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



  • 39928243992824 Posts: 5
    These trucks are not comparable.

    Edmunds review takes the approach that these vehicles are built for grocery getting, which a large percentage will be purchased for. Without any purpose for heavy duty towing or hauling hefty or bulky items, the Yukon XL may give you a softer ride and a tighter turning radius.

    The Excursion is a truck, and some people will not be happy with it's truck-like characteristics, but for truly heavy duty usage, it's the only choice.
  • ldrldr Posts: 9
    It is really obvious that everyone writing in about the Excursion being...too big, too slow, can't stop, uncomfortable to drive, can't turn it around on a football field, etc, etc...hasn't driven one or at least put a few miles on one! After having 3 Suburbans (and liked them all) and put a whole bunch of miles on them, I know what they are all about. The Excursion isn't a whole lot different except for being "a bit" larger. It is built on a heavier frame and longer wheelbase so somehow it would have to ride a little different and have a different feel. But after 7056 miles I have no complaints whatsoever with this vehicle (and I spend the better part of the week traveling with it). I think all the "armchair" critics who read all the motorhead magazines ought to at least ride in one. Travel safe.
  • ralphinnjralphinnj Posts: 10
    Just to add, if we removed all of the negative hype in this board coming from armchair Excursion drivers, we'd have only constructive criticism left (offered by actual owners/drivers). Imagine that.....
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    You don't have to get defensive and try to justify your purchase or preference with 'armchair driver' statement. I think post #60 was very clear.

    LDR - you are comparing the old Suburban to new Excursion - I would say that is a fair and closer comparison. But its not the same comparison when you look at the new suburban. Old burb and new burb are two completely different vehicles.

    I would not buy an old burb. They ride too much like, like, like an Excursion...
  • noburbnoburb Posts: 2
    it boils down to what suits your individual needs and desires. no one would not argue against the fact that the suburban is more comfortable. each vehicle has their own benefits. i had one of each and ended up keeping the suburban over the excursion. the excursion was very nice though
  • 39928243992824 Posts: 5
    Right on the button!
  • ralphinnjralphinnj Posts: 10
    I am here to get constructive information about the Excursion, and that means unbiased comparisons. Your post 60 has some good points in it (and I would really like to see Ford do something similar), but your personal preference (you do own a Silverado....), and then some, is apparent. The rides are different. I drove them both also. Intolerable? Nope. What I object to, is the implication that anyone who would buy an Excursion will have to put up with an intolerable ride ("Sorry Ford people..."). That's not constructive (because it is inaccurate, and for me, leaves the realm of opinion), and it makes me discount the rest of your opinions regarding braking, acceleration, turning, etc. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Unfortunately, most posts here go past unbiased input and color the outlook so strongly in one direction or the other that the reader is left wondering where the truth lies.
  • I bought a '99 'burb in '98, so the Excursion wasn't out yet. I do NOT like the 2000 'Burbs. I saw one at the KC Auto Show. It had an S-10 like cheap interior. The Excusion was FAR better!
    Also, the Excursion (or CHUNKY as we call it)
    had more interior room, and a great diesel engine.

    The only problem I have with the Chunky is that it don't fit in my garage!

    I have a Ford Windstar and it's a great machine. I expect that the Ford Excursion will be as well.
    The only thing I like better than an Excursion is a '99 4x4 3/4 ton 'Burb with the 454. That's just been my preference. One point about SUV's. I can fit in them. I'm 6'5", 265 lbs. and wear a size 17 sneaker. The last time I sat in a car, I needed a can openener to get our. Comfort, security, and safety is provided by these SUV's.
    I will not go back to a car
  • I own a 98 Chevu Suburban with a std 350/3.73 rear
    end. I wanted to offer input on towing issues.

    We purchased our Suburban for many reasons but one
    big one was towing capacity (5500 lbs for my set
    up). I have not been satisfied with my towing
    performance at all and have done quite a bit of

    The issue is instability at higher speeds
    (50-65mph). Post # 53 addresses this very well but
    I wanted to add/support. I pull a 23' T/T that has
    a GVWR of 4500lbs, well under my tow capacity. My
    sway was ridiculous - to the point where I had to
    slow to 20-30mph's to calm it down. I had the
    dealer where I bought the T/T re-adjust my set up
    at the tongue and load improvement. I
    went to local chevy dealers and towing is not
    their strong suit. I went to a few local
    hitch/trailer companies and they got me straight.

    I was told that this problem is a big issue on
    Burbs. And, recently when I went to get some
    accessories they told me that the Excursion has it

    The cause is a few things but like #53 said the
    distance from your tires to the ball is a big deal.
    I have a fiend who has a similar T/T and pulls it
    with a 98 Dodge Van - you barely even know the T/T
    is back there. I had to invest ina anti sway
    control and a different load level set up to get
    mine under control and I am still not satisfied.

