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2007 and newer Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon

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  • 4 weeks ago, I traded my faithful (250K miles) 1996 Tahoe for a new 2006 model. I love everything about this new vehicle, except the disappointing towing experience as compared to my '96 model.

    For years I have towed a trailer, up to 4,500 lbs. and never felt short on power with the '96 model.

    The first two towing trips with the '06 model, and only 2,000 lbs produced disappointing gas mileage (the vehicle shifts down to 2nd gear for just a moderate incline or moderate head wind) but made me feel there is no towing muscle under the hood.

    We put a converter back performance exhaust ($265 installed) in the vehicle and are planning to add the performance chip ($365) when it becomes available.

    I realize I have gone from a 5.7 liter to a 5.3 liter engine but did not expect that much loss in towing performance.

    Will the power chip even come close to providing a remedy?

    Am I on the wrong track trying to spruce up the '06 Tahoe to make it have similar power than the '96 model?

    Using the vehicle also for family, I am trying to avoid purchasing a truck. Is there any way around, or do I simply have to get a truck, maybe a duramax diesel?

    Thank you for your insight and suggestions.
  • I am a car rookie. Don't understand GX?

    Thanks for clarifying.

    L
  • gmroygmroy Posts: 30
    Yes Arlington Tx will be building the new 2007 Yukon and Tahoe. also Janesville wis. will also be building the same. Arlingtion startes Dec 5 2005. and Janesville will start Jan 9 2006. They have been building some 2007 modes for show and test drive for the gm big shots. Janesvilles has build about 200 modes so far.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    I've noticed the same issues with my '00 Suburban 4x4 3.73 rear end with tow package. The 5.3 just doesn't produce enough torque at low rpm and the gear ratios are to tall for heavy towing (wish I had 4.10s).

    The 5.7 had less hp, but it did have more torque. My boat weighs between 4500-5000lbs depending on fuel and gear. When hitting the hills I have go 80mph down so I can maintain any speed going back up. What is really sad is my previous tow vehicle was an 01 Nissan Pathfinder (3.5 v6) and it would tow my boat up hills better than my v8 powered Suburban. Even though both vehicles have similar power to weight ratios, the Pathfinder had more aggressive gearing along with an engine that developed its torque at a lower rpm.
  • lobsenzalobsenza Posts: 619
    My guess is you got the wrong axle ratio. The standard ratio is used to improve fuel economy, not towing performance. The EPA rating are higher provided less than 33% of the vehicle are sold with the performance axle ratio. When I tested Suburbans in 2001 before my purchase, there was a big difference between the 3.73 and 4.10 axle ratios in performance. They have gone to a taller ratio since then which hurts performance even more. Fortunately, the 4.10 axle has been kept as a $50 option (it used to be free). You can change the gears to change the ratio, but it is MUCH more expensive to do after the fact. Try to find a vehicle with the other axle ratio and compare them.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    My 2005 Yukon XL came with the standard 3.42. It feels plenty fast to me, but I've never driven the other. I don't do any heavy towing, but still the capacity is around 7500 lbs. The lower gears don't make a lot of difference on paper, either for towing or fuel economy, but I would like to drive one with a 4.10 and see how much quicker it feels. Regardless I would probably stick with the standard 3.42 since I am driving like a Grandpa lately to keep it over 18 mpg. It can still jump when I need it to.

    Note that when they dropped the standard gear from 3.73 to 3.42, they also added about 10 hp and lb/ft, so that may help offset it.

    Have they published this info for the next generation yet? I wonder how much of that fuel economy improvement is attributable to aerodynamics and engine efficiency versus even lower gearing and playing with the numbers to get a good-looking average for the press materials.
  • lobsenzalobsenza Posts: 619
    One thing that will help a lot is the 6 speed automatic. Unfortunately, it is only available on the upper end models.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    Acceleration with my Suburban is fine when not towing. It's when I add nearly 5000lbs of boat & trailer that I find power lacking. I couldn't imagine towing anything remotely in the neighborhood of 7200is lb tow rating.

    If i buy another Suburban, I'll avoid the 5.3. If I have to go with a Denali to get the 6 or new 6.2L so be it. We tow our boat on lots of long trips. By the time we've added a weeks worth of luggage and gear anything more than a modest hill results in having my foot to the floor to maintain speed.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    No doubt the 6 speed will do wonders. The gearing in current 4 speed is not geared well for towing. To much space between 2nd & 3rd.
  • I've been reading all the posts on seating in the yukon/tahoe - yukon xl/suburban. When advertising seating up to 9 (we will soon have 5 kids-family of 7- which makes for interesting automotive transportation needs), I wonder why GM has not provided a shoulder harness or headrest for the middle passenger in the third row seating. Despite my Suburban having a bench seat in the 2nd and 3rd rows, I can really only safely seat six. And if I try to put a child's seat in the middle somewhere, there is little room left on either side for such things as a booster seat in either the 2nd or 3rd row.

