By KBB.com Editors
At the time the Escalade EXT was created, its purpose was to give Cadillac an entrant in the then-growing market for big sport utility vehicles and full-size pickups, and with features not available on the competition. While the Escalade 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 Panel divider system that extends the usable bed into the rear-seat area. The 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT boasts GM's latest chassis, body, interior and powertrain upgrades, as well as a generous allotment of new convenience and safety features.You'll Like This Car If...
If you need or want full-size truck towing capabilities, along with upscale Cadillac luxury and image and the versatility to change from a quiet, comfortable closed SUV to a pickup with more cargo capacity, this is the one.You May Not Like This Car If...
If convert-a-truck flexibility and Cadillac crests are not important to you, any modern full-size crew-cab pickup can be equipped to do the job of serious hauling and comfortable occupant-coddling at well below the EXT's price. And Chevy's Avalanche offers the same Midgate Panel feature for a lot less money.What's Significant About This Car?
No major changes for 2008.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.