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2021 Cadillac Model Year Changes



2021 Cadillac CT4 stock phoo

Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking and Front Pedestrian Braking are now standard on all models.

The Teen Driver menu now includes a programmable buckle-to-drive setting; when activated, the transmission will not shift out of park until the seatbelt is fastened. It's default will be off, as GM remembers the 1974 seatbelt interlock debacle when the government required a feature that prevented the engine from starting if the driver's seatbelt wasn't fastened.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now wireless; no more plugging into USB.

Super Cruise, Cadillac's semi-autonomous driving system will be offered on the CT4 Premium Luxury; it allows for hands-free driving on certain limited access roads, but continuously monitors the driver's attention with cameras to insure the driver stays vigilant.

A new 12-inch configurable digital gauge cluster is now optional.

HD Surround Vision display is optional on CT4 Premium Luxury, but only with Super Cruise.

CT4 V-Series

2021 Cadillac CT4-V stock photo

The 2.7-turbo 325-horsepower 4-cylinder remains the standard engine, but a much more powerful twin-turbo 3.6 V6 is coming in the big-daddy V-Series Blackwing. Previously rated at 464 horsepower in the ATS-V, this engine will probably retain that horsepower in the CT4 V-Series Blackwing. The Blackwing version will be a 2021, but won't arrive at the beginning of the model year. 

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Teen Driver menu includes programmable buckle-to-drive. Why are you letting a teenager drive this car? Are you bonkers?

Super Cruise will also be an option on the CT4 V-Series; it includes HD Surround Vision to make parking in tight quarters easier.

12-inch configurable digital gauge cluster is optional.


2021 Cadillac CT5 stock photo

Teen Driver menu includes Buckle-to-Drive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also goes wireless on the CT5.

CT5 Sport now offers an optional magnetic ride F55 suspension, the same as the CT5 V-Series.

Super Cruise is also now available on CT5.

12-inch configurable digital gauge cluster is optional.

CT5 V-Series

2021 Cadillac CT5-V stock photo

Super Cruise is now optional.

A new 12-inch configurable digital gauge cluster is now optional.




2021-Cadillac-Escalade2021 Cadillac Escalade courtesy Cadillac Pressroom

The 2021 Escalade and Escalade ESV (two lengths are still produced) represent the largest change this vehicle has seen since its introduction in 1999: the solid rear axle has been replaced with a fully independent, multilink setup. This change happened to the Navigator years ago, but Cadillac has one-upped their crosstown rival.

The standard multilink setup is sophisticated and improves the ride for rear passengers, aids handling and makes a massive improvement to the available interior space. But the basic setup isn't where Cadillac stopped. GM's famous Magnetic Ride Control is the next step up. Standard on Sport and Platinum trims, it uses a special fluid which changes viscosity when acted upon by an electrical current. Rather than the two or three steps of stiffness offered by electro-mechanical adaptive suspensions, the fluid can change the action of the shocks almost infinitely and almost instantaneously. The next step is the Air Ride Adaptive suspension. Utilizing the same magnetically controlled shocks, this suspension, standard on both Platinum models, replaced steel coil springs with air springs, whose purpose is not only to smooth the ride further, but can alter the ride height several inches. Lowering the ride height at highway speeds improves aerodynamics; raising it at lower speeds improves ground clearance; and lowering it two full inches makes it easier to enter, exit and load.

The 6.2-liter pushrod V8, similar to the Corvette's, is still in place and rated at 420 horsepower. So is the 10-speed automatic. The big powertrain news is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder Duramax diesel. Borrowed from the Silverado 1500, it should improve fuel mileage and range by almost 50%. This is a reversal: previously European luxury sport utilities offered diesel engines and Cadillac didn't. Diesel-gate chased all the European diesel engines out of the U.S. market. With 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, it won't be super-car quick, but it will effortlessly tow and get through traffic just fine.

As stated before, one of the multilink rear suspension's benefits is greater interior space. The Escalade (standard wheelbase) has almost 48 cubic feet more passenger volume, almost 40% more! The Escalade ESV has a similar improvement. Maximum cargo space in the short 2021 Escalade is 121 cubic feet, a 28% improvement. ESV gains 18%, for a total of 142.8 cubic feet.

On the outside, the wheelbases are 4 to 5 inches longer on ESV and standard length, respectively. Overall length is up by 8 inches on Escalade, but only 2.7 inches on ESV. Height is up over two inches and width grows by a little more than half an inch. All these changes average only 3% for Escalade and 2% for Escalade ESV, versus 43% and 31% improvements in total interior room.


2021 Cadillac Escalade Super Cruise Demonstration courtesy Cadillac Pressroom

Super Cruise is optional on Escalade, offering completely hands-free driving on certain limited access highways. The system monitors driver attention and will discontinue if the driver becomes distracted, requiring a return to standard driving methods. Super Cruise is a subscription service, as it uses centrally located servers to operate. The Super Cruise is rated as an Autonomous Driving Level 2 system.


2021 Cadillac XT4

A power liftgate is now standard on all models, though the hands-free activation is still only included on Premium Luxury and Sport models. Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and InteliiBeam Headlights are now offered on all models.

The standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now wireless.

XT4 Sport comes with red-painted brake calipers.


2021 Cadillac XT5 stock photo

The standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now wireless.

Power tilt and telescoping steering wheel is no longer offered on the XT5 Luxury.

Cadillac Crest puddle lamps are now optional; fitted under the side mirrors, they light the ground underneath the door with a Cadillac Crest.


2021 Cadillac XT6 stock photo

A new entry-level trim: "Luxury" is added below the "Premium Luxury" and "Sport" trims. Equipment not included on this bargain version: Side Blind Zone Alert, rear cross-traffic warning, memory driver's seat, mirrors and steering column, power lumbar adjustments on front seats, heated steering wheel, wireless phone charger, hands-free liftgate, automatic dimming sideview mirrors, rain-sensitive wipers, 

A 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder joins the lineup as the new base engine. With 237 horsepower, the four has automatic start/stop and active fuel management (can deactivate cylinders), just like the V6. Premium Luxury and Sport models still get the 3.6-liter V6. Both engines come with the 9-speed automatic and front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

235/65R18 are the new standard tires on the "Luxury" model; the 20-inch wheels are optional and still standard on the higher trims.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now wireless.


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