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GMC Yukon / Yukon Denali



  • dako_tiandako_tian Posts: 298
    Hmmmm.... It seems that you are saying that you could look up the address on from home and print out the driving directions in less than the 2 minutes it takes you to enter even a business' phone number?!? All that and another driving distraction too! Such a deal! ;-)

    Sorry, I'm one of those old curmudgeons who learned to figure out where I'm going before I leave (and probably abnormally blessed with a great sense of direction, if truth be told). I can even count change back accurately too! (Though I must admit also that I've had no opportunity to do so for many a year now.) ;-)
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    I am one of the curmudgeons that dako_tian refers to. Navigation systems in general underwhelm me. Maybe it is a better sense direction, or whatever, but these days with the availability of, I really have to work hard at getting lost. Now if you want to discuss an option that I really like, it is the XM radio - no need to juggle a collection of CDs, or switch from station to station as you pass out of coverage area - just select your channel and go.

    For me, the Navigation System is more of a curiosity and a gadget that came with the truck. If they try to sell me a subscription for updates to the map database, I will pass.
  • zaishyzaishy Posts: 2
    With reference to the GPS system offered for the the Denali.It simply shows that someone at GMC is asleep at the switch.The technology today is way ahead of what Denali has to offer. The touchscreen is on most new models out there including the handhel Garmen.
    As for curmudgeons who cant see GPS.Let me tell you.I am an 80 year old curmudgeon and want to tell you youngsters out there when you get to be a sensior a number of things happen.
    Visual adaptation at night decreases which means street signs etc are more difficult to manage even if you have 20/20 vision.
    Oncoming traffic glare articularly with halogens becomes more trying
    I cn go on and on.The gist of it is that GPS is a blessing.When tht voice tells you 1/4 mil opn right is your final ETO. WOW!
    It is not a distraction at all because you dont look at the map.Your passenger may want to do that but you just set the destination and listen.What you have in essence is your own co-pilot.
  • Zaishy, great post. I hope that when I am 80 I'll have the same energy that you have to be out at night, trolling around in a new area in a luxury SUV with someone attractive in the passenger seat. BRAVO.

    The fact that Denali's NAV is not anywhere near state of the art is yet another indication that GM's technology lags badly (no safety curtains, only two valves per cylinder, pushrods,etc. etc.). But, the product sells and has less complaints than many of the leading edge (e.g., Mercedes E Class) manufacturers that may have good engineering buy lousy electronic integration.
  • dako_tiandako_tian Posts: 298
    touche! Good points all and congratulations on being a spry 80. :-)

    Though only pressing hard on 50 myself, I'm thinking "spry" has a pretty good sound to it -- especially trying to keep up with our 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old! ;-)

    There are some inconsistencies as far as the offered features/options between the foreign and domestic companies. The lower and middle trim levels on domestic vehicles have more features/options on them than the comparable foreign offerings. The lighted controls on the door, automatic-volume-adjusting stereo, electric mirrors/locks and excellent seat comfort on even my old 1999 F150 SLT Supercab are examples of things not available on any but the highest trim levels of Toyota or Honda bigger-than-passenger-car offerings. Add to that the Bose stereo, left/right/rear-individually-adjusted climate control, power driver's seat, auto-leveling, and quieter cabin of my Yukon XL SLE.

    I'll give you that the top ends of both lines might leave the GMC's on the low side of the balance arm. But the situation reverses when you look lower down the trim level lines as I see it.
  • Dako_Tian, nice analysis about domestic vs. import trim levels. You're right: a base US vehicle has more gingerbread on it than a base import. BUT the discussion wasn't about the level of gingerbread but about technology. GM seems to have decided (and probably rightfully so) that they can make more money by offering just enough technology to stay in the ball game and putting the extra money into marketing (i.e., rebates) and little features that people can see. GM, I think, feels that safety and engineering don't sell so they don't have leading edge safety canopies, dual caliper disc brakes, or even premium tires on their big SUVs, etc. etc. This, again, is probably a good business decision but it leaves the car nuts out there looking at the import market for the engineering features.

