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2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid was new.


Interior: 7.6

Overall, reviewers are pleased with the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid’s interior. It’s nearly identical to the gas-powered Escalade, so its cabin is roomy and luxuriously-appointed, with a long list of standard features. The biggest problem with the interior is the third row. Reviewers agree that it’s only fit for children, and that it’s bulky and troublesome to remove, since it doesn’t fold flat into the floor.

  • "Drivers and passengers feel pampered the moment they get in until the moment they hear the electric running board open up outside the vehicle, gracefully allowing for an easy exit.” -- The Detroit News


Reviewers give the 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid good marks for seat comfort in the first two rows. The front seats are heated and cooled, a standard feature which buyers would have to pay extra for in many other luxury SUVs. The Escalade can seat up to eight people, but reviewers say that if you’re going to seat people in the third row, only children will be comfortable. Shoppers should note that the Escalade Hybrid’s second row is only available as a three-seat bench, and not as a pair of captain’s chairs like the gas-only Escalade.

  • "The big front seats are comfortable and can be adjusted into almost any configuration conceived." -- The Detroit News
  • "Another high step-in to the 2nd row is required, where comfortable seats furnish good headroom and legroom. In either wagon body length, the thinly padded 3rd-row bench will cramp those over 5-foot-6, and accessing it demands a low crouch while clearing flipped 2nd-row seats.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "There's room for as many as eight, but the rearmost seats offer cramped legroom for all but small passengers.” -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid comes with a staggering number of standard features. Navigation, heated and cooled front seats and a back-seat entertainment system all come with the base model. Only a few add-ons are available, but not as individual options. Small extras like heated and cooled cup holders, more chrome trim and fancier upholstery will add significantly to the Escalade Hybrid’s price, since you’ll have to upgrade to the far more expensive Platinum trim.

Reviewers say that the Escalade Hybrid’s navigation system is intuitive, which is an especially big deal since most luxury brands’ navigation/infotainment systems are notoriously finicky and complicated. Plus, they like being able to see additional information about their SUV’s hybrid system on the touch screen.

  • “The well-integrated navigation system has a large, easy-read touch screen. It also absorbs, but doesn't complicate, audio functions. The Hybrid's navigation screen features a helpful energy flow display that indicates the status of the vehicle's gas/electric system. Likewise, a gauge in the upper left corner of the instrument panel indicates the most efficient braking range to capture regenerative braking energy, which recharges the battery.” -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Cadillac Escalade Hybrid's cabin is nearly identical to that found in the conventionally powered version, boasting a stylish contemporary design with top-quality materials and finish. The layout of its controls is straightforward and their operation is intuitive, including the standard navigation system.” -- Edmunds


The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid can carry a maximum of 108.9 cubic feet of cargo with the second row of seats folded flat and the third row of seats removed. With the second row of seats in use, it can still hold an impressive 60.3 cubic feet of cargo, but that number shrinks to a barely-usable 16.9 cubic feet with all three rows in use. Nearly every reviewer bemoans the difficult process of removing the cumbersome third row, especially with most SUVs offering third rows that fold flat. Though other Escalade models offer a power-folding second row, the Escalade Hybrid doesn’t. Add that to the fact that the Escalade Hybrid isn’t available in extended-wheelbase ESV trim, and it’s one of the less cargo-friendly members of the Escalade lineup. At least it comes standard with a power liftgate.

  • "The 3rd-row seat is split into 50/50 sections that don't fold flush with the floor and are heavy and cumbersome to remove or install. … Good cabin storage includes a large bi-level console bin.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "For its size, the rear cargo area behind the third row is, well, puny, 16.9 cubic feet-enough room for a small grocery run, but not much more. For additional space, the third-row seatbacks can be folded, but this doesn't yield a flat surface. The next step is tumbling the seats forward like the second-row seats. This is a pain-in-the-rear arrangement compared to competitors with a flat-fold third row.” -- HybridCars.com


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