    I'm currently contemplating trading my 01 for an 06 YXL so I can get captain's chairs in the second row thinking that ingress and egress to the 3rd row will be easier on the kids (and the seats) but it will be tough to put three kids in the third row, where two are in boosters and one is tall enough to need a head rest. The '06 model 3rd seat middle has only a lap belt and no head rest.

    I have been scouring the pics of the '07 version to see what the 3rd row will look like...one pick of the tahoe shows a 50-50 split with 3 sets of shoulder harness seat belts but only two head rests. What are the genius' thinking? Unless families have quintuplets, the kids are usually different sizes and will need a variety of seating options, taking into account boosters/car seats/etc.

    Many of the posts besmirch mini vans, but I have to say, my wife's 05 sienna has three headrests and three shoulder harnesses in the 3rd row. Great for haulin' the kids around town. Problem is, can't take a trip in it 'cause no room for luggage. Hence the Suburban. And I really don't like Ford.

    Anybody have any info on the elusive 3rd row seat? Or do I have to submit to driving an airport limo?

    I also have often wondered why GM has not placed a personal lamp in the headliner for each passenger, similar to an airplane. What a great improvement this would be, as each passenger could chose lighting or not; as it is now, either the entire cabin is lighted in my suburban or it is dark.

    Hope some of you GM people read these message boards....some great ideas.
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I hear you. They should also put LATCH anchors in every seating position, to compete with the minivans. I have a 2005 with the middle row buckets, like you said to make the third row more accessible. Only three kids so far, not a problem for me. Unless the 2007 is a HUGE improvement, I think the problem with three in the third row is lack of legroom, not just the middle seat head rest. You don't want three people that tall back there. The solution might be to skip the middle row buckets and have three in the middle, two in the back. Put one of the littlest in a car seat in the middle of the second row. Or if they are grown out of car seats, get one of the booster seats with a full back and head rest for that middle position.
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    Agree. The 3rd row should have a shoulder belt and both second and third row middle seats should have a head rest. The lap belt shouldn't be used with any booster seats. Use it only with childseats. I think because its a 50/50 split they figure nobody will use that seating position except in a rare case because the split is uncomfy to sit on. If it was a 40/60 split the 60 side would be too heavy to remove easily.

    putting a child seat in the third row will be a pain, since an adult probably needs to reach back there and buckle the kid in.

    3 boosters/child seats do fit in the second row. I can see that the third row would be really tight if they fit at all.

    for 3+ kids there aren't many good choices out there. How about a full sized van? We liked our mini-van but had to use the third row bench (98 plymouth grand voyager) and that kills storage. Most mini-vans only have 2 seats in the second row. Toyota is the exception. Get the 8 passanger and use 60% of the rear seat and fold the other 40%?? still doesn't leave much room.

    --jay (three kids and a Tahoe)
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    I understand the new versions will have shoulder belts in all positions, if not head rests. So booster seats will be fine.

    We have three in car seats (ages 3, 4, and 5 - small for their age). We put two in the very back, one in the middle. We got the 2nd row buckets so they could walk through to the back without having to flip and fold seats around. The oldest can buckle himself all up. The middle child is learning. We do have to step up onto the running board and reach back to help them buckle and unbuckle, but it is no more trouble than it was in the minivan we owned previously.

    By the way, without going too far off topic, our last vehicle was a 2004 Nissan Quest. There was a LOT more room in the 2nd and 3rd row, and there was really plenty of storage space (for our needs). Not as long as the Suburban, but very deep and tall, due to the big well that the third row folds flat into. Ended up trading because we got a great deal on our 2005 Yukon XL, and have always wanted one. Also, while there is less room for passengers, there is much more room up front for me. I have always had to put up with my right knee leaning up against a center console, until now. It would be even better with the front bench, but that is not available with leather and the 2nd row buckets.
  • I did look on the web today concerning gm vans - the savana is the current large van with seating for 8 or 15. looking at the interior, the bench seating still has the same issues with center seat lap belt and no head rest.

    I'm really not ready to succum to purchasing a van for my self just yet. Gotta try to figure a way to get all the seating in.

