Comfort and Quality » 9
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QUALITY | 9 out of 10
Impressive assembly quality, and mostly top-notch materials
Handsome cabin, excellent ergonomics, comfortable seats
Interior is luxury-plush, surprisingly quiet and raises the luxury and refinement bars another couple of notches
Kelley Blue Book
The folding Midgate distinguishes the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT from other Escalade models, but also presents some design challenges where interior space is concerned.
"Two rows of seats accommodate five occupants," says Cars.com. ConsumerGuide elaborates, reporting that the Cadillac Escalade EXT's 2008 edition has "big-rig space on wide, comfortable seats, though the tallest drivers may want more headroom and legroom." This is fine for the vast majority of folks, but in order to fold down the Midgate and utilize the full length of the pickup bed, the front seats must be moved forward slightly, which diminishes front seat legroom further. On the topic of dealing with moving the front seats back and forth, ConsumerGuide notes, "Power-adjustable pedals are standard, but the absence of a telescopic or power-adjustable steering column are surprising at this price level," and notes that, when the Midgate is not folded down, "comfortable seats furnish good headroom and legroom" in the rear. They do warn, however, that the Escalade EXT "is a tall truck, so some climbing is needed to get in."
Still, the Midgate is what makes Cadillac's 2008 EXT version of the Escalade special, and it affords the owner many possibilities when it comes to increasing usable cargo space. Cars.com points out that folding the Midgate down and the rear seats forward gives the Cadillac Escalade EXT 2008 model a very useful "54.3 cubic feet of cargo space." And ConsumerGuide notes that, with the rear seats in the "up" position, the hard tonneau and locking tailgate make the pickup bed "essentially a deep, 40-cubic-foot trunk." ForbesAutos sees more possibilities still, reporting, "The rear window and the bed cover also can remain in place with the Midgate folded to create a huge enclosed trunk, perfect for protecting long, flat objects from the elements."
According to Edmunds, Cadillac's 2008 Escalade EXT's "five-passenger cabin has an elegant, upscale ambiance thanks to the use of finely stitched leather and accents of wood and metal. Most surfaces are of the soft-touch variety, though a few cheap plastic trim pieces can still be found." ConsumerGuide agrees, also saying, "a few plastic pieces disappoint at these prices." But ForbesAutos is more positive, reporting that the Cadillac Escalade EXT 2008 "feels more luxurious thanks to higher-quality materials."
ConsumerGuide rates the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT as "quiet enough, but only midpack for the premium-large-SUV class," indicating that its mighty V-8 is "subdued at highway speeds but roars loudly during rapid acceleration," and that "Wind rush is noticed from the large door mirrors and around the front doors from 65 mph on up."
TheCarConnection.com finds the 2008 Cadillac Escalade EXT to be of generally high build quality and comfort levels--especially for a pickup truck.