2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT Review

Escalade EXT

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2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT Overview

You’d better get out of the way—the Cadillac Escalade EXT is back for 2013 with very few changes. This massive machine is like a Transformer: It’s both a luxury SUV and a heavy-duty truck. The 5-passenger vehicle has a rear end like a pickup's; the back wall of the cabin can be removed and the rear seats lowered, creating an 8-foot-long cargo bed. Now that’s versatility!

The EXT comes in 3 trims, all powered by a 6.2-liter V8 making 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. There’s the Base, which includes features such as fog lights, powered and heated door mirrors, keyless entry and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The Luxury adds a powered moonroof, heated steering wheel and touring suspension. Finally, the Premium trim includes all those features plus a rear-seat entertainment system. The Base comes standard with 18-inch wheels, while the other trims bump it up to 22-inchers. All levels come equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (AWD).

There are some downsides to all this functionality. When using the full truck bed, passengers become exposed to the elements. And the Escalade EXT is positively huge at 221.4 inches tip-to-tip. And, of course, it’s thirsty at the pump—the EXT is estimated to get 13 mpg city/18 highway.

But if you're considering a super-sized Escalade, it’s power and space you want, and you get it in spades. The EXT can tow up to 8,000 pounds and has 101 cubic feet of cargo volume. Cool features of the EXT include remote start—great for the extreme weather we’ve been having—as well as a power folding second-row seat. Retractable assist steps are optional, but essential for smaller passengers.

Once inside, everyone will be very cozy and feel safe and secure. Leather upholstery is standard across all trims, and extensive safety features include antilock brakes, stability control and an advanced airbag system. Thankfully, a rear-view camera and parking assist feature are also included in every trim.

The only notable changes to this year’s model are powered grade braking and a couple of shiny new colors, including Bottle Green—sprinkles on top of the massive cupcake, if you will.

There’s a reason why the name Cadillac is also used as an adjective—the company's vehicles achieve a distinction for which other automakers strive. The Escalade EXT is unique, powerful and versatile, and it fits the Cadillac name and legacy.


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