2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT

  • 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT Base Crew Cab Pickup

    Base Crew Cab Pickup

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      6.2L V8
    • MSRP
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2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT Review

Still eye-catching but starting to tarnish

Reviewed by Automotive on

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT successfully combines a luxury pickup and SUV into one attractive crossbreed. While most features of the EXT are similar to the original Escalade, the main difference is in the rear, where the EXT trades in the third row for a covered cargo bed. The second row can also be folded down, and a unique midgate can be utilized to offer extra covered cargo space for longer and larger objects. The Escalade EXT is available in three models: Base, Luxury, and Premium. The Escalade EXT's large V-8 engine offers plenty of power and pleasing acceleration, though fuel economy is notably poor.

Still, Escalades are not purchased for fuel economy, but rather luxury and stature, something even thieves have picked up on, making the Escalade consistently one of the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. The large truck offers a well-appointed interior in a plush cabin. The Escalade also offers seating for five in two rows. All models are well-equipped with luxury features and technology. As far as luxury pickups, you won't find one with more panache, higher-quality materials in the cabin, or styling. Pure truck enthusiasts looking for excellent towing capability can do better, but the 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT is sufficient for basic luxury truck functions.

The Range

Bodystyle: Truck
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: Base, Luxury, Premium

What's New

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT makes do with minor revisions for another year. The rearview camera gets guiding lines, and the navigation system gets a low-fuel warning. The center console lid is redesigned, and there are two new colors: Radiant Silver Metallic and Crystal Red Tintcoat.


The Cadillac Escalade EXT has become a status symbol in no small part thanks to a commanding presence and striking, gaudy looks. With standard 18-inch aluminum wheels and optional 22-inch chrome wheels, there is some flexibility on how loud the Escalade EXT can be. The Escalade boasts a long wheelbase, and is easily identifiable with its prominent shield grille and large headlights. LED taillights are standard on all models, as is a roof-mounted luggage rack with chrome accents. LED headlights are standard on the Platinum model. The 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT is available in eight colors.


The 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT carries a laundry list of standard luxury features including automatic climate control, navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth and heated leather seats. Wood and metal accents complement an overall attractive and luxurious cabin. Depending on configuration, the EXT can seat five, but only front passengers if the second row is folded down when the midgate is in use. Rear visibility is an issue, but is mitigated with the rearview backup camera.

Performance & Handling

Performance can be hard to come by in a vehicle weighing in the neighborhood of 6000 pounds, but the 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT's 403-horsepower V-8 handles the weight well boasting sufficient power on tap. Side and rear visibility don't inspire confidence in maneuvering. All-wheel drive provides grip in inclement weather. Impressive acceleration and a good ride quality make the Escalade EXT a pleasure to drive.


Driver and passenger front airbags are standard, along with side impact thorax bags front and rear for 2012. Other standard safety features include: Antilock disc brakes; OnStar Automatic Crash Response; along with electronic safety devices including traction control and stability control.

EPA Fuel Economy

EXT all-wheel drive: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Status symbol
  • Foldable midgate
  • V-8 power

You Won't Like

  • V-8 fuel economy
  • Steep price
  • Poor maneuverability in tight spaces

Sum Up

Still eye-catching but starting to tarnish

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