2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid car review @ Top Speed

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Cadillac Escalade Electric Cars


year: 2009 make: Cadillac Model: Escalade Engine: V8 MPG(Cty): 20 MPG(Hwy): 21 Displacement: 6.0 Liters L Layout: FR

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Posted on 06.17.2009 12:00 by Terence 10

General Motor’s luxury arm, Cadillac, has an answer for all the environmentalists out there who want to have their lavish SUV and drive it too. This is mainly due to the vehicle’s 6.0 Liter Vortec combined with an electric generator in the transmission housing to create the world’s first large luxury hybrid SUV. Don’t be fooled by the amount of Hybrid logos strewn about the Escalade, this is truly a big money machine. From our car’s Quicksilver exterior to the Ebony interior the Escalade Hybrid is all about style.

Our $70,375 Escalade Hybrid rolls around on stylish 22 inch chromed rims connected to magnetic ride control shock absorbers that soak up ever imperfection on the road’s surface.

Exterior Impression

From the outside, our Quicksilver Cadillac Escalade Hybrid looks just like the standard luxury SUV offered from one of the surviving branches of General Motors. Unlike the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, a vehicle with which the Cadillac shares many components, Ed Welburn’s crew decided not to go with a lower hanging, more aerodynamic front end. The only thing that will distinguish you as an environmentally friendly driver are the numerous “HYBRID” logos . No matter whether they were etched into glass, or as part of a tacky plastic fender vent, our Escalade had no problem letting the literate world know what exactly it was hiding underneath.

As far as Escalades go, ours was very nice, it came equipped with retractable running boards, that when stowed away doubled as an attractive rocker panel. The shiny strip of metal tied the chromed 22 inch rims together nicely. Overall our Escalade Hybrid had the same bold presence as any full size SUV on the road today . it is hard to imaging an Escalade in anything other than white or black, but Quicksilver is Cadillac’s signature color, so it is only fitting that their truck for the 21st century be wearing it.

The biggest drawback from the vehicle’s exterior is the overabundance of “HYBRID” logos, sure they are neat at first, and despite distinguishing our Escalade as a hybrid from any angle, they are a bit much. The windshield treatment is nice . but do you want to look at the large “HYBRID” strewn across the side of your truck everyday. General Motors is also pushing the elegance of an Escalade with the computer chip looking “H” emblems on the C-pillars, but they go too far with the gaudy fender vents.

It could be that sticking plastic trim pieces to your fender is in fashion, but Cadillac should know well enough to leave that up to the aftermarket.

Interior Impression

The interior of our Escalade is comfortable and luxurious as a $70,000 vehicle should be. From the nuance leather driver’s seat you can enjoy an 8 inch navigation screen that can control or display everything from the 6 disc CD changer, AM/FM/XM radio stations, DVD player, navigation, back up camera and our personal favorite, the power distribution display that is an interesting animation about what exactly the Hybrid two-mode system is doing. The rear seat passengers will appreciate the flip down Panasonic DVD screen and everyone inside can enjoy the Bose 5.1 surround sound system.

The interior of the Escalade is adorned with a combination of wood grain, metal trim and the traditional black dash. The material that came from the forest covers the center stack, steering wheel and accents the armrest in a very upscale manner. The most impressive use of metal comes directly in front of the passenger riding in shotgun.

The dash trim starts with a hybrid badge on the left hand side and is balanced by a cursive Cadillac engraved onto the other side.

One of the most engaging aspects of the Hybrids interior is the Efficiency gauge. We were constantly trying to keep the dial in the green . but that proved to be a bit difficult. What is odd about the way that the GM engineers set up the dials to rotate clockwise, whereas the gauge that displays the vehicle’s fuel economy spins in the opposite direction.

Cadillac Escalade Electric Cars

Why they did it that way, no body knows?

The drive

The Cadilac Escalade Hybrid drove like you would expect any luxury SUV to. Although there was enough ground clearance from this body on frame truck to take it off-road, the suspension was so softly sprung and comfortable that we never even considered it thanks to the magnetic ride control system. You would expect that a vehicle of this size would have the steering feel of a Mack truck, but the directional controls can be easily managed with only the touch of a pinky. The hybrid aspect of this vehicle didn’t change the way our Escalade drives; it did change how we drove the Escalade, especially if the power display was active.

We would find ourselves creeping around in an all-electric vehicle most of the time. The only problem with a hybrid of this nature, is that due to the vehicle’s extra weight from items like batteries, as well as the additional rotating mass from the hybrid electric generator; these car’s highway fuel mileage suffers, only 1 MPG better than city driving according to EPA estimates, but around town thanks to GM’s 2-Mode Hybrid System, we barely used any of the petroleum based product at all.

Why to buy?

Why not to buy?

If you are a closet environmentalist and don’t want your friends down at the industrial plant to find you out, the Escalade’s numerous logos will give you away for sure. If the price is an issue, check out the Tahoe Hybrid, which is the same truck with a slightly lower trim. The other Hybrid SUV success story is the Lexus RX400h, although this is much more of an SUV with a much softer ride and way more body roll.

Top Speed Final Verdict

In order to fully appreciate the Escalade, you must observe while sitting in traffic from another, smaller, less expensive car. While looking at your cheap plastic trim you dream about how comfortable the passengers of the luxurious Escalade must be with their tri zone climate controls and nuance leather captain’s chairs watching a flip down DVD screen.

Cadillac Escalade Electric Cars
Cadillac Escalade Electric Cars
Cadillac Escalade Electric Cars
Cadillac Escalade Electric Cars
Cadillac Escalade Electric Cars

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