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



  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    Back 2 years ago, I had the "Hots" for the Excursion Ltd, with the PSD. Love the looks,and the size. I took one for a ride on two different occasions and lost my desire for the vehicle.
    First, the two I drove both wandered and it was busy work to keep it going straight. Going over a bump was an experience and the deisel was NOISY.
    The wife had a sore back at the end of the test and that put the kabosh on the deal.

    Four months ago I bought a 2001 Yukon Denali XL and love the vehicle. Tho I have had some minor issues with the vehicle, overall I am happy with my purchase. But the main thing that concerned me was I could not find a review anywhere that liked the Excursion over the Suburban, or even liked the Excursion at all. Personally, I still like the vehicle, if Ford would only make it more civil and comfortable. After all, even the new big rigs ride like professional trucker wants to get bounced around on a long trip and the manufacturers of these rigs are correcting the problem, Why won't Ford? Thanks for listening
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Not sure if Ford is making the more recent ones better but after 30 years in Sub's, the last 2 weeks and 2400 miles went very nicely. SF Bay Area to Vancouver Island, BC and back after staying on the Island 9 days. The Ex doesn't wander for me and I have added nothing other than to replace the OEM F/S's with Michelin.

    As to load weight, a lot of our gear is space takers but not all that heavy. So the interior demensions are key, can't fit an airline 500 kennel in side ways on a new Sub like you could in a '90 and prior, but you can do that in the Ex. and get the dog in and out. Not to mention the alley for the dogs that provides a nice bed for a nap when you want to drive straight through like we did comming back, Anacortes, WA to Bay Area in 14 hours with just a few gas stops and to air dogs.

    Enjoy what you drive.
  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    about the smaller interior dimensions in the Sub, I wonder why they would do that and make the vehicle smaller. Perhaps due to the new rounder design. I am sure GM is losing sales to Ford for just that reason.
    Hopefully, when I am ready for a new vehicle, the Excursion will be more to my likeing. I still like the vehicle.
  • jbear87jbear87 Posts: 13
    Does anybody have a 2500 suburban with the 6.0 L engine in it? I am wondering what the mpg is. I noticed that edmunds has it listed at 14/16, which I consider to be pretty goood.
  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    I have a 2001 Yukon Denali XL and get 12.7 around town. I have not had it on a long road trip, so i don't know about highway mileage. The Denali comes with the 6.0 engine, but has Full Time All Wheel Drive, don't know if that effects mileage.
  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    I NEED a new vehicle to haul ALL of my stuff around and I've test driven the Excursion and it just doesn't have the capacity to swallow all of my stuff. Can anyone suggest anything BIGGER than this too small vehicle?
    I guess i could cut down on a couple things to take to the grocery store, if I HAD to, but only if there is nothing larger available that will allow me to bring everything with me.
    I did like how easily driven it was while I was on my cell phone checking my stock quotes though. Does Ford offer an in dash monitor that I can watch TV on while I'm driving? thanx in advance for any responses!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    er, I think you are looking for the I don't like SUVs, why do you? discussion.

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    Good, I like that question...
    I will say,that in a pinch, u might be able to get by with the Ford F350 attached to a 40ft trailer, a little tuff in the parking lots, but it will do the job.
  • mike346mike346 Posts: 5
    I have only checked my mileage while towing a travel trailer. I got between 8 & 9.5 pulling about a 7000lb trailer. 14/16 sounds about right just estimating my time/miles between fill-ups though.
  • rdtaylorrdtaylor Posts: 21
    I find it very odd that there are so many people comparing the Excursion with the 1/2T suburban. I guess it is because Ford doesn't really have anything like the 1/2T, so there is a forced fit.

    Anyway, when comparing the 2500 to the Excursion, they are much more similar. I thought I wanted the Excursion until I actually drove it - I bought the 2500 w/8.1L because it was much funner to drive and has better towing performance. Turning radius and road handling is also superior in the 3/4T burb. The new 3/4T burb drives better than the previous 1/2T burbs. I like large vehicles, but the Excursion was just too much like driving a bus (slow and unwieldy) and the diesel is just plain noisy.

    However, I am very glad that there is finally some competition - unfortunately the Ford sales are so poor that it hasn't caused any significant price decreases. GM was correct in their initial arrogant assessment that they were not worried about the Excursion since it didn't compete in their volume market of 1/2T burbs.
  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    I own a 2001 Denali XL.My previous vehicle was a 1999 Tahoe 4x4. Last year I had the 'hots' for the Excursion Limited with the PSD; until I drove one. Was not impressed, the wife hated it, I didn't feel that strongly, but would not buy one. Also, I have not read a single review where any autowriter liked the Excursion, let alone recommended it above the Sub.

