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Ford Excursion vs Chevy Suburban/GMC Yukon XL - The battle of the titans

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  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    A Sub I got in 90 had the 454 and replaced a 6.2L from about 82, was great until the oil didn't get checked enough on a long trip when it had just under 48k miles. Dealer did warranty engine swap in 94 and I was happy until they said the replacement was from Mexico. Over 100k miles later and very religous about oil checks, still going strong with my brother in law who is towing horses. So Mexico source seems to go way back.
  • I had trans failure on a 97 GMC Savanna. Vans can only tow 6500 #s. I am close to that limit. Need another vehicle. Considered a Burb (too costly) and EX. The used EX prices in Mich are dropping like a rock ($27,800-$28,800) for a 2000 Limited EX V-10 with 12,000 miles. The rise of gas prices is panicking people. I hope to take advantage of scare to scoop up a cheap EX. For large families that cannot fly the USA without taking out a bank loan, camping is the way to go. The Ex will provide me with safety and security on the road.
  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    We test drove a PSD Excursion. It did not drive as well as the Suburban/Tahoe. I was just about to get a Tahoe and decided that I wanted the third seat, more room, 4.10 rear end and larger engine of the Suburban. For me there were two telling plusses of the Suburban over the Excursion.
    1 - No "base" model of Excursion. All the Excursions were too fancy and expensive. Same for Expedition. I like plain seats with front A/C. I could get a new Tahoe for $24.6K or Suburban for $26.6K in Richardson with A/C, cruise, towing, traction package, third seat, 5.3L. XLT Excursion was about $35K for similar package with PSD, which was not too bad.
    2 - Weight - Admittedly I was comparing 1/2 ton to 3/4 ton. But a 1/2 ton Suburban will still tow 8800 pounds but only weighs 4900 pounds. Excursion weighs 6600 pounds.
  • breezeebreezee Posts: 9
    Mako28... Hey, are you a boater/fisherman? Just curious about the handle. OK, I haven't driven an Excursion, but I'll assume that Ford has done whatever they can to tame down the ride. I have driven in many Suburbans and even rented one for a extended vacation in Florida twice. I had no problem driving the 'burban and my then SUV was a lousy Cherokee Limited.

    I don't see much here about this one other reason, and that's the tax write-off Uncle Sam gives you with any vehicle that has a Gross Rating of 6000 pounds or more. This has allowed many corporate execs and small business owners to option of buying/leasing a "luxury" SUV under the guise of it being a commercial class vehicle (Gawd thank you for tax loopholes). Vehicles that qualify run the gamut of; Hummers, Ford Expeditions & Excursions, Lincoln Navigators, Mercedes M-Class, BMW X5, Toyota LC/Lexus and the Sequoia, both Rovers, GM's Tahoe, Yukon, and Suburbans, Escalade, and maybe the Durango.

    Ford Explorers, Jeep Grand Cherokees, small Lexus, Infiniti/Nissan, and just about anything else out there does not qualify because of the 6000 pound deal. BMW X5 squeaks by with 6003!

    So there might be a certain amount of logic that says... for a company car, would you rather drive a Pontiac Grand Am or a Cadillac Escalade? A Taurus or an Eddie Bauer Expedition?

    Now there might be something to what Mako said about the "jumbos" ('Burbans/Scursions) as they are kinda'overkill, but I'm a boater/fisherman and I appreciate the fact that I can load 1000 pounds of crap in my vehicle one day, and yet don't feel at all embarassed when I have to pick up a client at the airport the next day. Many folks have likened my Navigator to something akin to a private jet feel inside/riding along. I have an attorney friend in Texas who has 2 Suburbans, 1 Expedition, and 1 Range Rover in his family. Oh yeah... he also has a Mercedes 450SEL that his wife leaves parked in the garage 99% of the time. She drove one of the Suburbans for years until he got her the EB Expedition (she loves it). They have four kids and two dogs. It works for them, but then in Texas... big trucks are a way of life.

