New Model News

Everything you want to know about the 2021 Cadillac Escalade

The Escalade has been redesigned for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

In advance of Oscar Week, Cadillac unveiled an all-new 2021 Escalade in Los Angeles, an appropriate location given the vehicle's long-standing relationship with Hollywood elite and self-made American success stories.

"There is something special about driving an Escalade," said Cadillac president Steve Carlisle. "It has the bold presence and exclusive technology to elevate the extraordinary and make every drive feel like an occasion."

Here's what you need to know about the new model.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The Cadillac Escalade features a clean dashboard design.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The exterior is sleek and stylish.

The new full-size premium Escalade SUV's exterior is understated and elegant, with a classic, large grill and on-trend distinctive slim horizontal and vertical light treatments throughout. The large, square windows provide excellent visibility. The slab-sided doors have stationary handles with a hidden release latch for a clean, sleek look. Upper trims offer soft-close for a premium feel.

There are two powertrain options.

The new Escalade comes with a powerful 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 with 460 pound-feet of torque. For the first time ever, the Escalade will offer a 277-horsepower 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline six cylinder, with the same 460 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and available inn either a rear-wheel or four-wheel configuration.

The diesel is ideal for trailering and towing, as well as longer trips. While fuel economy and range are not yet available, count on the diesel offering better numbers than the gas engine but at a higher price point.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The OLED screen curves in such a way that a hood is not required to cut down on glare.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Escalade's most impressive updates are in its cabin.

While the exterior received a modern and appealing redesign, the interior is the real showstopper, with a car-like experience contrasting the masculinity of the truck.

The curved OLED screen is (literally) a big deal.

The eight-passenger, three-row Escalade features a trio of huge, paper-thin, first-to-market curved screens covering a total of 38 inches of total diagonal display area. The first screen is a 7.2-inch diagonal touch control panel on the driver's left side. The second screen is a 14.2-inch-diagonal instrument panel cluster display centered on the steering wheel. The third screen supports the infotainment features and measures 16.9-inch-diagonal area.

The screens are sourced from consumer electronics giant LG and include Organic Light Emitting Diode, more commonly known as OLED. OLED technology provides stunning, vivid light and true black with no light bleed often seen with LED. The center screen is touch but can also be manipulated via knobs and dials, a dual-operational mode designed to appeal to a wide audience of users. A discreet row of buttons control climate.

A full suite of vehicle functions, tasks, and apps including Android Auto and Apple Car Play are supported via the screens and can be customized and arranged according to preference. Monitoring fuel economy, tire pressure, trailering, navigation, and audio are just a few choices.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Rear seat passengers can be entertained via seat-back screens.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has given the Escalade a long list of desirable standard features.

Key standard features include a full suite of enhanced driver assist systems such as hands-free Super Cruise with over-the-air update capability and on-demand lane change. The Escalade offers five different trim levels, eight exterior colors and at least eight interior color and trim choices. Cadillac is rolling out a new 360 visualizer for full customization of the Escalade available on the brand's website.

A rear camera mirror is available, particularly useful when trailering or when the cargo area is packed and visibility is compromised. The mirror uses a rear-facing camera to provide real-time rear-view visibility.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Cadillac's Super Cruise technology is the only hands-free system in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The navigation system uses augmented reality.

Cadillac's infotainment system features an all-new augmented reality-enabled navigation, with live street views with directional overviews to aid in driving directions. Surround Vision, standard in all Escalades, provides a birds-eye view of the area around the vehicle, providing additional visual assistance especially when parking.

Rear passengers can be entertained and easily heard throughout the cabin without having to shout.

The second-row entertainment package offers a pair of 12.6-inch-diagonal independent touch display screens featuring navigation, streaming games, music, and videos via USB or HDMI inputs. Strategically placed microphones, part of the available 36-speaker industry-first AKG audio technology, provide easy front and rear-passenger communication.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The Escalade features spacious, comfortable seats.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The 2021 Escalade is longer than the 2021 model.

The 2021 Escalade has a longer wheelbase and overall longer vehicle, providing 40 percent more third-row legroom (34.9 inches) and a 68 percent increase in maximum cargo capacity behind the third row (25.5 cubic feet) in the standard length vehicle.

The Escalade ESV adds another nearly 14 inches to the wheelbase and nearly 16 inches to the overall length. In both models, the new independent rear suspension not only improves overall ride comfort, but also allows for a lower interior floor, increasing leg room in the last row by 10 inches.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The Escalade will once again be offered in an extended wheelbase variant.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Escalade is made in America.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will be manufactured at GM's Arlington, Texas assembly plant and will be in dealer showrooms in late 2020.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Chevrolet Suburban is just one of the models caught up in the recall.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

No automaker wants to have to recall its vehicles. But, they do so willingly (most of the time) in order to prevent a larger problem from presenting itself. Sometimes the repairs are immediately needed, like when there's an imminent fire risk, while other times they seem like they can be put off a bit, like when a sticker needs to be replaced on a door jamb. No matter the recall, buyers should act as soon as they receive notice of a recall on their vehicle.

