Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
Overall Rating: 8.5
From The Third Row: Taller adults might get squished, but oh, you're rolling in a 'Slade.
Bottom Line: The 2011 Cadillac Escalade delivers solid, luxurious, and spacious accommodations with an advanced feature set.
For many of those seduced by the Escalade's uniquely American, 'King of the Road' look and feel, what it comes down to is being able to live with the fuel economy. That's why the Escalade Hybrid—which gets an EPA-rated 20 mpg city, 23 highway, rather than as low as 13/18 for the standard version—makes a lot of sense.
With badging quite small and subtle, the Hybrid powertrain itself is a talking point only when you want it to be, and the rest of the time your passengers—or even you—probably won't even know the difference given the performance of the V-8 and excellent Two Mode hybrid system. Best yet, the Hybrid has the same secure, confident feel as the standard Escalade.
Our only complaints with the Escalade Hybrid models is that they're not offered in the longer ESV form that brings a roomier, easier-to-access third row. And as with GM's other truck-based full-size SUVs including the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, the third-row seats are an old-style design that doesn't fold; rather, they need to be lifted out of the vehicle and, depending on your strength and arm length, it's probably a two-person job.