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GMC Yukon XL and Yukon XL Denali



  • I was looking at the window sticker of the YXL that I'm going to take delivery of soon. Anyone know why the line "Delete Third Row Floor Mats -$46.00 appears. I'm sure it's simple but the dealer couldn't give me an answer. Anyone ? Anyone?

  • While you indicate your YXL is a 2000, mine is a 2001. I find my 1500 Auto-ride suspension to be extremely smooth, especially @ highway speeds 55 - 80 mph over broken pavement. I see the bumps, but hardly feel them, if at all. At city speeds (<,=) 30 mph, I do feel them, but they are very subdued, much better than my 93 Sub, which actually is pretty good, due to size & weight. I have no complaints on the ride quality, & I am still using the Tombstones.

    I do have 1 small annoyance, though. In addition to the cold air draft from under the glove box, (wife covers her legs while on long trips), I find that my front auto-climate control has intermittent wide temperature swings while trying to maintain a setpoint. On a long trip, I find that the warm air from the dash vents, becomes very cool, then back to warm, almost every 10-15 minutes. The problem exists, regardless of the temperature setpoint. It does actually help to keep me from getting drowsey though! Has anyone else had this problem? I will take it into the dealer soon, & am wondering if this is a common complaint, or just my vehicle; & what the cause might be, if others have had this fixed on their YXL.

    DISCJOCKEY1 msg 526 I do not have any movement in any of my seats while accellerating or on decel. I'd get that checked out!
  • I agree with circutmann, my 1/2 ton Autoride continues to impress, not only me, but everyone that has ridden in , or driven the trk. The speed bump test is a hoot. My feeling is that many sales people are telling prospective customers that "you only need Autoride if you're hauling heavy loads". Par for the course.... only a small percentage of these sales reps have adequate knowledge of the products they are selling. I am somewhat amused that they are shooting themselves in the foot, and I have a feature that only a small number of owners have, which is a valuable option. Note; Have not pulled my boat yet (2500 gtw), but have read several posts which indicate that Autoride makes noticeable difference when pulling trailers. It pays to do your homework!
  • does the Denali have a leather 3rd row or a vinyl 3rd row? does anyone know for SURE?
  • jtbuffjtbuff Posts: 25
    I've posted several times about cold air on passenger side.Dealer could not fix it. GM is supposed to be working on the problem. Like I said before hope they find a fix. It's a little annoying having to cover your legs when you go on a long trip in winter,especially after paying so much for the vehicle.
  • OK, I'm ready to replace my 1994 sub. I need a little advise on the following:
    1. There seems to be a lot of Yukon XL's on the dealer lots in California. So how much should I expect to pay over invoice?
    2. Does the 6.0 3/4 ton give you a lot more power than the 1/2 ton? The H.P. is only 15 points different.
    3. What kind of mileage should I expect with the 6.0? City/Hwy?
    4. Is Autoride worth it?

    I appreciate any information from those of you who are in the know.
  • In evaluating ride quality on these vehicles one should not forget that these are trucks first and capable of things that cars aren't. Part of that capability comes from suspensions that are firmer and tougher than your father's Oldsmobile.

    That having been said, my 3/4 ton 4x4 with 8.1 engine and Autoride is amazing. It's still a high capacity truck and is suspended with that in mind, but the ride and handling is reminiscent of many properly designed sedans. (By this I mean performance sedans, not "floating down the road" American luxo-barges.) I always feel in control of the vehicle and quick lane change and avoidance maneuvers are a real pleasure compared to previous Suburbans I have owned. And it pulls and controls my 10,250 pound travel trailer with ease.

    By the way, last tank of mixed city-highway (not towing) driving was 11.9 MPG. (Don't have towing MPG numbers which are meaningful yet.) Impressive for a vehicle weighing over 7500 pounds. I couldn't be happier.
  • I have a 2wd 3/4 ton with the 6.0L 4.10 rear end. I agree with Vinnie. Even for a 3/4 ton this truck rides very nicely and I have replaced the Firestones with E load range Michelin LTX M/S 265/75/16. As far as power, it beats my 99 5.3 silverado by quite a bit when I'm towing my boat in the mountains

    14.5 mpg city or highway (doesn't seem to matter)
    11.5 towing my 4000 lb bass boat
  • gpm5gpm5 Posts: 785
    Can someone give me off the top of their heads the liers (L) to cubic inch conversions on these engines. I'm still used to thinking in terms of cu. in. Thanks much.
  • Just multiply liters by 61.02 to get cubic inches.

