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2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Cadillac Escalade EXT was new.


Performance: 8.2

Even though the 2009 Escalade EXT is a big, heavy vehicle, it has a surprisingly car-like ride that's coupled with impressive thrust from its V8 engine. Still, the steering and braking get mixed reviews

Acceleration and Power

Only a single engine is available for the nearly 6,000-pound Escalade EXT: a 6.2-liter V8 that generates 403 horsepower and can tow 7,600 pounds. By and large, reviewers think this engine is great, but a few lament that even this much power can barely keep up with the EXT's bulk.  The EXT comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, which reviewers say performs smoothly.

  • "[The V8] thrusts the big vehicle forward with eye-opening authority." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "[The EXT] could probably surprise some punks at the drag strip." -- Cars.com
  • "[The transmission's shifts are] "crisp and well-timed...." -- Edmunds
  • "[The transmission] changes gears smoothly... [but] some testers cite an occasional reluctance to downshift for passing." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Reviewers find the EXT's handling surprisingly good for a truck, and the ride is surprisingly comfortable. Still, some complain about numb steering and less-than-perfect braking.

  • "This heavy full-frame luxury truck drives like a very large car.  It's no sport sedan, but it is more agile, sure-footed and Cadillac-comfortable than most any other full-size truck you'll encounter." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Has all the supple composure we've come to expect from the latest generation of trucks." -- Edmunds
  • "Strong brakes have reassuringly firm pedal, but fast stops trigger lots of nosedive." -- Consumer Guide

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