Tag Archives: Chevrolet Suburban

2015 Lincoln Navigator 4×4

Lincoln Navigator a restyled Expedition for a lot morenav profile

Back-to-back test drives of Ford’s Expedition and Lincoln’s Navigator proved both are extremely comfortable, luxurious large sport-utility trucks, but also highlighted the folly of marketing.

These were close to identical trucks, both loaded with technology and luxury touches, the Ford being the near top-end King Ranch edition. Only an Expedition Platinum exceeds it in price and goodies.

The Lincoln comes in but one trim, but starts about where the King Ranch edition stops for price. The prior week’s Expedition was $64 grand, and the Lincoln started at $65,055 with a $995 delivery fee, about $200 more than the Ford’s delivery fee. Both are made in the same Louisville, Ky., factory.

nav back1Here’s the folly, to me, of two brands offering the same vehicle under different name plates. Since the King Ranch and Platinum models cost as much as the entry-priced Lincoln there’s too much overlap, not enough differentiation. Once the Lincoln added a few options, such as a $995 sunroof, and $6,550 package that included larger tires and wheels (which the King Ranch had) and the fancy Lincoln Drive Control, it hit $73,895.

To me that’s almost $10 grand more, for the same truck, except the sunroof and Lincoln Drive Control. That feature uses sensors to allow the suspension, electric power steering and other vehicle dynamics to interact and create a comfortable ride. It also includes noise dampening, which helped keep the cabin quiet. But then the Expedition was no slouch in those areas either. Continue reading 2015 Lincoln Navigator 4×4

Advertisements

2015 Ford Expedition King Ranch 4X4

Ford’s Expedition King Ranch a big, luxurious haulerexped3

            More than 10 years have passed since I last reviewed a Ford Expedition, which tells you something about how little Ford’s biggest sport-utility truck changes.

Like the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon it competes with, the Expedition is a steady Eddie. It’s truck-based and remains much the same from model year to model year. Expedition and Expedition XL (14 inches longer, like Suburban compared with Tahoe/Yukon, are body-on-frame like many past sport-utes. But years ago Ford moved its other utes to car platforms and dropped the monster Excursion.

That leaves Expedition to tow the boats and trailers that outdoorsy folks need to haul. And this new version, which looks pretty similar to previous boxy models, will pull up to 9.200 lbs. That’s a gob lot.

exped1Yet the 2015 model does have a freshened nose and tail to smooth its boxy looks a bit, and more important, Ford drops its 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 under the hood in place of the former 5.4-liter V8. The goal with the turbo-assisted V6 is to improve gas mileage, which the EPA rates at 15 mpg city and 20 highway. That’s still pretty low, as a Tahoe/Yukon is rated 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway with its 355-horse V8. I managed just 14.9 mpg in my Expedition test drive, which was about 60% city driving. I had gotten 18.7 mpg in a GMC Yukon last fall. Continue reading 2015 Ford Expedition King Ranch 4X4

2015 GMC Yukon 4WD SLT

GMC Yukon continues to go BIG!

            If you’re the type of driver that feels bigger is better you’d better hustle off to a GMC dealer and declare your love for the 2015 GMC Yukon.yukon1

This is a heavyweight that’ll pull at least 8,200 lbs., has room for 6 or 7 adults, rides high and commands the road like little else, except its bigger brother, the Yukon XL. Note that Chevrolet has its own versions of both, with Chevy’s Tahoe being a twin to Yukon, while the Suburban is comparable to the Yukon XL.

            Let’s be perfectly clear, you don’t need a Yukon, unless you tow a big boat, large trailer or happen to have a big-boned large family. But you may want one if even a bit of the aforementioned is true and you intend to tow something heavy.

Start with its dimensions. The tested Yukon rides on a 116-inch wheelbase and is 203.9 inches long. The XL expands the wheelbase to 130 inches and grows 21 inches in length. That’s a lot more cargo room. The XL also is the one you want if you need to carry 9 adults. There’s more legroom in the third row seats.

But legroom and headroom are decent in the second and third rows even in the Yukon. The downside with Yukon is that there’s precious little cargo room behind row three. In fact, grocery bags are about it, unless you strap some cargo to the roof. Continue reading 2015 GMC Yukon 4WD SLT

2013 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve 4×4

Armada beastly big with soft luxury interior

With a name that promises size as well as exclusivity, the Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve delivers on both while coming in at what has become a mid-luxury large SUV price.armada1

The Armada, made in Mississippi along with Nissan’s luxury make Infiniti Q56, is a beastly big vehicle with a softer luxury side. Touting the Platinum Reserve package that sounds like a wine rating assures a buyer that he or she is getting, well, something pretty darned special.

And so they are.

First, Armada looks like the biggest full-size ute on the highway. Its boxy styling and tall stance give it a formidable road presence. But it’s an optical illusion. The Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Denali XL, are much larger, nearly 15 inches longer stem to stern. In reality Armada slots in between Suburban/Denali and Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon, but weighs 21 lbs. more than Suburban and 147 lbs. more than Tahoe.

Armada, while shorter than Suburban, is 5 inches longer than Tahoe/Yukon. Height and width are similar for all these large trucks. Tahoe/Yukon has the best power to weight ratio at 17.8, but Armada can tow the biggest load at 9,000 lbs. Suburban is just behind at 8,000 lbs. Continue reading 2013 Nissan Armada Platinum Reserve 4×4