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



  • 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.
  • Hello Everyone, Went to the GMC Sponsored Agility
    tour on Saturday in Charlotte NC. I did not know what
    to expect, it was awesome! It lasted an hour and
    for the first 30 minutes they went over the yukon /
    XL and for the last 30 minutes we got to drive the
    yukon/XL 2wd/4wd 1500/2500, an Excursion and an
    Expedition. I drove everything but the Expedition.
    I was absolutely amazed at the difference in
    handling and ride control (no autorides) You got
    to drive around a "road" type course with swerves,
    tight turns and quick stops. You could go as hard
    as you wanted to test the trucks and people were,
    this was not some leisurely test drive. The GMCs
    beat the tar out of the Excursion in every aspect,
    comfort, handling and especially ride/ compensation
    for bumps. To test this the course had marine
    rope and rubber tire treads to run over. I drove
    the GMCs first and thought it was no big deal,
    drove the excursion and it felt like you were
    losing control the bumping got so bad, you had to
    fight to maintain control of the steering wheel!
    Over all I was extremely impressed, I cannot wait
    to get mine. Check the GMC web page for dates it
    is coming to a location near you it was worth the

    I dont know much about this Harmonic disturbance in the yukon/suburban but other then that the Yukon CL/Sub is a real winner
  • Which Excursion did they have? 2WD or 4WD? V8/V10, or Diesel? Was one of the GMC's a direct match (diesel to diesel, 4x4 to 4x4, etc.)? I'll bet they didn't hook up 10,000 pound trailers and then see which truck handled better......
  • Thanks for helping me get my facts straight
    "Some are coming off the line with a harmonic vibration which is quickly fixed with a tweak in the rear suspension."

    If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck, guess wha,t Harmonic blah blah still smells like a trip to the service dept. to FIX the transmission PROBLEM., by "tweaking" the rear end.

    We all love taking new vehicles back to the dealer and have them a Ford No Tweaking required.
  • My Excursion suspension required a lot of tweaking to get it drivable.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    Having a bad day?
  • ladyblueladyblue Posts: 326
    I am shopping for a new suburban because I did my research. The Excursion weights almost #2000 more than the Sub. That is 40%! That is almost like hauling around my 1942 Ford GPW (Jeep) everywhere I go! They both have the same size tires so you can just imagine the beating their taking. And if you do any off road work anyone will tell you that lots more weight means lots more shoveling. I know I'm comparing a 1/2 ton to the Ford but still that is a lot of fat.
    On the other hand I will miss the 40 gal.tank on my 93 sub. They also did away with the under hood trouble light on its neat wind up spool but I never did use it.
  • Probably where the Excursion's "fat" will make a difference is in towing. If you are not towing, then the extra weight might be wasteful to some extent. On the other hand, the extra weight does go along with extra space. So, even if you are not towing, if you have 6 or more people and lots of gear, it will still be more comfortable in the Excursion. The reason its better for towing has to do with the weight ratio of the tower to the towie. The higher that ratio, the more stable the tow will be (5000 lb Sub with 10000 lb trailer is not as happy as an 8000 lb Excursion pulling the same trailer when a little sway from shear winds or other disturbance comes along).
  • jdealjdeal Posts: 1
    The jury may be out on the ability of the Excursion to tow well. A post I saw here pointed out a forum at where some real horror stories about Excursion towing stability problems have been described.

