New Cadillac Escalade's Fuel Economy Isn't Great

Trucks / 19 Comments

In fact, it's even less fuel efficient than its predecessor.

It's doubtful fuel economy is at the top of your priorities list if you're shopping the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Gas costs a mere pittance for the sort of person who can comfortably afford the mammoth luxury-mobile's $77,490 starting price, on top of which, gasoline is still rather cheap at the moment.

Even still, we were surprised to see that the all-new, 2021 Cadillac Escalade actually appears to be less fuel-efficient overall than its predecessor, according to the new EPA test numbers that were just released. The 2021 Escalade 4WD manages just 16 mpg on the combined cycle - 1 mpg shy of the 2020 model with four-wheel-drive.

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Meanwhile, the new Cadillac Escalade 2WD achieves the same 17 mpg as the 2020 model, and ekes out one extra mile per gallon in city driving, but falls 3 mpg short of its forebear on the highway. The new 4WD model comes up 2 mpg shy of last year's SUV on the highway.

All of these numbers are with GM's 420-horsepower, 6.2L EcoTec3 gasoline V8 and 10-speed automatic, raising questions about what, exactly, happened. The full-size SUV didn't see its curb weight change drastically, despite all its extra equipment and a switch from a live rear axle to an independent rear suspension.

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Whatever the cause, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade's less-than-stellar EPA fuel economy testing, those who genuinely are concerned about fuel consumption will have a 3.0L turbo-diesel engine available as a no-cost option. Fuel economy numbers for that mill aren't yet available, but all else being equal, diesels manage significantly better fuel economy than their spark-ignition peers.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will be built at the same Arlington, Texas assembly plant that will assemble the GMC Yukon, and the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. All four model lines received a top-to-bottom redesign for 2021, incorporating a brand new frame and an independent rear suspension configuration for improved on-road ride and handling.

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