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|75||Total Digital Display (in)||38|
|10,000||Max Towing Capability (lbs)||8,300|
When you think about the most luxurious full-size SUV on the road, what model immediately comes to mind? The Cadillac Escalade has held this honor for decades thanks to Cadillac’s reputation for building some of the most luxurious vehicles on the road. Change is on the horizon, however, and the Escalade could be ousted from its throne with the debut of the Wagoneer brand. Set to deliver premium American luxury, the Wagoneer continues the rich heritage of Jeep’s original Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer but with a modern twist. So, what does a comparison between the 2022 Grand Wagoneer vs 2021 Cadillac Escalade look like, and which model offers the utmost in luxury?
A quick glance at the models, and it’s easy to see why the Escalade will have to resign its title. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer delivers exceptional luxury across its lineup, whether you’re shopping for the Series I, Series II, Obsidian, or Series III trims. Even the Series I base model oozes luxury with its distinct Grand Wagoneer styling, gloss black painted roof, extensive digital displays, heated and ventilated leather seating, and the industry’s first-ever McIntosh 19-speaker entertainment system. Can you imagine what the Series III trim has to offer if this is only the base model?
So, how does the 2021 Escalade compare? The base Luxury model starts at $76,195, which is noticeably lower than the Grand Wagoneer’s $87,590 starting price.* However, you don’t get near as many standard features beyond a 19-speaker sound system and a suite of safety and driver-assist tools. You’ll have to upgrade to the Premium Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury Platinum, or the Sport Platinum trim to even reach the same realm as the premium luxury offered on the Grand Wagoneer.
The heartbeat of the 2022 Grand Wagoneer sits under the hood and brings Wagoneer’s vision of delivering premium American luxury to life. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer is equipped with a 6.5-liter V8 engine and TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission that brings the SUV to life with a launch from 0 to 60 mph in six seconds. This quick acceleration comes from the engine’s sheer power that delivers 417 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque, the latter of which is responsible for the Grand Wagoneer’s best-in-class towing capability of up to 10,000 pounds.
Just when you thought a luxury SUV couldn’t get any better, the Grand Wagoneer proves otherwise with its off-road capability and enhanced components that deliver one of the best rides in the segment. While the Grand Wagoneer is designed with luxury in mind, it’s also ready for any adventure thanks to three available four-wheel drive systems - the Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and the Quadra-Drive II - and components like the Quadra-Lift air suspension and the Selec-Terrain traction management system. The three four-wheel drive systems allow you to customize the Grand Wagoneer to your needs and start with the Quadra-Trac I that delivers full-time four-wheel drive and maximizes efficiency and traction. The Quadra-Trac II system monitors tire slippage and engages the system to route torque to the wheel with the most traction. The Quadra-Drive II system is the most advanced and is paired with an electronic limited-slip differential that delivers the best traction in the industry by anticipating or instantly responding to tire slippage.
The Selec-Terrain traction management system allows you to further customize how the Grand Wagoneer performs by fine-tuning 12 different systems: powertrain, braking, 4WD, torque split, suspension, throttle control, transmission, etc. The system includes five driving modes - Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, Sand/Mud - as well as Hill-Ascent and Hill-Descent Control that give you more control as you ascend or descend steep grades. These tools work in conjunction with the Quadra-Lift system that can lift or lower the SUV. The settings include Normal Ride Height with 8 inches of ground clearance, Off-Road 1 with 9 inches of clearance, Off-Road 2 with 10 inches of clearance, Park Mode that lowers the SUV 1.6 inches, and Aero Mode that lowers it 0.6 inches for optimal performance and efficiency.
The 2021 Escalade doesn’t have the same advantage as the Grand Wagoneer when it comes to four-wheel drive technology or towing capability. This makes sense considering that Wagoneer is a sub-brand of Jeep, an automaker known for its legendary four-wheel drive technology. So, how does the Escalade perform? The Cadillac comes standard with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that delivers 420 horsepower, which is slightly less than the Grand Wagoneer. You can opt for the Duramax 3.0-liter turbo diesel engine, but not even the diesel can match the Grand Wagoneer’s 9,850-pound towing capacity with the Escalade capable of hauling up to 8,300 pounds.
Like the Grand Wagoneer, the Escalade delivers a smooth ride with its independent rear suspension and Magnetic Ride Control, the latter of which constantly reads the road to absorb bumps and vibrations. For 2021, Cadillac added an Air Ride Adaptive Suspension system that automatically adjusts the height of the SUV to optimize performance and efficiency. You’ll also find an available electronic limited-slip differential is available, but there’s nothing comparable to the Grand Wagoneer’s remarkable four-wheel drive technology.
