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A Six-Figure SUV Is The New Normal For General Motors’ Luxury Brand

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury
Photo copyright Matheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks

The Cadillac Escalade is the quintessential American luxury vehicle on sale today. Massive in both size and presence, the V8 (or diesel) powered SUV holds true to the principles that made Cadillac an icon of opulence across the world. The latest generation model, which debuted for the 2021 model year, is as close to an American Bentley as money can currently buy. This luxurious truck helped propel Cadillac last year to their best fourth-quarter sales share since 2016, with nearly half of all sales coming in at over $100,000. At the time that seemed like quite the feat for Cadillac, but it appears that sales push was not a mere blip. According to a new report from CarsDirect, the average transaction price of a 2021 Cadillac Escalade in Q1 rang in at $102,183.

When you include the destination charges that are owed during a sale, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade carries a base price of $77,490. Step up to the larger Escalade ESV model, and that starting price shoots up to $80,890. That’s certainly a lot of money, but both figures are well off from the six-figure price tag we’re seeing these things trade for. It’s surely not uncommon for luxury vehicle customers to spec up their new rides, but it is a bit shocking to learn that the average Escalade buyer is adding over $25,000 worth of options to their SUV. What is even more interesting however is the fact that they are buying these SUVs without any sort of incentives from the automaker. According to CarsDirect, there have been no rebates offered to Escalade customers at all since the current generation model made its debut.

Photo Copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

That said, there may be some explanation for the six-figure sales prices that we’re seeing all of the sudden. GM is offering leasing rates as low as 1.75% on the Cadillac Escalade ESV Premium Luxury models. This is a better rate than they are offering on the short wheelbase model of the same trim, which carries a rate of 2.6%. Considering how “cheap” money is these days, that alone is likely enough to entice people into the more expensive offering. Once customers start adding 4×4 and other popular options, it doesn’t take much work to approach a $100,000 truck.

A high price doesn’t always translate into success, but the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is proving rather popular. In fact, the truck managed to take home the fifth and sixth place spot on last month’s fastest-selling vehicles list. The ESV model needed just 15.2 days to move off dealer lots, and carried an average sales price of $102,145 during that time. The shorter wheelbase model needed just a bit longer, averaging 15.6 days at a price of $99,492. Combine these figures with the fact that GM is selling 75 percent more of these trucks than they were at this time last year, and the success of the new model is undeniable.

Photo copyright Matheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks

It will be interesting to see if the Escalade is able to hold onto these impressive sales figures as time progresses.  We know that Jeep plans to eat some of GM’s market share with the new Grand Wagoneer model, though that’s an unenviable task in the full-size SUV segment. Furthermore, it will be intriguing to see how customers react to the upcoming Cadillac Escalade EV, which should begin production in early 2024. Either way, we’re sure GM is thrilled with how things are shaking out so far in 2021.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Full-Size SUV
Photo Copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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.

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