Diesel Of The Week: 2021 Cadillac Escalade Sports New 3.0 Duramax

The Cadillac Escalade. We’ve all seen them, most people love them, but when we see them we aren’t expecting an oil-burner under the hood. The 3.0-Liter Duramax has been going in the smaller, newer GM trucks. Now, SUVs are joining the party. With a mid-November launch on production, it won’t be long until you’re hearing a growling diesel in an Escalade at the stoplights.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to get on the Cadillac website and build myself the ultimate diesel-powered Escalade. If you know me, I have no reason to have one of these but they look sweet. Plus, I’d like to know what the people that do end up with one have invested in them. So my first selection is the Sport Platinum package.

Luckily for the new owner, this package with the 3.0-liter Duramax, four-wheel-drive, and the 10-speed transmission will only set them back $107,290. YIKES.

2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV – Sport Platinum Trim- 3.0-Liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine, 10-Speed Transmission

We’ve got the actual SUV itself selected so now we can move onto the color selection. This Black Raven color is the primary color that doesn’t cost extra to have. For those of you who are an all-black-everything person, you’re in luck. However, there are some premium colors here for an additional cost. Since we’re talking about all of my make-believe money, I don’t care what it costs. I’m going to treat myself.

Satin, Shadow, Sandstone, Dark Moon, and Dark Mocha Metallic are the next levels of paint. Each of them looks great, but they are an additional $625. Moving on, for an additional $1,225, you can upgrade to the Infrared Tincoat or the Crystal White Tricoat. Since I’m on an endless budget, we’re going to send it with the Infrared “red”.

In my opinion, the black looks great but it doesn’t look as great as this red. Plus, I think this will be easier to keep clean (or at least looking clean).

Add-Ons

Out of the seven additional add-on packages that were available for this, I selected the Onyx Package. At an extra $2,295, this Escalade has gloss black Escalade badges, monochrome Cadillac emblems, puddle lamps with Cadillac crest, premium floor mats, and a set of 22-inch gloss black alloy wheels. As expensive as wheels are these days, $2,295 seems like it’s covering the wheels and the rest is free.

For those of you who aren’t going all out like this, there are other add-ons you can get. These include a performance package which includes a Hi-Po air intake system and exhaust. There’s also a Heavy-Duty Trailering package. The trailering package includes an auxiliary trailer camera, trailer tire pressure monitoring system, 2-speed active transfer case, and a cooling system with extra capacity. For only $600, that really isn’t all that bad, in my opinion.

One last thing I added on the exterior was the Power-Retractable assist steps with LED perimeter lights. I mean, for only $1,750 extra, why not?

Interior Options

Jet Black, Full leather seats with a little extra goodness under the center console.

We’ve got the outside how we want it. Pretty red paint, retractable assist steps, blacked-out badges, and 22-inch wheels. Let’s move into the part where comfort happens; the interior. On the inside, each Escalade will have an infotainment system with a 16.9-inch diagonal OLED color display for your navigation and music. Other features include Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Near Field Communication mobile pairing, and more.

What about the seating and paneling? I selected the Jet Black full-leather seats with semi-aniline leather surfaces with Mondrian quilting. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what that means, but it looks great. I chose Jet Black over the other two options – Dark Auburn with Jet Black accents and Whisper Beige with Gideon accents. As a fan of the black interior, I couldn’t pass it up.

There is only one remaining add-on that this truck got. For only $700, this baby now has a refrigerator big enough to hold six 500ml bottles. Cadillac claims they can take water from 95ºF to 59ºF degrees in two hours. With two options, refrigerator and freezer mode, your options are endless. 41ºF for the fridge, 23ºF for the freezer mode. I don’t know about you, but that sounds great for trips.

To sum up, we’ve got a full-size truck with the nicest possible package, all sorts of extras, and it’s all powered by a 3.0-liter Duramax engine. What does it cost? Out the door, ready for you to start making payments, this Escalade ESV will cost $109,215. With that being said, if you’re going to purchase one of these and wouldn’t mind me borrowing it for a few weeks, I’ll gladly give it a test rip.

It’s been fun to fantasize about the new Escalade, but in reality, these are extremely nice vehicles and if you can swing it, go for it. The 3.0-Liter engines are a proven little powerhouse. With their proven performance in GMC half-ton trucks, I wouldn’t hesitate to own something like this. They offer great mileage and surprising performance already, so it’ll be cool to have it all in a Cadillac package.

For more information about these trucks, head over to the Cadillac website here. Stay tuned to Diesel Army for more industry news, event coverage, and truck features.

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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