    Saying it differently, I think that no one really gets up in the morning and decides to actually BUY a GM car (e.g, a Cavalier). Instead of people buying GM cars, GM SELLS them thru rebates, agressive dealer-level arm twisting, etc.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    I saw several 04 Suburbans today for 8 grand off sticker. I'm not in the market, but thought that was a pretty good deal. Probably a volume discount. They were at Elco chevrolet. Elco is Enterpise leasing's car outlet... big money dealer. Also had about 40 new vettes in stock. I think that's unusual for most chevy dealers. Looks like the new vettes (05) will have the 6.0 engine @ 400 HP. Vette taking an engine from a SUV...I'm honored!
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    Ezrapon, while you might feel honored to think that Corvette is taking an engine from an SUV, don't feel too honored. The only thing that is shared between the two is the displacement. The block is different, the heads are different, the performance profile is different; I could go on, but I think you will get my drift. Lets feel honored about the engineering effort that has gone into each engine relative to the competition.
  • You cannot automatically discount a pushrod engine as indicative of a low-tech engine design. There are a few advantages pushrod engines have over conventional overhead cam designs: less parts (cheaper to manufacture and less points of failure), lower friction loses (less parts rubbing together), smaller packaging (overhead cam hardware take space!). I think the Vortec engines are some of the best in the business. The 6.0L returns 320 HP, has a 6k rpm readline, is extremely low maintenance, and regularly returns 17-18 MPG for me on the highway @75-85 MPH. This engine still outperforms much of the competition even though the basic design is now a few years old. The computer controlled autoride and handling are the best in class for a full size, body-on-frame SUV. I have an '01, so I cannot speak for the Stabilitrak or the Nav system, but my guess is that the competition does offer better electronics. The nav. systems I've seen in Toyotas or Lexus seem to be hands above German and US Manufacturer offerings.

    One thing the whole truck does lack is the refinement that people expect in expensive luxury cars. Things like the cold start piston slap and interior material/ergonomics are not quite par with the class. I personally bridge this shortcoming by the fact that I view this vehicle as a truck and am willing to live with the compromises since the overall package is so well executed.
  • Erinsquared, good points about less is more in terms of GM engines and "You bought a truck, not a Lexus, so enjoy it". Incidentally, when an OHC engine overheats the rebuild cost is thru the roof. Chrsyler minivans with the 2.6 Mitsi engine ( DOHC?) regularly self destruct when the auxilliary cooling fan doesn't come on when you park it. The result is a big shock to the now-second, out of warranty owner. I shudder to think about the cost to fix our 2.5T Volvo engine if this cooling fan switch ever breaks after the warranty expires.

    On the other hand, it would be nice if GM would go to a three valve or four valve head, improve the interior (climate controlled seats, maybe even offer "sport seats", heated steering wheels, safety canopies, less plastic), etc.
  • Adding additional valves to the head would improve engine breathing and raise power in the upper rpm band, but conventional wisdom states that the power available up high is not as usable for truck driving conditions as is low end torque. The 6.0L in the Denali is almost as fast off the line as the Escalade because the difference in power does not occur until later in the rpm band. Besides, GM already is getting 405 HP out of the Corvette Z06 engine which still uses a pushrod OHV design and they could easily fit this in the Denali/Escalade engine bay without a major engine redesign. I for one would rather have this as an extra cost option because I would rather pocket the difference.

    GM probably will milk this design for as much as they can until the redesigned Tahoe/Yukon platform is released. My wish list includes: head/curtain airbags, folding third row (aka Expedition), rack & pinion steering, Xenon headlight option, fully reclining captains chairs (instead of partially reclining), and upgraded materials/ergonomics. Many of these they will need to do in order to stay competitive. Would be nice if they came up with a couple of good innovations.
  • To those with the Navigation system, is it XM radio capable? Does it display the artist and song titles? And does it play DVD movies (when in park)?

  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    Yes to XM radio capability for Navigation System. (It also controls AM and FM tuning.) If you want movies, you need to get the Entertainment System.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    yes, yes, and no. I too have not enjoyed the amount of recline available on the denali seats. Probably, they are truck seats and were designed as such, not to recline into the back of the cab. Same might be said of the middle row buckets. Horsepower for the 6.0 is limitless. The vette is now using this configuration,(avolvofan) yes with a aluminum block and different cam, head design etc, but, the same engine family, with many interchangable parts. It must be remembered that the current truck engines were borrowed from the vette in the first place...chevy small blocks are chevy small blocks. Remember... a 327 with a 283 crank is a 302 Z'28 engine. Ahh the good ol' days!
  • dako_tiandako_tian Posts: 298
    I remember those too! Ah that little 1969 Camaro 307, three-speed-on-the-column that would keep up with anything in first and second -- IFF I put two of my buddies in the back seat to keep that 4-11 rear end from tire-hopping.

    Of course, it also had the tendency to yaw on the slightest slickness. Several times I rode that Camaro through 360+ degree spins on a damp street/highway. But my guardian angels were working overtime because it never once contacted any other vehicle nor any solid objects beside the road.

