Carmel, California - It's tempting to dismiss the Escalade EXT for being ugly, and indeed it is ungainly and ungraceful, a jumble of squared-off edges and rectangles andatriangles punctuated by wreath-and-crest badges, a triumph of function over form. But then you realize there are few pretty pickups or sensual SUVs, and Cadillac's luxury sport-utility truck becomes easier to accept.
We've acknowledged time and again that General Motors' full-size truck platform, which has spawned superb pickups and full-size SUVs, including the second-generation Escalade that arrived earlier this year, is the best thing to come out of GM since the C5 Corvette. Perhaps we shouldn't complain, then, if Cadillac takes that platform's Suburban components, shakes them up in the product-development blender, and pours an Escalade EXT into our parfait glass.
We will point out, however, that if you're enamored of the Escalade EXT's ingenious Midgate concept--wherein this three-ton Cadillac slickly transforms from a five-passenger pickup with a small bed into a two-passenger pickup with a large bed--that feature is also available in the much cheaper Chevrolet Avalanche. What the Avalanche doesn't have, though, is the Caddy's Vortec 6000 V-8, which musters 60 more ponies than its Chevy sibling and 45 more than the Lincoln Blackwood, the EXT's most obvious competitor.... Read full article