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2010 Cadillac Escalade EXT Overview
Unsure whether to behave like a luxury SUV or an upscale crew-cab pickup truck, the 2010 Cadillac Escalade EXT manages to find a middle ground, thus it comes with both style and that unique Cadillac panache. Available in three trims, the Base, Luxury, and top-shelf Premium, the five-passenger, four-door EXT is offered only in the full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration. The secret to its versatility is a power-folding mid-gate feature, standard across the lineup, allowing the rear cabin wall and window to be folded into the interior, thus extending the bed length from just over 5 feet to nearly 8 feet. Considering its lineage, the EXT is, of course, packed with the traditional luxury goodies, while standard appearance amenities include a roof rack, trailer hitch with wiring harness, and alloy wheels. Additionally, all trims are equipped with an adjustable suspension and step running boards. Competition-wise, the only vehicle that even approaches the Escalade EXT in both features and capability is Ford’s F-150 Crew Cab Platinum pickup, but this well-endowed truck lacks the beefy drivetrain that makes the EXT unique.
Packing a 6.2-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT), E85-capable Flex Fuel V8 engine and six-speed auto-manual transmission, the 2010 Escalade EXT is able to generate a better-than-respectable 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. These ponies will easily haul some 7,500 pounds of trailer, but require some serious oats, to the tune of 13/20 mpg; mileage is even less when burning E85 ethanol fuel. The AWD system utilizes a viscous center-mounted, limited-slip differential and rear locking differential to get power to all four wheels all the time.
Standard appearance, comfort, and convenience features for the 2010 Escalade EXT Base include leather upholstery, multi-level-heated, power-adjustable front seats, power accessories, including reverse-tilt, outside heated mirrors, dual-zone climate control, unique, power-folding midgate, remote start, a universal remote garage door opener, memory for driver’s settings, leather, alloy, and wood dash accents, a 6-CD changer with eight Bose premium speakers and surround-sound, OnStar/Bluetooth communications, and navigation technology, a USB connection, and rear parking assist system using both a rearview camera and audible sensors. The Luxury trim adds such standard amenities as 22-inch chrome-clad wheels, magnetic ride control, a power sunroof, and heated steering wheel, while the Premium EXT offers standard power-retractable step running boards and rear seat DVD entertainment.
Options for the Base trim level include most standard Luxury trim offerings, while the Luxury is available with rear-seat DVD entertainment. Only an engine block heater, upgraded paint, and advanced 2-way remote start are available for the over-the-top EXT Premium trim.
With so much going for it already, Cadillac certainly doesn’t skimp on safety with the 2010 Escalade EXT. Standard four-wheel ABS, traction and stability control, dual front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, front fog/driving lights, the OnStar post-collision safety system, and remote anti-theft alarm technology are offered on all trims. Auto-dimming headlights are optional on the Base EXT, while the Premium trim offers standard active HID headlights.
Though owners of the 2009 Escalade EXT have few complaints, grumblings have been heard regarding gas mileage, excessive cabin noise, brake issues, and some aesthetically questionable interior materials. Exterior styling, surprisingly well-mannered handling characteristics, nearly uncountable luxury amenities, decent trailer towing capability, and sheer acceleration and performance cause owners to overlook any and all perceived shortcomings with this capable but pricey SUV-cum-pickup.
by Eric Tallberg
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Looking for a Used Escalade EXT in your area?CarGurus has 1,935 nationwide Escalade EXT listings starting at $6,500.