    BrZ
  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    Just a brief followup on getting the Suburban. I have seen other folks mention that the Suburban with the coil springs on the rear is now a station wagon. Well, I wanted a station wagon, but they have not made a large station wagon since the 1996 Chevy Caprice. I would still buy a Chevy Caprice now, but the Tahoe/Suburban in a base package is the closest for me to an affordable large station wagon. I currently have four wagons and will now see if the Suburban succeeds as a large family wagon. My main gripe about the Suburban class of vehicle will be that I can't easily get to boats on top of the vehicle like I can with a station wagon.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,938
    That's why you see so many rusted but running 4x4 Toyota Tercel wagons at the put-ins :-)

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  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    My wife is looking forward to the Suburban with boat racks on top because it will be tall enough that folks won't hit their heads on the racks. She won't let me leave racks on her current Sable for this very reason. So that is actually a big benefit of the Suburban over another station wagon for us.
    Heck, if the Suburban is tall enough, maybe I can carry four kayaks on the top and sling one under the rack on each side to make six, eh? ;-)
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,938
    Well, not knocking your head on the racks (esp. when they're 78 inches wide like mine) is a definite advantage, and I can speak from experience there too ;-)

    Steve
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  • lambdaprolambdapro Posts: 51
    Same here. The 78" wides are great. I have two wagons set up for four racing kayaks each, TLC saddles. Then I have the other wagon wet up for 7 kayak polo boats using a kayak stacker. The worst I got hurt was getting out and spearing the middle of my upper back on one of the 78" wides. I now keep old tennis balls on the ends of my bars.
    I am definitely looking forward to Excursion/Suburban type height on the bars!
  • jcimagejcimage Posts: 1
    There really is no comparison. I've spent many miles in both, actually all of Fords SUV's and 'burbs and Tahoe's. The EX is based on a f250 chasis, so If you like to ride in a lumber truck, here you go. Keep in mind if that lumber truck is loaded, it will ride much beter. The EX's steering is wild. You're always turning the wheel even when you're going straight. It's similar to a small ferry w/ fixed prop. In 1995 the suburban had it's own chasis made. It rides very nice. However, I wouldn't buy pre 2000. Brakes, transmition, brakes. 2000 and up have corrected most of it's shortcomings. The ex has a ways to go. And whats up with all of Fords seats, no comparison to the GM's buckets. Surprisingly enough the ford 2 door explorer sport had the best ride of all the fors suv's. This I'd consider. But you can't go wrong with the 'burb.
    Stay far from Jeep GC. expecially the pre 99. Horrible ride, total market saturation/ depreciation. Many problems. Of course this is all imho.
  • palfito01palfito01 Posts: 10
    I have been driving trucks/SUV's most of the last 20 years and I think the Excursion is one of the best I have ever driven.

    If you are driving a bunch of kids around most of the day a Suburban is fine, but if you want a truck that can take alot of abuse the Ford Excursion is the only way to go. Everyone has to remember that the Ford Excursion was designed to tow heavy trailers, not to ride like a Cadillac and transport a bunch of kids.

    I guess, I felt like doing a little bit of venting!!!
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Glad you like your Sub, I did too for 30 years and 3 models. But with the same job to do, the new Sub didn't have the interior room as our prior 1990 model, hence the Excursion fit the bill. Enjoy what you drive, we do.

    Trying to say something nice about engines and you make it difficult. Our 3 sub's all got over 150k miles but the last a 454 ran hot as a side walk in Dallas in August, melted a plastic binder on the floor from the heater outlet one summer. Our V-10 on the other hand runs cool and at speed in 100+ temps with air running actually runs cooler than when around town, very comfortable.
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    palfitoO1: The Excursion definitely has superior interior space, however having owned 2, 3/4 ton Suburbans and now owning a Denali XL, I can assure you their is no comparison from a comfort basis between rear leaf springs and a "normal" air shock suspension. The comfort will become a substantial issue once you get around 35,000 miles on those leaf springs and there's no going back. Great if you need the extra towing but hell around town.

    As for your reference to the Excursions tow capabilities, the Suburban 2500 with the 8.1L engine tows 2000 more lbs than the Excursion with the v-10. The GM 8.1L also has more hp and torque.
  • yournoiseyournoise Posts: 1
    I have an '01 Yukon XL, my next door neighbor has an '01 Excursion. Our garage doors (and garages for that matter) are the exact same size...Guess who's SUV sits out in the rain?
  • afconwayafconway Posts: 8
    I have a 2000 Excursion 4x4 V10 that fits in my standard size garage. I only have to fold in the towing mirrors before I drive it in.

