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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A brown and a white 2021 Cadillac Escalade are parked in front of a reflective building in the desert.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade In All Its Luxury

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade comes in two main models, the regular Escalade and the Escalade ESV. Each of those models have their own trims, too. This can get confusing very quickly. If you’re searching your local Cadillac dealership for the newest Escalade model you may need to look for some help from the dealer. You may be confused about the differences between these two Escalades and all their trim differences, and you’re wondering which one fits your needs. That’s why we’re here to help. In this guide, you’ll see spec comparisons between the standard Escalade and the ESV. Some of these differences are subtle, while others are more discrete. Furthermore, we’ll talk about some things they both have in common, while taking a look at different upgrade packages. We want to make this as simple as possible. So, without further ado, let’s dive on into the 2021 Escalade.


Both the standard Escalade and the ESV come with 5 different trim types. Each trim comes with either gas-powered or diesel-powered engines, and either two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) options. To make things less confusing, two engine options of either gas or diesel are the same for every trim, whether you choose 2WD or 4WD. You can either pick a 6.2-liter V8 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission, or a 3.0-liter Duramax Turbo diesel engine. Needless to say, this shows that even the smallest Escalade packs power. Yet, the largest Escalade packs the same engine, so upgrading size is strictly for cargo purposes and personal preference. Body size doesn’t impact engine size in this case.

Interior Comparisons

The standard Escalade gets up to 121-cubic feet of cargo space, which is impressive within itself. However, the ESV has up to 142-cubic feet of cargo space, which is over 20 more cubic feet than the standard version. Both vehicles seat up to 7 people, so seating space is the same across models. The ESV is the better option if you’re looking for more hauling room, but otherwise, you won’t need to spend the extra cash. The interiors are generally the same minus the extra cargo room.

Coming to a Cadillac dealership, the dashboard and front seats of a 2021 Cadillac Escalade are shown.

Price Differences

Okay, here’s where things start to get a bit overwhelming. We’ll start off with the standard Escalade and its trim prices, then move up to the ESV. We’ll go ahead and sum up that the standard Escalade’s prices are cheaper than the ESV, mostly due to the ESV’s larger size.

2021 Escalade

The lowest trim is the Luxury trim, which starts out at $76,195 for 2WD, and $79,195 for 4WD. The next trim is the Premium Luxury. It starts off at $82,995 for 2WD, and $85,995 for 4WD. The Sport trim MSRPs for $85,595 for 2WD, and $88,595 for 4WD. The Premium Luxury Platinum goes for $99,995 for 2WD and $102,995 if you get a 4WD model. Finally, the highest trim is the Sport Platinum, which lands at the same exact price as the Premium Luxury Platinum. The good news is that these prices stay the same whether you choose a gas engine, or a diesel engine. So, you won’t be punished for preferring one engine over the other.

2021 Escalade ESV

If the aforementioned prices started becoming too steep with the later trims, you should probably skip over the ESV. However, if you’re ready to drop some cash, please, keep reading. The lowest trim is the Luxury model, which starts off at $79,195 for 2WD, and 82,195 for 4WD. Next is the Premium Luxury trim, which is $85,995 for 2WD, and $88,995 for 4WD. The 2WD Sport trim starts at $88,595 for 2WD, and $91,595 for 4WD. The Premium Luxury and Premium Sport trims start at $102,995 for 2WD, and $105,995 for 4WD.

That was a mouthful. Basically, you can pay anywhere from $76,195, to $105,995 for a 2021 Escalade. That $30,000 price difference mostly has to do with what luxury add-on items you’d like include or leave out. These are totally optional, but very entertaining. Now, we’re going to look closely at these luxury options that are available on both the Escalade and the ESV.

Luxury Add-ons: Packages

There are several package options, so we’ll talk about the most relevant ones. Let’s start with the mechanical stuff. You can get the Driver Assist Tech package. This comes with soft-close doors, automatic seat belt tightening (the Jetsons, anyone?), illuminating sill plates, enhanced automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and adaptive air ride suspension. This add-on gives your car a bit more safety and security when you’re on the road.

For drivers who are interested in towing, the Heavy-Duty Trailering Package is available. This comes with a trailer tire pressure monitoring system, trailering assist guidelines, an auxiliary trailer camera, and an extra capacity cooling system. The 4WD models will get a 2-speed active transfer case. This will enhance your towing experience for whatever you need to bring with you.

A view of the interior of a 2021 Cadillac Escalade from the perspective of the windshield is shown.

Aesthetic Add-Ons

Do you prefer a blackout vehicle? If so, the Onyx Package may be for you. With this package, you’ll receive 22-inch 12-spoke gloss black alloy wheels, monochromatic Cadillac emblems, a gloss black Escalade nameplate, illuminated Cadillac Crest puddle lamps, and premium carpeted floor mats. This obviously pairs well with a black exterior coat, but any color will go with it nicely.

The Cargo Convenience Package is worth looking into if you’re taking advantage of the Escalade’s cargo space. This package comes with black roof rack cross rails for over-the-head hauling, a vertical cargo net, and a cargo security shade, which hides your items and looks completely natural. Speaking of covers, you can get mirror covers, and oh, a literal tent for your Escalade. No, we don’t mean a weather cover. This is a legitimate tent that you can set up on your rooftop, with a mattress and everything. Escalade cruise and camping trip, anyone? No one said luxurious couldn’t be outdoorsy and adventurous.

Performance Add-Ons

If you’re feeling really sporty, you can opt in for the Performance Upgrade Package. This includes a performance air intake system, and a Cat-Back performance exhaust system. This increases your power. With an already powerful engine, your upgraded Escalade will be unstoppable. You can also add two different types of exhaust tips, which are carbon fiber angle-cut dual-wall or polished stainless-steel angle-cut dual-wall. This is for those who are all about street appearance.

Riding In Style

Well, there you have it. The main differences between the 2021 Escalade, and the 2021 Escalade ESV revolve around dimensions. Everything else is generally the same, with optional add-on items and packages available. The bottom line is that Cadillac Escalades are luxurious, even at their lowest trim levels. There’s no way you can purchase a new Escalade without experiencing some sort of luxury. Afterall, the lowest trim level model is called the Luxury. Really, it just depends on how deep you want to go into it. You can keep it as simple as the Luxury’s 14-spoke silver alloy wheels or go all out and upgrade to a full-on roof tent accessory. It sounds cheesy, but the possibilities are endless here. Whatever trim or customization options you choose, your brand new 2021 Cadillac Escalade is waiting here for you.

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