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The Diesel Option Awaits Final Numbers

2021 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Premium Luxury
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

In a country that is growing evermore obsessed with SUVS, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is America’s most opulent offering. The $77,000+ three-row SUV is packed with the very best of General Motors’ tech, both in terms of amenities and hardware. That includes the 6.2L L87 V8 engine, which produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. However, with all that power comes the price of efficiency, according to the EPA’s new report on the Escalade’s fuel economy rating.

According to the EPA’s testing, the new Cadillac Escalade with the standard V8 engine and two-wheel drive managed to eke out a fuel economy rating of just 17 mpg combined for 2WD models. That isn’t really that good, and it’s only lower for the 4×4 models. The added drive wheels come at the expense of 1 mpg combined. Now, it is important to note that nobody is buying a Cadillac Escalade is concerned about how much gas that it’s going to drink, nor are they worried about paying for it. Compare the figure to the 18 mpg combined rating of the rival Lincoln Navigator, and all of the sudden it doesn’t seem so bad.

The following is a chart of the T1 platform Cadillac Escalade V8 fuel economy for both 2WD and 4WD models, plus how it stacks up to its K2 platform predecessor:

2021 Cadillac Escalade 2WD152017
2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD141916
2020 Cadillac Escalade 2WD142317
2020 Cadillac Escalade 4WD142117
2021 Cadillac Escalade
2021 Cadillac Escalade Platinum. Image Courtesy of GM.

That is not to say that Cadillac hasn’t considered the more fuel conscious buyer. For 2021, Cadillac will offer a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel engine for the Escalade as a no cost option. Fuel economy for the larger 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV is also not yet available.

We don’t have the diesel-powered Escalade’s fuel economy rating quite yet, as it is an option that will be made available later in the year. But GM has made it clear that it will be more efficient than the standard gasoline unit. The turbo-diesel will produce 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, just as it does in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models. GM has been busy improving the engine, and we wouldn’t be surprised if numbers across the board improve.

As the talks of electrification and the pursuit of higher fuel economy figures across the globe continue, it seems almost odd that massive SUVs like the Escalade are some of the most popular vehicles for sale in the U.S. We already know that Detroit’s automakers are looking at this segment as more important to their futures than electrification, which begs the question if anyone should care about the Cadillac Escalade’s fuel economy rating.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport Edition. Image Courtesy of GM.

Written by Lucas Bell

Lucas holds a journalism degree from Wayne State University, and is a Automotive Press Association scholarship recipient. While an American muscle fan through and through, he once wrote a fascinating comparison review about eScooters.


FCA production line