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jwl019

Need help - Time for a new SUV

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jwl019

I need a little help on what to look for for my wife's next SUV.  Currently she has a '08 Expedition with bucket seats in the 2nd row.  With 3 kids, packing for vacations is always fun.  I don't care for a luggage rack on top so most everything goes in the rear on top of the double fold down portion of the 3rd row.  I am not too familiar with all the SUV options as I don't really shop for them like I do trucks and boats to learn all the differences.

Qualifications: Price range $20-28ish (closer to $20 the better), 2009-2012ish year model, under 125k miles, could pull a VLX/LSV if needed, daily driver/grocery getter so don't need a deisel, something that is easy to find a resonable mechanic for (no VW, Audi, BMW, etc). Dodge is out because or local dealer doesn't have a good reputation.

Here's what I have considered so far:

1) Toyota Sequoia - extremly hard to find used in our price range in decent condition, really not much bigger than our current Expedition, but maintenance will be extremely cheap for me since I know a Toyota Mechanic.

2) Ford Expedition EL - familiar with since that is going to be exactly like what we have now except it's about 1-2' longer.  The 5.4 liter 100k service can get expensive fast! It will pull the boat, but my Tundra pulls it a lot better.

3) Suburban or Tahoe XL - don't know much about these or if the year models in my price range are going to be decent at pulling if needed. I think these would end up having the weak 5.3 and I just read a thread about that motor.

Any suggestions or what to look for on the above models or anything else I need to consider and which year models/motors are the best?

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asnowman

I have a 2007 Yukon xl denali with the 6.2 in it, pullEd our 23 lsv without any issue.  Didn't do any mountain passes, and generally at less than 1000 ft elevation, but with 4 kids, 2 dogs and anot lsv in tow, I didn't drive any different. It does notice the wind resistance of our current vtx, but the response that just followed me home a week ago only took my gas mileage from 17 to 15 on the highway, with the cruise set to 78.  Have had the 5.3 in a couple pickups, never had an issue with them either.

The Toyota sequoia felt too small inside, no way to hit the grocery on the way to the lake house for us in that.

The Ford is a Ford, and given my mechanic's affinity for them, i'll keep my GM trucks.

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Falko

Few years back we went from an '04 Expedition to our current Armada. The Armada is a more solid vehicle, but doesn't ride as well as the Expy did. The Armada tows better than the Expy, but ours only had the 4spd so I am sure the newer ones with more gears will do better. We shopped the SEquoia as well before the Armada purchase. It has more power but did feel tight inside. Biggest issues with the Armada is the bump steer and it is tall, but handles very well for what it is. So there is an inkling on a vehicle you aren't interested it. ;)

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jwl019
11 hours ago, asnowman said:

I have a 2007 Yukon xl denali with the 6.2 in it, pullEd our 23 lsv without any issue.  Didn't do any mountain passes, and generally at less than 1000 ft elevation, but with 4 kids, 2 dogs and anot lsv in tow, I didn't drive any different. It does notice the wind resistance of our current vtx, but the response that just followed me home a week ago only took my gas mileage from 17 to 15 on the highway, with the cruise set to 78.  

Is the 6.2 the AWD model?  If so, any issues with those?  I had looked at the regular XL's but did not include the Denali part on my search for one, the 6.2 seems like it may be a little better than the 5.3 if I plan to tow any since the ones with the 5.3 had the 3.08 gears.

We really won't tow much with it, maybe 1-2 times a year for trips around 1 hour, but if there is not much fuel mileage difference then I cannot see a reason not to have the 6.2.

2 minutes ago, Falko said:

Few years back we went from an '04 Expedition to our current Armada. The Armada is a more solid vehicle, but doesn't ride as well as the Expy did. The Armada tows better than the Expy, but ours only had the 4spd so I am sure the newer ones with more gears will do better. We shopped the SEquoia as well before the Armada purchase. It has more power but did feel tight inside. Biggest issues with the Armada is the bump steer and it is tall, but handles very well for what it is. So there is an inkling on a vehicle you aren't interested it. ;)

Bump steer?

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Falko

Hit a bump (especially a divider in the highway fully across the road) with the truck unloaded and the rear end feels like it kicks out a little. Nothing major, you get used to it, but odd feeling none the less.

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asnowman
4 minutes ago, jwl019 said:

Is the 6.2 the AWD model?  If so, any issues with those?  I had looked at the regular XL's but did not include the Denali part on my search for one, the 6.2 seems like it may be a little better than the 5.3 if I plan to tow any since the ones with the 5.3 had the 3.08 gears.

We really won't tow much with it, maybe 1-2 times a year for trips around 1 hour, but if there is not much fuel mileage difference then I cannot see a reason not to have the 6.2.

 

Yes that is the AWD model, it has really been great for us.  Also has the auto leveling rear suspension, so the ride is good even with a heavy trailer.  We have towed cargo trailers to Texas and back to Massachusets, going through the mountains in virgina, didn't phase it a bit. Ususally we tow the boats to the lake house in the spring and then back home in the fall, a bout 2 hours each way. Never had an issue with pickups with the 5.3 either.  The AWD is nice in the winter.  