    I may go with a bench version of the second row and try to fit as you suggest, with two seat and an open seat for our oldest and largest child. Besides, he can help fetch bottles and snacks.
  • Wouldn't it be interesting to see a new Suburban with sliding second row doors aka Minvans

    OK< sorry, Its late and I've been drinking

    Rich
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Blasphemy!...

    We are MUCH too cool for sliding doors here!
  • I love my Tahoe too...even with the dissappointing MPG's. It's pretty easy to remember back in time to model years that had all kinds of shortcomings and problems that are thankfully long gone. GM has done a great job of picking up on consumer complaints and consumer preferences - not always as fast as some would like...but they're getting after it.

    Outside of their own long term survival...Mileage(fuel efficiency/cost)is probably thetoughest problem GM has ever faced. It's a tough nut to crack - but it can be done.

    Having been in several GM plants and support facilities(engineering, assembly, manufacturing, management...) my expectations are high. It's a big org., it moves SLOW...but it can accomplish good things. The resources are there...$6.5 R&D budget last statement I saw. No reason why they can't git' er' done.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,652
    I thought at least one of the center seats had a shoulder belt, but there is still the issue of head restraints. The Savana is designed to be either a cargo van or church or hotel bus or a conversion van, and without going the conversion van route, there are not that many creature comforts.

    Other grumblings:

    Can someone please explain the reasoning behind displacement on demand? I know how it's supposed to work, but a 2006 4WD Yukon without DOD has EPA ratings of 15/19, but a presumably lighter 2006 4WD Envoy XL *with* DOD has EPA ratings of 15/20. I would expect a larger difference. Am I wrong about the 2006 Yukon not having DOD?

    * No standard side airbags. So much for GM's much-lauded "safety for everyone."
    * Looks like they're still using that unpainted wart-looking thing as the OnStar/XM antenna.

    I haven't been able to find a complete feature and option list, so I can only speculate that features like four auto up/down windows and laser-cut keys are not included.
  • How long will we have to wait before we see nice rebates on the 07?

    "I haven't been able to find a complete feature and option list, so I can only speculate that features like four auto up/down windows and laser-cut keys are not included"

    link title

    Select shop by model, then select chev-tahoe-go, then select 2007
  • 06lly06lly Posts: 21
    Just read where the EPA Highway mileage for 4WD Tahoe is 21 MPG!! That is basically amazing compared to the 17 MPG for Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia. Long live the pushrod engine.
  • I think people buy Tahoes because they are roomy, safe and versatile. So why doesnt the 3rd row seat fold flat like the competition. For example, my family of five travels with our friends and grandparents on a regular basis - 3rd row in. I tow my four wheeler and boat for recreational purposes - 3rd row out. I use the tahoe for duck and deer hunting (dog kennel in back) - 3rd row out.

    As you can see the seats go in and out on a regular basis. They are heavy, it is very difficult for my wife to remove them when I am not around. So, I was really disappointed to see the 3rd row in the 07 does not fold into the floor. I am so dissapointed I will not buy the new body style. If there are no real safety or convienance upgrades to the vehicle why pay 35k for a new one.

    My 5.7 tows with plenty of power. Rides even smoother while towing. Freeway gas mileage is 14 mpg while towing and 19 mpg with no load. Both satifactory numbers for the size.

    My 2001 Z-71 got only 11 mpg while towing.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    Just read where the EPA Highway mileage for 4WD Tahoe is 21 MPG!! That is basically amazing compared to the 17 MPG for Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia. Long live the pushrod engine.

    Considering, I've never gotten over 17mpg hwy in my '00 Suburban with the 5.3. I'll fall off my chair in shock if real world mileage is anywhere near that. My fear is they probably are using some God awful final drive ratio of 3.42 or less to acheive those results.

    As for the Expedition, it weighs about 400lbs more than a Tahoe and we'll have to see if the upgraded 5.3 can match Fords 5.4's 365 ft-lbs of torque at 3750 rpm.

    I don't see what's so great about push rods. The 5.3 in my suburban lacks power at low rpm and sounds like I'm killing it at high rpm. No thanks.
  • 06lly06lly Posts: 21
    Well, the 6 or 7 years from your 2000 to the 2007 explains why the fuel economy has gotten so much better. Its called DEVELOPMENT.

    What is good about the pushrod engine is that you can get more power and torque out of it for a given engine size. I am not talking about displacement, but rather the physical size of the engine. For example, the 5.3 liter GM engine is way smaller than the 5.4 DOHC Ford engine but performs similarly. Pushrods is how they get the Corvette to outperform all of its DOHC competition. 500 HP in a DOHC would not fit in the engine compartment.

