Imagine yourself in your tuxedo, your wife or friend in her evening best, rolling up the driveway to the Beverly Hilton Hotel or the beautiful Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue in New York and having the valet greet you in your “truck” … It happens. You are driving your 2011 Cadillac Escalade, EXT pickup. Some say its overkill, I say if you are blessed with the means to afford it, it is one of the most beautiful and attractive all-around vehicles on the market today.
No Tail Fins and Many Standard Extras
In the fifties it was big tail fins; today it’s the Escalade EXT Sport Utility, the “Cadillac” of pickup trucks. Not only is the truck easy to look at but it is also functional. The gentle giant weighs in at six thousand pounds and for a truck is quite nimble and easy to handle. Stabilitrak, a very effective automatic stability system along with road sensing suspension and automatic level control (acarplace.com), make the truck easy to handle. A beeper and a series of three LED lights just above the back window indicate how close you are to an object when backing up.
The very quiet interior is artfully trimmed in wood with leather seats and an excellent stereo system with CD changer. For the senior set, it even includes a cassette deck with rear controls and earphones. The dash has a blue tooth iPod input receptacle and is attractively appointed with all gauges including a transmission temperature indicator. Other amenities include Cadillac’s famous climate control, power windows and locks, heated mirrors, all-wheel drive with automatic torque split, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, plus front and side air bags.
From Luxury Car to Truck
As far as the “Truck” part goes, the big beauty can be a work horse. With Cadillac’s own “Convert-a-cab” system, along with the “Magical Midgate’ panel, the back window is easily removed (safe storage provided) and the back seats fold down offering a two passenger truck with an eight foot bed. The overly heavy tailgate with it’s awkward latch handle swings down and provides for ten foot items with very little overhang. A removable rubber-like mat covers the exposed bed.
The engine in the Escalade is the GM, six liter, 345 horsepower V8. The power plant provides truck-like performance with 417 foot pounds of torque at only 4,300 rpm, offering high torque at relatively low engine speeds. The six speed automatic transmission is equipped with automatic overdrive. An unobtrusive, heavy duty trailer hitch is complete with necessary wiring and plugs.
Warranties, Price and Mileage
With a 50,000 mile, four year bumper-to-bumper warranty, Cadillac offers roadside assistance for the life of the vehicle with transfer privilege if the truck is sold. The powertrain is warranted for 100,000 miles or five years and corrosion protection for 50,000 miles or four years. The invoice price is usually $57,862 – $64,950 (yahoo.com/cars) depending on things like the optional electric sunroof or custom wheels and tires. Fuel mileage on this magnificent beast is definitely not in the “green” zone with 13 mpg city and 18 mpg on the road. However, when compared to the BMW-760 LI series at $97,866 and mileage at 13 mpg city and 19 mpg on the road, which proud owner can return from the Beverly Hilton or the Waldorf, hook his travel trailer up to his luxury car and go RV’ing in style?
Additional source, Cadillac