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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
on a nice day, the window can be removed independently of the midgate to let the breeze flow through the cabin
the EXT can do the work of a real pickup when its Midgate is folded down, which creates a much longer cargo bed
quickly converts from a closed SUV to a surprisingly capable pickup
Kelley Blue Book
The 2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT is offered in a single trim level, but with its vast array of standard features and optional equipment, this is plenty.
The 2009 Escalade EXT is a pretty expensive pickup truck, but it comes with a lot of items. Edmunds observes that "large instruments with blue needles allow a quick read of vital stats, while a trip computer provides secondary information, such as average fuel mileage. The [optional] nav screen has a user-friendly touchscreen interface, and all controls are easy to find and use." Kelley Blue Book lists standard equipment as including "all-wheel drive, road-sensing suspension, automatic rear leveling, Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist, a three-piece rigid cargo cover and remote vehicle starting. Interior features include leather-covered 14-way power heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering wheel radio controls, rear audio controls, power adjustable pedals, DVD/MP3/CD-changer with Bose Surround Sound, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar with turn-by-turn navigation." New standard features for 2009 include a power-tilt steering wheel, rear audio jacks, and express-up front windows.
Of course, the main feature of the Cadillac Escalade EXT 2009 model is the Midgate, which allows the EXT to transform from a five-seater luxury SUV to a two-passenger pickup with an 8-foot bed, and a few different configurations in between. Forbes Autos points out, "On a nice day, the window can be removed independently of the Midgate to let the breeze flow through the cabin." Kelley Blue Book isn't entirely sold on the idea of the Midgate. "It's pretty slick," the reviewer writes, "but one potential down-side is that, in that configuration, the entire interior is open to the great outdoors and all the security, weather and dirt issues that includes." If you must have the Midgate feature, you can find it on the Chevy Avalanche for a much lower price. TheCarConnection.com’s editors also like how the Midgate’s window was removable but wished that it would simply roll down instead.
Options in the 2009 Escalade EXT are limited (in part because of the long standard features list). Forbes Autos notes the "optional Dolby Digital Surround audio system" as a favorite features. As Kelley Blue Book puts it, "With so much standard equipment, the EXT's option list is not long, and includes 22-inch tires on chromed aluminum wheels, power adjustable running boards, a power sliding sunroof, a Climate Package (heated and cooled front seats and a heated steering wheel) and an Information Package that includes DVD touch-screen navigation, a rearview camera and Intellibeam automatic headlamps," which smoothly dim their high beams when they sense the light from the headlamps of an oncoming car. Newly optional for 2009 is XM NavTraffic.
The 2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT brings plenty of fabulous features—some quite pricey—to create what’s possibly the best-equipped pickup in the world.