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2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT

Overview
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2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT Review

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The 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT is probably the least-likely vehicle Cadillac's founders could have envisioned wearing the wreath and crest. Nevertheless, consumers seem to have to taken to the "Cadillac of pickup trucks" just fine, and have made the EXT a sales success. Derived from the same platform as the Chevrolet Avalanche, the Escalade EXT offers room for five, ample towing power and a clever Midgate folding bulkhead that extends the cargo bed into the passenger compartment. Yet, for all its workability, the Escalade EXT remains true to the spirit of Cadillac, pampering its occupants in all manner of soft seating and electronic goodies, including numerous safety and stability enhancements aimed at protecting said occupants.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you don't need the convenience of a third-row seat, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT offers all the interior amenities of its SUV cousin, but with the added capability of a pickup truck bed.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need the versatility provided by the 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT's folding Midgate, but you don't care about the upscale image that comes with the Cadillac brand, save yourself some cash and get a loaded Chevrolet Avalanche instead.

What's Significant About This Car?

Changes to the 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT are minor and include some new color choices, enhancements to the navigation and OnStar system and the addition of more sound proofing. Cadillac's Premium Care Maintenance is standard on all 2011 Escalade EXTs.

Driving the Escalade EXT

Driving Impressions While it will never be mistaken for a sport sedan, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT doesn't drive like a full-size pickup, either. It actually rides and drives like...

a very large sedan, maybe the way a full-size Fleetwood Brougham might have if the car had been kept alive this long. The full-frame EXT is more agile than it appears and its array of electronic suspension and stability controls keeps it firmly planted to the road. The 6.2-liter V8 idles a bit rough for our taste, but has no detractors when it comes to acceleration and passing power. Compared with other GM trucks, the EXT's braking and steering feel vastly better, with more feedback to the driver and a quicker response time.
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.

2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT Details
Interior

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT's interior takes Cadillac luxury to its extreme end. Beyond the heated and cooled leather seating, power controls for every conceivable function and an audio system worthy of the best concert halls, the EXT's interior is so solidly wrapped in sound deadening materials one can almost hear a pin drop. Gauges are large and legible, backlit with white LEDs and accented with stylish blue-light inlays; similar backlighting makes it easy to find the power window, lock and mirror switches at night. Rear-seat passengers have plenty of space to stretch out, but some might find the upright seat backs a bit uncomfortable. The manually-folding Midgate bulkhead is pretty slick, but opens the Escalade EXT's elegant interior to the ravages of the great outdoors and all the security, weather and dirt issues that includes.

Exterior

When viewed from the front, there is little to distinguish the 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT from its SUV siblings. Move to the side, however, and the difference becomes clear. Beyond the rear door resides a five-foot cargo bed, with flying-buttress-like pillars flowing from the rear window and a removable locking tonneau cover that helps secure valuables inside the bed. Opening the folding Midgate bulkhead connects the passenger cabin with the fully-lined bed, increasing its length from five to eight feet. The remaining exterior parts are pure Escalade, with lots of chrome around the grille and headlamps, huge chrome-plated 22-inch alloy wheels and obligatory chrome side vents.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT's comprehensive standard content begins with all-wheel drive, 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 navigation with rear backup camera, Bose Surround Sound, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation. Additional safety and convenience features include advanced front airbags with passenger sensing, head-curtain side airbags for both rows, front side thorax airbags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), Stabilitrak stability control and rain-sensing wipers.

Optional Equipment

Most of the 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT's options are offered with the Luxury or Premium Collection trims and include 22-inch tires on chromed aluminum wheels, rear-seat entertainment system, power-adjustable running boards, a power sliding sunroof, a heated steering wheel, Magnetic Ride Control suspension and IntelliBeam automatic headlamps.

Under the Hood

Powering every 2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT is a 6.2-liter all-aluminum V8 with Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation, which cuts to four the number of active cylinders when under light load. Variable valve timing (VVT) optimizes camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm power, along with emissions and fuel economy.

6.2-liter V8
403 hp at 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 (gasoline), 9/13 (E85)

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2011 Cadillac Escalade EXT Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 149 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great vehicle.

By on Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very safe"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Can't wait until spring when the 2015's come out. Had a 2010 with AWD, got 16 mpg on average. The 2013 has RWD I get only 12.5 mpg on average. The 2013 has a better GPS system. Great ride as long as you don't use 22 inch tires."

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Tremendous comfort, easy handling, perfect height

By on Sunday, January 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the coolest, finest vehicle I have ever owned. Perfect for me personally. Perfect for my family and excellent for business outings. I loved this car for 7 years. I'm only now considering a trade-in or upgrade. It looks and feels like it would go another 125,000 miles"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Several Issues

By on Monday, December 02, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "looks great"

Cons: "poor performance"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"This is my 3rd Escalade ESV. I had minor issues with my last (2009) so felt comfortable buying a new 2013. Two days after I bought the car, I drove to FL. I had driven approx 100 miles and I had to stop and stretch due to a slight "tremor" that I could feel in the steering wheel and the seats. I had never had this problem in my other 2 Escalades. The dealer has replaced the tires 4 times in 7 months yet the problem continues. The shop manager told me that it "drives as designed". It is so uncomfortable on trips longer than 50 miles. I also have had numerous problems with the navigation system. Was told it "operates as designed, and could not duplicate the issue" until a couple of weeks ago when it completely went blank. Now they have figured the SD card is bad and can't get a replacement for 6 weeks. Im a very disappointed owner."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

At 71 I have owned dozens of automobiles and this

By on Monday, November 11, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,563

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"is without a doubt the best,great ride,and confort,low maint. easy handeling,overall just a super vehicle."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Luxury at its finest,always room for improvement

By on Friday, October 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "You will Love what it does for You. ;)"

Cons: "The third row seat is a pain in the Rear End."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have been owning Foreign Cars forever. Have decided to be patriotic and support the American GOP and do what I can to help get GM back to the upper tier status. Bought my first American Made Car and went straight to the top. The 2013 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Platinum. Top of the line Vehicle with all the trim. Surprised that it did not come with the heated steering wheel though. Vehicle came with everything else. Hand Stitched French Leather trim all around the dash, Seats, doors and Olive wood panel accents...truly a work of art. Bose Stereo system with 10 Speakers is top quality and the even though hybrid, the engine give's a major punch upon request. Same hybrid technology used in buses for years. Complete Battery runs when 30MPH or below. Heated and Cooled seats in the front and heated in the back row. Why not cool the back row also? heated and cooled Cup Holder in the front seats. 4 Monitors to watch and 2 to play video games. Watch the DVD in the front when parked. HID lights are super bright with automatic brights when driving in the worst of darkest of areas. Blind Spot warning on the mirrors keeps you aware of your surroundings without having to completely turn your head. If you can afford the luxury, you will be completely spoiled in it. The best part of the Deal is the maintenance that Cadillac provides. Inspection Stickers, oil Changes, all filter changes, everything, I mean Every single maintenance issue is provided by Cadillac at no extra cost. Absolute worry free Pampered Perfection."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

By far, the best vehicle I have ever owned.

By on Monday, October 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Absolute pleasure to drive, every single time."

Cons: "No matter the road or weather condition."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The versatility of the EXT bed being able to open into the cab was the biggest selling point for me. I have used this feature numerous times and I am very disappointed that Cadillac has decided not to continue building the EXT product."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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