The modern day luxury car of choice is no longer a graceful silhouette of a sedan. Instead it’s the larger-than-life personality which exudes from a massive SUV. The wealthiest corners of the world are filled to the brim with various luxury SUVs. And our appetite for them shows no signs of slowing down.
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The new 2021 Cadillac Escalade is perhaps the harbinger for the luxury SUV of the future. That’s in part because of its keen-eyed focus on technology, along with removing clutter. Now that is indeed a brave departure from the Escalade that we have known. But Cadillac did put its heart and soul into its most prized possession, since the Escalade is not just another SUV.
Cadillac Escalade: “Super cruise” feature
It can be said that the Escalade flew the flag for the big and brutish American luxury SUV along with being the symbol of success. Previous versions have been a major profit base for Cadillac. So it was back to the drawing board to change the recipe, yet keep the essence of the old one still alive.
The luxury SUV sector is no longer playing second fiddle to the sedan in terms of gadgetry as well as innovation. The new Escalade has augmented reality-based navigation while no less than four exterior cameras provide a birds-eye view of the vehicle’s surroundings.
There is also night vision. But the biggest highlight has to be its “super cruise” feature. That’s where you can indulge in hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways in the United States and Canada, using LiDAR map data, GPS, a driver attention system and a suite of cameras and radar sensors.
Woven fabric and wood veneers
All that technology is indeed impressive. And the luxury bit is well taken care of as well with a surprising amount of restraint shown in the cabin design. It is a pleasing blend of well-thought-out materials. But the 38 inches of curved OLED display is what gives the interior an edge over its German and American peers. The cabin has a smooth and uncluttered look while apparently having a pixel density which is double than that of a 4k television.
All those vast touch panels are wrapped around custom-woven fabric and wood veneers. The amount of personalization offered is also high. There is no less than eight colour and trim choices in the Cadillac Escalade. You can get unique seat designs or select among custom perforation and quilting patterns.
Audiophiles would be pleased to know that it has a 36-speaker AKG audio system and this is exclusive to the big Caddy. Other amenities include soft close doors, a refrigerator, ambient lighting and more.
Other benefits bestowed on the new Cadillac Escalade has to be the new architecture which introduces a longer wheelbase. That brings in a massive increase in both legroom and luggage space.
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A beast: 6.2L, V-8 gas engine
Amidst this wave of radical change, potential owners of the new Escalade can seek solace in the fact that the power train underneath that massive hood happens to be a 6.2L V-8 gas engine – albeit included with a stop/start and dynamic fuel management. Unlike the Hummer, the Escalade continues to be powered by conventional engines. But that suits the character of the car.
Those looking for a more frugal option will go for the diesel. No matter what engine you choose a 10-speed automatic transmission is standard along with a bevy of suspension upgrades, plus four-wheel drive of course.
We haven’t yet discussed the styling because it is not a radical shift. The designers instead play to their strengths. Its gargantuan proportions are not hard to miss. And those 22-inch wheels are a necessity rather than an indulgence from the options list.
The styling follows the ‘V-shaped’ Cadillac design language right down to its lighting, while the surfacing is clean and sleeker. Amongst the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims offered there is also Sport model with a black mesh grille.
Overall the new Cadillac Escalade marks a paradigm shift for this luxury behemoth. For the first time, it can stand tall against with the very best among its American and German competition.
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