    Got this unit as a leftover in January of this year. Great vehicle! Just did a trip a couple of weeks ago to/from Myrtle Beach SC towing my 25 foot travel trailer. It was pleasure to drive. got around 10mpg while towing. Around town and going back and forth to work I get between 14 and 15 MPG.

    Saw a report from Ford that the towing limits can be increased to match the Chevy/GMC Suburbans. They have an upgraded hitch that adds 2000lbs to the rating. No other modifications are required. Dealers should be able to order the hitch and replace the existing one on 2000 and 2001 models if you need the extra capacity. Don't know what the cost is. Think the new hitch will be standard on the 2002 model.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Didn't bother to put my 90 2500 Sub with 454 into the garage since we got here when it was 5 years old and it had been sitting out previously. With old wood lift doors any Sub or Ex sized vehicle seems to be an issue. Since we got roll up doors as replacement and moved the extra stuff we pull in the Excursion as long as previously mentioned, we pull in the mirrors, since it is a 3 singles garage. Actually have 3 vehicles in the garage for the first time I can remember.

    Enjoy what you drive, you bought it, we do!
  • 390gt390gt Posts: 17
    A previous post stated 10 mpg pulling a 25 ft travel trailer and 14-15 around town. I'm not sure about towing but the best I've seen is 11 around town(all stop and go, no freeway) and 14 - 14.5 on interstate loaded up, at 75 mph. You need the 7.3 L PSD to get 14-15 around town.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    After months of problems with a Toyota Sequoia, Toyota has agreed to let me out of my lease next week pending some higher approval. Engine clicking and engine lights coming on were the main problems, and the dealership could not fix it.

    I am considering both the Tahoe and the Expedition. I tested both on the weekend and liked them about the same (in different ways). I am also being offered another Sequoia, but I am a little scared given my experience with Toyota. Thoughts?
  • pcjrpcjr Posts: 3
    I've monitored this as well as other topics relating to the Excursion and Suburban for some months now. I'd like to throw my opinion in the mix to those considering either of the two. Having purchased one of each I can speak from a position of experience. My original purchase was a 2000 Excursion LTD 2WD for my wife to use haul the kids back and forth to school. The sheer size and weight of the vehicle gave me a sense of security in knowing that short of tangling with a tractor trailer they should be safe. Fuel economy was not a consideration as gas was still cheap ($1.50 gal). The nightmare began immediately in that within the first few weeks the issues started to surface. Doors that creaked anytime we entered the driveway, a horrendous clunking noise originating under the drivers side floorboard and a significant shake in the front end on any but the smoothest of roads. In an effort to see if this was just a fluke of Fords commitment to quality I checked the Excursion boards daily. I found it both a source of comfort and aggrivation to learn that I was not alone. At one point I actually started to consider all the options of aftermarket modifications to improve the vehicle. Retrofit of Edelbrock or Bilstien shocks, Michelin tires and a new exhaust system to eliminate the tinny resonance. I came about my senses after my forth trip to the dealer to again attempt to have the problems corrected. I dont know if the service manager was sympathetic and strung things out, but after 40+ days of the vehicle sitting at the dealer having the front end disassembled, the body lifted off to replace the body mounts and some door kit installed to correct the creaking doors, California law entitled me to my money back via repurchase by Ford. Mid point thru this extended service visit I purchased a 2001 Surburban 1500 LT 2WD. If you consider ride quality, fit and finish and comfort important in your purchase decision it is my experience that the Suburban is just alot better vehicle. While it took just short of three months to complete the repurchase, today I turned the Excursion back to Ford and walked away with all monies I paid with an exception of a mileage charge for the first 850 trouble free miles prior to its first trip for service. Hats off to Ford for making right on a poorly constructed vehicle. I offer this only as my experience and recognize that others are happy with their Ford purchase. Fortunately I was in a position to purchase a replacement when Ford was offering a Focus as rental wheels while the Excursion was under repair. If you intend to tow to maximum capacity then perhaps the Excursions for you, if your using it for moderate towing and hauling more precious cargo, I'd opt for the Suburban.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,938
    Mind sharing what the mileage charge was in your particular circumstances?