    I think I'll stay with the more safety-engineered products that have contributed significantly to a decline in the absolute highway death toll (now about 40,000 per year) at the same time that the population has increased by more than 100 million, the number of vehicles on the road has more than doubled (tripled? quadrupled?), and the number of vehicle miles driven has done likewise. Impressive and a very good thing!
  • lobsenzalobsenza Posts: 619
    The only way GM could get a fold flat 3rd row is to install an independent rear suspension like Ford did.
  • Thanks for the replies.
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    if the Ford 150 pick ups have IRS like the SUV's?
    Along those same lines, when comparing these big suv's to the highly refined German/japanese models, there is an apple an orange factor. These are first and foremost work trucks designed to pull, push, haul, and transport almost anything. They have a blue collar heritage. They are thinly desquised work trucks... I think thats a good thing and gives them an advantage over the prissy beamers, merc, lexus, and all the others...apples and oranges.
  • Ezrapon - I drive my '02 Denali on the weekends. I drive a 2004 F-150 during the week. It does not have an independent rear suspension like the SUVs. It has a solid rear axle, as do the other full size pickups. Its actually my first Ford. I'll probably go back to GM with the next one.
  • lobsenzalobsenza Posts: 619
    Are you unhappy with your F-150?
  • Lobsenza - The new F-150 is night and day compared to previous generation, which I've also driven extensively. The new style looks great and its steers and brakes better than any of the domestic full size pick-ups. But the Silverado/Sierras accelerate quicker. More importanly, the GMs ride smoother which is what I miss the most. The Avalanche is actually the best riding pick-up I've ever driven - no surprise to us GM full size SUV owners!
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    that ford has made a more earnest commitment to their SUV's than GM is prepared to do. The explorer had to have the IRS to keep it right side up, but the expedition went to it to make it much more advanced in both handling and room utilization. Although, my Denali seems to ride as good or better than any of the ford products I've been in. Is GM ahead of the game by using truck-proven parts, or just cheap by using off the shelf parts (like the seats). An optimist would say GM is using more durable work force parts with little effect on ride or stability... while others might say they have dropped the technological ball.
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    Just because GM does not offer independent rear suspension in either the Escalade or the Denali doesn't get to a conclusion of dropping the technological ball. It really is about results - if GM can produce a superior ride to what Ford can do with independent rear suspension in the Expedition, then more power (or profits, or market share, or whatever) to them.
  • ezrapon - I've driven the Explorer back to back with a Trailblazer and a Expedition (without the air suspension) back to back with a Tahoe LS (no Autoride). Like you, I found the GMs had the smoother ride and were quieter. I agree with avolvofan that GM isn't exactly dropping the ball. At the very least, I'd wait for the next generation full size GMs to come out before coming to that conclusion.
  • Ezrapon, I think you're right that sourcing from family's parts bins makes good business sense. GM must save big bucks on this. Take a look at the dask on an Escalade/Denali, Tahoe, Sierra, etc. etc. They are all the same. Basic seats, probably, too. But, what is really amazing is that GM gets more money for their SUVs and they retain their value longer than the , IMHO, more technically advanced competition! Now thats a good trick: give the customer recycled, comparatively lower tech, non-cutting edge components, maybe even less total content, charge more and have the market value it longer.

    This slow and steady wins the race approach, incidentally, is almost the reverse of Mercedes: pack the vehicle so full of cutting edge technology that it doesn't mesh well, watch the customers complain and then see your resale plummet like a rock.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Both reliable, quality TRUCKS and TRUCK based vehicles.
         In sedans, Toyota and Honda reign supreme for reliability and quality.
         My Ford F-150 4 WD is one fine vehicle as was my 1980 Chevy (GM) passenger van.
         Although I like my 2001 Chevy Blazer LT, the Ford Explorer feels like a nicer, more roomy vehicle. Probably would get a Ford Explorer if I purchased another SUV. Toyota Highlander is too light duty without real 4 WD for hunting and fishing.
         Toyota Sequioa and 4-Runner too expensive compared to GMC Yukon XL or Ford Expedition. I don't need the mammoth size of these very large SUVs.
  • Does anyone know the timeline for the next generation full size SUVs? I have am 03 Denali and love it, mainly the horsepower and good looks. I do see GM lagging behind in some of the creature comforts being offered on others now such as fold flat third row seat and power liftgate. I would trade my Denali for another Denali in a heartbeat if it had a fold flat third seat. Still no comparison to the others when it comes to engines though. Will be interesting for see how Nissan/Infiniti fares. Rave reviews so far. They could be for real.
  • lobsenzalobsenza Posts: 619
    Heated and cooled seats would be nice too....
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    from what I'm reading, Gm slam-dunked the ball as opposed to dropping it. What can I say. I bought 2 of them this year myself. I wonder if they ever will go to IRS for space saving or handling issues. Mine rides fine, better than the fords and all of the imports that I have been in. The biggest difference I see between the GM brands is the offering of the big motor in the upscale models. Given a choice, I'll always grab the keys for the Denali over the 5.3...guess I'm spoiled. The interior differences are not that great even between the lowest LS tahoe to the Escalade. Add leather and the Bose (and 6.0, mono tone paint) and I'd be in a Tahoe. They are all chevys under the skin!
  • lobsenzalobsenza Posts: 619
    One option is to equip the 5.3 with the 4.10 axle. That will make them closer. But, this will not give the feeling of full time 4WD.
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