The Cadillac Escalade EXT is based on the luxurious Escalade SUV introduced by GM in 1999. Similarly with the Ford Sport Trac and Chevrolet Avalanche, the Escalade EXT is a hybrid vehicle resulted from the combination of a SUV with a full sized pickup truck.
The truck shares many common elements with the Chevrolet Avalanche and has even the same innovative “Midgate” (separating the passenger area from the cargo bed) which made its sibling famous.
The vehicle is offered only with a double cab configuration and it’s fitted with a wide range of luxurious features that can’t be found at many pickup trucks from the market.
The Escalade EXT features a guzzling 345-horsepower V8 engine combined with a full-time all-wheel-drive system.
The overall design of the Escalade EXT looks pretty close to the Chevrolet Avalanche’s style. Though, there are a few key elements which make it look more luxurious. The EXT has also borrowed many exterior details from the Escalade SUV which give it a bold and classy look.
The main lights are part of the same block, together with rectangular parking lights and halogen fog lamps. The radiator grille looks pretty nice and comes with a shield-design that copes great with the company’s badge which is fitted in its center.
The hood is slightly raked to improve the front road visibility and is traversed by three creases which point toward the grille.
The front bumper has a robust style and underlines the purposeful stance of the vehicle.
Along the sides you’ll find a set of flared wheel arches which house the aluminium wheels wrapped in 17 inch tires.
With a wheelbase of 130 inches, the Escalade EXT measures 221.4 inches long, 79.5 inches wide and 75.6 inches tall. The first generation Escalade EXT was available in three colors namely Pewter, Sable Black and White Diamond.
If wanted, the load bed can be extended from 5.3 to 8.1 feet when the Midgate is folded. The back window, is separately removable and can be stowed on board. Cargo in the bed is protected from the elements by a three-piece cargo cover and lockable tailgate.
The Cadillac Escalade EXT cabin looks identical with the Chevrolet Avalanche. Similarly with its donor, the EXT offers space for up to five adults.
Most of the plastics aren’t something to rave about, but some materials are better than what you’d find in the Avalanche. The build quality is also pretty good and every fitting received maximum attention from GM’s engineers.
Luxury amenities include a premium version of GM’s OnStar communication system with Personal Calling and Virtual Advisor, which offers easy access to e-mail.
The robust dashboard doesn’t look as classy as expected from a luxury brand and we’re not impressed by the fact that the center stack is part of the same block as the instrument cluster.
Compared to the Avalanche, the Escalade EXT features a newly designed instrument panel and dual-zone climate control. The vehicle has also received an advanced multiplexed electrical system which reduces the number of wires, splices and connectors thereby reducing weight and improving packaging efficiency. It also helps enable features such as an enhanced driver information center, new infotainment systems, automatic climate control and the passenger sensing system for airbag deployment.
The driver is met by a very comfortable bucket seat which offers good back and lateral support. There are also more than enough adjustments to help you get cozy behind the steering wheel. Talking about the steering wheel, it looks pretty dull and won’t win you any awards for ergonomy either. Thus, it comes with a few adjustments so you won’t have any complains about its position.
Engines and performance
Under the hood, the Escalade EXT is equipped with a standard 6.0 liter V8 unit. The engine cranks out 345 hp at 5200 rpm with a peak torque of 380 lb.ft. achieved at 4000 rpm.
The V8 is bolted on a full-time all-wheel-drive system that makes sure that all those 345 ponies bite the ground effectively. GM says that the Cadillac Escalate EXT can tow up to 8,000 pounds without breaking a sweat and we tend to believe them.
The vehicle is also equipped with a heavy-duty four-speed automatic transmission which is pretty sharp and refined, with perfectly chose gear ratios. Deep a big tow into the accelerator pedal and your pickup will hit 60 mph in 8.2 seconds which is pretty impressive given the gargantuan proportions of the EXT.
According to EPA, the Escalade EXT fuel consumption is rated at 12 mpg in the city and 15 on the highway.
Cadillac Escalade EXT Engines Specifications
|6.0 liter V8||345 @ 5200||380 @ 4000|
Ride and handling
The Cadillac Escalade EXT rides more like a large car than a truck, and soaks all bumps without affecting the passenger’s comfort.
The vehicle has also a surpassingly good handling and deals well with corners. GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability system and Road Sensing Suspension System, adjusts to various road surfaces, offering best performances on any type of terrains.
Though, the power-assisted recirculating-ball steering isn’t as sharp as expected, as it lacks a proper on-center feel and is devoid of any road feedback.
The breaks aren’t great either, as the stop pedal has a pretty soft feel and aren’t as confident inspiring as other vehicles in this class. Though, they’ll get their job done without problems.
The Cadillac Escalade EXT was the perfect vehicle for those who wanted to make a statement. The exterior style was pretty attractive and the cabin was also comfortable and strongly built. Though, the interior design wasn’t as attractive as other vehicles in this class.
The engine was fairly strong and offered superior driving performances and the ride was also surprisingly good. Moreover, the EXT was also pretty practical and thanks to its rugged nature, it managed to deal well with a wide range of applications.