  • csotbcsotb Posts: 8
    You both state that you've mounted 265/75 16 Michelins on your trucks, but OEM size is either LT245/75 16 or P265/70 16. Did you have your computers re-calibrated and if so, who did it? We have a 2000 K2500 Suburban with Firestone Steeltex tires and I'd like to upgrade the tires both in quality (probably the M. LTXs) and size, but I've been put off by the problem of having to get the computer re-calibrated to account for the extra inch of diameter over stock tire size. Thanks in advance for any info.
  • Does anyone have any experience towing a suburban behind a motor home? Is it better to have 2WD or 4WD? are all Chev/GMC 4WD the same? I am looking to buy a new suburban with the intent of towing it. My expectation is to tow it behind a diesel pusher. Any suggestions as to the size of motor needed to accomplish this?

    Has any one had experience in towing a 2WD with a transmission lockout?

    Any information about experience you have had would be appreciated
  • I haven't had mine recalibrated. Originally I had planned on it, but I just adjust for it. It's about 3 mph off at 70 so to go 70 I drive about 67 indicated. I may look into getting it recalibrated at some point, but it's not really a big deal to me.
  • rpirpi Posts: 7
    Thanks vinnie. I am getting use to the XL ride. It does handle well but where did you get the idea I am used to my dads oldsmobile ride. I own a 99 Vette and a BMW 540 so I do like a firm ride. I just feel the road more than I expected with this truck. I should have ordered the autoride option. Anyway as far as csotb is concerned, I had the dealer install P265/70/R16 LTX M/S tires in place of the LT265/75/R16.
  • munchomuncho Posts: 14
    I have done a lot of towing of a 2500 lb. race boat with various station wagons and sedans with 5 liters and a Ford club wagon with a 5.7 liter. The 5 liter cars can't hold 70 mph up long hills, especially with the A/C on. The 5.7 liter van does better -- you have to push it hard, but it holds 70 on most hills.

    I am going to buy a suburban for the 1st time and would love people's opinions as to whether I will be satisfied with the towing power of the 5.3 liter or whether I go to the 3/4 ton and 6.0 or 8.1 liter. I am basically more interested in power than fuel economy and would go with the power if it were my car, but this is going to be my wife's kid hauler during the week, and don't want to subject her to a heavier duty ride of the 3/4 ton unless the 1/2 ton 5.3L is going to be a slug on the hills when towing. All comments from your experiences are appreciated.
  • Picked up in Charleston SC Friday a week ago. Got aprox 15 MPG on 330 mile drive back to FL. Pulled my 3000 Lb bass boat 405 miles last Thursday, getting me over the 1000 mile mark and got 11.9 MPG, using the Tow/Haul position and 58/62 MPH. I think it uses more gas (higher RPM) in Tow/Haul position. Although stiffer than my 97 Tahoe, the ride is good and secure feeling. I have been trying to upgrade my Toomstone Steeltex 245/75/16E to 265/75/16 E./D. So far only offered $25 per tire trade even at Toomstone factory outlets. Any body have a suggestion? I have noticed a problem towing in Tow/Haul and I posted the following on the Saltwater Fishing Page. any comments appreciated:
    I towed my Bass Boat last Thursday 405 miles, and I noticed that in the Tow/Haul position, it did not go into overdrive. Bass Boat and trailer weighs less than 3000 lbs and I have towed it in drive with a Tahoe, 3.42 rear end and my new 3/4 Suburban is a 6.0 engine and 4.10 rear end. I was told that I could tow in overdrive. With the Tahoe, 5.7 engine, I always towed in Drive. I also towed a 8000 lb Contender and trailer. (weighed it) I figured that the Suburban should have been in overdrive on flat hiway, doing 55/60 MPH. When I would take it out of Tow/Haul, the truck would shift to overdrive and stay there when I went back to Tow/Haul, even going over the overpasses, which I expected it to do. I tried the same proceedure and the same thing happened with my Contender (8000) load. Its almost like tricking the tow/haul in to overdrive. Has anyone else experienced this with a Chev/GMC 3/4 truck 6.0 engine?? I'm wondering if there is a problem with my shift points in Tow/Haul position. Any input apreciated. Skipjack
  • Just traded in my 3/4 ton 4x4 Silv Sub for a new Denali XL (1/2 ton with 6.0L). The 3/4 ton was not even in the same category of comfort as the new vehicle but that may be comparing apples and oranges since the new 3/4's are a whole new breed for the previous generation I traded in. The old 3/4 ton was rated to tow 10,000lbs.

