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Mechmaster

Tow Vehicle Question - Yukon Vs Trailblazer

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Mechmaster

I'm currently looking for a new vehicle to replace my 96 5.7L Yukon SLT (5.7L 3.73 rear axle). I only tow my 98 VLX, and use the vehicle as my daily driver otherwise. I live in Vancouver, BC, so I tow up and down some fairly good hills.

My current truck tows OK. I'm looking at a Trailblazer or a 01-05 Yukon. The VLX is within the tow capacities of both vehicles.

Would the Trailerblazer cut it for me? I like the idea of saving a bit on fuel for my daily commute.

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Jimmy Buffett

I have a '03 Yukon and it tows much better than the Explorer I had before (similar size to the Trailblazer). Especially if you go up hills you'll want the extra power and braking capability. That said, if your ski season is short and you only tow for a few months each year, the Trailblazer will get you where you want to go with the boat and will be more fuel efficient the rest of the time. It's a trade-off.

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Calimali

My wife drives an 05 Trailblazer XL, with the 6 cylinder, I think it's the 4.0 liter but I could be wrong. Personally I wouldn't tow a kite with that thing! It doesn't seem to develop it's power until around 4k rpm, which would be a pain when towing. The suspension is soft and floppy, some of which could be due to the fact that it's the XL and not the standard size. There are many times when I'm driving it that it seems unsafe due to how much sway it has in the back end.

I know they also make a V8 option, so that might make it better, I'm not sure. This is just my opinion from driving the thing, I've never towed with it.

Personally, I would never own this vehicle, it's a company vehicle and therefore free so we don't complain too much.

Remember, I am referencing the Trailblazer XL with a 6cyl, take my opinion for what it's worth. Good luck!

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Malibudude

You can get the Trailblazer in the V6, 5.3 (with Active Fuel Mamagment), or even the 6.0L. The 5.3 w/ AFM probably would be a great alternative to the Yukon in terms of gas savings. It'll require some more rpm's to get the same torque as the 5.7.

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aneal000

The trailblazer is capable, I had an 03 Envoy, really liked it but it had electrical problems and the gas mileage was crappy. I pulled my 03VLX with it mostly, I did pull the 04 23Xti a few times and it actually did ok. As Cal said above, it doesn't make much power till it gets revved up. It still seemed to pull alright, but man did the gas mileage suck. One trip where I tried to keep it at 80 pulling the VLX (I know, I know) it was getting 6mpg - and it only had an 18 gallon tank... that sucked! Nice daily driver, but even without a boat it only got about 15-16mpg. I'd say go for the Yukon.

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spinxt

I guess it depends how much and how far you tow. Going from the Yukon to the Trailblazer, you will notice a difference (especially going up hills). That said, I use a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo to two my RLX and it does just fine for the 15 miles I pull it to my local boat ramp (hills and flat areas) I did take a longer trip out to Maryland this summer and it did excellent exept on the huge hills in the Laurel Highlands. It just took some down-shifting and patience to get through that area. Now horsepower aside, my Rodeo has a ton of torque available low in the RPM range (which is what you need to get that boat moving). You may want to see where the torque peak is the Trailblazer...if it's up above 4 or 5K RPM, that's not good.

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asnowman

If you can wait till the spring to get one, an 07 tahoe/yukon with the active fuel management would be the ideal vehicle. I used to have an old blazer and it couldn't tow anything, and they had more low end torque than the current trailblazer/envoy line.

We pull our LSV with an 04 Silverado, and it does extreemly well through the hills of Maine and NH, which was similar terrain to that between Vancouver and Whistler.

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Daman

I had a 02 trail and it was unstable to tow with. Stay away go with full size.

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mrothwell
If you can wait till the spring to get one, an 07 tahoe/yukon with the active fuel management would be the ideal vehicle. I used to have an old blazer and it couldn't tow anything, and they had more low end torque than the current trailblazer/envoy line.

We pull our LSV with an 04 Silverado, and it does extreemly well through the hills of Maine and NH, which was similar terrain to that between Vancouver and Whistler.

Why wait, they're available now - I see 'em every day.