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  • palfito01palfito01 Posts: 10
    pcjr Good For You!

    I am getting real close on making the same decision on trying to turn in my Excursion. I really love the size and look of the Ford but I do not think I can take the creaks, clunks and shaking over any bumps of this vehicle any longer. Can you tell me who you talked to at Ford and what the process was(I live in Wisconsin).

    I would appreciate any help in this matter.

    Thanks!
  • pcjrpcjr Posts: 3
    I dot recall the exact amount of the mileage charge but around $0.30 a mile comes to mind. I was informed the law allows the manufacturer to be compensated for the use of the vehicle prior to it becoming problematic. In response to the request on how the system works I can relate my experience here in California but your laws may differ. The law here is 4 attempts by the dealer to correct a significant problem. I believe that significant was defined as a problem that effects the safety, operation or value of the vehicle. In addition to that if the vehicle is out of service (at the dealer for repair)for a cumulative total of 30 days during the first 18 months or 18K miles it becomes a "lemon" and your rights kick in regardless of reason or number of repair attempts. In my case I retained an attorney who specializes in the so called "Lemon Law". A search on-line will probably find you one in your area. While I am sure that one could achieve the same results without getting a lawyer. In my case I just dint have the time and dint want to invest in learning the law so that I could argue my rights to Ford. After the attorney reviewed my paper work (service orders and my time line summarizing our problems) he submitted what was called a demand letter. This basically was a letter that demanded that Ford abide by the provisions of the lemon law and repurchase my vehicle. It took about 3 weeks for Ford to respond to the letter which they agreed in principle to make things right. I believe here they had 4 weeks to respond or you win by default. It then took Ford another 3 weeks or so to send their formal offer of repurchase which indicated the amounts they were reimbursing. These included my down payment, registration, sales tax and all of my monthly payments. Then there was a reduction in the offer price to reflect the mileage up until the time I had the Excursion in for the first repair. In addition Ford was to payoff the remaining balance of the note. Once that offer was received I accepted and the paper work was sent back to process which again took about 3 weeks due to an error which was picked up by the vehicle repurchase departments auditor at Ford. After the error was corrected the paper work was sent to the dealer I purchased the vehicle from. I scheduled an appointment to take in the Excursion, they inspected it for damage and wear, I signed the documents and received my check. All total took about 3 months which was long due to the error in the offer paper work. I hope this helps you to better understand the process I went through. I am normally one who addresses and resolves problems on my own. An inherited trait I think Ive perfected through years of real world business experience! Every product has the potential for problems. Its how you address and correct the problem that is most important. I was not at all pleased by Fords product, I was however pleased with the resolution. My advice... If you have a problem get it in right away... document by means of a log your conversations and experiences because unless you have nothing else in your life to distract you, you are going to forget something... Finally I felt that when all else failed legal representation got it handled quickly and was well worth the cost to me. Good luck on getting your situation resolved Palfito 01
  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    I read your horror story on the Sequoia forum. After looking at the Expedition and Yukon, you owe it to yourself to drive a GMC Denali. Bigger motor than the Expedition or Yukon, AWD not available in the others and lots of luxury features really worth checking out. Good Luck.
  • ok! i got in trouble for starting a new topic so i"ll stay here,still wanting to here from suburban owners on towing that 6000lb.TT
  • 2001 FORD EXCURSION LIMITED 4X4 V10
    Come on now anti-EXCURSION folks! I am getting tired of your bitching and griping about the Ford Excursion. I bought mine two months ago and put it 4 thousand miles and I did not have any problems such as the AIR CONDITIONING, CLUNKING, ROAMING issues. I am just plain tired of some people complaining about this 8th wonder of the world SUV. By the way, I call mine, THE BEAST hehehe. First of all, the only issue that I found out is the wallowy ride and the gas mileage. HECK! if you can afford a 44 grand SUV, why will you complain anyways??? If you like a car ride, why not buy a BMW 740il??? But for mine, I changed my shocks and suspension when I got it so, the wallowy ride was never been an issue to me. For the gas mileage between the SUBURBAN and EXCURSION is not that far. Damn, it's only a mile/gallon difference. It is really understandable that these big autos will consume gas tremendously, so why complain about it? Don’t be so dumb and stupid about it. So PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!, do not complain about those impertinent things such as gas mileage, etc. I had enough of those things already and it is time for me to speak. I really love my SUV, I had a Suburban k2500 before and I believe that the Excursion looks better and far outdoes the SUBURBANers. IN MY OWN OPINION, those people who keeps bitching and griping about the EX haven't experienced to own this one or just plainly haven't driven one! So stop being JEALOUS!
