How Much Is A Cadillac Escalade? A Complete Guide On Prices And Features
Cadillac Escalade has been on the market for less than 25 years. Despite its relatively youthful vintage, it has firmly implanted itself into the luxury car Hall of Fame, and proven that the American car industry is capable of competing with its European rivals when it comes to pure unadulterated extravagance.
At heart, the Escalade was an answer to Mercedes-Benz’s M-Class and the Range Rover. Except, it was also fundamentally American in its approach.
Whereas Mercedes-Benz designed the M-Class in proportion to the Tate European roads it would travel down, and British Leyland intended the Range Rover for use by farmers in muddy English fields, General Motors had other ideas. With the Escalade, it pandered to the All-American desire for personal space, as well as it's casual disregard for fuel economy.
That is to say it's big. You would expect as much from a full-size SUV. But where it differs from similarly proportioned vehicles — like the GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe — is an unapologetic emphasis on extravagance. And, over four generations, the Chevrolet Escalade has become one of the most iconic and desirable vehicles in US history.
A Brief History of the Escalade
The Cadillac Escalade was born out of a sense of panic. GM’s long-standing luxury brand was facing fierce competition from International arrivals, as well as fellow Michigan native Ford, which was rapidly gaining market share with the Lincoln Navigator.
Building a brand new clean sheet car design takes time. General Motors didn't have any. And so, in an act of desperation, it took the frame of the GMC Yukon Denali and heavily modified it. The underlying platform was virtually identical to its ancestor, with the only real points of differentiation found in the cabin, which was given the Cadillac treatment.
Perhaps predictably, the first generation Cadillac Escalade didn’t last long on the market, and was replaced just two years later in 2001. Again, General Motors saved time by repurposing an existing design — in this case, the GMT800 platform used on the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC trucks — but was able to pay closer attention to the finer details, giving the Escalade an upgraded power train with powerful 5.3L and 6L V8 engines at the heart, and a cabin that was stretched to accommodate up to eight people.
General Motors understood that as a luxury car, would-be buyers of the Cadillac Escalade had certain expectations. These were met with high-end finishes that included a Bulgari clock on the 2003 model, and technological niceties that were genuinely ahead of its time, such as a touchscreen satellite navigation system, a DVD player with wireless headphones, and OnStar telematics.
It also started offering a stretched version of the already-large Escalade, dubbed the Escalade ESV. This variant remains available today.
Three more generations followed after that. The third, introduced in 2007 and based on the GMT900 platform, eventually brought with it a hybrid variant. Although standard combustion models dominated sales, this was relatively good timing, as it coincided with a period of high oil prices, as well as a growing public enthusiasm for hybrid (and later, all-electric) driving.
In 2015, General Motors introduced the fourth generation, which represented a major redesign for the Escalade. The overall chassis was shortened, although it remained firmly within the full-size SUV trenches. Similarly, the interior saw a modern redesign, with the dashboard and infotainment systems enlarged, and additional safety features added for good measure. These included lane-assistance and 360-degree camera coverage.
Finally, there’s the fifth-generation Cadillac Escalade, which saw a 2021 introduction. Based on the GMT1xx platform, this introduced self driving features, and a new 3 L diesel engine option. General Motors is expected to release an all-electric version of the Escalade in 2024, although pricing and performance has not yet been announced.
As with previous models, the fifth-generation doesn’t come cheap. How much is a Cadillac Escalade, you ask?
The Escalade comes in five trim levels, these are priced as follows:
The 2021 Cadilac Escalade:
- Luxury ($77,890)
- Premium Luxury ($84,890)
- Sport ($87,590)
- Premium Luxury Platinum ($102,290)
- Sport Platinum ($102,290)
The 2021 Cadilac Escalade ESV
- Luxury ($80,890)
- Premium Luxury ($87,890)
- Sport ($90,590)
- Premium Luxury Platinum ($105,290)
- Sport Platinum ($105,290)
Buying A Used Cadillac Escalade
As is the case with many luxury cars, the Cadillac Escalade is keenly affected by the forces of depreciation. If you’re willing to buy used, you can easily find a recent-year model Escalade for a fraction of the cost of buying new.
Take, for example, this 2016 Cadillac Escalade, which retails on Shift for $43,250. This model is a little over half the cost of the entry-level 2021 year model. However, it comes with the Platinum trim, which includes all of the optional extras available that year, plus DVD headrests on the rear seats.
And it is still an Escalade. That means incredible performance, delivered by its fierce 6.2L V8 engine (which, admittedly is a bit of a gas-guzzler, with a mere 14MPG EPA rating for city roads), as well as a comfortable and spacious interior with room for seven seats.
Those hoping to find a ride with a few less miles on the odometer might want to consider a relatively youthful 2018 model year, where prices hover around the $55,000 mark. An example Escalade in that category comes with the mid-range Premium Luxury trim, which packs in a generous amount of features and technology.
And, for the more performance minded, it also introduces a new 10-speed automatic transmission, which should deliver more fluid transitions as you change speed.
As with all cars, Shift makes buying your next Cadillac Escalade easy.
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
July 12, 2021
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.