Cadillac's Escalade Hybrid uses GM's 2-Mode Hybrid system to reduce fuel consumption yet retain the traditional capabilities of a full-size SUV. It's available in rear- or four-wheel-drive form, and its hybrid system works with a V-8 gasoline engine. Primary competitors include the related Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid. Trim levels include the well-equipped base Escalade Hybrid and loaded Platinum model.
New for 2010
For 2010, a new rear axle ratio is said to help gas mileage slightly. The hybrid's gas engine can now run on E85 ethanol, and the cabin gets a few changes among the center controls.
The overall shape of the Escalade Hybrid differs little from its conventional counterpart, but Cadillac has added hybrid badges to the front fenders, C-pillars and liftgate. With all that extra trim work, there won't be any question in the minds of passers-by as to what type of vehicle you're driving.
- Standard 22-inch chrome wheels
- Standard power liftgate
- Standard xenon headlights
- Optional power-retractable running boards
- Standard rear parking sensors and backup camera
The cabin is largely the same as a regular Escalade's, but there are a few hybrid-specific features. The Escalade Hybrid's instrument cluster gains an additional gauge that monitors the efficiency of the vehicle, and the instrument panel gets some hybrid graphics, too. The standard navigation system screen can also display a graphical representation of the hybrid system and its operation. For 2010, the audio system gains a standard USB/iPod port.
- Three rows of seats accommodate up to eight
- Standard leather interior
- Standard power front seats
- Standard heated and cooled front seats
- Standard heated second-row seats
- Standard tri-zone climate control
- Standard moonroof
- Optional heated and cooled cupholders
- Last year's Platinum-edition analog clock now standard
Under the Hood
A lower rear axle ratio is said to improve fuel economy, though EPA gas mileage figures remain the same; the two-wheel-drive Escalade Hybrid is rated at 20/21 mpg city/highway.
The 2-Mode Hybrid system allows the Escalade Hybrid to accelerate from a stop and cruise at slow speeds on electric power alone. When more power is needed, the gas engine will kick on to provide supplementary power. Like most hybrids, the Escalade Hybrid captures energy during braking and stores it in the hybrid battery pack for later use.
- 332-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 engine
- Regular gas or E85
- Automatic transmission incorporates two electric motors
- 5,800- (2WD) or 5,600-pound (4WD) towing capacity
Standard features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
- Three-row side curtain airbags