    Personally I have no opinion on the matter, since I'll never have an Excursion nor do I intend to tow the max amount of weight that these beasts are rated at. Just thought I'd point it out.
  • Was seriously considering a Excursion until I did some research--
  • Did anybody know Dodge will come out with BIG BIG Suv in 2004 Check the And GM will put the D!!!! diesel in 2002 Suburban which they claim 300+ hp and 500+ troque. I would wait to compare the Ford and Suburban with DIESEL. I can even wait for the DODGE BIG DIESEL HA HA. I don't know which one to buy. But the Powerstrokes have been used for long time. I think I like Ford better. Presently I have Ford Explorer. I like very much. I like to wait for DODGE, GM and Ford all have big SUV. Then I can test drive All HA HA.
  • I visited the ford-diesel site regarding towing problems (stability at higher speeds) with the Excursion. The 1st few posts make things look bad, but there is some conflicting info, even in them. For starters, the Excursion should not tow very much different than the 250/350SD's since it is essentially the same. There is a lot of good history behind those vehicles already. After the 1st couple posts, one person writes that a huge improvement was obtained by increasing the air pressure in the tires. Another item that will definitely cause trouble is the tongue weight. If you've got more than the recommended 200 lbs, your trailer will be effectively lifting the truck chassis (front wheels will not have the full load on them), and this is known to lead to handling problems. Proper load balancing on the trailer is very important in this respect. A lot of experienced towers (that know all that stuff) have posted excellent results here with the Excursion. I would hesitate to give it a bad mark in this area yet.
  • siglosiglo Posts: 1
    You know, both Chevy and Ford have lots of problems. They are simply inferior to the relaibility of a Landcruiser or Land Rover. Deal with it! But, when push comes to shove, I think Chevy is built better. Its close though, but I've seen majore problems with both lines, and sometimes its simply a matter of getting one of production with all the right parts. Anyway, you can't tell me excursion built better than sub, and sub built better than excursion. They both can rock, and both can suck eggs!
  • mmullenmmullen Posts: 17
    Much of a vehicles towing ability (or lack of it) can be attributed to the distance between the rear axle and the trailer ball. The shorter the better. If the tow point is too far behind the axle it can allow the trailer to achieve too mmuch leverage on the tow vehicle which reduces the amount of permissible tongue weight and also transfers swaying forces from the trailer to the truck much more effectively because of the increased leverage.

    Does anyone know if this distance is published anywhere so purchasers can compare different models with this in mind?
  • vwoovwoo Posts: 17
    We purchased an Excursion and took delivery in Austin, TX on 12/20/99. Paid $200 over invoice. We have an XLT with the V-10, 3.73 rear-end, 40/20/40 bench seat in the front and the bigger tires and AL wheels. It currently has about 1900 miles on it. I changed the oil to Mobile 1 at about 1000 miles and have attempted to change the ATF to synthetic through the drain plug but only can get about 6.5 quarts out at a time. My only highway driving was driving back from Austin to Tulsa and got about 14 mpg the first time and 15 mpg the second time (could have got back on one tank but the calibration of the fuel gauge was not very good). We have since filled up 3 times almost all city driving and get about 9.7 mpg.

    I have not driven the 2000 Suburban because we were not going to buy another GM product due to the experience of our '96 GMC Suburban. The Suburban was a 3/4 ton with a 454 engine and 4.10 limited slip rear-end. We got 12 mpg on the highway and 10 mpg in the city. We had problems with the brakes wearing out initially at 30K, then 10K, now at about 25K. This is not too big of a deal, but it would have been nice to know that these brakes wear that fast and I never heard the squeaker to warn me so the rotors were scored the first two times. Had to replace a water pump, two blown tires two batteries, distributor and rebuild a transmission. I didn't have too much out of pocket expense because I got an extended warranty but one time we were on vacation and it broke down and had to spend vacation in the Wal-Mart parking lot from Thursday until Monday when they got a new distributor then I had to turn right around and go home. Other times, it seems that to repair a problem requires at least two trips to the dealer to get it fixed and one time it took three trips. Our only other car has a Honda and we had to cram all 6 on us into it (there were 2 baby seats as well). So our patients ran out on the Suburban and GM. Of course Ford is not without it problem. When I drove the Excursion home I found out that the heater was not blowing hot air (too late to turn around). It was a cold drive home. Finally when I got home and was filling up, I decided to wiggle the vacuum hose to the heater control valve and magically there was heat (one mile from home). The heat continued to be intermitant and so finally had to take to the Ford dealer. Turns out they had to replace the heater control valve and did not have one in stock so it took another four days to get it back (didn't want to pick it up since we still had the Suburban).
    I do not think that it is necessarily fair to compare a 1/2 ton Suburban to an Excursion which is build on a 3/4 ton chassis. The ride in the 1/2 ton Suburban will be significantly better. And if that you are looking for a smooth ride, the 1/2 ton Suburban is the way to go. I do think that it is fair to compare to the Excursion to a 3/4 ton Suburban. I understand that the 3/4 ton Suburban still utilize the same suspension as the previous year so I assume that the ride will still be similar to our '96 3/4 ton Suburban. In my opinion the ride quality is similar, that is STIFF. There seems to be more power with the 454 engine, but it had a 4.10 rear-end, and they don't offer it anymore and I suspect the 6.0l will be anemic for towing purposes because the torque is lower and is up higher in rpm's.
    The Excursion is quieter and has more interior room. My wife can actually sit in the 3 seat with two childeren's booster seats in them. This does come at some price in that the Excursion feels alot bigger than the Suburban. It will fit in any regular parking space since it is only a few inches wider, but it just feels bigger. Everytime I park, I look to see if I fit in the space and it does. It also fits in our garage. The turn radius is bigger in the Excursion, but have not found this to be a problem. We originally got the tow mirrors, but my wife did not like them and actually ran them into the garage as she was backing out (unfortunitly they do not retract in that direction and broke the plastic off on the mirror). They were $200 to replace the mirror, so we opted to buy the regular mirrors (both sides for $200) instead. I glued the plastic back together on the tow mirrors and plan to use them when we tow (4 nuts to unscrew).
    Overall, if your looking for ride quality, the 1/2 ton Suburban is the way to go. Power and room go to the Excursion (vs 2000 Suburban). Had bad experience with the GMC so it has tainted our feelings for GM, although I can remember a Mercury Station Wagon my parents had as a kid and it was a piece of junk. I guess time blurs the memory. I hope our Excursion doesn't run into as many problems as we had with the Suburban. I wish Toyota had an SUV that would hold 9 and pull our 30' trailer.