    Too bad, I would like to see GM have some competition in that market segment. I like the size and style of the Ex, come on Ford, make it civilized...
    Oh, in spite of some very "minor" problems, I LOVE the XL Denali.
  • I just can not see how someone would for instance now pay $35,000 for a new vehicle listed at $42,000 and know that once they drive it off the lot it is only worth $22,000-$24,000. If you want to purchase a new Excursion the price should be in the $30,000 range with Ford's once secret $5,000 Dealer bonus going back to the buyer not the dealer. Buying this truck new, people have got to be crazy. I would have to recommend buying used at these values.

    I used to like my Excursion limited even though it continuously creaked and rattled but after I found out the resale value I got sick to my stomach. Also by the way, resale values on Suburban's are much higher due to market conditions and the fact that they are much better SUV's and most informed buyers know it. I guess I got burned by trying something different!
  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    that saved me from buying the Excursion was the poor driving experience i had with the 3 units I tested.. and thinking about it sensibly not with my "Passion"

    The first thing i noticed, after only driving it for a few minutes, was that the vehicle wanted to "Wander" all over the road, obviously due to the solid front axle...This Cooled me off rather quickly. Got back into my then 1999 Tahoe 4x4, and felt like i was in a "almost" luxury vehicle. End of Excursion love affair.

    Just keep it and drive it, psych yourself up to liking it and just try to enjoy the vehicle. It's too expensive to get rid of it now.
  • Larry I am taking your advice and will keep the beast. I guess I will be like the majority of the board and spend an extra grand and put on new Michelin's and Shocks. Thanks
  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    U are welcome, good luck.

    Anyway, we have much more important things to concern ourselves with right now besides our Trucks

    Long Live America!
  • If you like the 'wandering' of the Ford and want a GM get a burb with the 'auto ride' package. We (my wife and I just bought a burb and in the process of selecting the right one tried one with the autoride (basically the self leveling system). My wife was the driver and notice immediately that something was wrong - she thought the front end was out of alignment/wheel weight fell off. I drove and in turning around in the parking lot noticed the sway.

    Unless you trailer FULL TIME pass on the autoride, and fit after market air shocks.
  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    I have a 2001 Denali XL whick comes standard with autoride. The autoride is not just a self leveling system, it's main job is to monitor the road surface and adjust the shock dampening to fit whatever surface it is running on. I love the system and it mskes the truck ride like a car. It is GREAT.. I have never experienced what u are describing. I wonder if there was a problem with the autoride, which, knowing GM, and their quality control, is very possible.

    I would highly recommend the autoride to anyone buying a Suburban.
  • edw5edw5 Posts: 6
    I am a recent convert from Sub to Ex. The 1/2 sub was weak towing our 6000# boat so I wanted more.

    We shopped the new subs and ex's pretty hard. What I found was that the Sub and Ex both get crappy gas mileage on long non-towing trips. I used boths trip computers to gauge and both were under 12 MPG highway (ex with v10 and 8l sub).

    We opted for the deisel ex. We were getting a good 16 MPG on short hauls while testing.

    My wife, surprise surprise did not mind the noise of the deisel. At highway speed and cruise speed, it was all but silent. Funny thing about the noise, my 5.7l Sub with 100K and 4 yrs on it is no luxury ride. It is loud with road, engine, and wind noise.

    Ride quality? My 1/2 sub had Michelin XT/AT 10 ply truck tires. It bounced and pounded at 50 psi just like the 3/4 ton Ex, but the Ex can handle some load. The Sub tended to sag heavily if we approached anywhere near 1/2 ton (8 people, drywall, bags of cement).

    The Ex may ride a little stiff and bumpy on rough roads when empty, but the Sub was pretty sloppy with anything over 6 or 7 hundred pounds.
  • larry91larry91 Posts: 189
    I am not bashing the Excursion, in fact I was ready and willing to buy one before i chose the Denali. Ready until i drove two units for about 1 hour each. This all boils down to what u need the vehicle for. I don't do any towing or hauling and just like a big vehicle for comfort and safety. As i said before, I like the looks and the size of the Ex and if and when Ford makes it more suitable to "My" needs and likes I will consider it again.

