2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT Review
Automotive journalists say that the 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT may not fit the needs of most buyers, but for shoppers looking for a luxurious sport utility truck, it’s their only choice.
The Cadillac Escalade EXT is basically a Cadillac Escalade with the bed of a pickup truck. It’s the corporate twin of the Chevrolet Avalanche, another sport utility truck, but its interior is pure Cadillac. If you’re searching for a luxury branded SUT, the Escalade EXT is your only choice, but test drivers say that if your requirements are a little more flexible, nearly any other truck or SUV would be a better choice.
Reviewers can’t get over the concept of a luxury branded pickup truck. They note that the premium trims of full-size pickups offer plenty of upscale features and more capability than the Escalade EXT, all for less money. And if you’re looking for an eye-catching luxury vehicle to commute or carpool in, the regular Escalade or Escalade ESV do a better job, and they’re less expensive too.
Overall, no one seems to be sure quite what the point of the Cadillac Escalade EXT is. But if you’ve got a use and money to burn for a five-seat luxo-barge with a pickup bed, the Escalade EXT is your best choice.
Other Pickup Trucks to Consider
If the Escalade EXT’s SUV/pickup combination is what drew you to it, consider the Chevrolet Avalanche and the Honda Ridgeline. They’re the only two other sport utility trucks left on the market, and test drivers say they combine SUV handling with truck-like utility. Neither offers anything close to the level of luxury found in the Escalade EXT, but they’re your only other options. Plus, the Chevrolet Avalanche is the EXT’s corporate twin, so you’ll get all the mechanics and utility of the EXT at about two-thirds of the price.
However, most reviewers say you’ll be better off with a luxury-trimmed full-size pickup than with the EXT or another SUT. The Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn has one of the most luxurious interiors found in a pickup truck, and a suspension that test drivers say gives it the best handling in the class. The Ram 1500 gets slightly better fuel economy than the EXT, and can tow far more than the EXT. Even when fully loaded, the Ram costs at least $10,000 less than the Cadillac. That’s a lot more capability for your money.
Details: The Cadillac Escalade EXT
The Cadillac Escalade EXT comes in three trims: Standard, Luxury and Premium. For 2012, it receives only minor updates, including an upgraded audio/navigation system and new noise-reducing glass. The Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV SUVs are reviewed separately.
See the full list of 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT specifications.
- "As such, if you intend to use your pickup truck as, well, a pickup truck, then the Ram 1500 Laramie, Ford F-150 King Ranch or GMC Sierra Denali will likely be better choices. They can all be pretty luxurious when loaded with amenities. Even so, if a cross between a full-size luxury SUV and a pickup truck is what you want, then there is literally only one choice to be had.” -- Edmunds
- "A weird mix of luxury and utility, the EXT won't appeal to many. And though it has an excellent 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood, its impressive power doesn't make up for its incredible thirst.” -- Car and Driver