Which of these six-figures SUV should you consider?
Big SUVs command big money, and that’s especially true with this 2021 Lexus LX 570 and the brand new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Both cost north of $100,000 as they’re equipped. If you’re cross-shopping the two for your next family hauler, though, you likely know just how different their approaches to luxury is, even on the surface. The current-generation LX has been with us in some form for the past fourteen years.
Based on the ever-popular 200 Series Toyota Land Cruiser, Lexus takes rugged capability and drapes it in a substantial amount of elegant design and luxurious features. It may be long in the tooth compared to the Escalade, but that sort of old school approach and proven track record offers plenty of charm in its own right.
The 5.7-liter V8 under the hood putting out 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque is about as tank-like as engines come, as it’s served Toyota well from the LX 570 on down through the Toyota Land Cruiser, Tundra and Sequoia. Apart from styling changes and new tech features, the LX certainly leans into that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. It’s a strategy that’s paid dividends, as Lexus still sells nearly 5,000 examples of their flagship SUV every year. Consider this model starts at $88,025 — and this specific car rises to $106,755 with options — and that figure is a solid performance for a decade-old platform.
Old school charm, or high technology?
On the other hand, there’s the brand new Escalade, a car that’s basically been printing money for Cadillac since it first debuted in 1998. While it’s followed a similar philosophy to Lexus and other big luxury SUVs as a platform mate to other mainstream models — specifically the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL — this generation rides on GM’s all-new T1XX architecture. It adopts more modern styling akin to the brand’s ‘XT’ crossovers, and also goes berserk when it comes to available technology.
Not only does the new Escalade gain Super Cruise, but it also has an augmented reality display as well as a night vision camera system. Under the hood, you do still get a 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V8, so that’s one “old-school” touch. However, you can also get GM’s latest 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel, which is a remarkably good engine for this application. Not only is it quiet, but it also provides much better fuel economy for long trips than the LX 570 could ever muster. Add to that massaging seats, a feature-rich (if slightly overwhelming to newcomers) infotainment system, and this $113,065 SUV offers up one hell of a luxury SUV experience.