We did tow a 6000 lb hydrasport fishing boat back from north carolina with an 02 silverado with the 5.3 in it, it wasn't the best going up mountains, but it wasn't the worst experience either. I think we averaged 9 mpg on that trip, but that boat had a bigger wind profile than any malibu.

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blk93jeepzj

By going with 2009-2012 you will be into the newer 5.3 in the GM line (starting showing up in production (2007 iirc for the Suburban and Yukon/Yukon XL).  The older 5.3 from early 2000ish vehicles was noted to have worse towing capabilities.  By 2009 they were offered with 6 speed transmissions (option in 2009, standard 2010-2014) vs the older 4 speeds which also helped the towing and economy.  

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JeffK

Just traded in my 2011 yukon Denali with a busted transmission.  Dealership knew all about it, before anyone says anything.  :)  I've bought many cars from them so they were just going to take it to the auction.  Wondering if towing my 23 LSV had anything to do with it.  The truck towed fairly well, but no idea if the boat towing was the issue, but just thought I would throw it out there.  Switched to a 2500 HD z71 with a diesel engine and it is incredible for towing.  Absolutely love it, but ultimately would have preferred a yukon or tahoe with the duramax/allison combo.

On that note, if you want to see some cool stuff, google duraburb.  They are based out of Florida

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Nitrousbird

The 2007+ Escalade ESV isn't on your list.  It should both be on it and at the top of it.

I believe the 6.2L is standard in the ESV (it is in the EXT I have).  Way more power than the 5.3L...it will get up and move when required (sounds good too stock).  It is a nicer package than the Yukon Denali for similar money.  You should be able to find one that meets all of your criteria. 

 

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jwl019
7 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

The 2007+ Escalade ESV isn't on your list.  It should both be on it and at the top of it.

I believe the 6.2L is standard in the ESV (it is in the EXT I have).  Way more power than the 5.3L...it will get up and move when required (sounds good too stock).  It is a nicer package than the Yukon Denali for similar money.  You should be able to find one that meets all of your criteria. 

 

I just assumed with the Cadillac name it would have to have over 175k miles for the 07-9 probably to fit in my budget so figured I could get a newer Ford/Chevy with less miles.  I will certainly run a search to see what pops up.

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Nitrousbird
1 hour ago, jwl019 said:

I just assumed with the Cadillac name it would have to have over 175k miles for the 07-9 probably to fit in my budget so figured I could get a newer Ford/Chevy with less miles.  I will certainly run a search to see what pops up.

My EXT fit you criteria other than year (2007) and not being a SUV.  Picked it up for $17,500.  It is the hardest to find of the Escalades.

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asnowman

Have had 2 cadillacs in the past, they are an absolute no go for me now. One esv that didn't tow much, transmission disintegrated, one car that was always in the shop. They also cost more to fix than the gmc or Chevy equivalent

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jwl019
27 minutes ago, asnowman said:

Have had 2 cadillacs in the past, they are an absolute no go for me now. One esv that didn't tow much, transmission disintegrated, one car that was always in the shop. They also cost more to fix than the gmc or Chevy equivalent

That's what I am afraid of with the "higher end" of the vehicle lines like the Escalade or Navigator.  I was in shock when I got the $1,500+ bill for the 100k service on our current Expedition when we had it done at the dealer. My Tundra was 1/3 of that and included new front and rear brakes/rotors/belt/water pump/fluids/plugs/etc. but that is the main reason why I drive a Yota.  Just wish they made the Sequoia in a XL.

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Pnwrider

You need a full size or would a mid size work? 

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Shastasurf

I have a 2011 Yukon xl slt with 5.3, I love it.  I would have got the Denali which has bigger engine but I like having 4wd not awd.   I like to be able to have 4 low as well.  You can find this option in Denali but very rare.   I go to mccloud reservoir from Sacramento which is 4.5 hours and 5000 feet higher elevation, I have no trouble pulling the grades but I do have a 96 vlx which is smaller.  But for me awd is not 4wd and awd is a deal breaker imo.

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Nitrousbird
7 hours ago, asnowman said:

Have had 2 cadillacs in the past, they are an absolute no go for me now. One esv that didn't tow much, transmission disintegrated, one car that was always in the shop. They also cost more to fix than the gmc or Chevy equivalent

All of the running gear is the same as a loaded up Yukon.  Tranny, motor, Auto-Ride suspension, brakes, etc.  Costs exactly the same as it is the same stuff; not sure where you are getting that they are more expensive to fix...it is the same parts.

Interior pieces are different.  Electronics aren't all that advanced in these and the parts aren't bad.  I've priced out the updated Nav and a new HVAC controller (both unique to the Cadillac) and neither were bad and super easy to DIY replace.

Early transmissions were known to have issues...but at the mileage he is looking at, if it were going to be one of the bad ones it would have already been repaired by now. 

