Cadillac Escalade EXT Interior
The 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT's top-of-the-class interior is both attractive and comfortable. CNET says with "a leather- and wood-trimmed interior, a bevy of multimedia cabin features, and enough chrome to make you squint, the EXT declares its true comfort-focused mission." Kelley Blue Book says the passenger cabin is "luxury-plush and surprisingly quiet and raises the luxury and refinement bars another couple of notches."
Reviewers mostly find the EXT's interior worthy of the Cadillac name and pick only a few nits. "The Cadillac Escalade EXT's five-passenger cabin has an elegant, upscale ambiance thanks to the use of finely stitched leather and accents of wood and metal," says Edmunds, adding, "Most surfaces are of the soft-touch variety, though a few cheap plastic trim pieces can still be found." The doesn't even object to the plastic, calling it "relatively supple and tasteful." The even finds the EXT's interior a pleasant place to just hang out: "There's something really soothing about the cabin, especially at night, with the softly illuminated blue needles on the gauges."
The instrument panel, which the Edmunds finds: "Large instruments with blue needles allow a quick read of vital stats … The nav screen has a user-friendly touchscreen interface, and all controls are easy to find and use." But more than one reviewer complains that some of the gauges can, in the words of Consumer Guide, "be hard to see in daylight." And feels that the "controls for the heater/vent/AC system are rather small and low on the dash to be operated easily and safely by a driver on the move. (Fully automatic operation is, however, available.)"finds "neatly arranged" and "convenient and easy to use," is also generally well reviewed.
With the back seats up, the EXT seats five, and reviewers believe that those passengers will be comfortable. "The EXT will carry five adults in the sort of leather-clad, wood-trimmed comfort you would expect from a Cadillac," says Cars.com. Consumer Guide feels that the EXT has "[b]ig-rig space on wide, comfortable seats, though [the] tallest drivers may want still more head, leg room. Edmunds feels that the seats are good for the long haul: "You're meant to travel in the EXT, not just shuttle from job site to job site. That's why the seats are sufficiently bolstered to be supportive enough for long journeys, and they're available with both heating and cooling functions."
Several reviewers, however, note that a climb is involved in getting to those seats. "Acrophobics might find themselves getting light-headed as they climb onto the running board and up again into one of the five seats," says Consumer Guide warns, "Folding the midgate on EXT requires moving [the] front seats forward slightly, reducing leg room.". The loves the front seats: "On the plus side, those front seats in the EXT are awesome -- like giant armchairs. And the center armrest felt like an expensive end table, and yet it was quite comfortable." But
Forbes says that the EXT is "[n]ot lacking in the latest gizmos." Standard "gizmos" include Remote Vehicle Starting, which Kelley Blue Book calls "one of those features that you may not want to live without once you've become used to it … 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." Other standard features include a premium Bose 5.1 audio system with six-disc changer and eight speakers, steering-wheel audio controls, XM satellite radio with a three-month trial, OnStar service with hands-free calling, power adjustable pedals with memory recall for two drivers and PASS-Key III immobilizer with audible content theft-deterrent system.
The EXT comes standard with a premium Bose 5.1 Discrete Surround Sound System with dual-play (CD/DVD) radio; AudioPilot® noise compensation technology; in-dash, single-load, six-disc changer, and eight speakers equalized to the EXT's interior. CNET feels that it "delivers a rich audio output," but their reviewer is even more impressed by its "music navigational interface for selecting digital audio tracks and folders," which "is one of the most advanced audio management systems we've seen." Kelley Blue Book notes an "unpleasant surprise: There's an auxiliary input jack for the rear audio system, but none for the front."
The EXT's DVD-based navigation radio (available as part of the optional Information Package) adds an 8-inch touch-screen display to the standard Dual Play radio and the ability to play audio CDs in the DVD drive. Both spoken instructions and 2-D or 3-D full-color maps are available to guide the driver. CNET says: "We found the interface easy to program, with the option to enter destinations by an address, a cross street, or a phone number."