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The Best of 2021 Cadillac

What Does the Cadillac Lineup for 2021 Look Like so Far?

Cadillac CT5

Cadillac’s U.S. sales have declined from 182,543 units in 2013 to 154,702 units in 2018 with 2019 sales projected to remain in the vicinity of previous year’s result. Meanwhile, the luxury GM division’s market share is now under 1 percent for the third consecutive year (2019 will be fourth) for the first time in company’s history. All is not lost, however, as recently revamped sedan lineup aims to stop or at least reduce the sedan sales bleeding while their all-new crossovers and SUVs plan to counter the losses sustained in the past five years or so. It all looks straightforward in theory but how will it end up looking in practice – only time can tell. Model years 2020 and 2021 will be extremely important to the Cadillac brand and this time we’ll focus on the 2021 Cadillac range.

Meanwhile, Cadillac’s global sales have seen a healthy 14.7 percent growth and continue to maintain momentum established a few years ago. Of 407,607 vehicles sold during 2018 across the globe, most models fall off on the rapidly growing Chinese market. This gives the GM’s top division a moment’s respite as they try to reverse their domestic market fortunes around.

In 2021, Cadillac finally brings about the next-gen Escalade which has accounted to roughly one fifth of its total domestic sales in 2018. Needless to say, the redesigned model is expected to set the new personal record once it finally arrives during late 2020.

Here’s what else to expect from Cadillac models going into MY 2021.

What to Expect From the 2021 Cadillac Lineup

2021 Escalade

As already mentioned above, the most exciting of upcoming Cadillac vehicles in 2021 is none other than their largest offering. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is an all-new fifth-generation model succeeding the fourth-gen units which ran between 2015 and 2020. Riding on the same new T1XX platform (as of 2021) as its Chevy Tahoe and Suburban stablemates, the new Caddy also borrows a lot from its more affordable sibling. Mainly the new multi-link independent rear suspension which has already replaced the old live axle across the remainder of the body-on-frame GM range. Magnetic Ride Control is also offered and some upscale trims are expected to offer an optional Air Ride adaptive suspension as well.

Design-wise, however, the new Escalade mostly borrows the recently introduced XT6 SUV’s cues – especially looking from profile and front (grille). The new car also adopts the next-gen Cadillac design language cues which have already been previewed across the range beginning with 2019. Otherwise, the new Escalade unsurprisingly retains its hulking boxy frame with some hallmark details from Escalades of old like the forward-canted C pillar. Leaked images (not of highest quality) firs appeared at the allcarnews social media profiles.

Interior brings about more substantial changes than the exterior. An entirely new center console sports a large infotainment touchscreen display which seems to be encroaching on the digital gauge cluster’s territory. A similar setup has was already seen on the Escala concept back in 2016. Unlike the exterior which is similar to those of its more affordable platform-sharing Chevrolet stablemates, the new Escalade’s interior is definitely unique to the luxury SUV. As a range-topper, the new SUV will undoubtedly offer the coveted Super Cruise semi-autonomous tech but it’s still unclear at what price point.

Only Escalade’s powertrain remains a relative unknown at the moment but we bet our money on a carryover 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower. At least in initial models. Further down the line, the next-gen Cadillac’s powertrain lineup might get expanded by some unorthodox-for-Escalade units. An optional 3.0L turbo-diesel inline-six which is available with the Chevy Tahoe – although fitting the mentioned description – is highly unlikely, however. A contemporary 10-speed automatic transmission is a given at this moment, and so are both a rear and optional all-wheel drive.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will make its official debut on February 4, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California – only five days before the 2020 Academy Awards which clearly states the Cadillac brass’ intention to involve the land yacht in this prestigious ceremony. Sales, on the other hand, will likely commence a few months later with prices getting a considerable bump compared to those of the outgoing models. For comparison, the most affordable Escalade for MY 2020 retailed for $75,000.

