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Full-Size SUVs Comparison



  • I just ordered the '08 Expedition after a year test driving a large field of full size offerings. With their new 5-year warranties I quickly narrowed the field to GM and Ford as they stood out as the most competitive values in all regards. Initially, GM's techy 4/8 cylinder V8's caught my eye, but I was only able to sustain the 4-cylinder mode if I wasn't accelerating or was driving below 70 MPH, beyond which speed the air drag demanded full V8 torque. Once I determined how incredibly narrow the range of 4-cylinder activation was a bulb went off in my head. GM had basically leveraged the V8's existing computer-controlled engine management system with programmatic tweaks that cut out 4 cylinders under certain conditions in order that GM could legally claim a 21 MPG fuel consumption rating. So what if the 4 cylinder mode is rarely invoked, as long as it can be GM wins the mileage marketing point. Reality check: like many folks, I usually drive 75 to 85 MPH on most highways, or else constantly brake and accelerate when traffic is heavier. To make a long story short, the feature had almost convinced me to buy the Tahoe or Yukon, but at the end of all my testing, the Expedition won handily. Even if I lose 1 to 2 real world MPG I have gained a far more composed and manageable ride and an amazingly quiet and genuinely more practical interior, in fact the best ride and interior amongst all American, German, British, and Japanese competitors. More on the subjective side, my tastes even shifted. While I initially was drawn to the GM look I eventually found it slightly chunky and outdated with its excessively large and more rectangular wheel wells. The more angular lines of the Ford grew on me and the interior is reminiscent of Land Rover. Thumbs up, Ford!
  • mikonmikon Posts: 7
    IMHO the Ford Expedition wins this comparison hands down, but now that Toyota has announced delivery of the new 2008 Sequoia next month (see todays article and brief review), it looks like "Game Over." Toyota has taken SUVs to the next level.

    The Sequoia provides more power, more torque, greater comfort, better handling, an efficient 6-speed automatic transmission (plus a tow/haul mode), greater towing rating, and better mileage rating. Its 0-60 mph at 7.0 seconds blows the socks off Chevy (8.7) and Ford.(8.8). And the last time I saw comparison tests for cabin noise levels, the Toyota was 12 dB better than the next best (Ford). Human hearing operates on a logarithmic scale (hence, dB comparisons are appropriate).12 dB is greater than 10:1 improvement. Although four inches longer and two inches wider than the previous Sequoia, the turn radius has decreased 3 feet to 39 feet...still best.

    As for mileage, Chevy ALWAYS claims great highway mileage, but NEVER lives up to it. Edmunds long-term test series consistently confirms that Chevy trucks and SUVs overall average is very near (sometimes even lower than) the lowest claimed mileage. I believe the poor real-world mileage is primarily because of the outdated 4-speed transmission and the poor torque versus RPM curve of GM products, which still use push-rod technology. In contrast, the Toyota real-world mileage routinely falls near the uppermost claimed mileage number (check the recent Tundra pickup blogs on this site for confirmation).

    My 2000 Tundra SR-5 4x4 Access Cab is rated 14/18, yet my overall average (with lots of off-roading and heavy loads) is 17.7 mpg over 73,000 miles. My year-old 2006 Tundra DC 4x4 Limited is also rated 14/18, yet has achieved 18.3 mpg overall since purchased.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have an 04 Armada and I shopped it against all the American ones. It won hands down in terms of reliability, comfort and towing.

    I regularly tow an 11,000lb Cigarette boat up to the adirondacks. At 67mph with the AC on in the summer I get 10.5mpg. Can't really beat that in any SUV. Comfort in the second row was far superior to the others as well. With 4-wheel indy suspension it was also comfy.

    Worth a look if you are in the market.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    A reporter is looking to talk with someone who is in the market right now for a big SUV. If you think you can help, please contact by the end of the day on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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