Go ahead, GM! Give them something to talk about for many months and years to come. Something huge, similar to a quiet revolution in the SUV industry is happening. Those who are riding the waves of these changes just continue to love every single minute of it. Go to Beach Boulevard, Bel-Air in Los Angeles and you'll see something strange happening. For that matter, go to any major cities of this country where their residents care about their public images and are in a high economic bracket. You will see that most of them are driving in high class. They are driving gas-guzzling SUVs. If this is only one of the reasons most people rebuke them, a large group of truck drivers who are your neighbors, parents, and colleagues love SUVs for their practicality and the sense of power and control they exude. Right now, there is one truck that offers more than those qualities. 2003 Cadillac Escalade EXT is the ultimate luxurious SUV that anybody who is anybody covets out there. Who would resist taking a few rides in such a luxurious truck? I seized the opportunity to test-drive it a few days ago. I have come out of this experience with lots of goodies to share with you.
Stars, rap moguls, various sports athletes and ordinary consumers with a pretty nice pocketbook are driving large in the Escalade
What is clear is that GM wants to lead in the richly profitable SUV market. Who would not like to align him/herself with a winner?
It's the new sign of the times. It's everywhere you go. Most of the local dealers I have talked to can't seem to hold them for too long. The Cadillac folks know a few things about bringing these robust, rugged but slick vehicles to the market. Now, life has not been all rosy for that brand all along. For what seemed to be an eternity, the Cadillac brand was being bombarded by the various products from Japan and Korea. These engineers and all the ensemble had to generate something that would capture the fancy of not only the most coveted up and mobile young people but also their core consumers, the mature Cadillac die-hards. They hit the jackpot with the arrival of the SUVs. GM engineers decide to base the Escalade on the well-known chassis of the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL. Besides the Chevrolet Avalanche which the Escalade is adapted from, Escalade is the only full-size truck on the market which can go from a full-size SUV to a full-size pickup with a protected eight-foot cargo box. There is no doubt that GM has built a great momentum in the truck market since the inception of this superluxurious truck. It is fitting that they want to take advantage of every opportunity to put the results of their creative juice on the market. I remain a firm believer in the body-on-frame ruggedness, utility and versatility of the truck.
Tell me more about the 2003 Cadillac Escalade EXT
The Escalade is seen as the company's flagship SUV
Introduced to the Cadillac brand as a 2002 model, Escalade has quickly grabbed the hearts of the die-hard SUV fans. Young as well as mature drivers seem to give a thumbs up. With its edgy style found mostly on the Escalade SUV and CTS sedan, the 2003 Escalade EXT is a sure attention grabber on the roads of this country. That's what happened to me and my salesperson when I took it out for a spin around town. The sheer beauty and size of the truck command respect. I had no problem negotiating the ramps to the freeways. A 6.0L V-8 engine powers the beautiful beast. It sports a smooth shifting four-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission with tow/haul modes.
What are some of the Escalade's features?
Convert-a-cab allows owners to do whatever they need to.
Let's say you have a large and long load to haul. The Escalade can meet your needs in a heart beat. This is where the convert-a-cab feature comes handy. It allows you to convert the truck to meet your needs as they arise. In this case, all you need to do is to make sure the split rear passenger seat is folded (the midgate can be folded down to allow longer and larger cargo). The 2003 Escalade is a very versatile truck. Bear in mind that the EXT's rear window can be removed and stored on the midgate. If you want, you can keep the midgate upright with the window removed to create an open air feel without the wind noise which is common in convertible vehicles.
The bed and tailgate of the EXT are made of a combination of steel. This is where GM can be proud of its PRO-TEC composite and other materials. It's new but it's efficient and effective. The composite will resist dings and scratches. So you don't have to worry about hauling your materials.
How does the EXT drive?
It's as smooth as any car despite its size. Handling and performance are its hallmarks. I had more space sitting behind its wheel than I have on a Cessna. The EXT has great display and control graphics. For this year's model, they have been upgraded. You can find these upgrades in the following areas: analog speedometer, tach, odometer, fuel, water temp, oil pressure and a digital message center. Visibility is a big plus. It's so amazing to be able to see everything in the environs. There is no mention of the head, leg and hip room that exists on this truck. It has comfortable type of living room chair front bucket seats with armrests and deep center console capable of swallowing almost anything.
If you want to decide on this vehicle, I would recommend that you test-drive it on a few occasions to better appreciate it. Then, make up your mind. Anybody who receives this truck as a gift will be blown off his/her feet. It's such a gorgeous and big SUV! GM makes them big and better!