There’s no shortage of connectivity features in either the 2022 Grand Wagoneer or the 2021 Escalade. However, you’ll find the Grand Wagoneer easily leads the race when it comes to the sheer volume of displays. This is instantly apparent with the Grand Wagoneer offering up to 75 inches of total screen display area compared to the Escalade that offers nearly half of that at 38 inches.
The Grand Wagoneer’s digital displays are prominent throughout the cabin and start with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 12.0-inch reconfigurable center stack touchscreen display with split-screen capability that allows you to use multiple apps at once. The screens are home to the award-winning Uconnect 5 system and give you seamless access to your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. The system also includes built-in Alexa, SiriusXM 360L, navigation, over-the-air updates, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and five user profiles.
Your front passenger also has access to a 10.25-inch passenger screen with four unique functions. These functions allow your passenger to act as your co-pilot by managing your device, aiding with navigation, controlling the front and rear-seat entertainment, and accessing unique features like the exterior cameras and Fire TV for Auto. The Grand Wagoneer is the first vehicle in the industry to offer Fire TV, which gives your passengers access to hundreds of thousands of apps, television shows, and movies. Passengers in the backseat can easily access Fire TV from the 10.1-inch rear passenger displays found behind the driver and front passenger seat. Passengers also have access to a 10.25-inch comfort display screen housed in the center console between the two front captain’s chairs, which is home to climate controls and more.
Beyond entertainment and accessibility, there are plenty of unique features that come with the Grand Wagoneer’s extensive connectivity suite. As the driver, you can use the rear seat monitoring camera system to view the entire cabin on the center touchscreen display. You can zoom in on each seat location to get a better view of your passengers, which is great when you’re hauling younger passengers who need extra attention. You’ll also find it easier to focus on the road thanks to the customizable digital gauge cluster that you can customize from nearly two dozen different menus to put all the information you need within eyesight.
You won’t find as many displays in the 2021 Escalade as you will in the Grand Wagoneer. The Escalade offers 38 inches of displays that stretch across three screens. When you’re in the driver’s seat, you’ll have access to the 7.2-inch digital touch control panel driver information center on your left and the 14.2-inch cluster display behind the steering wheel. To your right, you’ll find the 16.9-inch infotainment system. Opting for the rear-seat entertainment package adds a pair of 12.6-inch touchscreen displays that are great for entertaining; just don’t expect to find Fire TV for Auto on the Escalade since the feature is exclusive to the Grand Wagoneer.
Innovative is a great way to describe the Grand Wagoneer and the Escalade, especially when you’re talking about safety and driver-assist technology. For the last few years, Cadillac has set the standard of innovation with the debut of Super Cruise, the industry’s first hands-free driving technology. Compatible with over 200,000 miles of highways throughout the United States and Canada, the tool continues to get better with time, and that’s exactly what you’ll find on the 2021 Escalade that boasts an enhanced system with automated lane change capability. This means you can turn on your blinker, and the system will automatically perform the lane change when it's safe to do so.
Aside from its Super Cruise technology, the 2021 Escalade is also equipped with an impressive suite of safety and driver-assist tools that work to enhance visibility and minimize the potential for collision. Automatic Emergency Braking can bring the Escalade to a full stop, while the Rear Camera Mirror gives you a wider, less obstructed view behind the SUV at all times. You can upgrade the standard rear vision camera to a high-definition version in addition to adding enhanced tools like Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and Automatic Seat Belt Tightening.
You’ll find similar features on the 2022 Grand Wagoneer, which offers over 120 standard safety features across its lineup. These features include Automatic Emergency Braking that can detect pedestrians, cyclists, obstacles, and other vehicles. Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go takes the guesswork out of cruising at highway speeds, while Active Lane Management helps you keep the Grand Wagoneer safely in its lane. Blind Spot Monitoring helps you confidently change lanes. Other tools include Rear Cross Path Detection and Rear Park Assist.
The big question is, “Can the Grand Wagoneer match the Escalade’s Super Cruise technology?” The answer is “yes,” and that’s thanks to tools like Active Driving Assist, Hands-Free Active Driving Assist, Hands-Free Active Driving Assist, and ParkSense Automated Parking, all of which are autonomous driving tools. Active Driving Assist is the Grand Wagoneer’s version of Super Cruise. The ParkSense Automated Parking takes the technology even further by parking the Grand Wagoneer with little input from you in the driver’s seat.