2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Platinum Edition – Road Test and Review

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My only real complaint about the Escalade, however, is a trait that is shared not only across the GMT900 platform, but GM cars in general. The braking feel is lackluster at best and, with the hybrid system recapturing energy from braking, the sensation is of the anti-lock braking system being engaged. Despite the magnetic ride control, nosedive is severe, resulting in a very yank-and-bank ride un stop-and-go traffic, and makes me feel remorse for lumping the suburban Escalade drivers into the “terrible driver” category since I look far worse than they do, and this without four kids crying in the back.

SAFETY AND TECH

GM’s flagship SUV doesn’t disappoint when it comes to equipment, and despite lacking some of the flashy new features of many European or Japanese cars, surprised me at how well outfitted it was and how competently the features worked. In addition to the standard luxury car features, such as heated and cooled leather seats, a moon roof, GPS navigation and a power lift gate, the Escalade has features that are among the latest safety tech available, such as blind-spot monitoring and LED headlights with automatic high-beam dimming.

The Escalade’s cupholders are heated and cooled – Really!

I was working remotely from South Carolina and used the 110V power outlet in the back to power my laptop, the LTE hotspot on my just-released iPhone 5 for the Internet. The OnStar built-in calling facility made up for Verizon’s inability to talk and surf at the same time. Since it was hot out the hybrid’s ability to run the air conditioner without idling the engine to be particularly useful
and I found the Escalade to be a supremely comfortable mobile office.

Initially, I laughed at the Escalade’s infotainment systems. A clearly dated touch-screen navigation system was up front, and there were three DVD screens for the second row. XM Satellite Radio and a USB port were my choices for audio entertainment through the Bose surround sound system, and it was even compatible with my iPhone 5 and its new adaptor. Navigating through iPhone’s music playlists was easy, and the steering wheel controls were logical.  Even the DVD screens in the back proved to be useful with the surround sound system when the power went out at my friend’s house during a severe thunderstorm, which the XM NavWeather service had alerted me to on the LCD display.

In some instances the Escalade shows its age, particularly with the Bluetooth telephone connection. Paring a phone requires using voice commands, while most cars use the infotainment screen, which would be an easier process. Also, it is difficult to switch between the paired cellphone and the OnStar system’s built-in calling. However, the showstopper is that the sound quality is so bad you will simply give up using the speakerphone for your cell calls altogether.

Click here to continue to Page 4Is the Hybrid worth it? and Bottom Line

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