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STYLING | 8 out of 10
the ultimate niche vehicle
a more angular face that closely mimics the rest of Cadillac's lineup
leather covers the seats, doors, steering wheel and center console
Kelley Blue Book
The 2010 Cadillac Escalade EXT brings a lot to the table-including the table and all the guests, if you need. A full-size truck with a twist, the Escalade EXT has a Midgate system that lets the driver decide how many passengers and how much cargo they need to move-and lets them choose one or the other or both. With a base price of almost $62,000, the EXT has no real competition, though it might seem like a bargain compared to a fully enclosed Land Rover Range Rover or a blinged-out Lincoln Navigator. (The only direct rival? The mechanically similar Chevrolet Avalanche.)
Part SUV, part pickup, the Escalade EXT's also part rap-star fantasy object with a massive dose of glitz and over-the-top detailing thrown in for good (or bad) measure, depending on how you look at it. It was overhauled in 2007 along with the short-wheelbase Escalade and the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV. ForbesAutos calls it "a large and imposing-looking vehicle," with "a massive grille flanked by high-intensity headlamps up front and a multitude of chrome accents around the vehicle." The overall appearance is refined and elegant, with an unmistakable nod to Cadillac's latest styling themes in the big vertical headlamps and taillights, the huge Cadillac logo on the grille, and in the wide bands of chrome that run down the pickup bed. The EXT's "angular face...closely mimics the rest of Cadillac's lineup," says Cars.com. The current version, Kelley Blue Book reports, "appears perhaps somewhat smaller thanks to its more sleek and crisp new body," and points to its "large, finely-crafted Cadillac signature grille, front fender vent ports and tasteful chrome accents."
Inside the EXT wears just the right mix of wood and chrome to give meaning to the Cadillac badge in the center of the steering wheel. ForbesAutos recalls that the "leather-clad, five-passenger cabin was recently upgraded and feels more luxurious thanks to higher-quality materials and a more attractive design." Kelley Blue Book adds, "leather covers the seats, doors, steering wheel and center console, while the interior pillars wear rich-looking fabric." ConsumerGuide observes the gauges "are large but have blue pointers that can be hard to see in some light conditions." In all, ForbesAutos says, the Escalade EXT "raises the luxury and refinement bars another couple of notches." Though there's still a bit of chintzy black plastic in the center stack, editors from TheCarConnection.com feel that the EXT's interior, like those of the other Escalade models, is among the best in the entire Cadillac lineup-up there with the new Cadillac CTS.
The 2010 Cadillac Escalade EXT stands out in a crowd with its immense, angular shape and its softly upholstered, glinty interior.