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2002-2013 Cadillac Escalade EXT
As truck sales heated up in the 1990s Cadillac contemplated getting into the truck market. When Lincoln debuted their Navigator in 1998, Cadillac’s response was the 1999 Escalade. The first Escalade was just a revised GMC Yukon, which was their top-of-the-line SUV. This explains why it only took Cadillac 10 months to develop. Cadillac applied their passenger car-style grille and luxurious interiors that included leather and real wood trim.
Then in 2002 the new generation trucks were introduced, and so the new Escalade was developed more thoroughly than the first one. Their “Art and Science” design aesthetic was applied to the Escalade with its vertical lighting and razor sharp details. Cadillac also launched variations of the Chevy Suburban called ESV, and the Chevy Avalanche which Cadillac named EXT.
The EXT was part SUV and part truck. Debuting in 2002, the first generation ran through 2006. An all-wheel drive version was also available. Converting into a pickup or back to a five-passenger SUV only required dropping a panel between the pickup bed and cabin, then folding down the back seats—without any tools.
The five passenger SUV had full-time all-wheel drive, and came standard with the 345hp 6.0-Liter V8 and four-speed automatic transmission as the only powertrain.
Little was changed for 2003. Standard equipment included a CD player, keyless entry, cruise control, and dual-zone climate control.
Standard equipment added in 2004 included XM satellite radio, a trailer package and tire pressure monitor.
In 2007 Escalade went into their second generation platform, and the EXT got its version. The engine was upped to 6.2-Liters increasing output to 403hp.
There was a new “V8 Ultra Luxury Collection” that included an audio system with integral navigation, rearview camera system, “Intellibeam” headlights, heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel and 22-inch chrome alloy wheels. A sunroof was also available.
The 6.2-Liter V8 was configured for running on E85 blended gas. The hybrid version of the Escalade was not available with the EXT.
“Active Management” technology which was cylinder deactivation, was added in 2010. Side airbags were available up front, and side door protection was modified from the 2009 version. The in-dash clock was now standard equipment, and a USB port was added to function as an audio interface.
Very minor changes marked this period through 2012. External coolers for both engine oil and transmission fluid and a heavy-duty locking rear differential were the main additions. A sunroof option was also added.
This lasted until 2013, when the Ext and Avalanche were discontinued. EXT sales hovered around 2,000 units sold since 2009. Only 1,972 EXT models sold in 2013, ranking it as the tenth-worst selling vehicles in the US.