  • pcjrpcjr Posts: 3
    Perhaps you should do a bit more research before you ask those of us that had been plagued by Fords rolling monument to piss poor automotive design to quit bitchin. Seems you focused in on gas mileage being the cause of our woes. Gas mileage was never a concern of mine and if you read further back a couple of posts you'll see that statement. Quite frankly had mileage or the cost of fuel ever been a concern to me I would have purchased a 740iL as you had indicated instead of the gass guzzling 750iL which I previously owned. At least we share some common opinion as to what is considered a decent quality automobile. By that statement I make no reference that the excursion should be compared to a passenger car. What I do have a significant issue with is a vehicle that spent a considerable amount of time at a dealership while a service manager, service writer and mechanic attempted to correct real problems, not imagined problems resulting from either poor design, poor build quality or a combination of both. If you are content with attempting to improve your vehicle by removing and replacing inferior components with ones that make it satisfactory in your eyes so be it. I was just not prepared to redesign and rebuild a new vehicle. Does it not concern you why Ford with its tremendous engineering talents chose not to install the shocks and suspension components you did? I can assure you that it wasnt because of any reason other than economics and the result of rushing into the profitable "me-too" SUV market. By the way I think Ford has heard of Michelin before as well. Im happy that your content with your 8th wonder of the world and truly hope that it remains trouble free for you. Call me overly critical, a whiner and a bitcher. $44K is not alot of money to spend today on a vehicle but nonetheless you should still get your moneys worth regardless of the cost. Proof in point is that even in light of the significant savings the new owner of our excursion realised by means of its plummeting resale value, I doubt if he will feel he got his or hers moneys worth... As you did indicate that your tired of the bitching and negative comments, perhaps you miss the point. Some evening when your suffering from insomnia, go back and read some of the early posts and track the transition of joys to woes. It may also surprise you just how many people have experienced the same problems.
  • stirlnjostirlnjo Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 Excursion Limited which I like for the durability, interior "toughness" and the room it provides my wife and her 7 day care kids (although she cusses at the rocking everytime she goes in and out of the driveway). I have a 1999 GMC Sierra which I much prefer for the comfort and ride. In fact, I'm upgrading to the Yukon XL Denali shortly for the comfort, bells and whistles, ride and quietness. As I have experienced it, I'll have the best of both worlds -- toughness for the kids and camping trips and a nice personal ride with plenty of room for bi-weekly trips to the city with friends (and superior factory design for a major stereo upgrade!
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    After 3 2500 Sub's over almost 30 years, replaced the last one with the Ex because of the interior space. They are both good and getting better by the year, but all vehicles have problems at some time. I do think GM has had more time to work out the kinks in the Sub's/XL but IMO they screwed up taking up too much interior space with panels. Hence the Ex fit our requirements. Like both on the open road going long distance, and the Ex is only 8 months old so time will tell. It did get a slow start going only 3k in 6 months but has 3k in last 6 weeks so it will get to 15k + miles by it's birthday. 2wd V-10 Limited. Get the best deal and what you really need.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,938
    "The PowerBox is a hulking eight-passenger sport-ute with massive 20-inch wheels under flared fenders and a grille the size of a whale's mouth."

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  • heatwave3heatwave3 Posts: 462
    If the Excursion is supposedly the biggest and strongest SUV, why should it have such a lightweight payload compared to the Suburban (in addition to a lower towing capacity)?

    Payloads
    v-8 Excursion (1950lbs)
    v-10 Ex (1710 lbs)
    TDiesel Ex (1800lbs)

    3/4 Sub (3153lbs)
    1/2 Sub (2077lbs)

    You would think that for the sacrifice in ride the Excursion has, you would at least be able to load more "stuff" than the better handling and riding Sub. What good is have more space if you have to leave it empty to avoid exceeding your GVCW?
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