Today, it was announced that approximately 7 million SUVs and trucks would be part of a recall regarding Takata airbag inflators. GM has been fighting the recall for four years.

In a statement, General Motors said:

"The safety and trust of those who drive our vehicles is at the forefront of everything we do at General Motors. Although we believe a recall of these vehicles is not warranted based on the factual and scientific record, NHTSA has directed that we replace the airbag inflators in the vehicles in question. Based on data generated through independent scientific evaluation conducted over several years, we disagree with NHTSA's position. However, we will abide by NHTSA's decision and begin taking the necessary steps."

The recall is part of a larger Takata airbag recall that has affected over 60 million Takata air bag inflators in tens of millions of vehicles in the United States alone.

To date, 18 people have been killed by rupturing Takata inflators in the U.S. The inflators have also caused hundreds of injuries, including lacerations and other serious injuries to occupants' face, neck, and chest areas.

The Takata airbag recall was initiated in 2015 when the company entered into a Consent Order with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizing there was an issue with inflators installed in vehicles across 12 different automakers. A Coordinated Remedy was initiated that prioritized and phased the Takata recalls by vehicles most at risk to least at risk.

The automaker has been fighting the recall since shortly after the defect information report (DIR) was submitted, in May 2016. At that time, GM asked that the NHTSA defer its decision on the inconsequentiality of the inflators used by the company until GM was able to complete its testing and engineering analysis in August 2017. That request was granted due to the extraordinary circumstances of the recall.

GM and the NHTSA went back and forth with testing results and clarifications through 2018. A second DIR was filed by Takata in 2017, which triggered another filing by GM, this time a petition for exemption. The process repeated in 2018 and 2019, with GM looking to exempt all but a few of their models from the recall.

Those vehicles are "GMT900" models that contain "SPI YP" and "PSPI-L YD" inflator variants. The GMT900 is a General Motors-specific platform that underpins a number of light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks and SUVs including: Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500, GMC Sierra 2500/3500, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Avalanche, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV, and Cadillac Escalade EXT. The petition involves approximately 5.9 million model year 2007–2014 vehicles.

GM undertook a number of weathering, aging, and safety tests as part of its research into the recall. Those results were then submitted to the NHTSA.

According to the filing released this week regarding the petitions, a manufacturer does not have a "statutory obligation to conduct a recall for a defect unless and until it 'learns the vehicle or equipment contains a defect and decides in good faith that the defect is related to motor vehicle safety,' or NHTSA orders a recall by making a 'final decision that a motor vehicle or replacement equipment contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety.'"

It is because of this, that the NHTSA says that, "a manufacturer bears a heavy burden in petitioning NHTSA to determine that a defect related to motor vehicle safety (which necessarily involves an unreasonable risk of an accident, or death or injury in an accident) is nevertheless inconsequential to motor vehicle safety. In accordance with the plain meaning of 'inconsequential,' the manufacturer must show that a risk posed by a defect is not important or capable of being ignored."

GM was up against a steep hill to begin with. Of the three known occasions in which the NHTSA has previously considered petitions contending that a defect is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, the Agency has granted only one of the petitions. That action occurred nearly three decades ago, in what the Agency refers to as "a vastly different set of circumstances".

GM submitted thousands of pages of research and context to the NHTSA in support of their case as well as supporting testimony from an engineer who is an expert in airbag construction and safety.

Despite the efforts, the NHTSA determined that GM has not demonstrated that the defect is inconsequential to safety in the GMT900 vehicles. A number of reasons were given for the determination including that GM was unable to identify how the unique construction of the inflators in their vehicles made them less prone to rupture, how solar-insulating glass in the large cabin of the vehicles was decreasing the environmental impact on the inflators, and the small sample size of the inflators tested (just 0.07 percent of the total GMT900 population). GM also argued that replacing the inflators exposed owners to risk due to the possibility of improper dealership installation of the replacement inflator.

In its final decision, the NHTA said,

"The defect here poses an unsafe condition caused by the degradation of an important component of a safety device that is designed to protect vehicle occupants in crashes. Instead of protecting occupants, this propellant degradation can lead to an uncontrolled explosion of the inflator and propel sharp metal fragments toward occupants in a manner that can cause serious injury, including lacerations to the face, neck and chest, and even death. This unsafe condition—hidden in an air bag module—is not discernible even by a diligent vehicle owner, let alone an average owner.

