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



  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    Regarding Towing - I am going by what was reported in both MotorTrend and Car&Driver a few months ago where they compared the two vehicles. They loaded up a trailer with the same weight and ran side by side comparisons. The Suburban pulled away from the Ford in each test. This was also on the C&D tv show a few months ago.

    Obviously I have not tried it for myself. I have test driven an Excursion, but it felt too much like a SuperDuty F250 ride to me. I actually do not mind the looks of it, I just don't want to spend $40k to get bounced around in a truck. I am looking for comfort first.

    What is the gas milage like on it? I would guess in reality about 11
  • The gas mileage seems to cover a large range depending on driving habits. Like I said before, I have read all of the posts here and at, and here's what to expect from an Excursion:

    Stop & Go City Driving: 9-10
    Highway Driving at 55-65: 13-14
    Highway Driving at 70-80: 11-12

    I haven't read much worse than 9-10 without a load, but I have seen some high numbers that I can't explain. One guy in (I think his screen name is wawwi or something like that) claims 15-16 ON AVERAGE with his V-10 (NOT the diesel), and has a link to his web page with all the data. All in all, I think the average guy out there is gonna get about 12-13 (unless you really have a heavy foot).

    As far as the towing goes, I didn't read the article you mention, but it makes sense, i.e., both motors have roughly 300hp (if they tested the gas versions), but the Excursion is heavier to start, so it is at a disadvantage. Be interesting to see how the diesels would match up. Anyway, if speed/acceleration is the key factor, the Burb might be better. I was focusing more on the safety factor. I think a lot of guys here that have towed heavy loads will say that safety is more important than bolting out of the gate.

    Yes, you are right about the ride; the Excursion is stiffer. If ride smoothness is high on your list, then the Burb is probably a better choice (unless you have to tow a 10,000 pound trailer that case, the Burb's ride will be noticeably influenced by the load whereas the Ex's won't be as badly affected). Hope that helps,

  • was67was67 Posts: 4
    I test drove both and decided on the Ford. While the Suburban was more car-like in its ride quality, the Excursion offered the heavy-duty, truck-like ruggedness I was looking for.

    In addition, I really don't like the looks - inside or out - of the new Suburban. I remember laughing out loud when I first saw the front grille on a late-model Silverado and must say it doesn't look any better on Chevy's full-size SUV. Add to that one of GM's cheesy-looking interiors and the new Suburban has zero appeal to me. (This is a subjective POV, of course.)
  • When ya think of big SUV's, you start with the pickup truck platforms. The big Chevy/GM Silverado's/Sierra's led to the Suburban (much modified), the Ford F150 led to the Expedition and the SD's to the Excursion. What about the Dodge Ram? No model in the US, BUT, I saw one in Mexico! it's here:

    Reminds me a lot of the Durango. One thing noticably missing: no back doors! Thoughts?
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    I agree with you on the fact the each truck has its use. If you are doing a lot of heavy hauling (ie. 5th wheel or big cabin cruiser) then the Excursion will be the vehicle of choice because you will have more control of the load - who cares about 0 to 60 times in those situations anyway.

    If you are using it as a daily commuter with the 'occasional' towing need, then I prefer the Suburban on the better 'empty' ride and pickup.

    I guess this post is useful after all...
  • Crysler has been working on the big SUV thing latley. For a while they were going to give Jeep the honor, simply because they would be able to make more cash off the Jeep name. However, Jeep is big on maintaining its image of "great off-roader" and we all know how difficult it would be to make these big SUV's an actuall off-roader. They're deseigned as work horses ( very nice ones!), not off-roaders. ( they high center very easily, so Jeep's biggy would have to have a HUGE lift.) After a while, where they were seriously thinking about it, they decided to scrap the idea. So I would imagine that they will go back to Dodge in a while and figure it out. That is unless Jeep decides to do it. Jeep is pretty good about hiding its new deseigns. ( the new cherokee was going to be released next year but the current cherokee is doing so well they are going to keep it for a while. Anyhow, they've managed to hide this thing incredibly well! So who knows.)
  • Read the Chevy post's on the Yukon,Suburban
    and find all the guys in the shop with tranny
    problems at 1,500 miles. And how BAD the dealers are treating them. 250,000 miles on my aerostar
    plus survived a head on collision. Thank you I'll
    stick with Ford.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    Get your facts straight. There has been no problem with Transmissions. Some are coming off the line with a harmonic vibration which is quickly fixed with a tweak in the rear suspension. No big deal.

    I bought over 30 vehicles from dealers in my lifetime, and have had more problems with service from Ford dealers than from GM. That is the main reason why I prefer GM these days.

    It really doesn't matter who the Manufacturer is, it is all based on if you get a good service dealership or not.

