A 2021 Cadillac Escalade is one of the last vehicles that you'd expect on an off-road trail. The folks at TFLoffroad have access to the big SUV, though, and they want to know how it performs when things get rocky.
This Escalade has a retail price of $102,000, but it lacks the $600 heavy-duty trailering package that includes a two-speed transfer case. While there's no low-range, there's a terrain mode that somewhat simulates it by using the brakes to control the vehicle's speed. The air suspension lets the driver raise the ride height for a little more clearance. It's riding on Bridgestone all-season tires that aren't exactly ideal for off-roading.
Gallery: 2021 Cadillac Escalade
This Cadillac packs the 6.2-liter V8 producing 420 horsepower (313 kilowatts) and 460 pound-feet (623 Newton-meters) that runs through a 10-speed automatic. It has four-wheel drive, although rear-drive comes standard. The 2021 Escalade is also available with a new 3.0-liter inline-six turbodiesel good for 277 hp (207 kW) and 460 lb-ft (623 Nm).
Things start pretty easy by challenging the Escalade to go up a steep, although short, grade. After spinning the driver-side front wheel while it's in the air a little bit, the drivetrain shifts the power to the rear, and the Cadillac gets over the berm.
Next, the Escalade climbs two, much steeper rocky trails. The Cadillac's camera system does a lot to help. It can use the instrument and infotainment display to provide multiple angles of what's going on outside the vehicle.
For a vehicle with a far greater emphasis on luxury than off-road ability, the Escalade does pretty good here. It's unlikely that most Cadillac owners are going to try to do anything this rugged with their SUV.