By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 5/26/2011
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 It 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.