dual overhead cam, 300hp/355ft-lbs. 5.4-liter engine provides plenty of
power for the truck and the ability to pull an 8,700 lbs. trailer load
with its 3.73 rear axle ratio and built-in Class III/IV towing hitch.
Perfect for taking your boat down to the marina. An 4R100 4-speed automatic
transmission, also found in Ford F-350 SuperDuty heavy duty pickups, rounds
out the powertrain.
and speed were more than acceptable for a truck of the Blackwood's size.
It definitely hits 70 faster than a SuperCrew but didn't feel as quick
as the EXT.
Blackwood is powered by a 300-horsepower, 5.4liter, 32-valve V-8.
The vehicle's 8,700-pound towing capacity is enhanced by its 355 foot-pounds
of torque and its rear load-leveling suspension.
time with the Blackwood we averaged about 13.3 miles-per-gallon fuel economy
over widely ranging roads, highways and hills.
The EXT is
powered by GM's excellent Vortec 6000 V8 but with some additional tuning
and engineering to pump out 345hp/380ft-lbs. of torque. Like the Blackwood's
engine, the EXT has aluminum heads but combines this with a larger throttle
body bore, revised camshaft and exhaust modifications. Strangely, out
of the box the EXT tows less than the Blackwood, rated at only 8,000 lbs.
The EXT uses GM's top-rated Hydramatic 4L60-E heavy-duty, 4-speed automatic
liked the EXT's powerplant. It's acceleration, torque and engine power
are right in the sweet spot of luxury trucks.
that we have described about the Blackwood and EXT inside, outside and
under the hood, both trucks pretty much wind up in a draw until you get
out on the road where the Cadillac really begins to show off its merits
over the Lincoln. We drove both trucks back to back over highways and
some of the twistiest country roads in California.
with the EXT for the driving portion. The first few miles were warm up
heading east through Carmel Valley but soon the map we were following
indicated we should make a detour onto Cachaqua Road.
Road isn't your ordinary type of ho-hum California suburban street. It
starts with an immediately steep climb and twisties every couple of hundred
feet with trees and hillsides blocking visibility. Lest we forget, parts
of the road were under construction and 18-wheeler semis full of gravel
suddenly came out of nowhere filling their girth across the entire breadth
of Cachaqua's hairpin turns. Oh yeah, its also only one-and-a-half-lanes
wide. Mr. Toad eat your heart out because you ain't got nuthin' on this
The EXT is
a big truck and it's probably a good thing we drove it first on the drive
route because all of its handling and suspension abilities were called
into play during the drive on Cachaqua. Throughout the S-turns of Cachaqua
the EXT felt surefooted and followed the driver's line every time a change
of direction was dictated.
EXT's Vortec 6000 engine has 345 horsepower and 380 ft-lbs of torque.
the understatement of the day another journalist in the truck with us
noted that with the Cadillac, "timing is everything" as we came
around the corner of one particularly tight turn to see the incoming grille
of one of those gravel trucks coming straight at us. The EXT gracefully
handled the immediate application of brakes without any complaints.
a lot to be said about the AWD system in the EXT. Even on the tightest
turns you might hear some 'scrubbing' coming from the tires but at no
point did we ever feel that traction was ever lost or significantly diminished.
And the StabiliTrak light never came on to indicate the system was working
overtime to compensate for driver misjudgment.
of the drive was a cakewalk after the first portion. We drove the EXT
through farm country and on freeways where the Cadillac demonstrated its
excellent on-road manners and civility. Exactly what you want in a luxury
vehicle with the presence and capabilities to handle whatever unexpected
surprises might lurk around the next turn.
followed the same drive route as the EXT the next morning, actually trailing
another wave of journalists in the Cadillacs.
expect the Blackwood to perform as well as the EXT because its suspension
is just not as sophisticated but we were pleasantly surprised more than
a few times. The truck handled most of the curves along Cachaqua almost
as well as the Cadillac but we didn't dare take them quite as aggressively
as with the EXT. Still, it was possible to catch up with some much smaller
and nimbler automotive traffic.
Blackwood drove like a Lincoln with its clean and precise steering but
it doesn't carry the same 'riding-on-rails' DNA of the EXT. Highways and
smooth suburban roads are where the Lincoln struts its stuff best.
So, it boils
down to this. Both the Lincoln Blackwood and Cadillac EXT are excellent
trucks with the Cadillac edging out the Blackwood and probably widening
that gap next year with an all new interior.
like the Blackwood's distinctive looks and attention to detail around
the bed but the Cadillac's engine and handling capabilities won us over
on the road which is where it matters most.
Lincoln Blackwood and Cadillac EXT.