2021 CT5

The Cadillac CT5 is the larger of two models that fill the void left by the departure of the CTS and ATS sedans and definitely something else compared to Cadillacs of old. Officially revealed at the 2019 New York auto show and available across the country as of MY 2020, the luxury sedan offers both the conventional and performance lines from the get-go. However, The CT5-V has failed to fulfill the expectations on performance front considering it only provides 360 horsepower which is nowhere near the old CTS-V’s ratings. Of course, the CTS was actually more in-tune with the larger CT6 but that’s beside the point. In order to rectify the issue, Cadillac is already developing another new performance-oriented CT5 which promises to unleash the full potential of company’s newest hot V Blackwing V8 project.

The CT5 boasts company’s new design language completed with a gaping grille and thin headlamps up front, and a hallmark rear Cadillac finish. The forthcoming new Blackwing-powered CT5 Plus model benefits from a more aggressive aero package while simultaneously getting unique wheels, tires, and beefier brakes. It’ll also sport an updated suspension which it needs in order to better channel all of Blackwing engine’s inner power.

Inside, the CT5 offers a 10-inch touchscreen display fused with the CUE infotainment system which can also be controlled via a handy rotary controller positioned just behind the gearshift. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and finally the coveted Super Cruise systems are optional.

The complete powertrain lineup thus consists of a base 237-horsepower 2.0L turbo four, already mentioned 360-hp 3.0L twin-turbo V6 available with the CT5-V (makes 335 horsepower in non-V applications), and the all-new Blackwing 4.2L twin-turbo V8 which is expected to yield as much as 500-plus horsepower. A 10-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive will be standard.

Prices for entry-level models start from $38,000, while the CT5-V requires just under $49,000. The forthcoming 2021 Cadillac CT5 Plus should raise the bar by at least another $10,000 if not more. Being some of the best sedans 2021 will have to offer, it’s a fair deal.

2021 XT5

With 60,565 units delivered throughout 2018, the compact luxury SUV serves as Cadillac’s best-selling model in the U.S. This figure stood at 68,312 units just a year before that, but 2019 projections are more than grim for the SUV. However, after a recent facelift for MY 2020 which doesn’t only enhance its looks but provides some meaningful upgrades like the addition of a new base engine or standard advanced safety gear, the XT5’s sales are expected to rebound going forward.

The facelifted XT5 gets a new grille, restyled bumpers, new wheel designs, and different tail-light graphics while LED headlights are now standard. Inside, there’s a new center console and an updated infotainment system operated either directly via touchscreen or by a new rotary wheel. Heated front seats have also become standard, and so are automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist with lane departure warning, and front and rear parking sensors. Meanwhile, adaptive cruise control and night vision system are still available separately.

The new XT5 lineup consists of three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. The entry-level models start from $44,000 prior to destination charges. The mid-grade Premium Luxury requires at least close to $49,000, while the Sport trim warrants stickers from $55,000 onward. The latter does offer a recalibrated suspension and retuned steering.

Power now comes from two distinctive engines. The base XT5 models now get a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder capable of providing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission routes power either to front or all four wheels with the latter requiring additional $2,000. Previously standard, a 3.6L V6 providing 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of rotational force is now optional.

Although it’s not the best option on the market, the luxury compact crossover is one of Cadillac’s best all-around performers and probably the best choice for owning a Cadillac SUV.

2021 XT6

The recently introduced family three-row XT6 effectively bridges the gap between the more compact XT5 and the company’s flagship Escalade SUVs. Although spacious, its third row isn’t exactly imagined as a comfy affair – especially for larger adults. The Cadillac XT6 does provide an extremely comfy ride and plenty of room in other two rows which make up for it.

The XT6’s styling represents a step forward for the brand and all subsequent models – first of which is the next-gen Escalade – will be executed in a similar manner. There’s either a seven or eight-seat arrangement depending on a choice between a second-row, three-seat bench, or captain’s chairs. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, onboard Wi-Fi, and wireless charging are standard across the XT6 range and so are advanced driver’s aids such as automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. Adaptive cruise control and all-new night vision are still optional and there’s no Super Cruise at all. Will it become available by the time 2021 arrives, it’s still too soon to tell.

