2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT Performance
This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.
Reviewers are impressed with the 2012 Escalade EXT’s powerful V8 engine, although they say that its chunky curb weight hurts its braking performance. Still, most reviewers think the EXT drives well for such a big truck, and like other Escalade models, it has a particularly smooth ride. However, the EXT can’t come close to matching the out-and-out capability of other full-size luxo-trucks like the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali.
- "For all its luxurious versatility, the Cadillac Escalade EXT's hefty 6,000-pound weight contributes to lackluster braking performance and poor fuel economy. It also doesn't have the towing capacity to match full-size truck models from Dodge, Ford and GMC, which can be pretty luxurious in their own right when loaded up with amenities.” -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
The only engine available with the 2012 Escalade EXT is a 6.2-liter V8 that comes standard with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine makes 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. The EXT can tow a maximum of 7,600 pounds. Test drivers say the engine is plenty powerful, and they like the way it sounds.
The EPA rates the 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT at 13/18 mpg city/highway. That’s particularly bad, even for an all-wheel drive pickup truck.
If you’re looking for a hardworking pickup truck that cleans up well for a night on the town, but has better gas mileage than the Escalade EXT, you should take a look at the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid. Its 2HY trim comes standard with luxury features like a navigation system, leather seats and adjustable pedals, and with four-wheel drive it gets 20/23 mpg city/highway. It’s also far less expensive than the Escalade EXT.
- "Standard V-8 has plenty of guts to get the big truck moving.” -- Car and Driver
- "The automatic transmission features a tow/haul mode and manual-shift capability, but gearchanges can be awkward using the controls on the column-mounted shifter.” -- Edmunds
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say that the Escalade EXT handles well for a pickup truck, although that doesn’t mean it’s easy to drive. Testers say it handles most like its SUV-style sibling, the Escalade, so its ride is smooth but hard to maneuver in close quarters. That’s average for a pickup truck, though.
- "The adaptive suspension manages to deliver a decent balance between a smooth ride and confident handling, though there's only so much you can expect in either department from a 6,000-pound truck rolling on 22-inch wheels.” -- Edmunds
- "Though this is a large vehicle, Escalades are stable and confident in low-to-moderate speed changes of direction. … Our testers are divided on the steering; some laud its feel and response, but others say it's vague and over assisted. Strong brakes have reassuringly firm pedal feel … but fast stops trigger lots of nosedive.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Shares the big and unwieldy feel of GM's big utes.” -- Car and Driver