Overview & Reviews
The relatively short-lived Cadillac Escalade Hybrid was meant to bring some green-tinted credentials to the full-size SUV segment. The secret was the vehicle's hybrid technology that helped this big SUV get around 20 mpg in city driving. As with its related siblings, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid, the Escalade Hybrid had a 6.0-liter V8 coupled to a pair of 60-kilowatt motors packaged within the transmission.
As expected, the Cadillac version is much more luxurious than the Chevy or GMC versions, with a higher-quality interior and nearly every pampering feature as standard. However, none of these SUVs really make much sense except maybe to someone who needs to occasionally carry seven people and/or tow a boat while wishing for 20-plus mpg fuel economy and a luxurious interior. That seems like a rare demographic, especially when you consider the Escalade Hybrid's hefty price. As such, most people would be better off with a more efficient diesel-powered SUV or a hybrid that's based on a more modern and more efficient crossover SUV.
Used Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Models
The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid was produced from 2009 through 2013. The eight-passenger, full-size SUV changed very little through the years. However, for its first year it lacked E85 (Ethanol blend) fuel capability and a USB audio connection. More importantly, it achieved slightly lower fuel economy because of a different rear axle ratio.
Other than that first year (when it was offered in a single trim level), the Escalade Hybrid came in a choice of two well-equipped trim levels -- base and ultra-plush Platinum Edition -- and with either rear- or four-wheel drive. All were propelled by a two-mode hybrid powertrain that consisted of a 6.0-liter V8 engine joined to a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors. Combined output with the electric motors was 379 horsepower.
At speeds of up to about 25 mph, this full-size SUV could be powered solely by its electric motors, after which the gasoline engine came into play. At higher speeds (and depending on driving conditions), a cylinder-deactivation system could shut down up to half the V8's cylinders. First year versions with rear-wheel drive were rated at 20 mpg combined, while all the following years earned a 21 mpg combined rating. The 4WD version is only slightly less frugal.
Standard equipment highlights included 22-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, adaptive shock absorbers, leather upholstery, heated and cooled power-adjustable front seats with driver memory, tri-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system with real-time traffic, rear park assist with a rearview camera, a rear-seat entertainment system and a Bose surround-sound stereo system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio. The Platinum Edition added power-retractable running boards, LED headlights, special leather upholstery and an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system.
In reviews, our editors lauded the standard Escalade as one of the most luxurious and well-appointed full-size SUVs on the market, and the same goes for the eight-passenger Hybrid model. However, the 50/50-split third-row seat is a hassle to configure to cargo hauling duty, as it doesn't fold flat and must be manually removed to free up the 109 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity.
Overall, though, the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid offers an opulent and library-quiet environment for its passengers. The hybrid powertrain delivers merely adequate power, but transitions between electric and gas power are impressively smooth. Even in the used car market, a cost-benefit analysis doesn't reflect well on the Escalade Hybrid. The regular Escalade is more powerful and significantly cheaper, while there are any number of luxury SUVs that get the same or at least similar fuel economy.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 14.00
The Big Sipper - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By Brak - February 13 - 10:00 am
It ain't a Prius, but I am getting much better city mileage than in my previous CX-9. I have been pleasantly surprised that I have not given up much in terms of acceleration but gained so much in luxury, comfort and space. The legend is (not from the dealer but my research) that this is one of the "bail- out mobiles" driven from Detroit by the GM execs that were blasted for flying the private jets. A bunch of them came off lease and I got this for $11k-$13k below retail (according to Edmunds and KBB). Looks a lot better once I got all the blasted "Hybrid" decals off. We are in love with the Big Sipper.
