The most economical Cadillac since 1984…

After debating the fuel economy of the 3.6L Cadillac SRX versus her competitors, I wondered what the most economical recent Cadillac was.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes comparative miles per gallon for a variety of models since 1984 at  Because the test model changes from time to time, the charts for all years are kept up to date to the current test specs.  The original window sticker values for each model using the test at the time are also available.

2012 Cadillac CTS

For the 2012 models, the Cadillac CTS 3.6L RWD Sedan or Coupe are the leaders, at 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.  The DTS that ended production in 2011 on the current test would do 15/23, so no improvement there.  The SRX is heavier with the same drivetrain, so worse mileage than the CTS.  The 2008 XLR got a similar 15/24 mpg.  The 2010 Cadillac CTS with 3L V6 and manual transmission was 16/26; close, but no cigar.

The Escalade Hybrid comes to mind, and it does very well for a fullsize SUV at 20/23 mpg for the RWD model.  Still worse mileage than the CTS.

If one goes all the way back to 2003, the CTS had a 3.2L V6 and could be had with a manual transmission, but hit 17/24 mpg.  The 3L Catera? 16/23 mpg.

Diesel Seville?  Nope, under the current system a 1985 Cadillac Seville Diesel would be rated today at 17/26 mpg.   It was rated 19/28 mpg at the time.

To beat the current 318 hp CTS 3.6L we have to go all the way back to the 1984 model, 2L, 4-cylinder manual transmission Cadillac Cimarron.  On today’s test it would be rated 21/31 mpg.  Now, the difference in performance between a 2L Cimarron and a 3.6L CTS is beyond remarkable.  But the little-loved Cimarron was certainly economical.

If we include export models, the Cadillac BLS with 1.9L diesel was rated in the UK at 49.6mpg for imperial fuel mileage, urban combined.  An imperial gallon is 4.546L and  a US gallon is 3.785L, so that would appear to be around 41 mpg after conversion, but is not done to the same test method. It stands to reason that if we had EPA figures, the Cadillac BLS would be the most economical recent Cadillac.

In the absence of a home market BLS or other 1.9L Turbo-Diesel however, the current Cadillac CTS is in fact the most economical Cadillac sold in the US since the Cimarron.  We’ll see how the upcoming Cadillac ATS fares with its 2.5L 4-cylinder standard engine — it should be our new MPG leader.


Cadillac Escalade: When you really want the best in an SUV

The Cadillac Escalade has continued to evolve and improve as the ultimate luxury SUV. If you need or want the ultimate and can afford one, the Escalade in any of its four available models will deliver exactly what you would expect in the Cadillac of Fullsize SUVs.

2010 Cadillac Escalade


The Cadillac Escalade is available in Escalade, Escalade ESV (Extended length), Escalade EXT (Pickup truck bed), Escalade Hybrid, and Escalade Platinum forms.  The least expensive is the Escalade EXT, which starts at US$61K.  The most expensive is the Escalade Platinum, which starts at US$81K.

The Escalade Platinum is designed to be the ultimate accessorized Escalade.  It features softer leathers, LED headlights, Platinum specific wheels, and walnut and olive ash wood trim.

The Escalade Hybrid trades a small amount of acceleration for much better fuel economy, and a high level of fun gadgetry.  It is a true, two-mode hybrid that transforms the Escalade experience and provides 20+ mpg in city use.  This makes the Escalade Hybrid ideal for suburban commutes.

2010 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Interior


  • Luxury fullsize SUV with extra features everywhere
  • Space, noise isolation, carrying capacity
  • Cadillac Style
  • Variety of body styles to choose from; RWD or AWD available
  • Nimble acceleration — the Escalade has acceleration similar to a sedan


  • Challenging fuel economy except in the Escalade Hybrid — good for this type of model, but if you need high MPG look at the SRX or CTS Sport Wagon.
  • Price:  although a good value for the content, only matters if you have the means.