    I eventually decided to go with Denali XL which provided the comfort of 1/2 ton (no leaf springs) for everyday driving with the 320hp of the 6.0L for towing. The 6.0L in the Denali has 20 more hp than the 6.0L in the 3/4 due to a diffent exhaust and intake manifold. The Denali XL is rated to tow 8400 lbs which meets my needs. If you need more towing capacity you'll definitely need the 3/4 ton with the 8.1L (340hp) and significant more ft lbs of torque and a tow rating up to 12,000 lbs. Which BTW is the highest tow capacity for any SUV.
  • I have a 3/4 ton 4WD '01 Yukon XL, wouldn't trade it for the world!! The gas milage for the 6.0 L is about the same as your '94, 15 MPG. I have autoride, a MUST! I test drove the 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton models with and without autoride, no matter what the dealer tells you it DOES make a difference in both models, worth every penny. If I had to compare it, your '94 sub., if it is a half ton,will ride about the same as the 3/4 ton with autoride. The 1/2 ton rides like a dream with autoride, without autride it still rides considerably better than the old ones. I chose the 3/4 ton for the heavy duty frame/driveline. The power difference is there, but not very noticeable off the line, but if you tow, you will know!

    As far as Heatwave 3's comments on the Denali XL 6.0 and the 3/4 ton HP ratings, he is dead wrong!! Both have HP ratings of 320HP. The intake and exhaust are the same! You get a fancy intake cover and exhaust tip, that's all. Check the specs in the brochures or at you local dealer. They changed the heads on the '01 to aluminum, bringing the HP up to 320 from the '00's 300, it had cast iron heads.

    Where towing is concerned,if you get a 3/4 ton with 3:73 rear gears, like mine, you can tow up to 10K pounds so there is an in between. The Denali XL is rated at 8400 pound because of the rear coil springs. The other thing about the Denali XL is it has autoride and it rides about the same as a regular 1/2 ton w/ autoride, the towing cap. on a regular 1/2 ton is lower because of the 5.3 L engine and trans, combo.

    In the Denali XL you are also locked into the automatic 4WD, if you want to go into 2WD you can't, there is also no 4WD low to help you out of a real jam or tow up a steep incline.

    I don't really like the 8.1L engine. It is just a warmed over, stroked out 454 with a new intake,and ignition system. If you opt for that motor you HAVE to get autoride. One other thing about the 8.1L engine that I am not comfortable with is the throttle by wire system. There is no cable on the thing at all, your pedal is a switch that tells the COMPUTER to open the throttle blade. The pedal feels funny too. I am very sceptical about this "new" technology, they tried it on the diesels about 5 years ago and it flopped. One positive note about the 8.1 is that the new 5 speed automatic should be available as an option in 2002 8.1L equiped vehicle, be it truck or SUV. That should greatly improve fuel economy. It is the required trans. on the new diesel coming is 2002 as well.
  • Thanks for the correction on the 2001 3/4 upgrade to the intakes on 6.0L. I thought the upgrade was only on the Denali's for 2001 with plans to upgrade the 3/4 intakes in 2002.

