This week’s ride was a great selection for a short vacation. Over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house I went in a 2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT AWD (all wheel drive) pickup truck. Boy I never thought I’d be talking about a pickup truck from Cadillac. But few things in life surprise me any longer.\
In any case this is really a Chevrolet Avalanche in a tuxedo. I rather think it is the Darth Vader of auto design, especially in black.
Parts – USA
Assembly – Mexico
Class: – Special Purpose
Cars: – CTS, DeVille, Eldorado, Escalade, Escalade EXT, Seville.
The Escalade EXT combines a five-passenger sport-utility vehicle with the functionality of a pickup truck that is loaded with comfort, convenience and luxury features.
Handling & Performance:
Steering is a little loose, but I got used to it in a few days. But the ride was so comfortable that I soon forgot any bitching and complaining. I drove 700 miles without stopping except to wring out a kidney and get gas. I have made that drive on several occasions and I have to tell you I was noticeably more rested than when I drove a lesser vehicle. All wheel drive is nice but with that feature and 345 horsepower translates into lousy gas mileage.
My sister fell in love with it and said when she gets paid she will buy one and that was before I let her drive it. She flat was in love with the look, and of course, the smooth ride.
Fit and Finish:
Very well done but I did think the steering wheel controls were recessed a little too far.
Cadillac is always expected to be well equipped and they didn’t disappoint me. On the other hand there is no free lunch and you pay for all the gadgets. Ok, so I have come to like OnStar communications. I was about to run out of gas and I simply pushed the blue button and wa-la Mark comes on the line as polite as you please and guides me to the nearest gas station. And none to soon, I might add. I also have come to like the rear ultrasonic sensing feature and the smart / intelligent cruise control I have had on some products.
I doubt this will ever be used as a pickup truck and even if you pick up your own hay for the horses I don’t think you’d stack a ton of hay on this beauty, as I know I do on a Dodge Ram 3500 dual-ee. Somehow it just doesn’t seem dignified for such an elegant gent. But it’s nice to know you could if you wanted to.
Much too much for a slim budget, but for those with a need and lots of green, they can easily justify this kind of pickup truck.
If you can justify the cost to buy and operate this Escalade EXT it’s the most high-class versatile full size pickup truck you can buy today. And if you appreciate a luxury ride you won’t be disappointed. Try it; you’ll like it.
Cadillac Escalade EXT, Lincoln Blackwood $51,785, Chevrolet Avalanche $31-36,000.
Unique styling and adaptability, super smooth ride.
VERY poor gas performance.
6.0 liter 345 horsepower V8, Converti-Cab with mid-gate panel expanding cargo bed from 5’3” to 8’1”, 4-speed automatic trans, engine, lockable cargo bed with 3-piece rigid cargo bed cover, leather seating, Zebrano wood trim, power seats, heated cushions and backrests, 2nd row split fold down seats, OnStar Communications system with one year service included, Boise music system with cassette and in dash 6-disc CD player, rear seat audio with earphones, climate control, power widows and locks, power folding heating mirrors, 24 hour roadside assistance, all wheel drive with torque split, auto level control, StabiliTrak and road sensing suspension, 4-wheel ABS disc brake system, road sensing suspension, auto level control, traction control, towing package with harness, dual front and side airbags, ultrasonic rear park assist.
12 City and 15 Highway MPG.