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2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT was new.


Interior: 7.5

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT’s premium interior is worthy of its Cadillac name, and reviewers praise its level of luxury and refinement. But since the EXT hasn’t been significantly overhauled since 2007, one writer says it’s starting to show its age. Currently, the Escalade EXT is the pickup with the most luxurious interior on the market, but the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali, Ford F-150 King Ranch and Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn’s high-quality and high-tech features nip at the EXT’s heels. For true upscale cachet, though, you can’t beat the EXT’s bold Cadillac badge.

  • "The Escalade EXT sets itself apart from the other luxury-lined pickups with a genuinely upscale cabin in terms of design, materials and features.” -- Edmunds
  • "Impressive assembly quality, and mostly top-notch materials, though a few plastic pieces, especially the lower inside door panels, disappoint at these prices.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Aging interior design.” -- Car and Driver


The 2012 Cadillac Escalade EXT can seat up to five people with the midgate folded up. If you need to fold the midgate down to create more room in the bed, the seating capacity is reduced to two. Reviewers say the front seats are Cadillac-comfortable, though tall front-seat occupants may want a bit more headroom. The Escalade EXT comes standard with leather seats that are heated, cooled and 14-way power-adjustable up front.

  • "Both rows of seats offer good head- and legroom, with the front buckets' heating/cooling making it especially easy for occupants to get comfortable.” -- Edmunds
  • "Escalades have big-rig space on wide, comfortable (front) seats, though the tallest drivers may want more headroom and legroom. Folding the midgate on the EXT requires moving the front seats forward slightly, reducing legroom.” -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers are impressed with the level of luxury that can be found in this sport utility truck, saying it lives up to what they expect from Cadillac. The Escalade EXT comes standard with features like a three-month satellite radio subscription, a navigation system, separate rear-seat audio controls and adjustable pedals. It’s extremely well-equipped for a truck, and even very well-equipped for a luxury vehicle. Upgrading to the Luxury trim makes rear-seat entertainment available and adds a sunroof and heated steering wheel. The top-of-the-line Premium trim includes rear-seat entertainment standard, as well as power-retractable running boards. Though the Platinum trim of the regular Escalade SUV comes with heated and cooled front cup holders, the Escalade EXT does not offer them at all. The 2012 EXT’s audio and navigation systems have been upgraded for this model year.

Reviewers say the controls are fairly easy to use, though multiple writers comment that the lack of a telescoping steering wheel is surprising in this price range.

  • "Gauges are large but have blue pointers that can be hard to see in some light conditions. All major controls are within easy reach. The well-integrated navigation system has a large, easy-read touch screen. It also absorbs, but doesn't complicate, audio functions.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "We do wish the steering wheel telescoped, however.” -- Edmunds


Reviewers love the folding midgate on the EXT. Basically, the rear wall of the truck folds down in order to make the bed longer by almost three feet. Reviewers love how much the midgate extends the bed when it’s folded down, but shoppers should take note that lowering the midgate also removes the back wall of the cabin, exposing them to the elements. Testers mention that the EXT has good small-item storage as well.

  • "You won't want to be hauling around loads of manure, of course, but large items that wouldn't normally fit suddenly will with the midgate lowered.” -- Edmunds
  • “Good cabin storage includes a large bi-level console bin.” -- Consumer Guide

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