We understand that fuel economy isn’t a high priority for large luxury SUV buyers, particularly those eyeballing the brand new Cadillac Escalade. When looking at the three-row’s laundry list of new features, like the standard 16.9-inch OLED infotainment screen, the augmented reality navigation system, and GM’s lauded Super Cruise (a $2,500 extra), its less-than-stellar efficiency is easy to overlook.
According to new numbers released by the EPA, the 2021 Escalade with a standard 6.2-liter V8 and two-wheel drive gets just 17 miles per gallon combined. The four-wheel-drive Escalade, meanwhile, returns just 16 mpg combined with the same engine. Those numbers show that the Escalade is one of the least efficient SUVs of the competitive set – though, we don’t have fuel economy numbers on the GMC Yukon with the same 6.2-liter V8 yet, just with the 5.3-liter V8. But of all of the group, the Infiniti QX80 is the thirstiest.
|Engine||Horsepower||Transmission||Fuel Economy (2WD)||Fuel Economy (4WD)|
|2020 BMW X7||4.4L V8||456||8-Speed Auto||15 / 21 / 17||15 / 21 / 17|
|2021 Cadillac Escalade||6.2L V8||420||10-Speed Auto||15 / 20 / 17||14 / 19 / 16|
|2021 GMC Yukon||5.3L V8||355||10-Speed Auto||16 / 20 / 18||16 / 20 / 18|
|2020 Infiniti QX80||5.6L V8||400||7-Speed Auto||14 / 20 / 16||13 / 19 / 15|
|2020 Lincoln Navigator||3.5L V6||450||10-Speed Auto||16 / 22 / 19||16 / 21 / 18|
|2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS||4.0L V8||449||9-Speed Auto||N/A||16 / 21 / 18|
|2020 Range Rover Sport||5.0L V8||518||8-Speed Auto||N/A||17 / 22 / 19|
The Escalade’s 6.2-liter V8 may be relatively inefficient, but it does produce a robust 420 horsepower (313 kW), uses the same 10-speed automatic transmission you get on the GMC Yukon, and supposedly gives the SUV a towing capacity of up to 8,300 pounds. But there is good news for fuel-conscious Escalade buyers: the diesel engine is a no-cost extra.
Cadillac says the Escalade’s turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel engine, good for 277 hp (207 kW) and 460 lb-ft (624 nm) of torque, won’t cost more than the traditional gas V8 and should be more efficient. We won’t know, though, until Cadillac officially releases those numbers. But efficiency on other GM models like the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado, for example, improves by about 20 percent with the diesel engine instead of the 6.2-liter V8.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade goes on sale later this year with a starting price of $76,195 (before $1,295 destination and delivery charges). The longer Escalade ESV, meanwhile, starts at $79,195.