2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Review

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List Price Estimate:$13,651 - $19,593
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Cadillac Escalade Hybrid model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Better fuel economy than the conventionally powered Escalade, handsome styling, luxurious and well-equipped interior, seating for up to eight passengers.
  • Powertrain quirks take some getting used to, reduced towing capacity, cramped third-row seat has to be removed for maximum cargo capacity.

The 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid may be the only full-size luxury hybrid SUV on the market, but its shortcomings are significant enough that buyers should consider the full range of other "green" SUV choices carefully before committing.

Vehicle overview

In a world where driving a big gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicle has suddenly become uncool, the 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid offers its owners a way to show the world just how environmentally friendly they really are. But is driving this green-tinged version of Cadillac's wildly popular yet politically incorrect land yacht really a wise and responsible choice? Well, the answer depends on what you're comparing it to.

To be sure, the Escalade Hybrid does manage to post better fuel economy numbers than its conventionally powered Cadillac SUV siblings. Its two-mode hybrid powertrain, which it shares with its Chevrolet and GMC cousins, combines a beefy V8 engine with two electric motors that can actually propel this gussied-up truck at slow speeds in all-electric mode. The system also incorporates several other fuel-saving bells and whistles to deliver surprisingly decent fuel economy, at least by full-size SUV standards.

While that upside may sound appealing, it comes at a cost. Buyers will have to get used to the powertrain's myriad quirks, from a range of odd noises to a surging feeling when you step on the brake pedal. If your primary reason for buying a full-size SUV is to tow a large trailer, you should also be aware that the hybrid version's towing capacity is 2,500 pounds less than that of the regular Escalade. Finally, there's a literal price to be paid for assuaging your guilt about driving such a supersized luxury vehicle, as this hybrid's MSRP is roughly $5,000 above that of the comparably equipped standard Escalade.

All of which leads us to encourage shoppers to take a hard look at all their options before they sign on the dotted line. The midsize Lexus RX 450h crossover is less roomy and capable, but it does provide significantly better fuel economy. The diesel-powered Audi Q7 TDI drives more like a normal vehicle, has comparable fuel economy numbers and greater towing capacity. The related and similar Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid, meanwhile, can be had for thousands less than the big Caddy. If you still have your heart set on the 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, know that it will provide a luxurious hybrid experience. Just remember that a clear conscience doesn't come cheap.

2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid models

The 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is a full-size luxury sport-utility vehicle that's now offered in two trim levels, including a new top-of-the-line Platinum model.

Even base models are well equipped with a long list of upscale standard features, including 22-inch chrome-clad wheels, xenon headlights, a sunroof, a roof rack, a power rear liftgate and rear parking assist. Inside are all the expected luxury amenities, including leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats with memory settings for the driver seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system with real-time traffic info, a back-up camera, Bluetooth and OnStar. A rear-seat video entertainment setup with a drop-down screen, a 115-volt AC power outlet and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system with a six-disc CD/MP3 changer and satellite radio are also standard.

Step up to the Platinum model and you get distinctive LED headlight elements, a sophisticated Magnetic Ride Control suspension and power-retractable running boards. Interior upgrades include a heated steering wheel, power-release second-row seats, heated and cooled cupholders and dual video monitors mounted in the back of the front headrests.

2010 Highlights

Despite the fact that it debuted just last year, the Escalade Hybrid gets a number of significant upgrades for 2010, including a modified version of its 6.0-liter V8 that can now run on ethanol-based E85 fuel, a revised rear axle ratio for improved fuel economy, and a redesigned door structure for better occupant protection. Inside is a new USB input that allows you to play stored audio files through the stereo. Base models also get a new dash clock previously exclusive to the top-of-the-line Platinum model.

Performance & mpg

Power for the 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid comes from GM's two-mode hybrid system, which consists of a 6.0-liter V8 paired with two 60-kilowatt electric motors and an onboard battery pack. Total output is 332 horsepower. The combination is intended to deliver maximum miles per gallon in everyday driving while still offering sufficient muscle to tow trailers up to 5,800 pounds, something few other hybrids can claim.

The two-mode hybrid powertrain can accelerate this 5,700-pound SUV up to 25 mph using battery power alone. The system also incorporates several other fuel-saving technologies, including a cylinder-deactivation feature that essentially turns the big V8 into a less thirsty four-cylinder under light-load conditions, such as when cruising on a level freeway.

The unique automatic transmission uses a continuously variable design that allows the engine to operate in its most efficient rpm range. The extraordinarily complex unit also features four fixed gears that come into play primarily when towing or hauling heavy loads. Both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions are available. EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2WD version are 21 mpg city/22 highway and 21 mpg combined, a slight increase over last year's model.