New for 2010

  • 6.2L engine now equipped with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management technology, which automatically shuts off four cylinders in low-demand driving situations
  • New exterior color: Silver Lining replaces Quick Silver and Blue Chip
  • Locking steering column
  • Previous Platinum-model clock standard in all models
  • USB port in center console, enabling stored music files to play through the audio system and battery charging for some handheld devices
  • Side thorax air bags added to front outboard seats
  • Revised inner door design for enhanced side-impact protection
  • Battery saver mode shuts off power when battery gets low due to extended accessory use
  • Revised parking brake release

Model Lineup

Engine Transmission
6.2L V-8 (L94) (6-spd auto)
Hydra-Matic 6L80
Escalade AWD/2WD s s
Escalade ESV AWD/2WD s s
Escalade EXT AWD s s


Standard s
Optional o



Models: Cadillac Escalade; Cadillac Escalade ESV; Cadillac EXT
Body style / driveline: Escalade: full-size, 4-door luxury SUV, front-engine, 2WD & AWD (7 to 8 passengers); Escalade ESV: full-size, 4-door extended wheelbase luxury SUV, front-engine, 2WD & AWD (7 to 8 passengers); Escalade EXT: full-size, 4-door luxury sport-utility truck, front-engine, AWD (2 to 5 passengers)
Construction: body-on-frame, all-welded, fully-boxed, ladder-type channel design, with hydroformed front and rear sections
EPA vehicle class: full-size, 4-door luxury sport utility
Manufacturing location: Escalade and Escalade ESV: Arlington, Texas; Escalade EXT, Silao, Mexico
Key competitors: Lincoln Navigator, Lexus LX 470, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Infiniti QX56; Lincoln Mark LT


Type: 6.2L V-8 (L94)
Applications: Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT
Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead-valve, two valves per cylinder; Active Fuel Management
Ignition system: coil near plug ignition, iridium electrode tip / iridium core spark plugs, low-resistance spark plug wires
Fuel delivery: sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio: 10.4:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 403 / 301 @ 5700*
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 417 / 565 @ 4300*
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6000
Emissions controls: close-coupled catalytic converter, Quick Sync 58X ignition, returnless fuel rail, fast-response O2


EPA estimated fuel economy (city / hwy): Escalade 2WD: 12 / 19

Escalade AWD: 12 / 19

Escalade ESV: 12 / 19 (2WD); 4WD N/A

Escalade EXT: N/A


Type: Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic
Gear ratios (:1):
First: 4.027
Second: 2.364
Third: 1.522
Fourth: 1.152
Fifth: 0.852
Sixth: 0.667
Reverse: 3.064
Final drive ratio: 3.42
Overall ratio (spread): 6.04

Chassis / Suspension

Front: independent, coil-over-shock w/ 36-mm stabilizer bar; Road Sensing Suspension, real-time damping
Rear: five-link with coil springs, 28-mm stabilizer bar
Traction control: all-speed traction control
Steering type: power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio: 17.75
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 3
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 39.04 / 11.9


Type: power-assisted four-wheel discs with standard four-channel ABS; vented front discs, solid rear discs; twin-piston front calipers, single-piston rear calipers
Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm): front: 13 x 1.18 / 330.2 x 30

rear: 13.5 x .787 / 345 x 20

Wheels / Tires

Wheel size and type: 18-inch x 8-inch 7-spoke machined aluminum (std)
18-inch x 8-inch 7-spoke chromed aluminum (opt)
22-inch x 9-inch 7-spoke chromed aluminum (opt)
Tires: P265/65R18 AL2 Bridgestone (touring) blackwall steel-belted radials (domestic and export)
P285/45R22 AL3 Bridgestone (performance) blackwall steel-belted radials



