makes diesel a pretty easy sell as far as I’m concerned. Increased fuel economy, added towing capacity and easy, airy handling make the Caddy flagship more compelling.