    Now, to be fair...I am not an engineer and I am
    certain there are other issues involved. I will
    tell you this - On my camping trips I have asked
    other "Burb"" owners and they ALL say they have a
    similar issue.

    I think Chevy and Ford need to adress this.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    Just so you know, I am not biased to a particular brand in itself. I go for what works best depending on what is available at the time of selection. Right now, the Silverado happens to be working great for me.

    I leased a 97 F150 S/C when they first changed to the new style because I liked the looks of it. It didn't give me any problems, but the ride itself wasn't great, and the engine was a little weak.

    I was really close to Leasing a 99 Expedition when the F150 went back, but the ride of the new Silverado convinced me to stay with a pickup for one more term. IMHO, I liked the 99 Expo better than the 99 Tahoe, but now the 2000 Tahoe should force Ford to make some changes.

    I've also owned a 94 Blazer and a 96 Explorer. Both were small unsophisticated pieces of junk as far as I'm concerned.
  • howarthhowarth Posts: 2
    Jeep was going to introduce 2004(maybe 2005) a new Grand Wagoneer based on the RAM full size platform. The estimated price was close to $50k ($48ish ?) I heard Chrysler axed the Jeep design and re-branded it a Dodge (same design) to bring the price down $15-$20k. Gotta pay a premium for those Jeeps. I'd love to see a Cummins turbo diesel full size SUV. A friends 1999 Ram Cummins gets 21 mpg empty or pulling a loaded 2 horse trailer. I'd assume the SUV would be comparable. I'm looking for a diesel SUV now, but not impressed with the choices so far.
  • 39928243992824 Posts: 5
    Dodge has big problems with their auto truck transmissions. I have personal experience with this.(under warranty, thank goodness) Check with your local Dodge dealer and if you can get an honest opinion from any of the techs they'll tell you the same. They even derate the Cummins to 420lbs/ft on torque with an auto trans.

    They need to redesign the drive train before they produce any other full size trucks.
  • vwoovwoo Posts: 17
    As I have previously mentioned, I owned a 1996 GMC 3/4 ton Suburban with 454 and 4.10 LS rear-end. Now I have an Excursion with V-10 and 3.73 rear-end. I think this is a fair comparison and probably comparable to the '00 3/4 ton Suburban since the suspension is still the same in the 3/4 ton. I tow a 7500 lb 30 ft. TT. I use a Jordan Ultima 2020 brake controller and a Hensley hitch. The brake controller was transferred to the Excursion and the Hensley stays with the TT. These are only my subjective impression and no objective measurements were made.
    First thing I notice was that the ride was better with the Excursion. My wife previously described a horse like ride when going over dips and bumps. There was less of this feel in the excursion.
    Second, braking was significantly better with the Excursion than with the '96 Suburban. It felt like I could actually stop on a dime. I would assume the 2000 Suburban could stop better than the '96 Suburban, since it also now has 4 wheel disc brakes.
    I had to tow in 3rd gear with the Excursion (direct drive) whereas in the Suburban I could tow in over drive. (Of course I had to replace two clutches in the Suburban also).
    Overall impression is that towing with the Excursion gives a better sense on control. Part of this is related to the weight of the Excursion in that the tow vehicle is more similar in weight to the trailer and therefore the trailer doesn't push the tow vehicle around as much. I went with the 3.73 rear end because 90-95% of the time I will not be towing and I could live with towing in 3rd the rest of the time vs always having to live with the 4.3 rear end. I did not have any sway with either vehicle at 75-80 mph.
  • iwanna1iwanna1 Posts: 4
    I agree w/you. I don't know why such knowledgable people have to insult each others decisions on which suv. A few months ago, I too found myself trying to decide between the 'burb and the excursion. I have to admit, I loved them both. I thought they both looked great, had comparable gas mileage, price, and features. I made my decision after 3 extensive pages of who had which options. It is my personal opinion that the suburban had more luxurious options-like a high end sedan. However, like I said, it was my personal opinion. You have to write down all the options you are looking for and what you will be using the vehicle for and then "YOU" decide. It really is a matter of personal preference.
    The Suburban and Excursion are both great vehicles so you are in a win/win situation.
    Good Luck!
  • artus12artus12 Posts: 3
    I have had my 2000 Excu. Limited for a month now and could not be happier. It has V-10 and 4X4, etc. My wife drives it every day to school (teacher) and has no problem parking. Excellent visibility and she is happy, as am I. The only dark cloud on the horizon is the threat of $2.00 gas this summer at vacation time. UGH !!! I have installed factory mud flaps and K&N Air filter based upon the positive remarks I have read here in earlier comments. I do wish the headlamps were brighter though, but have found no aftermarket source for upgrading those.
  • keiths2keiths2 Posts: 1
    Got stuck out at Glamis in some real soft sand(8 to 12 deep) with toy box trailer that weighs about 7000 lbs loaded. It was on a slight uphill, I thought there was no way to drive out of this with out help, but we drop tire pressure down to 20#s on the truck tires (which are the Firestone all seasons) and dug paths for the tires and drove right up the hill with the trailer. Mine has a V10 4x4 with 4.30 LS average all around driving is 9.6 mpg, towing the trailer it got about 7 mpg but that was on the gas, next time I'll set the cruise at 60, I'm sure it'll do alot better. So far no problems, way better than the Tahoe we had. Owned it for 2 years had it in for warranty work about 22 times, no repeat problems. That thing was the biggest piece. I could go on and on.
  • I just picked my 2000 Burb up on Monday. So far, I love the vehicle... of course, it only has 100 miles on it!!!!

