2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Platinum Edition – Road Test and Review

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IS THE HYBRID WORTH IT?

The Escalade Hybrid is an impressive automobile and I found it to be close enough to a normally powered car that it could offer a rewarding drive experience, which it did. Given the duty cycle of many Escalade Hybrids, the application of the electric motors is actually quite well suited to the stop-and-go traffic and idling involved in city or suburban driving. If you are interested in an Escalade, look into the hybrid. There is a significant price premium over the standard Escalade, and the interior volume is affected by the second row’s seats inability to be removed (the battery pack is under them), but in the vast majority of cases, the hybrid is simply the better choice.

BOTTOM LINE

I was pleasantly surprised with the Escalade, which possesses a somewhat exceptional competence that made me see some value in forgoing some of the latest 
performance and other European features for a car that was simply more reliable. On my personal scale of “take public transportation” to “sell a body part for it,” it ranks “I would keep one that was given to me, lease it if running for public office, or buy should I start driving a lot in Manhattan.”

The $87,000 price is absurd for a Cadillac (I would have expected this car to be in the low 70s) but at least there is a little more than just badge engineering in terms of luxury features to justify the jump in price from that of a hybrid Tahoe. Since the Escalade is approaching the end of its product cycle, there are probably good deals to be had, and with less of a price jump over the standard Escalade, I know exactly what car I would drive if I were running for Congress.

Looking at what Cadillac has done lately, and given plans for an ATS diesel in 2013, I am truly excited to see what the next generation Escalade will look like and how it will perform. Thinking a bit out of the box, perhaps pairing the mild-hybrid system with a turbo diesel engine might be just what it takes to get the Escalade into more driveways previously occupied by Japanese and German S.U.V.s.

THE DETAILS

2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Platinum Edition
Base price/price-as-tested $85,845/$86,840
Drivetrain Front engine, Four-wheel drive
Engine 6.0-liter V8 with two 60 Kw electric motors
Power 332 horsepower @ 5100 RPM from gas V8, 379 Combined
Torque 367 pound-feet @ 4100 RPM
Transmission Two-Mode Hybrid Automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 5,879
Wheelbase (inches) 116.0
Length x width x height (inches) 202.5 x 89.0 x 75.9
0-60 mph (seconds) 8.3
City/highway fuel economy (mpg) 20/23

Virtual Tour

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