By KBB.com Editors
Cadillac's original Escalade EXT arrived late in 2002 and the ESV sport utility vehicle came along the following year. While the ESV is derived from the long-wheelbase Chevrolet Suburban, the EXT is Cadillac's take on Chevy's innovative Avalanche truck, which quickly converts from a closed SUV to a surprisingly capable pickup via a removable midgate divider system that extends the usable bed into the rear-seat area. The 2007 EXT boasts a new chassis, body, interior and powertrain, and a generous allotment of new convenience and safety features.You'll Like This Car If...
If you need or want full-size truck towing and hauling capabilities, along with upscale Cadillac luxury and image and the capability to change from a quiet, comfortable closed SUV to a fairly useful pickup, this is the one.You May Not Like This Car If...
If convert-a-truck flexibility and Cadillac crests are not that important to you, nearly any modern full-size crew-cab pickup can be equipped to do a fine job of serious hauling and comfortable occupant-coddling at well below this Cadillac's price. And Chevy's very nice new Avalanche offers the same midgate feature for a lot less money.What's Significant About This Car?
Except for its lower-priced Chevrolet Avalanche cousin, the Escalade ESV has no direct competition. Lincoln's Mark LT luxury pickup (based on the Ford F-150) comes close, but has a short bed and lacks the midgate bed-extender.Driving It Driving Impressions
This heavy full-frame luxury truck drives like a very large car. It's no sport sedan, but it is more agile, sure-footed and Cadillac-comfortable than most any other full-size truck you'll encounter, at least in part due to its fully-boxed frame, redesigned suspension, wider tracks and new rack-and-pinion steering. Both braking and steering feel, especially, are vastly improved compared to previous GM trucks. The 6.2-liter V8 idles aggressively at rest and roars impressively at full throttle as it thrusts the big vehicle forward with eye-opening authority. One unpleasant surprise: There's an auxiliary input jack for the rear audio system, but none for the front.Favorite Features
Remote Vehicle Starting
This is one of those features that you may not want to live without once you've become used to it, especially in hot summer or cold winter weather. At the touch of a key-fob button from afar, it can start the engine and begin cooling or heating the cabin before you're even inside.
Convert-a-Cab "midgate" panel
This clever removable divider system quickly converts the EXT from a closed-cabin SUV with a five-foot pickup bed to a surprisingly capable pickup by extending the bed nearly three feet into the rear seat area.
The 2007 EXT's all-new interior is luxury-plush and surprisingly quiet and raises the luxury and refinement bars another couple of notches. The instrument panel, set lower and farther forward to improve real and perceived room, houses quad round gauges with white needles, blue-light inlays and white LED backlighting. "Nuance" leather covers the seats, doors, steering wheel and center console, while the interior pillars wear rich-looking fabric.Exterior
Those who liked the previous Escalade EXT should love this one, beginning with its styling. Slightly larger and heavier due to added structure and features, it appears somewhat smaller thanks to its more sleek and crisp new body. The swept-back 57-degree windshield contributes to an impressive aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.36, which helps improve fuel economy and reduce wind noise, and careful detailing shows in its large, finely-crafted Cadillac signature grille, front fender vent ports and tasteful chrome accents.Notable Standard Equipment
The Escalade EXT's comprehensive standard content begins with all-wheel drive, road-sensing suspension, automatic rear leveling, ultrasonic rear park assist, a three-piece rigid cargo cover and remote vehicle starting. Interior features include leather-covered 14-way power heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering wheel radio controls, rear audio controls, power adjustable pedals, DVD/MP3/CD-changer with Bose Surround Sound, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation. Additional safety and convenience features include advanced front air bags with passenger sensing, head-curtain side air bags for both rows, four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), Stabilitrak, rain-sensing wipers and heated washer fluid.Notable Optional Equipment
With so much standard equipment, the EST's option list is not long, and includes 22-inch tires on chromed aluminum wheels, rear-seat entertainment system, power adjustable running boards, a power sliding sunroof, a Climate Package (heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel) and an Information package that includes DVD touch-screen navigation, a rearview camera and Intellibeam automatic headlamps.Under the Hood
Powering every 2007 Escalade is a new 6.2-liter all-aluminum V8 with variable valve timing (VVT), which optimizes camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm power, along with emissions and fuel economy. This engine does not yet have GM's Active Fuel Management (AFM), which deactivates half of the cylinders under light load.
403 hp at 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19)
The 2007 Escalade EXT has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $55,045 and a Fair Purchase Price about $2,000 lower, at $53,023. That compares to values of $39,435 for the Lincoln Mark LT with four-wheel drive and $40,566 for Chevy's top-of-the-line four-wheel-drive 5.3-liter V8-powered Avalanche LTZ. After five years, the EXT is projected to have a higher resale value than the Mark LT and the Avalanche. Be sure to check Fair Purchase Prices to see what consumers are actually paying in your area.