Huge Mistake - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By Michele - May 6 - 9:50 am
My husband wanted this car and we traded in our Lexus GX for it. I should have know something when they rushed to take our Lexus. It looks great on the outside, causing accidents when I drive from people looking so hard. Cheaply made bumper (bumped while parked by a car slowing coming out park) and broke clips and bumper. Seat belts are flimsy (my kids as well as myself struggle to buckle in). We are currently trading it in and it has lost so much value the last year (over 10 thousand). Factory Remote start works when it feels like it. I have to push button several times unless I am right next to it. Who needs it then. Don't listen when they tell you that this car can take regular.
Excellent value - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By Bill - April 15 - 7:03 pm
Had it for a week. My wife's vehicle. She Loves it. Tim, the owner of the Dealership, explained and oriented the vehicle for 45 minutes with my wife. She was very Impressed with the vehicle and the time put in to explain everything by Tim. We traded a Lexus LX-470 in on it. Got tired of 12.8 mpg and Premium Gas prices. The Cadillac gets 23-25 mpg in real world setting and uses regular gas. The build quality is equal to Lexus. Finally, Hats off to an American Vehicles
WOW!!!!! - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By escaladelover - February 28 - 11:00 am
What a beautiful SUV!!!!! Such a nice and luxurious exterior and interior. The fuel economy for a hybrid is unbelievable!!! My escalade averages around 21.2 MPG for city and around 20 MPG for highway which is magnificent for a vehicle this size!!!!
Our second Escalade, this ones the best! - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By Vegasb - December 25 - 9:36 pm
Great SUV, even though it is a Hybrid the power is considerable. When comparing to other vehicles such as the Range Rover and GL550, they just don't match up for the features and the price. My wife uses this vehicle and it is perfect for our family.
Buyer beware - 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By mother8 - May 19 - 2:59 pm
The electrical system has gone out four times in 6 weeks. This means no power steering, power brakes, gas etc. No power! This makes the vehicle a liability on the road. I am getting very little support from the dealer to resolve this issue. This vehicle needs to be taken off the road before someone gets hurt or even worse killed. Traveling at a high speed on the freeway without power as I experienced was quite frightening to say the least. Every time the system has failed I was traveling in traffic. Not sure if this is a Hybrid, Cadillac or Escalade issue?
Love It ! - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By Frank - April 18 - 7:26 am
I traded in a 2007 Tahoe for the Escalade and so far I am very impressed with the performance. You step on the gas and the performance is much better than I was expecting from a hybrid. I am getting 20.7 MPG combined City/Highway driving with mildly conservative driving habits.The fit and finish is what you would expect from Cadillac and is fun to drive.
Smooth Ride - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By ? - January 28 - 10:50 am
This is my third Escalade. Hybrid is very quiet. The 2007 was really loud. Very smooth acceleration. Ride is 75% better than 2007 vehicle. The bluetooth is great to have although should have been available on the 2007. Hybrid gets 18-19 on average which for me is acceptable. Love the vehicle. Do not drive like a full size sport utility. Best large SUV on the road. Have driven it 4K miles. Flawless.
Swag! - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By FormerJapaneseBuyer - March 14 - 2:30 pm
I'll cut to the chase: 18 MPG AVG for me, iPhone 3G pairs easily and Bluetooth works great; kids can watch and listen to movie with included Bluetooth headphones - while parents listen to 6-disc CDs/XM; rear console A/V jacks keeps cable out of sight when hooking up to iPhone or 111 game Nintendo knock-off or PSP; exterior styling says, "yeah, I gettin moneh" as well as prompts jealous onlookers. I own a Prius and used to buy japanese cars exclusively - but not anymore! I'm 33 y/o and I rock (and I thank God/Allah/Yaweh - whoever is responsible for giving me what I have - if he/she really exists).
My first Cadillac - 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
By imint213 - January 30 - 3:18 am
We sold our Lexus GX470 and chose to buy a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. Gas mileage is great and love the features. I would never buy new, so we got a great deal. Ride is great for being on a truck chassis. I have missed the truck feel. You do have to adjust for your braking distance, but there's a safety advantage to driving a heavy SUV.