    I am actually a big fan of the 3/4 as I owned Chevy 2500 Sub's from '85 (350ci - 3.73) and '92 (454ci - 4.10). Both Silverado's and each one was better than the previous one so I am confident the new 3/4 generation is even better.

    One thing I found since I owned both vehicles for relatively lengthy periods of time was that the suspensions got harsher over time. My unproven suspicion was that the rear leaf springs stiffen as they age giving a bouncier ride when unloaded.

    If the primary use is heavy towing, you simply can't beat the 3/4. However I do believe you will trade off riding comfort in the long run based on long term experiences with 2 of them, which may not be a big deal if your Yukon XL is not a daily commuter. My view is that if you can have the power of the 6.0L with the comfort and handling of the 1/2 you have the best of both worlds.

    I wanted more comfort for routine trips with as high a tow capacity for boating season as possible and the Denali XL fit the bill (Also as I age, the creature comforts have become more important than raw towing capacity and the Denali comes with more of them). As a side note, many on this site have expressed disappointment in the sound system of the standard Yukon's, by comparison the 250watt Bose in the Denali is tremendous.

    BTW, the Denali comes with a 3.73 rear end the same as the 3/4 6.0L. Just to clarify, the Denali has permanent AWD with a limited slip rear differential which is significantly different from an automatic 4wd. There is a great discussion on the differences under a different topic in this forum. Having alot of experience with two previous generations of GM HD 4wd over 16 years, I can honestly tell you that you would never go back to a normal 4wd after driving this new AWD system unless you did back country driving and needed the 4wd low alternative.
  • The nice thing about the 2001 year model over the 2000 model is that dealers have a good stock of models to test drive, at least in Central Texas. You can go down to your friendly Chevy or GMC dealer and test drive all the different configurations until you find the one that's right for you.

    As for all out towing power, the 3/4 with the 8.1 engine is the clear choice. However, your 2500 pound boat is easily towed by the half-ton and given the "normal" use of hauling kids around it might be your best bet. If you are worried about the 5.3 having enough starch to pull the boat up long grades, consider the 6.0 liter in the Denali XL. Here you are getting the 1/2 ton ride with the larger engine. Although you will pay a premium for this vehicle, I'm hearing that dealers are making good deals.

    That having been said, you really owe it to yourself to try the 3/4 ton with 8.1 and Autoride. I continue to be amazed at the ride quality. I certainly don't share jgmilberg's view of this engine. It is turbine smooth, quick off the line (I have a hard time keeping my foot out of it), and a blast to drive. This latest version of the "rat" motor is a major improvement on a reliable, powerful workhorse that has proven itself for decades.

    Sometimes new technology is not the right answer. GM decided against multiple overhead cams and other trick stuff and stayed with pushrods for the latest Corvette engines. These engines are the basis for the "small block" engines in GMs SUVs.

    Haven't noticed any pedal feel problem with the throttle by wire. And anyone who thinks that having a throttle cable puts the driver in total control of his engine is unaware of the computer control of nearly every engine/transmission parameter. Fly by wire has been the norm for modern aircraft for years. (In the F16, for example, there isn't a single cable connecting the pilot to the control surfaces. It's all electronic.) Drive by wire is the logical next step. Look for brakes to be done this way next.
  • munchomuncho Posts: 14
    Thanks for all the comments. Sounds like you all decided that you needed more capability than the 5.3 engine. Is there anyone out there who could comment on the towing abilities of a 1/2 ton with the 5.3?

    Skipjack, how does the 6.0 compare to the 5.7 in your tahoe for towing your 3000 lb boat up long hills?
  • munchomuncho Posts: 14
    If it were going to be my personal vehicle, I would get the 8.1 with no hesitation. I always regretted not getting the 460 V8 in the Ford Club wagon I have. These are big vehicles and they need big engines in them not to feel like pigs even when not towing.

