Those concerned with fuel-economy will appreciate that the 2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid offers a two-mode powertrain for optimal savings. Available as a two or four-wheel drive, it is powered by a 6.0-liter vortec V8 engine that features Active Fuel Management. It used an electronically variable transmission to conserve energy, and it works in conjunction with two 60-kilowatt electric motors and a battery pack. An output of 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque are provided to accelerate zero to 60 mph in approximately 8.6 seconds. Fuel-economy is significantly better than other Escalade models, but it is really nothing to get overly excited about, returning 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. If you need to tow a load, you will probably be pleasantly surprised to learn that this hybrid can safely handle up to 5,800 pounds. The ride is smooth, but if you add in the optional 22-inch wheels you will definitely feel more bumps in the road. The regenerative braking system does take a little getting used to, but you will appreciate how seamlessly the cylinder deactivation system operates.
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• OnStar - One year of the Directions and Connections Plan is included to enhance personal safety and provide peace-of-mind. It includes stolen vehicle slowdown, auto crash response, crisis assist, emergency services, turn-by-turn navigation, roadside assistance and more.
• Audio - Audio system with navigation pairs up with a BOSE 5.1 surround sound that features 10 speakers, video/audio changer, MP3/CD/DVD, USB interface and voice recognition.
• NavTraffic - Working in conjunction with the vehicle’s navigation system, NavTraffic helps you avoid traffic tie-ups and can assist you with finding shorter routes and detours.
• Rearview Camera - Standard is a rearview camera that automatically turns on when you put the vehicle in reverse. It displays anything behind you on the navigation screen, and then provides guiding lines as assistance.
Crash tests have not been done on the 2013 Escalade Hybrid and likely won’t be with how high the MSRP is. Braking has not been tested yet either, but if it follows in the footsteps of the 2012 model, it will take about 138 feet to stop from 60 mph. This is not at all impressive, but it is a heavy vehicle. Safety features include:
• OnStar emergency communications
• Four-wheel ABS
• Electronic brakeforce distribution
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Post-collision safety system
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Dusk-sensing headlamps
• Engine immobilizer
• Rear door safety locks
• Daytime running lights
• Child seat anchors
Styling remains the same for the 2013 Escalade Hybrid. It is easily recognized on the road from a mile away with its jeweled headlamps and chrome egg-crate grille. While some SUVs look outdated with boxy styling, this one manages to look sophisticated and fierce.
One of the biggest benefits of the extended wheelbase on the Escalade ESV is that third row passengers are granted an addition 10 inches of legroom. This makes a huge difference in comfort! First and second rows feature captain’s charis, but you can exchange the second row for a bench seat to make it an eight-passenger vehicle. Gauges and controls are easy to identify and use but you can’t help but feel as though it is just a little outdated, despite the abundance of lavish materials.
Cargo space will impress some but disappoint others. With both rear seats down, you are granted 108.9 cubic feet. However, if you have a bulky item, you will need to move the third row completely because it doesn’t fold flat. Also, with the third row up, there is only 16.9 cubic feet available.