2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT was new.
Even though the 2009 Escalade EXT is a big, heavy vehicle, it has a surprisingly car-like ride that's coupled with impressive thrust from its V8 engine. Still, the steering and braking get mixed reviews
Acceleration and Power
Only a single engine is available for the nearly 6,000-pound Escalade EXT, and it's a big one: a 6.2-liter V8 that can generate 403 horsepower, plenty of low-end torque and a towing capacity of 7,600 pounds. By and large reviewers think this engine is great, but a few lament that even this much power can barely keep up with the EXT's bulk. The EXT comes with a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission with a Driver Shift Control manual mode and Performance Algorithm Shifting (PAS). Reviewers say the transmission performs smoothly.
- The V8 "thrusts the big vehicle forward with eye-opening authority." Kelley Blue Book
- +The EXT "could probably surprise some punks at the drag strip." --Cars.com
- The transmission's shifts are "crisp and well-timed" and that its manual mode is "helpful on slick and winding roads." Edmunds
- The transmission "changes gears smoothly," but "some testers cite an occasional reluctance to downshift for passing." -- Consumer Guide
Handling and Braking
Reviewers find the EXT's handling surprisingly good for a truck, and the ride is surprisingly comfortable. Still, some complain about numb steering and less-than-perfect braking.
- "This heavy full-frame luxury truck drives like a very large car. It's no sport sedan, but it is more agile, sure-footed and Cadillac-comfortable than most any other full-size truck you'll encounter." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Has all the supple composure we've come to expect from the latest generation of trucks." Edmunds
- "Strong brakes have [a] reassuringly firm pedal, but fast stops trigger lots of nosedive." Consumer Guide