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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2021 edition, we've expanded the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.

2021 Cadillac Escalade 4WD Sport Platinum

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Gasoline
 overall score
Category Ranking: 18
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $102,995
Price as Tested: $112,095
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Premium
Fuel Capacity (gal): 24
EPA City mpg14
EPA Highway mpg19
EPA Combined mpg16
Advanced Safety Features
Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
Advanced Headlights [S]
Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
Blind-Spot Warning [O]
Forward-Collision Warning [S]
Lane-Departure Warning [O]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
Overall Observations
How do you improve on an automotive icon? Simple: Give it more of everything. In creating this redesigned version of Cadillac's full-size luxury SUV, that means adding exterior styling touches to distinguish it from its Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon siblings. The Escalade's look is unmistakable, from its massive grille with distinctive LED daytime running lights to its tall taillights flanking a power liftgate that can be opened with a wave of the foot. Physical changes, including additional overall length and an independent rear suspension, also make a difference. Under the hood, a 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission are standard, as is RWD; a 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder diesel engine is an option. Inside, upgrades translate to an even more spacious cabin, with more room for rear-seat occupants. Adjustable second-row seats and a power folding third-row only add to the interior functionality. Naturally, luxury touches abound. The attractive OLED gauge cluster and infotainment screens are a highlight, as is the night-vision system and a rear-seat entertainment center. On the road, the independent rear suspension improves both ride quality and handling. That said, the physical size of the Escalade makes itself known in tight quarters such as parking lots.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • Cavernous interior space for passengers and cargo
  • New, more fuel-efficient diesel powertrain option
  • Smooth, comfortable ride quality
  • Rear-seat reminder
Weak Points
  • Expensive
  • Poor fuel economy with standard V8
  • Maneuvering such a large vehicle can be tricky
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/5
Curb weight (lbs): 6120.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 211.0 / 81.0 / 76.6
Wheelbase (in): 120.9
Number of air bags: 8
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Alenza
Front and rear tire size: 275/50 R22
Max towing capacity (lbs): 8000
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 10-speed
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 6.2L V8 VVT DI
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 5600
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 10.00
Fuel Efficiency: .00
EPA Emissions Score: 3.00
Acceleration: 6.57
Braking: 5.08
Crashworthiness: 6.38
Handling: 5.29
Ride Quality: 8.29
Interior Size: 5.63
Easy of Entry and Exit: 7.63
Visibility: 7.55
Interior Noise: 7.55
Cargo Capacity: 6.57
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