2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Review
If you’re shopping for a luxury large SUV with a hybrid powertrain, the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is your only option. Test drivers say it’s a good choice if you can afford it.
The fact that the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is in a class of its own can be both a benefit and a drawback, since test drivers don’t quite know what to compare it with. For a full-size SUV, its fuel economy is great, but it’s less so when put up against other hybrids. It’s more expensive than most other SUVs in its class, but none of them have hybrid powertrains, which adds to the Escalade’s price tag. Just the fact that it’s a truck-based SUV with green pretensions makes it a contradiction in its own right.
However, once you get past the categorical confusion, reviewers say that the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is a pretty good SUV overall. Base models come loaded with standard features that cost thousands extra on competing luxury SUVs. Its fuel economy tops rivals without sacrificing V8 muscle or a brawny towing capacity. Though its third row is cramped for all but the shortest passengers, and must be removed and stored elsewhere if you want to maximize storage space, it has a huge cargo hold that only a few rivals can match. Plus, it drives fairly well for being both an SUV and a hybrid, which are two types of vehicles not known for their driving dynamics.
For most reviewers, the biggest deciding factor when shopping the Escalade Hybrid is its price. Opting for the hybrid over the gas-only model of the Escalade will add about $10,000 to its price tag, and this extra cost would take more than 10 years to make up for in fuel savings, according to the EPA. However, if you’re itching for a green vehicle but don’t want to sacrifice style, luxury, capability or space, and you have the money to spend, the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is a great choice.
Other Luxury SUVs to Consider
If you’re in the market for an eight-seat, truck-based family hauler with great fuel economy, but the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is a bit out of your price range, consider its corporate siblings, the GMC Yukon Hybrid and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. While neither of them can offer the same level of luxury that comes with the Cadillac badge, they both come well-equipped for affordable large SUVs, and they both get the same outstanding gas mileage that the Escalade Hybrid does. Plus, they’ll save you a bundle of money.
If Cadillac’s luxury badge is what drew you to the Escalade Hybrid and you’re willing to sacrifice some space, you should also take a look at the Audi Q7 TDI. It’s a clean diesel, so not only does it offer that luxury-brand cachet, but it gives you some green credibility as well. Reviewers praise its composed driving dynamics, and its interior is high-tech and well-made. Even better, it also starts significantly less than the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid does.
Details: Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is available in either the base or Platinum trim. Both trims are available in either rear- or four-wheel drive. The 2012 Escalade Hybrid is nearly identical to the 2011 model, with the exception of a few new paint colors, updates for the navigation system and some additional anti-theft features. The gas-only Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac Escalade EXT sport-utility truck are reviewed separately.
See the full list of 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid specifications.
- "Yo, yo, yo! Want to save a little gas (emphasis on little) while maintaining your street-cred? Well, the gas-electric Escalade hybrid is just what you're looking for. A rolling contradiction you say? This 'Slade is as much a hybrid as a Toyota Prius, it's just a lot bigger and has more swagger.” -- Car and Driver
- "Bling city, here we come. Even those not enamored of big luxo SUVs have to give Cadillac credit for what it has created in this landmark machine. Such presence, normally mounted up on tall 22-in. chrome wheels.” -- Road and Track
- “The Hybrid model's price premium is steep, but so are the potential fuel economy savings. This premium-large SUV delivers fuel economy comparable to many midsize crossover SUVs with little sacrifice in passenger, cargo, or towing capacity.” -- Consumer Guide
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