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Cadillac Escalade EXT

A luxury pickup with a usable five-foot bed.

A Cadillac pickup might seem like heresy to many of the Caddy faithful, but the wreath-and-crest brand was one of the first luxury marques to expand into the profitable SUV and truck segments. The EXT, which is essentially a high-end version of the discontinued Chevrolet Avalanche, is available with the same luxury amenities as the Escalade and Escalade ESV sport-utilities. Those amenities include a high-grade interior, state-of-the-art Bose 5.1 digital surround sound, and a touch-screen navigation system. The Escalade EXT uses the same six-speed automatic transmission and rumbling 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 that’s found in its SUV siblings. But the EXT also borrows from its late Chevrolet sibling. Look behind the seats, and you’ll find a pickup bed and the Midgate system from the Avalanche. When the rear seats are folded, the Midgate panel can be extended into the cabin, converting the EXT from a five-passenger vehicle to a two-seater and expanding the pickup bed from five feet to eight feet. A tonneau cover protects the external bed from the elements; alternatively, it can be removed for extra storage space. A power-operated soft cover is a dealer-installed option.

COMPETITORS

Ford F-150 Limited

GMC Sierra Denali

Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn

new for 2013

The only pickup sold by a luxury marque soldiers on into 2013 with few changes. There are two new exterior colors: xenon blue and midnight green metallic.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are traction and stability control with rollover mitigation, Ultrasonic rear parking sensors, tire-pressure monitoring, and OnStar telematics with automatic crash response and emergency services with a one-year free trial. Blind-zone alert is optional.

MPG

CITY 13

HWY 18

PRO

Midgate system

Opulent cabin

CON

Small bed

Poor fuel economy

Pricey

Base Price Range: $64,010–$70,590

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Escalade EXT, Luxury, Premium

BODY STYLE: Pickup, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 6.2L V-8, 403 hp, 417 lb-ft (E85 capable)

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 120.0 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 7600 lb; payload 1362 lb; cargo (second row folded/Midgate open, second row folded) 54.3/101.0 cu ft

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