2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT

  • 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT Base Crew Cab Pickup

    Base Crew Cab Pickup

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      6.0L V8
    • MSRP
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2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT Review

A novel combination of ultra-luxury SUV and powerful pickup truck.

Reviewed by Automotive on


First introduced in 2002, the Cadillac Escalade EXT combines the luxury cab of an Escalade sport utility vehicle (SUV) with a pickup-style cargo bed. The innovative Midgate system converts it from a five-passenger SUV to a pickup with an eight-foot cargo bed in just minutes with no tools necessary.

The Range

Body style: crew cab pickup
Engine: 6.0-liter V-8
Transmission: four-speed automatic
Model: Cadillac Escalade EXT

What's New

The 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT gets a redesigned gauge cluster and door panels with bright chrome trim, touch-screen capability with the optional navigation system, and a more user-friendly driver information system. Burled walnut trim replaces 2004’s Zebrano wood. A sliding load floor for the cargo bed, 60/40-split rear bench seating, a new cooling system with a more powerful 160-amp alternator, and a bright chrome exhaust tip are also new for 2005.


From the rear doors forward, the 2005 Escalade EXT is all luxury SUV with styling very similar to the regular Escalade. In line with Cadillac’s ""Art and Science"" design theme, it features sharp, angular lines and chiseled surfaces. High-intensity discharge xenon headlights are incorporated into a single rectangular unit with rectangular parking lights and halogen foglamps. These flank a large, vertical egg-crate grille adorned by Cadillac’s wreath-and-crest insignia. The liftgate also features the insignia. Built on a 130-inch wheelbase, it rides on 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels and measures 221 inches long overall. The height from the ground to the top of the cargo rack is 76 inches, and it is 79.5 inches wide.

In its regular form, the 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT is a five-passenger SUV with a five-foot, three-inch cargo box similar to a very large car trunk. Folding the midgate panel into the interior extends the cargo bed to eight feet, and the removable rear window stows inside the car. A three-piece cargo cover and lockable tailgate protect items in the cargo bed.


The 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT shares its interior design with the standard Escalade and the extended-length Escalade ESV. Power-adjustable pedals with memory function and automatic climate control are both standard. Also standard are leather upholstery, burled walnut interior trim, a Bose Acoustimass audio system with six-CD changer, XM Satellite Radio, rear-seat audio controls with headphones, removable third-row seats. The OnStar communications system with Personal Calling allows drivers to make hands-free, voice-activated calls, and a voice-activated Virtual Advisor provides headlines, scores, weather, and personalized stock quotes. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system and touch-screen navigation built into the audio system are optional.

Performance & Handling

A Vortec 6000, 6.0-liter, V-8 engine powers the 2005 Cadillac Escalade EXT, cranking out 345 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a Hydra-Matic 4L65 four-speed automatic with overdrive and electronic throttle control. All-wheel-drive (AWD) is standard on the EXT. The maximum towing capacity is 7300 pounds. Its big 6.0-liter V-8 offers strong acceleration, capable of reaching 60 mph in under 8.5 seconds. In around-town driving, the electronic throttle control provides smooth transmission response. Like other full-size SUVs from GM, it is equipped with a tow/haul mode, which delays upshifts and downshifts to reduce wear and tear due to heat build-up in the transmission. Standard AWD increases stability and performance in slippery conditions. The computer-controlled system directs engine power to each wheel independently and compensates whenever wheel spin is detected. Rear Park Assist is a necessity for the huge EXT. A small row of lights at the rear of the headliner and an audio tone that varies in frequency help the driver accurately judge how much room is left behind the rear bumper.


The 2005 Escalade EXT features dual-stage front airbags with automatic passenger-sensing airbag suppression to help protect smaller occupants. It features automatic passenger-sensing air bag suppression with a passenger sensing system (PSS) that automatically deactivates the passenger-side front air bag under certain conditions to help protect smaller occupants. It also features full-time AWD, four-channel StabiliTrak electronic stability control, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives three out of five stars for driver protection and four for front passenger protection in frontal-impact crash tests. It also receives a three-star rollover rating.

EPA Fuel Economy

Cadillac Escalade EXT: 12/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful V-8 engine
  • Solid handling
  • Innovative body style

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • A few low-quality materials
  • High price tag

Sum Up

A novel combination of ultra-luxury SUV and powerful pickup truck.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • Chevrolet Avalanche
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
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