Escalade Escalade ESV Escalade EXT
Wheelbase (in / mm): 116 / 2946 130 / 3302 130 / 3302
Overall length (in / mm): 202.5 / 5143 222.9 / 5660 222.0 / 5638.9
Overall width (in / mm): 79 / 2007 79.1 / 2010 79.1 / 2010
Overall height (in / mm): 74.3 / 1887 75.5 / 1916 74.5 / 1892
Track (in / mm): front: 68.2 / 1731.8 front: 68.2 / 1731.8 front: 68.2 / 1731.8
rear: 67.0 / 1701.8 rear: 67.0 / 1701.8 rear: 67.0 / 1701.8
Minimum ground clearance (in / mm): 9 / 229 9.2 / 234.6 9.2 / 233
Ground to top of load floor (in / mm): 31.6 / 802.1 32.3 / 820 31.9 / 810
Approach angle (deg): 17 15.9 15.8
Departure angle (deg): 21.9 21.95 19.6
Curb weight (lb / kg): 5490 / 2490 (2WD)

5691 / 2581 (AWD)

5707 / 2588 (2WD)

5943 / 2695 (AWD)

5990 / 2717 (AWD)
Weight distribution (% front / rear): 52 / 48 52 / 48 52 / 48


First Row Second Row Third Row (except Escalade EXT)
Seating capacity (up to 8): 2 2 / 3 2 / 3
Headroom (in / mm): Escalade, 40.3 / 1023; Escalade ESV & EXT, 41.1 / 1043; Escalade & ESV: 38.5 / 978.0; Escalade EXT, 38.1 / 968.6 Escalade, 38.2 / 971.3; Escalade ESV, 38.1 / 966.7
Legroom (in / mm): Escalade, ESV & EXT, 41.3 / 1048.9 Escalade, 39.0 / 990.8; Escalade ESV, 39.5 / 1002.5; Escalade EXT, 39.1 / 993.1 Escalade, 25.4 / 644.2; Escalade ESV, 34.9 / 887.5
Shoulder room (in / mm): Escalade, ESV and EXT, 65.3 / 1657.9 Escalade, ESV and EXT, 65.3 / 1657.4 Escalade, 61.7 / 1566.1; Escalade ESV, 64.7 / 1643.6
Hip room (in / mm): Escalade, ESV and EXT, 64.4 / 1636.7 Escalade, 60.6 / 1538.9; Escalade ESV and EXT, 61.8 / 1570.1 Escalade, 49.1 / 1246.5; Escalade ESV, 49.4 / 1254.3
Cargo volume (cu ft / L)
Behind 1st row, 2nd row folded  no third row: Escalade, 108.9 / 3084; Escalade ESV, 137.4 / 3890.8
Behind 1st row, 2nd row folded: Escalade EXT, 54.3 / 1537
Behind 2nd row no third row: Escalade, 60.3 / 1707.7; Escalade ESV, 90 / 2548.5
Behind 1st row, 2nd row folded, Midgate down, Escalade EXT: 101 / 2859
Cargo bed, Escalade EXT: 45.5 / 1289
Behind 3rd row: Escalade, 16.9 / 478.6; Escalade ESV, 45.8 / 1297.5


Escalade Escalade ESV Escalade EXT
EPA interior volume
(cu ft / L):
108.9 / 3084  (from back of front-row seat rearward) N/A 108.9 / 3084 (from back of front-row seat rearward)
GVWR: (lb / kg): 7100 / 3220 (2WD)

7300 / 3311 (AWD)

7200 / 3266 (2WD)

7400 / 3357 (AWD)

7200 / 3266 (AWD)
Payload, base (lb / kg): 1610 / 730 (2WD)

1609 / 730 (AWD)

1493 / 677 (2WD)

1457 / 661 (AWD)

1210 / 549 (AWD)
Trailer towing maximum     (lb / kg): 8300 / 3768 (2WD)

8100 / 3674 (AWD)

7600 / 3447 (2WD)

7800 / 3538 (4WD)

7500 / 3402
Fuel tank (gal / L): 26 / 98.4 31 / 117.3 31 / 117.3
Engine oil (qt / L): 6 / 5.7 6 / 5.7 6 / 5.7
Cooling system (qt / L): 17.6 / 16.7 17.6 / 16.7 16.6 / 15.7

* SAE certified.

