2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT Review
The 2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT isn’t as capable as most full-size pickups, but test drivers say it is one of the most luxurious offerings in the class.
On the whole, reviewers say the 2013 Escalade EXT has more than enough power for nearly all situations, thanks to its standard V8 and six-speed automatic transmission. While it can’t tow as much as many traditional trucks, it is still capable of towing a small- to medium-size boat. Its fuel economy is also impressive, but not in a good way. At 13/18 mpg city/highway, the Escalade EXT is one of the thirstiest trucks on the market. While its powerful engine and standard full-time all-wheel drive certainly require lots of fuel, the Escalade EXT is heavy at the scales, which also erodes gas mileage. Test drivers also say that the excess heft detract from its handling capabilities. Still, they report that for such a large vehicle, it rides smoothly and comfortably.
The Cadillac Escalade EXT is equipped with the usual luxury goodies like leather seats, heated and cooled front seats and a backup camera. It also has a standard navigation system, USB port, Bose stereo and Bluetooth. A heated steering wheel is standard on upper trims, and a back-seat DVD entertainment system is available on upper trims. Shoppers should note that the midgate partition between the cab and bed folds down to increase the length of the bed. When the midgate is folded down to expand bed capacity, the rear seats are unusable.
- "As a large SUV (or crew-cab pickup for that matter), this Caddy does an admirable job of blending coddling and capability." -- Consumer Guide
- "There are plenty of luxury-lined pickups out there. Each of America's Big Three automakers produces one, boasting abundant features, loads of leather and special trim names like King Ranch, Laramie and Denali. Yet none of those names carries the weight of Cadillac, nor is a ‘luxury-lined’ pickup the same as an honest-to-goodness luxury pickup. If you're looking for one of those, you have only one choice: the 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "Despite its inherent impracticality, the 2012 Cadillac Escalade makes a case for itself by offering one of the most spacious, extravagant and comfortable rides available." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)
- "So, despite the improved dynamics, we think it remains one of the most ridiculous vehicles on the market." -- Car and Driver (2007)
Other Pickup Trucks to Consider
The Ford F-150 gets an all-new Limited trim for 2013 with luxury features that closely match that of the Escalade EXT. Similar to the Escalade EXT, the F-150 Limited is a crew cab pickup with a short cargo box. However, the Escalade EXT’s folding midgate means it actually is capable of hauling longer cargo than the Ford, and it also bests the Ford’s towing capacity. Other F-150 trims have longer cargo beds and higher towing capacities, but they won’t be quite as opulent as the Escalade EXT.
Reviewers say the Ram 1500 Laramie Limited is also one of the most posh pickups available. Like the F-150 Limited, the Ram 1500 Laramie Limited is only available as a crew cab with a short bed, but it has more towing capacity. All in all, the Ram is a solid alternative if you need a capable pickup but don’t want to forgo a luxurious interior.
Details: 2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT
The Cadillac Escalade EXT is a five-seat, crew cab pickup truck with a short cargo box. It features a folding midgate panel between the cab and bed, which expands the length of the bed into the rear of the cab to make carrying longer cargo easier. It comes in three trim levels: Standard, Luxury and Premium. The base model is very well-equipped, while upper trims make available certain other standard and optional features. The Escalade EXT was last redesigned in 2007, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2007 to 2013.