Unlike its smaller sibling the XT5, the larger XT6 doesn’t come in the entry-level Luxury trim. Instead, it only offers the Premium Luxury and Sport grades which differ in more ways than one. Aside from the obvious price discrepancy and available features lists, the latter also offers a sportier suspension with torque-vectoring rear differential. Don’t let this fool you though, as the large mid-size luxury crossover is anything but sporty. Prices start from $52,500 for the Premium Luxury trim and $57,000 for the Sport grade.

Only one engine provides power to the entire Cadillac XT6 lineup. A 3.6L V6 which cranks up 310 ponies and 276 pound-feet of twist is more than capable of motivating the 4,500-pounder in a proper manner. A 9-speed automatic gearbox is mandatory but there’s still a choice between front and all-wheel drive. 20 mpg combined (18 city, 25 highway) is the most you’ll be able to squeeze from the XT6.

2021 CT4

The all new CT4 is another newcomer to the Cadillac lineup which takes position at the lower end of luxury division’s sedan range. It’s closely related to the above mentioned CT5 and technically replaces the retired ATS range. Although the CT4 and CT5 have a lot in common, there are more differences between the two than one would have anticipated at first.

The CT4 gets the same design language as its larger sibling and the two are visually almost identical. Of course, there’s a small issue of size difference as the CT5 gains 6.5 inches in length and 2.5 inches in width over its smaller counterpart. Their respective interiors are also practically identical but there are some discrepancies in available equipment. Being an entry-level luxury car, the CT4 doesn’t offer any advanced safety system at base model’s price point. Most of them are available as options in remaining two trim levels but only automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, and rear parking sensors are standard.

Speaking of CT4 models, the entry-level Luxury grade starts from what’ll likely be popular $33,000. As already mentioned, however, most advanced features are unattainable this way. The $37,500 Premium Luxury and $38,500 Sport trims are your only option for a fully loaded entry-level Cadillac sedan, although only after extra expenses. Finally, the performance-oriented CT4-V requires $45,500.

Speaking of performance, most CT4’s will make do with a 2.0L turbo four mill which delivers 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The mentioned Cadillac CT4-V utilizes a larger 2.7L turbocharged 4-cylinder which yields 325 hp and 380 lb-ft. In the middle of the pack, the Premium Luxury trim offers an optional non-V-treated 2.7L turbo four which produces 309 horsepower and 348 lb-ft. Unlike the larger CT5 which is exclusively offered with a 10-speed transmission, base CT4’s make do with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and mandatory rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional across the rest of the range, while the 10-speed is standard there.

What Else is There?

The remainder of the 2021 Cadillac lineup is rounded off with the entry-level Cadillac XT4 crossover and the current-flagship Cadillac CT6 sedan. The former fails to offer any advanced safety gear in its entry-level – much like the CT4 sedan, while the latter arguably doesn’t have a bright future within the Cadillac range. Its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant is scheduled for closing in January 2020 despite being given an extended 7 month prolongation last year.

The XT4 can only be ordered with a 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0L inline-four which packs quite a punch for the petite subcompact crossover, while the large sedan comes with multiple options. Base CT6 models make do with a 3.6L V6 which produces 335 horsepower and pairs with a 10-speed gearbox. The performance-oriented CT6-V which effectively replaces the CTS-V unleashes the new 4.2L twin-turbo Blackwing V8 but falls short of CTS-V’s LT4’s ratings by providing only 550 horsepower.

The XT4 crossover can be obtained for anything between $34,500 and $40,000, while the CT6 sedan starts from $59,000. The range-topping CT6-V and Platinum models stand out, however, by requiring close to $100,000.

This is, more or less, everything of interest for Cadillac during MY 2021 but more interesting models might emerge in coming months. This is why we’ll keep updating this list on a regular basis so don’t forget to check back for the latest 2021 Cadillac news.

About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!