Featuring 50 percent improvement in fuel economy in city cycle over the standard Cadillac Escalade, the hybrid version of the full-size SUV will be only $3600 more expensive than a similarly-stuffed Escalade with a conventional drivetrain. Whether it is feasible to pay so much money for better mileage will depend on your driving style, but the money will surely be better spent if you opt in for a hybrid drive rather than to get a new plastic body kit and a set of ultra-low-profile wheels.
As the car manufacturer puts it in its press release, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is coming equipped with GM’s “revolutionary” Two-Mode Hybrid technology that was developed by the American conglomerate together with Daimler and BMW. In fact, the technology is so advanced, it easily increases the heavy SUV’s mileage from miserable 12/19mpg city/highway to impressive (not to say stunning) 20/21mpg.
Just consider this: in the city cycle the huge and heavy SUV will be more fuel efficient than much smaller 2009 Toyota RAV4 compact SUV, which only features 19mpg in city driving when equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine! And it will also accelerate quite readily taking less than 8.5 seconds to go from zero to 60 miles per hour: quite an impressive feat for such a behemoth!
The vehicle’s fuel efficiency is partly increased with the help of GM’s new Active Fuel Management technology enabling its standard Vortec V8 engine to shut down four of its eight cylinders in less demanding driving conditions.
The engine is shut down altogether when idling or in low-speed driving like crawling in a long traffic jam.
As far as I understand, the 2009 Escalade Hybrid is offered only in one, fully loaded, package with only two options available. Namely, four-wheel drive and power running boards. Damn, I wish I was a hip-hop star.