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Cbrown

I would also say that the Yukon would be a much better vehicle for towing as compared to an 03 Envoy with the Inline 6 motor. Like stated above it makes its power in the higher rpm range, but the biggest thing for me is that the suspension on the two wheel drive models is very, very soft and made for a few hairy situations towing a prostar 205v. We have used a four wheel drive trailblazer two tow our 05 vlx and it feels more stable when towing but I would still take a full size any day of the week.

Edited by Cbrown

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Mechmaster

Thanks for the replies.

I suspected the Trailblazer would be a little small.

Is the AutoRide suspension a worthwhile option to look for on the Yukon?

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Daman

I have heard some problems with the auto-ride on American cars for towing, but I suspect it is because the driver didn't setup the trailer properly. Make sure that the vehicle and the trailer are level with tongue weight. This way the auto-ride is not trying to compensate the whole time you are towing, this is basic towing knowledge, but I think many people forget how important it is to tow with your trailer level alongside a level vehicle. If you are making your vehicle squat with the trailer hooked up then you probably have close to the 300lb tongue weight limit and that is just sitting there. Can you imagine what it is when you hit bumps in the road. If you were using a German SUV that only has air bags and not the leaf spring/coil spring/air spring combo then it would not be as critical.

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mikeg
Thanks for the replies.

I suspected the Trailblazer would be a little small.

Is the AutoRide suspension a worthwhile option to look for on the Yukon?

I have on '04 Yukon with the AutoRide. Other than the weight of the boat/trailer behind you, you hardly notice that you are towing 5-7000#. There is little or no difference in the ride when pulling the boat/trailer. I have towed boats with a '99 Suburban and a '98 F150. Both of these suffered in the ride department when towing. The '99 Suburban "wallowed" and "porpoised" when loaded with a trailer. The suspension was just not stiff enough for towing a heavy load.

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edwin

I'm a big fan of the auto leveling suspensions...they work extremely well based on the last 3 tow vehicles I've had. Not really a requirement if you move up to a 3/4 ton truck but well worth the cash on the 1/2 ton size

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Jimmy Buffett

Definitely get auto leveling suspension.

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Trentster

Well, we have a customer that died the first year the Trail Blazer was out. He was towing his SLXi at the time and lost it in the wind. His wife was following. Enough said! If you are going to tow make sure the tow vehicle is heavy enough and has a long enough wheel base. I'd love to have a 395 hp Trail Blazer SS, but I wouldn't tow with it.

On an ironic side note my parents have an 02 Trail Blazer. It tows the jet ski and their truck tows their boat.

Trentster

Edited by Trentster

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asnowman

If you can wait till the spring to get one, an 07 tahoe/yukon with the active fuel management would be the ideal vehicle. I used to have an old blazer and it couldn't tow anything, and they had more low end torque than the current trailblazer/envoy line.

We pull our LSV with an 04 Silverado, and it does extreemly well through the hills of Maine and NH, which was similar terrain to that between Vancouver and Whistler.

Why wait, they're available now - I see 'em every day.

I only say wait because in the spring the 2008's will be coming out and the 07's will be cheaper.

That way there's more to spend on gas for the Bu.

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edwin
I only say wait because in the spring the 2008's will be coming out and the 07's will be cheaper.

That way there's more to spend on gas for the Bu.

I disagree - the 07's just hit the ground less than 3 months ago, kind of an early 2007 model year intro. I wouldn't expect to see the 08's till Aug of 07 at the earliest.

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lake-nazi

Bigger is better. I hauled my 06 Response LXi from Kansas City to WA State behind my '02 Yukon versus my '02 Sierra w/ duramax diesel. Smoooooooooth!

I could care less about parties, looks like the Republicans are going to lower the gas prices in time for the mid-term elections. I wonder what took them soooooooooooooooooooo long?

What are we talking here? maybe a cost difference of $500 a year in fuel difference? DUDE- be comfortable! Tin cans are for sardines! People need comfort. What if you need to sleep in the back?

I am off my soap box

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River Rat

I have driven both the Trailblazer and the Tahoe--and hands down the better vehicle is the Tahoe. More room, better ride and you can't even begin to compare them as a tow vehicle--the smaller vehicle is downright dangerous. The only negative that I have heard in comparing the two was that the Trailblazer got better gas mileage--but that didn't pan out for me. They both got the same mileage so why would you buy the smaller vehicle??

Go for the Tahoe/Yukon with the Autoride!

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