Yesterday was a BIG day for General Motors' luxury brand, Cadillac. With the launch of an all-new Escalade, the full-size sport-utility vehicle category has yet another all-new competitor in an extremely hot category.

And, the Escalade has been a big seller for high net worth households. Whether it's for a high-powered executive or strictly intended suburban duty (e.g., school runs, soccer practice, etc.), it is a primary pick for those needing space and seating for seven.

2021 Cadillac Escalade

**Read the 2021 Cadillac Escalade press release HERE!

But, unlike last generation, all signs are pointing to this latest Escalade being a significant step forward. Things like the independent rear suspension, Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, 38-inch OLED screen(s), reengineered third row seating with more than 10 additional inches of room — see the 6'3 passenger in the third row, below (gentleman on the left)  — mean that this is seemingly the best Escalade ever produced.

Having had the chance to spend time with a pre-production model today, I can confirm that it's definitely unlike what you've seen before.

The outside certainly is a change of pace. Sure, the silhouette is familiar; however, the details have been softened and subdued. Stemming from a user comment last night, we think this has more of a "Hamptons" feel versus being brash and in your face. Personally, I like that. I am not sure if the market will take kindly to this change — people like BRUTAL styling.

Sliding into the driver's seat, it's a much better place to be. While the seats are still relatively flat, the 38-inch OLED displays kind of take your breath away. Crystal clear with true black and sharp instrumentation, it gets a thumbs up from me. Glare didn't seem to be an issue but that will ultimately be decided in a real-world environment.

Where Cadillac deserves props is with the 2021 Escalade's interior. The touch points are definitely improved over the last-gen model. The leather feels better, the wood looks sharper and the new textile that adorns the center console and door cards is a welcome addition — it's similar to a linen suit. But, unfortunately, a lot of the great work gets discounted if you take time to observe GM's typical "rat fur" carpeting/floor mats and use of "meh" plastic bits that pop up now and again. You have to look for it but it's there.

This is a product I am definitely eager to test but there's still a lot of unknowns: Price, EPA range, whether or not a hybrid/electric vehicle is in the works. If we're making a wager, we think it's safe to say that a hybrid/EV variant is in the works. The good news is that a Cadillac representative told me that the company got much more creative with its start/stop technology as well as cylinder deactivation — now it can operate on one cylinder only versus six or four — to improve MPGs.

All of that said, we want to know: Do YOU think the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a STUD or DUD based on our real-life pics?

2021 Cadillac Escalade

The BEST REAL-LIFE Pictures Of The 2021 Cadillac Escalade — Do YOU Think It's A STUD or DUD?

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