    By the way, one of those vehicles I have owned in the past was a 88 Aerostar, which gave me many problems in the two years I had it.
  • gnussgnuss Posts: 1
    I'm currently a very unhappy owner of a
    '97 suburban 1500. With 50K miles, I have
    been through multiple wheel bearing replacements, broken power steering pump shafts, and alternator.

    The rear end has had two seals fail and the fan blower motor has been replaced twice. When the
    fan control knob broke on the rear control panel I found that I couldn't replace the $2.00 knob, I had to replace the whole $90 switch assembly!

    A poor design, poor product quality, and poor customer service. When it's not in the shop, it does tow nice, however.

    I will never buy another Chevrolet product. Period. I have not looked at the 2000 suburban. While they may have changed a few style elements the fundamental flaws remain.

    I will be test driving the Excursion next week. Thanks to all for providing their input on their comparisons.

    To those that plan to go with the Suburban I have
    one piece of advice: Get the extended warranty
  • There are a lot of pro and cons when comparing
    Suburbans to Excursions I have owned both but there is no comparison if you are looking at a diesel.
    Before you consider buying a Suburban with a diesel take a few minutes and do a web search on the tech bulletins on Suburban diesels and be prepared for a lot of them. Not only read them take a look at the corrective actions or lack of them. Most importantly while most describe problems note that instead of correcting problems in model years the tech bulletins have been re-issued over a number of years. As a example look at tech bulletin 77-63-06 about "No Start, Stall" it goes back to 1994 models and is still current today. Also ask your local mechanic about GM diesels odds are given a choice he will rank GM diesels 3rd behind Ford and Cummings. Lastly if that is not enough proof ask your local GM dealer why GM is in negotiations with Izusu to supply diesel engines on upcoming SUV and trucks.
  • I really hate it when people think they know something about nothing, and can't get the names is CUMMINS......and the ISB - 24 valve diesel is absolutely the best ever......the old GM product was lousy, and lets hope the new Isuzu joint venture gets them back on the map....diesels are going to be a big part of future products, in order to clean up the environment (green house gasses) and increase fuel economy.....not just in trucks and SUVs, but in passenger cars too.

    Detroit Diesel has a joint venture with Hyundai, and you'll see more Saabs, Volvos, Daimlers, and others bring their European models to the US....thank goodness !......a diesel is a wonderful thing........

    just as long as GM doesn't do the same stupid move as in the 90's by bringing out a Gas engine with a heavier crank and try to pass it off as a diesel engine....put the whole industry back by 25 years........
  • Sorry about the spelling error. Don't get me wrong I own an Excursion with a diesel, love it, won't have it any other way, diesel is a great choice just not GM. Would probably still have my 96 Diesel Suburban if any one could keep it running. But with only 60K miles, on my third fuel pump and the car in the shop right now getting its second transmission, and four engine upgrade additions/options I give up. If after putting two or three 100k miles on my Excursion I may look at Suburbans agian if they can get a diesel that runs.
  • How is the harmonic vibration being easily fixed? And by the way you can't put a 5th wheel on the excursion.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    Believe it or not, even though I was writing about the Excursion, and trying to think of big things to haul, I had F250 Super Duty slip into my thought pattern. I honestly didn't mean to make it sound EXACTLY like a truck.

    Regarding the fix, the '2000 Suburban' topic #1012 and Tahoe/Yukon I topic (archived) have details on the fix.
  • Trying to get my facts straight. What "tweak" in rear suspension?
    If its no big deal why haven't we heard of one actually being fixed yet?
  • I was thinking of trading my 2000 chevy vibrater for the excursion. But after reading some of the towing issues at ( forums -powerstroke excursion) I think I'll wait until 2001.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    I think it involves actually replacing bushings on the frame with a different dampness, not directly in the suspension. Sorry, too much Nascar on my mind waiting for Daytona...

    They might not have those new bushings availble yet.
  • ldrldr Posts: 9
    I was told that the Ford diesel being used was a 7.3L International and that it is a "proven" engine? So far at only 5137 miles it seems to be a "workhorse" of an engine in my Limited. A bit "clickity-clackaty" around town (turn up the radio a notch) but great on the highway. Record mileage on every tank and fill it the same every time myself, the best has been 17.7. That was a trip from Central Mass to Scranton, PA in cold/snowy/slippery conditions. If kept under 2000 RPM (under 65 MPH) you definitely can see a mileage if the trip computer is anywhere near correct. I don't "race" mine as some seem to do so I find the power at low and high end very good. Travel safe.
  • ldrldr Posts: 9
    Have had 3 Suburbans and couldn't say anything bad about them. But so far (5470 miles) I can't say anything but good about my Excursion. It is a Limited with the Power Stroke Diesel. Will not ride like a 1500 (maybe 2500) but on the highway it is a pleasure to drive. Does not have the "agressive" tires but still goes where you point it. Great in the snow (best I have had) including 2 Grand Wagoneers and the 3 Suburbans. So far so good. Travel safe.
This discussion has been closed.