Granted, the Escalade hybrid gets 31 percent better fuel economy than the standard version, but that still maps out to a combined fuel-efficiency rating of just 21 miles per gallon. That can be seen as a worthwhile increase, if it didn't cost over $8,000 extra. The 2014 Escalade Hybrid, for example, starts at $74,425 while the non-hybrid can be had for $66,295. Meanwhile, the Lexus full-size hybrid costs $6,000 more than the regular version but only gets 1-2 mpg better combined fuel economy. The result of all these high costs? Low sales. Through April, GM sold 82 of its hybrid SUVs and pickups, down from 541 a year earlier. And the LS hybrid sales were in single-digit territory for April. That isn't stopping Lexus from promoting its hybrids as the right solution (with the wrong facts), though.
There are still automakers giving big hybrid vehicles a shot, though. Nissan's Infiniti division is selling a hybrid version of its QX60 and says an impressive 10 percent of QX60 buyers choose the hybrid, which costs just $3,000 more. Looks like money talks.