    But seriously, I have a 2wd LT with Traction package (AKA locking Differential).

    I do not plan on towing, my wife loves her garage and this is the vehicle that would fit in the garage and take us with our 2 little kids and a few more people whereever we wanted to go.

    But the real reason for the SUV over the Excursion was the $6,200 in GM mastercard rrebate that I was able to use for the downpayment!!!!

    Ford dropped their card!!!
  • retractretract Posts: 13
    I have driven two Excursions and here is my story. First off I really wanted an Excursion because I believe Ford generally does a better job in the design department. I currently own an Expedition and a Suburban so I know my heavy trucks.

    The first Excursion that I drove was fresh off the truck. It was a 4x4 Limited, black and it was very nice looking. It had the locking difs and the 4.10 rear. I drove it 100 miles before giving it back to the dealer. I think I would have purchased it except for the mirrors that would not fit in my garage. The v10 was very loud from 0 to 20 mph. The gas mileage was poor at combined hwy and city of 10.5. The engine is half under the hood and half under the dash in this thing and I would hate to have to work on that engine. I think this location is partly to blame for the increased noise. I was very disappointed in the acceleration of this truck. The leather interior made it difficult for more than one conversation to take place at once. Voices really carry inside of the truck.

    The second Excursion that I drove was just last week. It was a XLT 4x4 that had 5,000 miles on it. I drove in in the mountains of Utah for 330 miles. The v10 was quieter - break in must have helped. The cloth interior made having 8 people inside much more bearable. The truck "hunted" due a loose feel in the steering - not fun to drive on the mountain roads. With 5K miles on it the truck already had about 3 rattles. It did OK in the snow but I doubt that it had locking difs. Gas mileage was 12.5 for the entire 330 miles which was 80% highway. Saw 14.5 going from Park City to Salt Lake City (almost all down hill) and 10.5 going back up the hill.

    I'm glad that I had so much time in this truck and it made my decision easy - It is a no go on the Excursion. I am sure if that first Excursion would have fit in the garage that I would be owning one now. I love those big mirrors! They saved me.
  • ruoregonruoregon Posts: 8
    Want to change from the stock air filter on my V-10 Excursion to a performance filter from K&N. I did this on my 4.6ltr Expedition and had great results. Any idea's?
  • artus12artus12 Posts: 3
    to #86. I have the K&N and it has improved
    throttle response and mileage. I also left stock air inlet off as it restricts air flow from behind radiator support. Its kind of like putting a straw in your mouth to breathe, it can be done but a heck of alot nicer to get rid of the restriction.....
  • artus12artus12 Posts: 3
    to #86. I have the K&N and it has improved
    throttle response and mileage. I also left stock air inlet off as it restricts air flow from behind radiator support. Its kind of like putting a straw in your mouth to breathe, it can be done but a heck of alot nicer to get rid of the restriction.....
  • ruoregonruoregon Posts: 8
    Thanks for the update. I look forward to just a little better mileage now that the price of unleaded is pushing $2.00/gal.
  • amoraamora Posts: 204
    I commute 133 mi/day and from what I have seen, most people who drive these BIG SAFE, MONSTER SUVS, are Soccer Moms who drop kids off to school, baby sitter, dances, child care, drop their 2nd Husband' kids from 3rd marriage off, then go
    grocery shopping, malls to buy clothes, pick-up
    lawn food, sacks of manure, hay, plants, dry clean, stop by and see their lovers on side, any number of reasons, or men who commute to work.

    And the select few who are die hard campers,
    off roaders, (NOT ROCK CLIMBERS, MUD OR SAND
    DRAGGERS BUT mild offfroading in desert, etc
    you know camping or picknicking with nuclear, extended or regular families....

