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2021 Cadillac Escalade Interior Spied – New Touchscreen and More Knobs

  • The next-generation Cadillac Escalade will have a fancier tablet-like touchscreen with physical knobs instead of frustrating touch controls.
  • The all-new Escalade will receive more user-friendly climate controls, too.
  • Cadillac’s biggest SUV also replaces its old-school column shifter with a more aesthetically pleasing push-button gear selector.

    Few things are less dignified than wildly poking touch-sensitive buttons with your finger and confusedly waiting for a response that may never happen. That often was the case with the old Cadillac User Experience (CUE), which heavily relied on touch inputs to control the climate controls and infotainment system. Thankfully, the next-generation Cadillac Escalade looks to have replaced those pain points (no pun intended) with physical knobs and dedicated buttons.

    Brian Williams

    While we’ve already seen spy photos of the all-new Escalade from the outside, these latest shots finally show off some details about its redesigned interior. Sure, the most noticeable update is the tablet-like touchscreen sprouting from the center of the dash. However, anyone who has ever fiddled with the current Escalade’s counter-intuitive climate and infotainment controls will praise whoever it is they pray to that the upcoming model clearly has several different rotary knobs at the base of the center stack that now handle those functions. There is a row of controls for the radio that is flanked by two knobs, below which is a set of larger controls (and again, two knobs) for the climate system. In another of rebuke of touch-sensitive controls, we bet that the Escalade will also have a rotary control knob on the center console to control the infotainment system like the one found in the XT6 crossover.

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    Brian Williams

    Speaking of that new touchscreen, which is outlined in shiny chrome and mounted above a set of air vents, it appears to be running a version of General Motors’ familiar operating system. (The names change between brands but the menu structure and design stay largely the same.) That more than likely means desirable content such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot will continue to be standard as on the current Escalade. Some recent rumors have suggested that the top-end versions of the new Escalade will get a giant, modern infotainment screen, so the unit pictured here could be just a base model setup.

    Another thing that will change is how the driver selects gears. Currently, every Escalade features a crude column-mounted shifter that looks straight out of a Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon—because it is. Judging by these spy photos, the next-gen ‘Slade will have a trendy push-button shifter located to the left side of the touchscreen. Although we’re not the biggest fans of pushing buttons to select gears, this setup is undoubtedly a more sophisticated alternative to the current Caddy’s outdated column-shifter. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see if the once self-proclaimed “Standard of the World” automaker can deliver a truly luxurious interior on its most popular and most expensive model.


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