For 2006, the Cadillac Escalade EXT pickup truck receives only minor changes: there’s a sliding load floor, and an optional power sliding tonneau cover.
Based on the Chevrolet Avalanche four-door pickup truck, the EXT also uses that vehicle’s “Midgate”. It separates the cabin from the box, but can be taken down and the rear seats folded to create a two-seater pickup that can carry the ubiquitous 4×8 sheet of plywood.
The new sliding floor holds about 453 kg (1,000 lbs) of cargo. It is attached to the truck bed, and slides out over and past the reclined tailgate, so cargo can be loaded without needing to reach over the tailgate.
The powerplant is the 6.0-litre V8 that’s also used in the Cadillac Escalade, mated to a four-speed automatic. The EXT is all-wheel drive, splitting the torque 38/62 front/rear under normal driving conditions, and sending power where needed when wheelspin is detected.
The EXT comes in a single trim line, incorporating a removable and stowable three-piece rigid cargo cover, privacy glass, fog lights, high-intensity discharge headlights, power foldaway heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, driver’s side auto-dimming, passenger side tilt-down park feature and puddle lights, chrome roof rack, running boards, 17-inch aluminum wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, HomeLink garage door opener, tire pressure monitoring system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, OnStar, power-adjustable pedals, leather and wood steering wheel with audio controls, leather interior, 14-way power heated seats, 60/40 split-folding leather rear bench seat, six-CD/cassette stereo with nine speakers and rear-seat audio controls, four ventilated brake discs, speed-sensitive steering, automatic rear level control system, trailer towing package, and rear parking assist.
Although it’s never been a huge seller, the Cadillac EXT still holds its own in the company’s line-up, enough to prompt Lincoln to counter with its own Mark LT pickup truck, which offers considerable luxury itself but with as much as a $21,485 smaller price-tag that Ford is counting on to woo the small number of super-luxury truck buyers over to its stable. Hey, you’ve got to have something with which to tow the Harley Softtail to Bike Week in the spring.