    I think these gas guzzeling behemoths are awesome, I think they are beautiful and make a statement that say, "I am affluent enough to buy them and gas mileage is not an issue.I buy them for the safety of my children and family"

    I like small souped up hot rod mini-trucks myself, have owned the
    smaller 4X4 S10 BLAZER/TOHOE units, have owned a '77 Toyota Landcruiser and plan to buy
    a Suburban or Excursion or Expedition as soon as grandkids start to appear, unitl then I will continue to enjoy seeing these vehicles on my
    commute to work..Just my opinion, no diss or slam
    on anyone or their comments....

    A paradigm by AMORA
  • figmomanfigmoman Posts: 55
    Glad you like cars (trucks), so do i.I have a friend that has a syclone that took me for a ride,awsome! He would from a stop power break it then let it launch.No wheelspin, just pure G-force acceleration.It was computer limitted to around 100 MPH but it sure got there fast.Have fun with your trucks.BTW, im expecting my new suburban LT in about two weeks. Mike
  • I just got my 2000 Suburban 1500 LS 2WD. I love it except I do think Chevy took a step back in a few departments and Ford has some good and bad in my opinion with the Excursion. Since everyone seems to be posting opinions on here I'll do the same.

    Ford - Cons: Too big, rides rough (I did drive one for a full day), fuel mileage, looks of front end. Pros: floor is mostly flat with exception of transmission tunnel, overhead console, dutch doors in back, swing out rear windows, map lights on every row (as I recall), full floor mats on second and third row.

    Chevy - Cons: floor is bumpy unlike the older Burb, no more full overhead console, did away with tailgate, did away with map lights above third row seats, cheapo floor mats everywhere especially second and third row.
    Pros: looks much better than Ford (my opinion), rides better than Ford (everyone's opinion), still hauls the mail (or in this case my 5500 pound boat), better gas mileage, fits in the garage (although mine stays outside, the Vette and my wife's Jimmy get the garage).

    I do intend to write a letter to Chevy about some of the disimprovements (not a word, I know) that they made in this year's model and I have already taken care of one of those by getting aftermarket floor mats. I still like the overall vehicle a lot though and will always own a Burb. The main thing everyone here should realize is that they should be happy with their purchase, whatever they get. And don't try to make yourself feel better by putting down the other person's truck.
  • ralphinnjralphinnj Posts: 10
    Thanks bowtiebill; I agree that the attitude we all should have here is to respect each others' choices. In "real life," not many people (I haven't run into any) would make some of the brash comments we see here. Btw, I agree for the most part with your assessment; although, in my case, I am a pickup truck driver through and through, so I actually like the stiff ride of the Excursion (but to each their own).
  • ldrldr Posts: 9
    I totally agree with the posts above. Everybody likes "their" ride. Unless you have "lived" in a vehicle I don't see how anyone can judge another. I have owned my Excursion 4X4 Limited PSD for 4 months and 8988 miles. I have just returned from northern New Hampshire where I spent 3 days and traveled Route 16 from Gorham to Errol (approx. 30 mile stretch) 5 times. This piece of road (I am being kind calling it a road) is possiblly the worst "frost heave" section of road one could find anywhere in the northeast. It is a joke with all the locals. It is so bumpy they should charge admission for the ride. There are little "roadside stands" all along about a 15 mile stretch selling TEETH! (just kidding) It will rock you! It is an asphalt washboard! Because my hotel and where I happen to be working were at different ends of the "rollercoaster", as I said earlier I had to travel it 5 times. After owning 3 Subburban 1500's previously I knew the Excursion was not expected to give me the same ride. After spending 4 months and nearly 9,000 miles I must be getting used to it. Maybe it's the additional weight...the longer wheel base? I'm not sure, but the "roadability" is great! Even on Rt 16 dodging: MOOSE (lots of 'em), potholes, and bunkers...this vehicle was amazing, and quiet. Not a single rattle or squeek. You certainly know your "in a battle zone" when you travel Rt 16 but I was not tossed around as one might expect. These Excursions just don't ride like all the "arm chair" experts say they do. They are built SOLID and a pleasure to drive. Should you ever take a wrong turn some day and end up on Rt 16, be careful...the moguls can swallow you and the MOOSE are everywhere!! Travel safe.
  • Glad you are enjoying your ride. That sounds like an interesting trip. I think I'll stay off that road!!
  • A local manufacturer of "air ride" suspensions recently borrowed my Excursion to measure it up for a prototype suspension unit. They make them for other model trucks and people say they give a wonderful "cushioned" ride. Eagerly awaiting the time when I get mine put on. Their url is

    Have no idea of cost, etc. For all those who ask why someone should spend additional money, look at what is being spent on roll bars, fog lights and grill kits.

    Good luck. I love my Excursion!
This discussion has been closed.