Home ยป 2021 Cadillac Escalade Being Benchmarked By Ford

2021 Cadillac Escalade Being Benchmarked By Ford

2021 Cadillac Escalade Being Benchmarked By Ford

A 2021 Cadillac Escalade was recently spotted entering Ford Motor Company’s vehicle development facilities Michigan, indicating that the luxury SUV was acquired by Cadillac’s cross-town rival – which markets the Lincoln luxury brand – for benchmarking purposes.

Our sister publication, Ford Authority, was the first to report on the Escalade’s venture into rival territory. Automakers often  benchmark competing vehicles, so it’s not completely out of the ordinary that Ford has gotten its hands on a fifth-generation Escalade.

Ford’s motive is likely to compare the new Escalade to its Lincoln Navigator, as the Navigator competes head-to-head with the Escalade. The Lincoln offering is expected to undergo a mid-cycle refresh for the 2022 model year, and Ford is clearly doing its homework to see how its offering stacks up.

This isn’t the first time that Ford has acquired a Cadillac Escalade for benchmarking purposes. As Ford Authority reported back in March, a fourth-generation Escalade was undergoing testing alongside a Navigator. The reason that Ford was studying the last-gen Escalade instead of the all-new model is unclear, but it’s likely that the new, 2021 Escalade was simply not available at that point of time.

The Escalade dominates its segment from a sales standpoint, outselling all rivals, including the Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80, and Lexus LX, on a combined basis.

Sales Numbers - Full-Size Luxury SUVs - H1 2021 - USA

CADILLAC ESCALADE +96.27% 20,716 10,555 52% 37%
LINCOLN NAVIGATOR +40.35% 9,228 6,575 23% 23%
INFINITI QX80 -17.38% 7,631 9,236 19% 33%
LEXUS LX +26.19% 2,289 1,814 6% 6%
TOTAL +41.46% 39,864 28,180

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is offered as either a regular-length Escalade model or as a longer variant called Escalade ESV (Escalade Stretch Vehicle). The luxury SUV comes standard with the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 (production code L87) rated at 416 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque. Additionally, the 2021 Escalade and 2021 Escalade ESV can be outfitted with the optional turbo-diesel 3.0L I6 (production code LM2) making 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission.

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Written by
Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.


  1. SO inquiring minds need to know: when you see manufacturers obtain rival cars for comparison purposes (you’d see them in the courtyards of styling studios, also) the question is: where do these cars come from? Are they borrowed from dealers? Purchased outright, rented from third party consultants? I was always curious about this. Thanks.

  2. When Rolls Royce wanted to do opposition research on the 1934 Cadillac V-16, they bought one outright. W.O. Bentley mentions the car in his book.

    • Thanks, Chris. I guess it’s a questionable science anyway: comparing a current competitor’s model to one you’re proposing make several years from now.


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