The Escalade Hybrid's list of standard safety features includes antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, side curtain airbags that cover all three rows of seats and the OnStar emergency communications system. A redesigned internal door structure adds an extra measure of protection in broadside accidents.

In government crash tests, the Escalade Hybrid earned a top five-star rating for protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. Side-impact tests hadn't yet been performed as of this writing, but last year's model still earned a five-star rating for both front and rear passenger protection.


You don't have to drive the 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid very far to discover its split personality. At low speeds, where it can motor along in all-electric mode, this big truck's interior seems almost serene. At higher speeds, though, you'll hear the various sounds of the hybrid powertrain at work while the ride quality suffers from the 22-inch wheels and low-profile tires that transmit every bump in the road directly to your backside.

The powertrain works well enough, though the only part of its operation that feels truly seamless is when the cylinder deactivation system automatically shuts down and restarts half the engine's cylinders. The regenerative braking system, which helps recharge the hybrid system's battery pack, is particularly distracting, as it gives the brake pedal a surging feeling that makes it difficult to come to a smooth stop.


The 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid coddles passengers in the same stylish surroundings as the conventionally powered versions. The posh cabin is done up in soft leather upholstery and top-quality materials and features controls that are well-placed and intuitive to use. Standard second- and third-row benches provide seating for up to eight passengers. Unfortunately, the comfy second-row captain's chairs offered on the regular Escalade aren't available here.

The interior's biggest weakness is the 50/50-split third-row seat. Leg-room is scarce, making the way-back best suited to preteens. The fact that the seat doesn't fold into the floor also means wrestling each 60-pound section out the rear hatch and then finding a place to store them when you need additional cargo space. Once you get the third-row removed and the second-row seatbacks folded down, however, you'll find a cavernous 109 cubic feet of cargo room.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

1 out of 5 stars
Buyer beware
4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)
The electrical system has gone out four times in 6 weeks. This means no power steering, power brakes, gas etc. No power! This makes the vehicle a liability on the road. I am getting very little support from the dealer to resolve this issue. This vehicle needs to be taken off the road before someone gets hurt or even worse killed. Traveling at a high speed on the freeway without power as I experienced was quite frightening to say the least. Every time the system has failed I was traveling in traffic. Not sure if this is a Hybrid, Cadillac or Escalade issue?
1 out of 5 stars
Major Issues with Escalade Hybrid
4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)
Although the cadillac lives up to it's name in comfort and style the vehicle was in the shop more often than on the road. The car had MAJOR electrical issues which forced me to trade it in on an Audi. The reliability was terrible as we never knew when the next MAJOR issue would arise. After 100,000 miles the hybrid battery system went out completely which was going to cost $3300 to replace. The running boards were automatic and both motors burned out along with several other smaller items. Overall we spent well over $3000 trying to fix the car (of course the dealer did not help at all as they washed their hands clean- not surprising). Needless to say, I most likely will not buy another Cadillac and will definitely not buy from that specific dealer. Highly disappointed in the overall quality of cadillac.
1 out of 5 stars
Money pit that dealership can't figure out
Platinum Edition 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)
STEER CLEAR OF THIS MODEL!! I bought the Escalade Hybrid used for my family hoping to enjoy the large comfort, good sound, and power and pulling, but what I got was a car that has been broken down for the majority of the 2-1/2 years I have owned it. Serious problems started happening with the electrical system, hybrid system, and power steering. The car dash flashes with strange warnings and then shuts off. The power steering went out, and this problem ultimately bricked it. After taking it to the dealership for the power steering, I have replaced the hybrid battery, regular battery, auxillary transmission pump, auxilary transmission module, electronic control module, and the car still does not run. The current codes say I need the steering position sensor which GM discontinued and no after market versions exist. And now I am getting codes for the hybrid battery again after I just replaced it. I have terrivle sunk costs in this car but the dealership nor GM nor Cadillac will help me. I will never buy another Cadillac. They don't understand their own Frankenstein hybrid they created and now I have a junk vehicle in my driveway with a loan payment due every month.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Overview

The Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Escalade Hybrid SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), Platinum Edition 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), and Platinum Edition 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A). Pre-owned Cadillac Escalade Hybrid models are available with a 6.0 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 332 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid?

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Which used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Cadillac Escalade Hybrid for sale - 7 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $20,095.

Find a used Cadillac for sale - 3 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $21,072.

Find a used certified pre-owned Cadillac Escalade Hybrid for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $13,179.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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