Cadillac Escalade EXT (2002)
Arch enemies Cadillac and Lincoln jumped into the luxury pickup truck segment at about the same time but it’s the former’s Escalade EXT that’s best remembered in 2019. The latter’s Blackwood, a gussied-up Ford F-150, entered the car world’s collective memory as an embarrassing and expensive failure.
Launched as a 2002 model, the Escalade EXT fared better partly because executives selected Chevrolet’s versatile Avalanche, not its Silverado, as a starting point. This pickup-SUV hybrid featured an innovative Midgate that let users fold down the separation between the cabin and the box to haul bulky items; the Escalade gained the exact same feature. It was a genuinely practical truck, unlike the Blackwood, and it was available with four-wheel drive. Still, the idea of a Cadillac-badged pickup rubbed many buyers the wrong way.
Annual Escalade EXT sales peaked at 13,494 units during the 2002 calendar year. Cadillac released a second-generation model for the 2007 model year but axed the nameplate in 2013.