  • tjf2000tjf2000 Posts: 61
    After months of debate and reading everything on
    the Excursion and Yukon XL, finally decided on a
    White Limited 4X2 with V-10, 6 CD Player, heated
    seats,standard--not limited slip 3:73 rear end, bug
    shield and molded mud flaps (paid $124 for the
    molded Ford flaps and that price included
    installation). Picked it up out of state while on
    business and drove 850 miles (mostly highway) and
    used 54.304 gallons of gas, that works out to a
    little over 15.6mpg, not bad for being brand new,
    and that is almost the exact same as our '91
    Suburban got on the highway. A few notes, yes the
    Excursion is a little stiffer than the 1500 Yukon
    XL. The Excursion is less than 1/2 inch wider and
    only a couple of inches longer than our '91
    Suburban 4X2. The Excursion interior is the closest
    to our '91 Suburbans, it does not give you that
    enclosed feeling like the '00 Yukon XL when ordered
    with bucket seats and a console, plus the wood
    trim really makes it look sharp (same as it did in
    our '91 Suburban). Also like all the storage areas
    in the doors and the large center console with a
    door that opens to the rear rather than to the side
    (just like our '91 had). Our '91 Suburban gave us
    no problems and after 9 1/2 years, we were able to
    sell it for 10K. Hope the Excursion is as trouble
    free. If not for some of the quirks, as mentioned
    above with the Yukon XL interior, this decision may
    have been in GM's favor.
    Good luck it's a tough decision and drive safe.
  • It appears that is almost nothing but Dodge and Chrysler stuff. There are a lot of new cars and trucks coming out of GM in the next few years that were not addressed there.
    And a comment earlier in here said that they laughed at the front end of the Suburban and then they bought an Excursion. I can't believe you actually like that blunt "side of a building" look of the Ford over the Chevy. But to each his own I guess.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    I attended this event in Minneapolis yesterday. Part of the comparison was to drive a loaded 2500 Yukon XL and a loaded Excursion Limited around a made up test course with straightaways, tight turns, tire strips, hard stops, etc. The Yukon had the 6.0L V8, and the Ford had the V10.

    Obviously GM would not put this event on without knowing it could beat the competition, but I was amazed at how different the rides were. Even the 3/4 ton Yukon with carried over rear leaf springs had a sports car like ride.

    The GM had better acceleration, much better stopping, the turns were no competition and you could barely feel or hear the tire strips, where in the Ford, you could really feel it bounce.

    I wish they had a trailer towing test, because I find it difficult to understand how the Yukon wouldn't win that one too.

    The one thing the Excursion does have in its favor is SPACE. Its huge inside. Too huge for me, but some people do need that space. Its too bad they have to suffer so much in the ride department. Sorry Ford people, until this competition, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that the Ex was an tolerable drive, but not at all compared to the new Yukon XL.
  • 39928243992824 Posts: 5

    The reason the Test didn't compare towing is because results published by AutoWeek (will get back on the issue) favor the Excursion, 0-60, etc.

    Also, just because GM claims the 2500 2WD Yukon XL will tow more than any Excursion, that don't make it so. Fords 10k limitation is the max that any responsible authority places on tag trailer towing. Any more and a fifth wheel hitch is required.
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    I have no doubt an Excursion can tow a big house if it wanted to, but if I had the option, I would rather tow a small house with a yukonxl and be comfy at the same time.
This discussion has been closed.