 

 

Edited by Nitrousbird

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Kmfish87
7 hours ago, jwl019 said:

 Just wish they made the Sequoia in a XL.

You mean the Landcruiser...

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RTS
51 minutes ago, Kmfish87 said:

You mean the Landcruiser...

Landcruiser is smaller in every respect than the Sequoia.

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Bozboat
10 hours ago, asnowman said:

Have had 2 cadillacs in the past, they are an absolute no go for me now. One esv that didn't tow much, transmission disintegrated, one car that was always in the shop. They also cost more to fix than the gmc or Chevy equivalent

GMC is a no go for me, same reasons.  I had the 2007 6.2 Denali XL, AWD.   I follow the three strike rule, the third time it lets me down it gets traded on the spot.  The XL got traded with less than 60K miles after two major repairs due to problems with the AWD grinding and popping followed by a complete failure of the the power auto leveling system.    The repairs costs took the wind out of me a couple times.    But when it ran, it was awesome.  Flipped into a 2007 Sierra Denali Crew cab, same powertrain.  Great tow vehicle for awhile.  Then the transmission fell apart when it hit about 60k.  Next the drivers side motor mount broke.  Then the drivers side wheel bearing shattered.  Beautiful machine and when it was running it was awesome, but in my experience, not reliable and very expensive to repair.  

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Kmfish87
2 hours ago, RTS said:

Landcruiser is smaller in every respect than the Sequoia.

False.

You might be thinking of the FJ Cruiser, which is considerably smaller (think Jeep Wrangler)

The Landcruiser is the next size up from the Sequoia. Sequoia has 7100 gvwr and 7400lb tow rating while the landcruiser has 7275 gvwr and 8100lb tow rating. Info straight from Toyota's website.

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RTS
5 minutes ago, Kmfish87 said:

False.

You might be thinking of the FJ Cruiser, which is considerably smaller (think Jeep Wrangler)

The Landcruiser is the next size up from the Sequoia. Sequoia has 7100 gvwr and 7400lb tow rating while the landcruiser has 7275 gvwr and 8100lb tow rating. Info straight from Toyota's website.

 

Sequoia - 205" long x 80" wide x 77" tall

Landcruiser - 195" long x 78" wide x 74" tall

Landcruiser is in no way, shape or form a "Sequoia XL"

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shawndoggy
Just now, Kmfish87 said:

False.

You might be thinking of the FJ Cruiser, which is considerably smaller (think Jeep Wrangler)

The Landcruiser is the next size up from the Sequoia. Sequoia has 7100 gvwr and 7400lb tow rating while the landcruiser has 7275 gvwr and 8100lb tow rating. Info straight from Toyota's website.

But as far as being inside them?  A $20-25k landcruiser is going to be a mid-2000s model with a 4.7L.  Smaller in every way than a sequoia.  Probably the best international dirt road vehicle, but not a prime north american interstate tow rig, and definitely smaller than sequoia/tahoe/expedition/navigator/yukon/armada.

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Kmfish87
Just now, shawndoggy said:

But as far as being inside them?  A $20-25k landcruiser is going to be a mid-2000s model with a 4.7L.  Smaller in every way than a sequoia.  Probably the best international dirt road vehicle, but not a prime north american interstate tow rig, and definitely smaller than sequoia/tahoe/expedition/navigator/yukon/armada.

I missed the price range the OP was searching for.

I agree it wouldn't be my first choice for towing but I also use a 2500 dodge diesel to tow all of my toys so I'm slightly biased.

Sorry for the hijack, BTT...

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wakesonthesnake

I know there are a lot of Expedition haters but I love my 12' Limited.  Just did a 1400 mile trip with some real mountain passes through WA, MT and ID pulling the LSV.  It feels more like a truck to me when towing than the GM products.  It isn't so much the powertrain, in fact the 6.2 is a great engine for a SUV, but the handling and braking seems more sure.  One reason we went with the Ford was the folding third row, it got to be a hassle packing the Tahoe seats in and out.  I think GM now offers this, but just recently.  Fuel mileage isn't the best, 9.2 on the recent trip, but I don't baby it by any means even towing.  The 100,000 service you referenced seemed high to me.  I have had three 5.4s and one 6.8 and have never paid that much.  I don't think I would say the GMs are a bad choice, I have just been pleased with this rig. 

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RyanB

Someone mentioned the Armada, but I would look at the Infiniti QX56/QX80.  The motor is a little antinquated vs the GMs, but the interior is very nice.

I have a 2011 Yukon Denali XL (which would be pushing your price range).  The 6.2 is a significant upgrade over the 5.3, and mileage is similar.  It is a good vehicle for most things, but I HATE the way it tows my LSV - way too unstable.  I have spoken with others who do not have the same complaint, and I see a ton of them towing boats as big or bigger than mine, so maybe my problem is tires.  Just a long way of saying if you think you might be towing more regularly with it, don't just do a test drive, do a test tow as well. 

Edited by RyanB

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