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I don’t deny that I am not a hybrid fan. The Prius is the anti-muscle car and their owners tend to suck just as much (except for the one guy in LA that blasted past me doing 120). That said, due to a scheduling error, I ended up with a 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid for my recent Rt. 66 roadtrip from Oklahoma to LA. With the standard Escalade getting 13-18 MPGs, the hybrid should be much better, right? Well, according to EPA estimates, the 6.0 liter Hybrid should get 21-23. In my experience, that is achievable; but not at the speed limit. You have to crawl down the asphalt at 60 to get that kind of mileage. We did manage to knock down some 30 MPG numbers when we drove 48 MPH……..

The biggest issue here is not the 331-hp 6.0 liter, it’s the huge beast of a car wrapped around it. This thing is massive, keeping it between the mustard and the mayonnaise is actually kind of difficult, the Escalade tends to drift a little; you have to actually drive this thing. While the behemoth Caddy sucks down the fuel, it certainly has the guts to haul down the highway. At no point were there any issues getting up to speed or passing, even in LA traffic where 85 is slow. In fact, the Escalade was incredibly quick and surprisingly nimble given its size.

Where the Escalade shines is on the surface streets. We got stuck in a traffic jam for 3 hours (yes, three friggin’ hours) and as the 2009 Mercedes S-class in front of us overheated and several others ran out of gas, the Escalade stayed nice and cool with the AC running, and barely burned a lick of fuel, thanks to the auto-stop feature. A standard engine would have easily sucked down a ¼ of a tank.

There are pros and cons to any car, but this is less about the car than it is the Hybrid version. For 13k you get slightly better mileage on the highway (averaged 17 over the entire 3,600 mile trip), much better economy in day traffic and you still have the power to tow. Plus you get a cool little green “H” emblem on the side! If I was going to have an Escalade, it would be a Hybrid, and that takes a lot for me to say.


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