"Moreover, nineteen manufacturers (including GM for other populations of their vehicles) have conducted similar recalls of other non-desiccated PSAN inflators. NHTSA has been offered no persuasive reason to think that without a recall, even if current owners are aware of the defect and instant petition, subsequent owners of vehicles equipped with GMT900 air bag inflators would be made aware of the issue.226 This is not the type of defect for which notice alone enables an owner to avoid the safety risk. A remedy is required."

Within 30 days of the date of this decision (November 20, 2020), GM shall submit to NHTSA a proposed schedule for the notification of GMT900 vehicle owners and the launch of a remedy required to fulfill those obligations.

To find out if your vehicle is part of a recall, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.

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The 2022 Nissan Rogue Sport was caught being tested on the road in Europe.

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

In most markets around the globe, the Nissan Rogue Sport is known as the Qashqai. It's a revered model that has won the world over with its small yet spacious cabin, suitable powertrain, and appropriate price tag. A third generation of the model is now being planned. In anticipation of the vehicle's 2021 on-sale date, prototypes of the new Rogue Sport are hitting the road in Europe for final bits of testing.

In the automaker's U.S. lineup, the Rogue Sport sits below the Rogue but above the Kicks.

Nissan says it expects the model to get busy "resetting what customers can expect from a compact crossover". That starts at the frame where the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMG-C platform serves as the base of the model. It's the first vehicle to use the platform, which combines with steering enhancements and equipment upgrades to make the Rogue Sport the right proportions to navigate city roads, country lanes, and highways with ease, as well as park in urban areas.

2022 Nissan Rogue Sport/Qashqai The Rogue Sport isn't just a smaller version of the Rogue, as you can see from the photos.Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Though stronger than its predecessor, the new Rogue Sport features an ultra high-strength steel body designed to deliver a smoother and safer ride for passengers. The front and rear doors, front fenders and hood, are made of aluminum.

Revisions continue at the front and rear where Macpherson struts take their place. The Rogue Sport will be offered in two- and all-wheel drive configurations. Two-wheel drive models get 19-inch wheels while advanced multi-link all-wheel drive versions get 20-inchers.

At the front are new LED headlights which are designed to adapt their beam shape according to the road conditions and other road-users. The beam is divided into 12 individual elements that selectively deactivate upon detection of an oncoming vehicle.

Nissan is preparing the model with two different engine options. A 1.3-liter mild-hybrid engine that will be available in two different power outputs. Exact details will be released closer to the SUV's on-sale date. The electrified system is called e-Power and uses an high-output battery, petrol engine, power generator, inverter, and motor to power the vehicle. Unlike in a traditional hybrid, the petrol engine is not connected to the wheels; it simply charges the battery.

2022 Nissan Rogue Sport/Qashqai

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.


Steps have been taken to make the Rogue Sport more fuel efficient including adding active shutters and making the floor of the vehicle flat.

Nissan is prepared to offer the model with the next generation of ProPilot drive assistance technology called ProPilot with Navi-Link. The company describes the technology:

"ProPILOT with Navi-link is able to accelerate and brake the vehicle within a single-lane on a highway. The system can accelerate the vehicle to cruise at a set speed, and can brake the vehicle down to 0 km/h in heavy stop-start traffic. The system is able to resume automatically if the vehicle has been stationary for less than three seconds and the traffic in front of the car moves away.

The steering system and the camera are constantly updating the vehicle's position, helping the car to stay centred within the lane while maintaining a pre-determined speed but with the capability to adapt and maintain a safe distance to the car in front.

On the all-new Nissan Qashqai, the updated system is now able to adapt the car's speed according to additional external circumstances: when the car crosses to a lower speed limit zone on the highway, the system is able to read road signs and take into account navigation system speed limit data to slow the Qashqai to the appropriate speed, meaning the driver doesn't need to adjust the cruise control speed manually.

The system can also use data from the navigation system to adjust the speed for approaching curves or exit ramps that have a tighter radius.Furthermore, ProPILOT with Navi-link can now communicate with the Qashqai's blind-spot radars to help intervene with a steering input correction to help prevent a lane-change manoeuvre if there is a vehicle in the blind-spot zone.

Other upgrades include a "flank protection" warning for urban situations, which alerts the driver of the risk of contact with an object on the side of the vehicle, typically when turning into a supermarket parking space. And the new Qashqai can also intervene to prevent a collision upon reversing from the space thanks to an upgrade on the existing Moving Object Detection alert, applying the brakes to stop the car if a moving obstacle is detected nearby."

Stay tuned for more information about the Rogue Sport/Qashqai. The new generation is expected to be fully revealed soon.

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