2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Review

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid gets great fuel economy and has lots of cargo space for the class. Reviewers said it has a well-appointed interior, but that it is sluggish from a stop and its regenerative brakes can feel spongy.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy for the class
  • Ample cargo space
  • Third row is cramped and doesn’t fold flat
  • Leisurely acceleration from a stop
  • Spongy brakes




Critics' Rating: 7.3
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Overview

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid has a V8 engine and an electrically variable transmission (EVT), which houses two electric motors. Reviewers said that the Escalade Hybrid accelerates somewhat sluggishly from a stop and the transmission can be slow to respond to throttle inputs. The Escalade Hybrid comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is available. According to the EPA, the 2012 Escalade Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 20/23 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a large SUV. Test drivers said the Escalade Hybrid has competent handling. However, several wrote that its brakes feel spongy and give uneven feedback, which are common complaints about regenerative braking systems in hybrid vehicles.

Automotive journalists said the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid’s interior is attractive and modern, with excellent materials. The Escalade Hybrid seats eight in three rows. Critics agreed that the first- and second-row seats are comfortable, but complained that the third-row seat has a thin cushion and lacks legroom. The Escalade Hybrid has a maximum of 108.9 cubic feet of cargo space, which is excellent for the class. However, the Escalade Hybrid’s third-row seat has to be tumbled forward or removed to maximize cargo space, which reviewers disliked. Most other large SUVs have third-row seating that folds flat into the floor. The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid comes standard with a power liftgate, a sunroof, leather upholstery, front seats that are heated, cooled and power-adjustable, power-adjustable pedals, heated second-row seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system, Bluetooth, a USB port, satellite radio, a rearview camera and blind spot monitoring. The Platinum trim has upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim.

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers said the 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class has a car-like ride and superb handling for a large SUV. The GL350 is powered by a diesel engine and gets good fuel economy for the class.

Most critics were impressed with the 2012 Lexus GX’s top-notch cabin materials and attractive interior design. They also said that it has a potent V8 engine that delivers power smoothly, is easy to drive for a large SUV and has good off-road capabilities.

Compare the Escalade Hybrid, GL-Class and GX »

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Escalade Hybrid Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Cadillac Escalade 2012 2012 Cadillac Escalade

#1 in 2012 Luxury Large SUVs

Land Rover Range Rover 2012 2012 Land Rover Range Rover

#3 in 2012 Luxury Large SUVs

Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 2012 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class

#3 in 2012 Luxury Large SUVs

Infiniti QX56 2012 2012 Infiniti QX56

#5 in 2012 Luxury Large SUVs

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.