    However, this is going to be mostly my wife's vehicle, so I don't want to be too selfish about its configuration. I test drove a Denali XL last weekend and was not that impressed with the power. I suppose it was ok. But my opinion is that if I'm going to spend the extra cash to get more power, I might as well get the 8.1. But if the 5.3 will do the trick for a 2500 lb boat and not piss me off too much on the hills, and the suspension will be better for my wife, then I'll just cut a great deal on a 1/2 ton off the lot.
  • I am not sure, however I think you will find that 320 hp in a 6.0L 1500 series is going to "feel" more powerful and accelerate harder than 340hp in an 8.1 2500 (if there is a difference in feel it will be more likely due to the 4.10 rear in the 2500 versus the 3.73 rear in the Denali). Let us know if you do a seat of the pants comparison.

    Based on lbs/hp the Denali should be "quicker" as the 2500 weighs more than the 1500. I believe the 0-60 times will bear that out. There is still no replacement for cubic inches however, if maximum towing capacity is what you need since ft lbs of torque is what matters (455ft lbs - 8.1L vs. 365 ft lbs - 6.0L)
  • I drove a Denali and a 3/4 GMC Sub before I bought the Chev Sub. I liked the idea of a 1500 with the 6.0 3.73 combo. My boat weighs 8000 lbs with fishing load and the Denali would have handled it. How ever the dealer let me pull my boat and I felt the suspension was a little soft for the tongue weight. This was not an XL. Also the Autoride on the Denali has leveling and it raised my trailer hitch up and I had a hard time geting it off the ball as a result. I still leaned towards the Denali because of the fancy options, like the mileage computer. I did not like the plastic look of the front end and in the final anaylsis, I went for the leaner look of the Yucon SL/Suburban, with the normal bumper. The 3/4 models do not have the leveling on Autoride. I had a hard time finding a 3/4 with 6.0, 4 WD, 4.10 rear end and Autoride. My GMC dealer could not find one and my Chevy Dealer found one in Charleston, 325 miles, and he said it was to far to go for a swapp, so I drove up and bought it. I had to take it with a Sun Roof and Green color, but I have a Green boat and it is fine. Even enjoyed the see-through roof driving at night, full moon. As to Muncho's question comparing the 5.7 on my Tahoe to the new Sub's pulling the Bass boat (3000 lbs). I pulled the bass boat in o/drive with the Tahoe and it would jump back to drive on the overpasses. In overdrive, the Sub cruises right over no change. The big diffenrence is the RPM's. I am turning about 2050 at 60 MPH with the Sub and the Tahoe in O/drive would be about 1900. I think I will be ok if I can tow my 8000 lb boat in O/drive most of the time on flat roads. For the weight of the Sub, it has amazing take off if I floor it. (for a few seconds, then let off!!) I am trying to up grade my tires to 265/75/16's from the 245's. (E's 10 ply Firestone Steeltex) No one wants to trade or give me more than $25. for these $125. tires. Any ideas. I feel the 265's will reduce my rear end ratio to 3.96 and maybe give me a little better gas mileage, a side benefit. I think the larger tires will fill the wheel wells better and I like the raised white letters. This is geting too long. Skipjack
  • Have an '01 XL 2500 on order, and I have read an awful lot on cold air infiltration on the passenger side. Are the newer units still coming with this problem? Has ANYONE seen a fix yet?
  • I don't have it with me right now, but I'm sure the manual of my new 'Burb (2001 2500/8.1) says not to use tire chains. Is this for real? What should I take to Tahoe next week, where the snow is falling fast and furious?

    re: mileage: after 3500 miles, I'm averaging 11.4 mpg, mostly freeway, 3.73 rear end. Gotta say I love this car/truck, _vast_ improvement over my '95 2500/454. Only problem is that my wife wants one now!
  • We just purchased a 2001 Sub TL and we live in New England. The cold air coming through the passenger's side on legs and feet is very disheartening after spending nearly $40,000 on a new car! You can literally reach your hand underneath near the glove compartment and there is hole of cold steel and cold air filtering in defeating the excellent heating system in this car. I've read that they have no remedies yet. It's such a wonderful car and we are so disappointed that we have cold feet in our brand new vehicle!
  • I have driven the Denali XL and noticed no real difference in the way it acted than when my Yukon XL is in Auto 4WD. I have tried various different, although self devised tests, to see if there was a true difference. I tried the old brake torque trick, neither would brake loose from take off, even at the high 3k ram I loaded it up to. Tried splashing through puddles, and trying "sharp" emergency type turns. I have even gone out in an unplowed parking lot and tried various turns and twirls, to no avail I see no true difference. All of this is of course done during off peak times. I do actually find myself using auto 4WD in the ever changing Michigan winter. I love it. You don't have to think about it it's just there. I did notice a mileage difference of a measly 1 mpg, in Auto 4WD. Is the AWD the thing that they claim "Takes the power from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip"? I do understand how that works with the abs system applying pressure on the wheel that is slipping. But with a locking rear diff. the front wheels are the only ones that that system would benefit.