    Just curious, Why didn't u try the 2500 sub?
  • My wife and I own a 2001 Ex Limited w/V-10. We have just over 10K miles on it. I don't understand what some of the talk about the truck swaying is about. With over 90% of thoes miles being X-way miles at 75+ MPH I think the truck handles great. I'm not the one who drives it everyday but I probly put on more then 50% of those miles while going on vacation and weekend trips to upper part of lower Mich. We live around Flint MI. It does take me about 2 miles to get use to driving it. I put on over 500 miles per week on my 2 wd F-150 PU w/6cyl. so it feels alot different. And as far as acceleration I really have to have a lite foot because it really wants to take off. We are getting around 12-13 MPG at, like I said earlier, 75+ MPH. It is getting better the more miles we put on. We started out at 11-12 MPG. All in all we love it. We haven't towed anything big yet but I think it would handle anything I want to tow.
  • 390gt390gt Posts: 17
    I make the same trip often from the east side of Detroit, 300 miles one way. I have a 2000 Ex V-10 4wd with near 30K miles and average 14.5 mpg at same speed. Your mileage will improve. In town it's another story. Move over to the Excursion board. Good luck.
  • cptmcfcptmcf Posts: 7
    My wife (total'd my ford expedition) and kids were T boned yesterday by a Van after a two mile trip to Macdonald's.....they all walked away with nothing more than sore necks....the owner of the van who ran a red light was carted away by way of ambulance.....we are buy an excursion tomorrow....I am glad I am not of the green peace econo box order as I would be arranging funerals for my kids instead of new car shopping. I could give a rats [non-permissible content removed] what you think of the car I put my family long as I can afford the gas I am putting them in the heaviest thing available. And right now thats an Excursion....I priced a 4x4 Limited Powerstroke diesel with a DVD entertainment center and its cheaper than what the local dealer will sell me a denali with no extra options and the FORD will get better MPG and 700 miles between fill ups.

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,138
    I'm with you Captain. The bigger and heavier the better.. I have a Suburban that I drive everywhere. I like seeing what is going on over the rest of the cars on the highway. I just feel safer. No wrecks so far thankfully.. I would look at the diesel Excursion myself when I trade in..
  • Now that I have read a lot of these messages, I am more confused. It is obvious that those with excursion's love them and those with suburban's love those.... still not sure what is best. Diesel vs v10, do I want to save on gas but pollute the air or do I want to use more gas, more energy? excursions are so cheap now they almost make make more sense.....but the do not tow as much as suburbans..
    signed, confused
  • Just as an FYI, the Diesel version of the Excursion is a LEV and does not pollute the air. The diesel version tows more then a suburban can because it has more Torque. In fact, thats really what its designed to do next hauling people and other cargo.

  • I have a 2001 2500 Suburban 6.0 engine that I pull a 8500 LB Boat and trailer. Also a F350 PS Diesel to pull a 11000 LB 5th Wheel. I have a friend with a 99 Excursion, Diesel and he pulls a boat about 9000 Lbs. He replaced the Transmission at 37000 miles. I think that is the weak point in the Ford. I have owned a 95 Yukon, and a 97 Tahoe before my Suburban. I have never had a power train problem with these trucks and I have pulled a travel trailer with all of the above. My gross weight with the Tahoe, was 11,200 and yes over the limit, but no problems. The other thing about the new Suburban, is the steering is great and turns as good as my Tahoe trade in. The 4x4 Ford is not as easy to park. My F350 needs a football field to make a U turn. It pulls my 5th wheel fine, a gross weight of 19000 lbs. Each has its place, but the Excursion is a truck and the Suburban is in a class all of its own. We drive it every where we go. IMHO

  • jaw2000jaw2000 Posts: 133
    If Ford really is stopping Excursion production, then we all know who the winner is.
  • I am looking at the Excursions at this time. I tow Rock Climbing Walls. I have had to put a new rear end, and a new transmission in my Suburban. I think I need the extra size of the Excursion.
  • I towed rock climbing walls all over the country for the US Army in a diesel excursion. Thats what sold me on the excursion in the first place. The Army goes for the cheapest bid and Ford was lower than Chevrolet, with proper care and maintenance you will get tons of service out of either one. I have heard of Fords going several hundred thousand miles and GM's needing new transmissions after only 30K and vica versa so its possible to get a lemon with either one, I think maintenance is key and if anything breaks, hopefully it will still be under warranty, I like the extra space of the Excursion and the larger size brings some peace of mind if nothing else...either choice is sure to be a good one but the 700 miles between fillups sold me as I hate spending my free time at the pumps. I suggest you drive both as much as possible and see which one "fits" best....sometimes size does matter though ;-)
  • xyz71xyz71 Posts: 179
    Ford just anounced that they are killing the Excursion due to poor sales. I think 2003 is the last model year.
This discussion has been closed.