Changes to 2021 Cadillac Models Include Redesigned Escalade SUV, Enhanced Standard and Available Tech

Jeff Youngs | Dec 14, 2020

The big news for Cadillac for the 2021 model year is the introduction of an all-new Escalade SUV. Cadillac’s flagship full-size sport/utility gets new styling both inside and out, revised powertrains – including a diesel option for the first time – and several industry and segment firsts related to in-vehicle technology. Other notable changes across the 2021 Cadillac lineup include standard wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity on most models, as well as increased availability of Cadillac Super Cruise hands-free driver-assistance technology.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Black Front Quarter View

2021 Cadillac CT4/CT4-V Changes - Find the best Cadillac deals!

Introduced for the 2020 model year to replace the ATS, Cadillac’s entry-level CT4 sedan receives several updates for 2021, mostly centered around newly available technology features. A new 12-inch digital instrumentation display is available on most versions of the car, while Cadillac’s next-generation Super Cruise with Lane Change on Demand is optional only with the Premium Luxury and V-Series trims. A Diamond Sky special edition version of the 2021 Cadillac CT4 also debuts, based on the Premium Luxury trim.

2021 Cadillac CT5/CT5-V Changes - Find the best Cadillac deals!

Changes to the 2021 Cadillac CT5 closely mirror those made to the smaller CT4. While certain trims get the 12-inch digital instrumentation, enhanced Super Cruise, and Diamond Sky special edition treatment mentioned above, the CT5 Sport trim offers a new available V Performance Package that includes an upgraded performance suspension with adaptive damping and a mechanical limited-slip differential. This is not the same as the CT5-V, though. Also new for 2021 on both the CT4 and CT5 are wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as SiriusXM satellite radio with 360L, which provides more than 200 live channels plus on-demand programming.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Changes - Find the best Cadillac deals!

The Escalade is completely redesigned for 2021, and as might be expected, the all-new fifth generation of Cadillac’s iconic full-size luxury SUV features several industry and segment firsts. 

Among the pioneering technologies are a curved Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) instrumentation and infotainment display screen as well as an AKG automotive audio system – both industry firsts. The OLED system in the new Escalade, which consists of three separate screens, measures more than 38 total inches diagonally and has twice the pixel density of a 4K TV, according to Cadillac. 

The new Escalade also features Cadillac’s Super Cruise driver-assistance technology – a first for the segment. Other standard and available technology features in the 2021 Escalade include augmented reality-enabled navigation, a Surround Vision camera system, a rear camera mirror, Night Vision technology, and a new rear-seat entertainment system.

There’s more to the new Escalade than just tech, however. New styling both inside and out presents a bolder, more sophisticated look. Additionally, interior space increases for second- and third-row passengers, as well as in the cargo area, thanks to a longer wheelbase, longer overall vehicle length, and new independent rear suspension that helps lower the interior floor.

A new 6.2-liter V8 with automatic stop/start and cylinder-deactivation technology powers the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade, producing 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Escalade is also available for the first time with a diesel engine – a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder turbodiesel that also produces 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

2021 Cadillac XT4 Changes - Find the best Cadillac deals!

Cadillac’s smallest crossover SUV, the XT4, marches into 2021 with only minor modifications. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are now standard across the board, as is a power liftgate. Leather is available for the entry-level Luxury trim, which now offers an available Driver Awareness Package that comes with automatic high-beam headlights and lane-keeping assistance. Also, the XT4 Sport now comes with red brake calipers, and both it and Premium Luxury models have new exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Lastly, two new exterior paint color choices debut: Wave Metallic and Infrared Tintcoat.

2021 Cadillac XT5 Changes - Find the best Cadillac deals!

The Cadillac XT5 midsize crossover SUV got a thorough refresh for the 2020 model year, so changes for 2021 are modest. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard, along with Amazon Alexa integration. A new 20-inch wheel option debuts for the Sport trim, and the entry-level Luxury trim loses its power tilt/telescoping steering column in favor of a manually adjustable unit. There are two new exterior paint colors, too: Dark Moon Blue Metallic and Infrared Tintcoat.

2021 Cadillac XT6 Changes - Find the best Cadillac deals!

Cadillac’s 3-row, 7-passenger XT6 crossover SUV, introduced for the 2020 model year, adds a new Luxury trim level for 2021. It slots below the existing Premium Luxury and Sport trims in the XT6 SUV lineup. The new XT6 Luxury is equipped with a 237-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, while the Premium Luxury and Sport come standard with a 3.6-liter V6. Both engines pair with a 9-speed automatic transmission that features up to four selectable driving modes. The 2021 Cadillac XT6 Luxury is only available with seven seats, whereas the other trims offer available second-row captain’s chairs for six-passenger seating. Other new features for the 2021 XT6 lineup include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 20-inch wheels for the Sport trim, and three new extra-cost exterior paint colors: Dark Moon Blue Metallic, Wilder, and Infrared Tintcoat.

Cadillac is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on December 12, 2020, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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