PUTC Buyer's Guide: 2003 Cadillac Escalade EXT

 



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Price:
$50,705*
Add $790
destination charge
*Prices are base MSRP prices

Engines:
6.0-liter OHV Vortec® V8
345hp @ 5200 rpm
380ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

Transmissions:
- 4L60-E, heavy-duty 4-speed automatic

Fuel Economy (city/hwy):
12/15

Competitors:
Lincoln Blackwood (discontinued)

 

 

 

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Overview:
The Escalade EXT is a cross between a luxury SUV and a premium pickup truck. The EXT offers the luxuries Cadillac customers expect, with the extended cargo capabilities of a pickup truck.

For 2003, Escalade EXT adds numerous features, including new safety features, a rear seat entertainment system, interior instrument panel upgrades and modified seats.

Unmistakably a Cadillac with its sheer, chiseled forms and bold styling. In its standard configuration, EXT offers a roomy, luxurious, comfortable five-passenger cab and a 5'3" (1.6 m) long cargo box.

Owners requiring more cargo room can easily convert the reconfigurable Midgate™ in a few minutes without any tools, extending the bed to a full 8'1" (2.5 m). The Midgate™ folds into the interior of the cab to create a 4' x 8' (1.2 m x 2.43 m) cargo area to transport large items, from artwork to a large screen TV.

Items are protected from the elements and theft by a standard three-piece cargo cover and lockable tailgate.

The EXT's rear window is removable to allow for additional cargo space or for added air-circulation. The window is easily stowed on board and works in conjunction with the Midgate™.

Exterior Design:
The Escalade EXT's bold design is representative of Cadillac's vision of art and science and with its sibling the Escalade, are the first production vehicles to articulate the new design vocabulary.

Escalade EXT is available in five exterior colors: Pewter, Sable Black and White Diamond, a pearlescent, tri-coat premium finish. Green Envy - a medium Pearl Green Metallic, and Out of the Blue - a medium Blue Metallic are new for 2003.

Interior Design:
An advanced new multiplexed electrical architecture makes Escalade EXT even smarter. The new architecture greatly reduces the number of wires, splices and connectors, minimizes weight, improves packaging efficiency, reliability and durability and enables features such as the driver information center, new infotainment systems, automatic climate control and the passenger sensing system.

A new driver information center monitors and reports on up to 30 system functions - more than any vehicle in its class. The instrument panel and cluster - redesigned to accommodate these new features - provides more crucial operating data than any competitor. An available eight-button steering wheel control allows owners to personalize several functions and safely access new infotainment systems.

The 2003 Escalade EXT offers new entertainment systems, including a Panasonic DVD Entertainment System, XM Satellite Radio and a highly refined, premium Bose sound system with superb imaging, stage and spectral response.

Available XM Satellite Radio features 100 coast-to-coast digital channels, including 71 music channels (more than 30 of them commercial-free) from hip-hop to opera, classical to country, bluegrass to blues, and 29 channels of sports, talk, children's and entertainment programming. XM also brings to the car, for the first time on radio, a diverse selection of 24-hour news sources previously available only in the home. XM's next-generation sound quality technology provides superior sound, remarkably close to that of a compact disc.

The optional rear-seat entertainment system includes a DVD player with flip-down screen for rear-seat passenger viewing, wireless headphones and a remote control. The state-of-the-art, factory-installed system includes a 7-inch liquid-crystal display, with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio (screen format), capable of playing studio-quality audio/video in both CD-audio and DVD formats. The DVD player can play all discs manufactured for wide- or standard-screen formats, as well as CD audio discs. It also provides three other sets of auxiliary video and audio inputs for video game systems like the Microsoft X-box, a camcorder or other types of external equipment.

Safety:
The Escalade EXT adds additional safety enhancements for 2003 including an automatic passenger-sensing air bag system. It automatically deactivates the passenger-side air bag under certain conditions to protect children (or small adults).

The dual-stage air-bag system is a supplemental restraint system designed to detect vehicle deceleration and, based on the deceleration data, provide an appropriate amount of air-bag inflation.

Escalade EXT now has supplemental brake assist, a center seat shoulder belt in the second row and a child restraint anchor system to make installing child seats easier and safer. The Escalade EXT also features improved brake performance and pedal feel, and quieter operation. The brake and accelerator pedals now have a power-adjustable feature.

The vehicle features an upgraded StabiliTrak system and new one-speed full-time open-differential transfer case. The new system's four-channel electronic brake control replaces previous three-channel hydraulic brake control for ABS/traction and two-channel control for yaw stability.

New standard power exterior rearview mirrors feature power tilt glass/power folding, heat, left-side electrochromic glass, puddle lights, turn-signal indicators in the glass and a memory feature.

New standard high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlamps enhance safety and styling.

Powertrain:
The best-in-class Vortec 6000 V8 gives the vehicle more horsepower and torque per liter than any SUV, at 345 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 380 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. The engine links to the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E heavy-duty electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.