    Now on top of that, these new GM engines have Active Fuel Management (was DOD) which is very difficult to do in an OHC engine.

    The results of all this development is 21 MPG. And since the EPA highway cycle is a mixture of stop and go and highway driving, I would expect true steady state 65 MPH driving to get you 23 MPG. Not bad for a large SUV.

    I love this advancing technology. :)
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    I'll believe it when I see it.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    I guarantee the only reason GM keeps pushrod designs around is due to lower development costs. Since GM can't seem to find it's own [non-permissible content removed] with both hands, I fail to believe they use pushrods strictly because they are better. If they were, all your exotics would be using them.

    I've driven lots of different vehicles, and I've yet to like a pushrod engine over a comparable OHC design (vette excluded). In v8's the difference is less drastic. Still if you look at Nissan's 5.6L v8 it has a ton more torque at a lower rpm than GMs 5.3L and 6.0L v8s along with Dodge's Hemi. Since I tow with my SUV I don't care about HP and torque at high rpm. My current 5.3 has decent off idle torque, but it's lacking between 2000-3000rpm. When I tow up any grade I need to run 4000 plus rpm or go real slow(part of the problem is poor gearing) which gets real old.

    Bottom line, I'm very interested in seeing the new SUVs. My Suburban has been giving me nothing but trouble and in only has 58k miles on it and I'm tired of the rattles and overall cheapness the General is known for. Maybe this has all changed with the incoming models.

    As far as the fuel economy claims, I'm still extremely suspect. Particularly since I've read a few tests on an Impala SS with the 5.3 w/DOD and in each review none were able to get anywhere near EPA estimates.
  • I too, with a 5.3L DOD Pontiac Grand Prix have come nowhere close to the EPA estimates. In real world conditions, where you are driving 70-80 mph on the highway, DOD is active only on flat roads with no head wind. My last long highway trip, I had 21.5 for an average over the 1600 mile trip. Granted, at 80mph for most of that 1600, that's not bad. But no where near the EPA estimate of 27-28mpg.

    I have noticed 23.5 mpg if you stay in the 65-70mph range. A recent 300 mile round trip on two lane state highways yielded that mpg. Factor in a few WOT passes of slower cars and you could possible get near 25mpg.

    All that said, I dont see a Tahoe getting 21mpg, with all the weight it has to push. Maybe with the 6 speed transmission, but DOD and a 5.3L is not going to get you 21mpg, unless maybe you never exceed 60 mph.

    Those thinking of a 2007 just because of mileage, you might want to wait and see what the results are when people have had a chance to drive them.

    Mike :)
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    You make a good point. Speed kills fuel economy, particularly in a truck/suv. If I drove 60-65, I could easily get 18-19mpg with my Suburban. With the speed limit here being 70 and always windy, I generally set the cruise around 70, over that and mileage just plummets. I made a trip from Kansas City to Chicago with the crusie set at 80mph (needed to make good time), I ended up loosing more time at the gas station since I was barely getting 14mpg.

    As far as EPA estimates, I'm not picking on GM. I've only had one vehicle out of several that routinely achieved the EPA estimates with my driving style and that was a 2000 VW Jetta turbo diesel.
  • Wind will kill the mileage. I have a 03 Yukon with the 5.3L and 3.73 rear gear. We took a trip last year at Christmas to visit the family. 150 mile trip each way. The DIC on the Yukon showed 25 mpg on the way down, we had a tail wind of about 25-20 mph. When you hit the brakes to kill the cruise as you came into the small towns along the way, you had to use the brakes, you just couldnt coast down the the in town speed limit. On the way home, we had the same wind, only now a head wind. When we had completed our 300 mile round trip, the DIC was back to 17.5 mpg. Wind has to be one of the biggest enemies of SUV's and gas mileage.

    Mike :)
  • 4rider4rider Posts: 96
    The DOD was first came out on Cadillac on 84 or so if I remember correctly. It was a flop and went away quietly. With today's comuter technolgy, DOD should be working much better. However, I am also in doubt that the DOD will give you any significant fuel saving in daily commute and most urban drivings. For a long streach of open road, it would probably help.
    Now, it would be really cool if GM could come up a DOD that has a manual overwrite. i.e why not let the driver decide between power and fuel economic from time to time?
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Good idea to let the driver choose. Like on the new BMW M5 and M6, where you can choose between 400hp and 500hp.

    My friend in high school had a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse. There was a button on the console that toggled between "power" and "economy". I am guessing that it was just the overdrive on/off.
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