As Kim Kardashian Proves, Celebrities Can’t Quit the Escalade

Over 20 years later, Cadillac's gas-guzzling green room on wheels still draws the stars

The front end of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade SUV
Nostalgia for the '90s and early 2000s is in. The Cadillac Escalade, born in that era, never left.

Part of the fun of pop culture nostalgia — particularly the obsession with the ‘90s and early 2000s that has taken root for a while — is looking back and thinking, I can’t believe we thought that was cool. We, in 2021, now understand that the Hummer H2 is not only lame, but a pollution machine. So instead, we now have an electric Hummer and Arnold Schwarzenegger, formerly an unofficial spokesperson for the suburban tank, now prefers EVs like Tesla.

However, some lessons have yet to be learned, as Kim Kardashian’s new ride makes abundantly clear. This week, a shop called Platinum Motorsport posted on Instagram that they had just finished a custom 2021 Cadillac Escalade Platinum ESV (an extended wheelbase version) for the multifaceted mogul, and it quickly drew praise from a number of car outlets.

It’s certainly not hideous the way certain celebrity cars can be when price is no object, but mostly it leaves us wondering: when will celebrities stop their Escalade obsession? 

Ever since the Escalade debuted in 1998 it’s been equated with the rich and famous. Whether owned by musicians, actors or socialites themselves or simply driven by their chauffeurs or security, they’ve ferried everyone to Taylor Swift to Tiger Woods; and despite a desire to shift away from that starry association in the mid-2010s, Cadillac seems to have embraced it with the latest edition, their ads for the 2021 Escalade featuring the Jonas Brothers, Tiffany Haddish, Sofia Vergara and others.

And now, the most famous Kardashian sister is breaking the car internet with her take on the green room on wheels. According to Platinum Motorsport, the wheels are upgraded to 26-inchers and the custom paint job is done up in the color “KK silver,” which we’re assuming is a nod to the buyer’s initials. But when you look past the shimmery facade, what we’re left with is a simple case of overindulgence and gross excess. Does anyone, even celebrities who rightfully need extra privacy, need it in the form of a 19-foot-long, 6,000-pound, gas-guzzling SUV with a gigantic blind spot? I think not.

I may be in the minority though, considering, as we noted in our recent review of the 2021 Escalade, that the nameplate is the longest-running one in Cadillac showrooms. As long as celebrities keep buying them, Americans who want to copy them will too.

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