    You spoke about the rear leaf vehicles getting stiffer with age, this is partially true, as the leafs get older they tend to bond/rust together, making for a stiffer ride. The experience I have had with coil spring rear suspension is only with cars, but it holds true with all coil spring cars. Over time the rear end starts sagging and after about 5-7 years the weight carring capicity will slowly get lower. I am not sure if GM has worked that one out yet. I can say without a doubt the coil springs are a better ride than the leafs.

    I have had my XL for about 3 months and have not noticed a cold air problem on the passenger side, although I am not over there. Do you have the same problem that the other XL owners are complaining of in your Denali XL?

    I do agree with you on the stereo, a totally different animal in the Denali XL. The bass from the sub really stands out where it needs to be and the highs from the A-pillar mounted tweets is outstanding!! I have been considering speaker upgrades to aftermarket 3 ways in mine, the factory dual cones are just too muddy. I am also considering a sub upgrade with a possible amp to give it the punch it lacks.
  • My mistake - I re-read the manual, and the no-chain warning only applies to certain tire sizes - not the factory installed tire (245R16). Sorry 'bout that.
  • I don't see your point about the computer control and the throttle. The computer controls a bunch of stuff. On a jet there are 3 redundent systems, and I can say without a doubt that GM has not thought it out really well. I work for them and when I see it on the Caddilac's that I build I will put some stock behind it. The 2 or 3 wires it takes to go up to the servo are cheaper that the cable, the servo and pedal switch may negate the cost though, BUT if it saves on labor costs they will push ahead with it. I dunno maybe I am an old fuddy duddy about it. I just look at it as something else that will cost lots of money to fix later down the road. I do agree with new technology paving the way but cable have worked well for over 100 years, why change now?!

    The engine however is old technology and new technology combined, they took the best, in my opinion, ignition system and put it on an old design. I beleive the design is proven and relaible from a mechanical standpoint, but that throttle thing just brings back memorys of when audi's were flying through walls from unexpected acceleration. I didn't deny the power output of the motor,GM makes all of the cars come off the line very controlled, it is in the programming of the thing to save on gas. I did not try to torque it up and take off. There is never a replacement for displacement, and that motor has it and the power to prove it. I was slightly dissapointed to see that they just didn't use the 502, oh well, guess the general has it's reasons. Besides i guess 494CID is close enough.

    The XL I test drove had a really spongy feel to it and the motor responded kind of slow when you try to give it a couple of quick revs. Not as snappy as the 6.0 from an rpm point of view. It was a first run 8.1 and they may have fine tuned it out by the time you had gotten yours.

    The ride quality is amazing and the power transfer from fron to back at takeoff is really good with the 8.1, and the 6.0. I think one of the determining factors for me was the mileage, the dealer said he was only getting 9.5 gpm on his demo and that really got me. Not sure if you saw my other posting but I live in Michigan and last year in the summer we really got nailed with gas prices, in my area they got to $2.47 a gal, while less than 50 miles away the price was $1.99/gal. Now that I see people getting 11.5 - 12 mpg, I may have taken it more seriously. I was getting around that with my old van, and it wouldn't have been a big change. Hell I may have even waited for the 5 speed auto they are going to make available with the 8.1 next year, that should bring it up to around 13 mpg. I am a power crazed lunny any way, just needed to keep it grounded when it came to operating cost.
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