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STYLING | 9 out of 10
Crisp exterior style that commands attention with plenty of chrome
Available only as a regular-length model
Controls are thoughtfully placed and within easy reach
The Cadillac Escalade is the vehicle that made GM's luxury brand relevant again among younger buyers, thanks largely to its brash styling and over-the-top luxury items. The new 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid stands to turn the same trick with the environmentalist crowd, combining the Escalade's trademark styling and features with a hybrid powertrain, adding up to one of the greenest full-size SUVs on the road.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that if you want to make a serious statement with your hybrid vehicle, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid might be your weapon of choice. This full-size luxury SUV, which Edmunds notes is "available in one trim level," comes wrapped in an unmistakable skin. Automobile Magazine says that the "crisp exterior style" is one that "commands attention, with plenty of chrome" glistening on the outside. Automobile Magazine reviewers add that, "from the front or rear, the look is unmistakably Cadillac." Unlike the rest of the Cadillac Escalade lineup, which features several body styles, the Hybrid Escalade "will be available only as a regular-length model," points out J.D. Power.
Although reviewers at MyRide.com report that, "superficially, the Escalade Hybrid is almost identical to the regular Escalade," some reviewers are disappointed by the amount of extra badging on this greenest of Escalades. ConsumerGuide, in particular, says that the Hybrid Escalades "have a ridiculous amount of special badging, including front and rear window appliqué and absurd lower door decals."
Once you move inside the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, you'll be treated to a well-styled interior that appeals on nearly every level. Edmunds loves that the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid's "controls are thoughtfully placed and within easy reach," while Automobile Magazine appreciates that they "work competently without requiring extensive training or frequent trips to the owner's manual." Compared to regular Cadillac Escalade models, J.D. Power reports that "the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid will have its own gauge cluster with a special tachometer and an 'economy gauge,'" which provides drivers with a digital display of their fuel efficiency. Many reviewers note that this prompts Cadillac Escalade Hybrid drivers to operate their vehicles even more conservatively than they might otherwise.
The 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid might be too brash for some, but it's sticking with tried-and-true styling.