2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Review

Review

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is one sure-fire and fun to drive way of being both chic and almost green at the same time. While very few SUV hybrids have actually managed to pull off what would be considered great fuel economy, those larger ones, like the Escalade, that try are deserving of credit. With beautiful styling as you’d expect from a Cadillac and a luxurious interior, this eight-seater is definitely worth consideration. For those who are looking for a commuter SUV to get the kids around town or carpool with the office employee and who require luxury while doing it, the 2011 Escalade Hybrid has a strong application that demands a test drive. If you’re in the market for a spacious SUV with power yet still capable of healthy fuel savings, then you will definitely want to take a look at the 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.

Specifications

The Escalade Hybrid comes in 4 X 2 and 4 X 4 models, and the 6 liter Vortec V8 engine is rated at 332 horsepower with two tandem 60 kilowatt electric motors and a 300 volt battery system. The hybrid can run on either one or a combination of its power sources to create the right balance of efficiency and performance. Towing capacity is 5,800 pounds and the vehicle uses continuously variable transmission (CVT). The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is $61,420 to $87,725.

  • Pricing: starting MSRP of $61,420
  • Engine: a 6.0-liter V8 engine working in tandem with two 60-kilowatt electric motors and a battery pack in the vehicle expected to produce 332 horsepower.
  • Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • Fuel Economy: 21 miles per gallon city and 22 on the highway
  • Car Safety Features: Stability and traction control, side curtain airbags for all three rows, antilock brakes, and OnStar. For 2010 the Cadillac Escalade received a perfect five out of five stars for frontal crash test ratings and a disappointing three out of five stars for the rollover rating. The Escalade was not tested for side-impact.
  • Warranty: All Cadillac vehicles are covered by GM’s standard 3-year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Both the 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive variants scored “Above Average” ratings according to the IntelliChoice 5-Year Cost of Ownership.

Exterior Features

The 2011 Escalade Hybrid is a full-sized luxury SUV that seats eight and is offered in two trim levels. The base model’s exterior comes with 22-inch chrome-clad wheels, a roof rack, sunroof and xenon headlights as well as a power rear liftgate. The Platinum trim adds a Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension, power-retractable running boards and beautifully-designed and accenting LED headlight elements.

Interior Features

The Escalade Hybrid has a classic Cadillac interior with leather upholstery, a navigation system, memory driver’s seat, and rear seat video entertainment. Front seats are heated, ventilated and power-adjusted. The seven-seat SUV is more than roomy enough for passengers and has an impressive amount of cargo space. The gauges and the navigation system touch screen are large and easy to read although the blue gauge pointers are not ideal for all lighting conditions. The video system has drop down screens.

A rear view camera is included to help in avoiding hard to see rear obstacles. Pedals and steering wheel are power adjustable, but the latter does not have telescopic adjustment. A tri-zone climate control system helps in providing comfort while driving, and the cup holders are designed to both heat and cool drinks.

General Review Consensus

Another reputable reviewer gives the Escalade Hybrid a high score for premium large sport utility vehicles. The vehicle scored highest on front and rear seat comfort, and cargo room, and was above the class average in all categories except quietness where it equaled the average. Steering, acceleration and handling were next closest to the average score, while the controls were highly rated. As would be expected, the hybrid scored well above others in its class in fuel economy.

Pros

On the pro side, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid has well-designed controls, and plenty of passenger room, both for the legs and head, along with ample cargo space. The vehicle is friendly to the environment with good fuel economy though not quite as good as some of its competitors. The hybrid is rated at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

Cons

On the con side, the Escalade Hybrid is not very quiet, and the 22 inch wheels and high vehicle weight limit the ride quality.

Summary

Overall, this large SUV is recommended for people who need a spacious vehicle for commuting, for family trips, or for transporting the kids from one activity to another. The hybrid provides Cadillac luxury but with fuel economy and a respectable price tag. As a value within its class of large SUVs, the 2011 Escalade Hybrid was rated by Consumer Guide at 7 compared to a class average of 5.4.

Competition for the 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

Very nice and luxury-filled as the 2011 Cadillac Escalade is, shoppers would be wise to test drive and consider alternatives such as:

The Lexus Rx 450h affords better fuel economy, but it is not as roomy as the Escalade, nor does it quite perform as well. The Audi Q7 TDI’s fuel-economy is about the same as the Escalade, but the drive is better overall and the vehicle has a higher towing capacity. Both the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid and the GMC Yukon Hybrid cost thousands of dollars less and are otherwise comparable except in the area of luxury refinement.

*Credit for this review goes to automobile.com*