The Cadillac Escalade EXT is a product of the company’s attempt to make use of luxury SUV’s street credibility and popularity. It sports an ideal blend of a truck’s practicality, an SUV’s roomy interior, and those luxurious appointments Cadillacs have been known for. Basically, the EXT is a Chevrolet Avalanche in the back with a nose and front styling of an Escalade. Despite the weird mix of utility and luxury, the Escalade EXT is capable of playing different roles with aplomb.
2002 Escalade EXT: New luxurious crossover with coy ruggedness
The Cadillac Escalade EXT was introduced for 2002 model year as an all-wheel-drive crew-cab luxury truck. Its love-it or hate-it styling masks a powerful 345 hp 6.0L gas-powered V8 engine matched with a 4-speed automatic transmission. It seats five people, but if you want more room for you cargo, you can easily drop the Midgate panel bed between the truck’s bed and the cabin. Among its luxurious appointments are power accessories, keyless entry, and dual zone auto climate control.
Escalade EXT units sold in 2003 are basically a carry-over of the original design plus additional features such as cruise control, a trip computer, as well as AM/FM/CD car stereo. For the 2004 model year, the Escalade EXT got an XM satellite radio, a tire pressure monitor, and a trailer package.
What’s new for 2005 EXT is the sliding load floor for the truck’s cargo bed plus a redesigned gauge cluster and touch-screen capability with optional navigation system. Moreover, 2006 model year was marked by the addition of the power-operated tonneau cover.
2007 Escalade EXT: Improved dynamics and versatile cargo capacity
The original Escalade EXT has survived for several years without a redesign, not until 2007 when it was fully revamped. The 2007 Escalade EXT sport utility truck received an all-new fully boxed frame, a more powerful 6.2-liter V-8 engine paired with a six-speed automatic, and a significantly upgraded cabin.
Since the full redesign was still fresh, the EXT just got some equipment revisions for 2008. There were minor changes for the 2009 model year, such as the inclusion of a side blind spot alert system, satellite radio, power tilting steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, and standard navigation system with real-time traffic information.
The 2010 model year was marked by the introduction of three trim levels—Base, Luxury, and Premium. Significant upgrades for the 2011 Escalade EXR were the noise-reducing laminated glass and upgraded audio system.
2012 - 2013 Escalade EXT: Carries and tow things in complete luxury
The 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT remained unchanged, save for navigation system updates and the inclusion of the Electronic Stability Control, standard anti-rollover technology, daytime running lights, and some other upgrades.
For 2013 model year, the Escalade EXT is still equipped with the Midgate panel that could transform this 5-passenger luxury sport utility truck into a 2-passenger SUV with an 8’ truck bed. What powers it is a 6.2-liter V-8 that can generate 403 horses and 417 lb-ft of torque. Among the new luxurious appointments and safety features are vehicle stability assist, advanced airbags, power sunroof, DVD entertainment system, 22-inch wheels, power liftgate, and many others.