#Cadillac & the 2-mode #Hybrid: #Green #Luxury

The Cadillac Escalade uses a 6L V8 engine with a 2-mode Hybrid power train.  With Cadillac thinking of releasing a 2-mode hybrid + 3.6L DI V6 in the upcoming XTS Platinum, let’s review how the 2-mode Hybrid system works.

2010 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

Operation:  In a 2-mode hybrid, compact and powerful electric motors are integrated into the transmission and work with traditional transmission gears and electronic controls to provide two modes or ranges of infinitely variable gear ratios. The input split mode is used for launching the vehicle from a stop, driving at low speeds and providing superior performance and moderate load trailer towing. The compound split mode is used primarily when the vehicle is at higher speeds to provide efficient cruising.

The drive modes alternate seamlessly between the input split mode and a compound split mode. In the input split mode the vehicle can operate on electric, mechanical or a combination of the two. The vehicle operates as a full hybrid when the engine is shut off at low speed and light loads, as leaving the engine off for extended periods of time and moving under electric power is key to reducing fuel consumption in stop and go traffic.

So, in other words, the vehicle can operate in electric-only mode at low speeds, or with light loads, or gasoline only mode for cruising, often with cylinder deactivation and other complementary technologies.  The hybrid powerplant uses regenerative braking and other techniques to recharge on the go.  A plug-in 2-mode hybrid can also recharge using standard wall current when available.

Under the hood shot of hybrid powerpack

A key contributor to the Escalade Hybrid’s fuel economy is the gasoline engine’s Auto Stop mode. Once the vehicle reaches 0 mph, the gasoline engine is automatically shut down. By leaving the engine off and allowing the vehicle to move only under electric power, such as during heavy stop-and-go traffic, fuel consumption is greatly reduced.

However, when extra power is required, such as for wide-open-throttle acceleration from a standing stop, the Vortec 6.0L V-8 is seamlessly restarted so it can deliver the necessary power and torque. In this case, the engine is restarted effortlessly from the Auto Stop mode using the EVT’s powerful internal electric motors; there is no traditional starter motor.

A 2-mode hybrid has a smaller powerpack than an extended range electric vehicle such as the upcoming Chevrolet Volt or Cadillac Converj.  Press conjecture is that the Hybrid XTS concept may have enough powerplant to drive for 10 miles between recharges; the Volt or Converj should be able to go 40 miles between charges.  My daily commute of around 1 mile would be gas-free with a 2-mode hybrid XTS.

The mild-hybrid system in the Chevrolet Malibu offers a 4 mpg improvement over the non-hybrid Malibu.  So although Cadillac has not released any projections, the Cadillac XTS perhaps will get over 30 mpg on the highway EPA cycle — quite an achievement for a fullsize performance luxury sedan.

A plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle differs from non-plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles by offering extended electric-only propulsion, additional battery capacity and the ability to be recharged from an external electrical outlet.

When ready for production, the Lithium Ion energy storage system will be replenished when the battery charge is depleted to a specified level by utilizing the 2-mode hybrid system’s electric motors and regenerative braking systems. When the vehicle is parked, the battery can be recharged using a common household exterior 110-volt plug-in outlet.

2010 Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept with Plug-in Hybrid and DI 3.6L V6

The 2-mode hybrid system will be altered for use with plug-in technology. It maintains two driving modes — one for city driving, the other for highway driving. In addition, special controls will be utilized to enable higher speeds during electric-only propulsion and maintain electric- only propulsion for longer periods of time.

GM has also stated the desire to produce a 2-mode hybrid or extended range electric version of the SRX.