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I am looking at replacing our Chrysler Minivan with a Checy Suburban and was hoping some fellow mdx'ers might give me advise on the Burb.

We have a big family, me, wife + 4 kids; 8, 11, 14, and 16 years old and we take frequent 3 hour drives.

While I love drining the MDX, the third seat is starting to get cramped for our 11 year old.

There are not many automotive alternatives that are spacious enough and tow a decent size boat.

Comments?
 

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Get yourself a 2003 Suburban 2500 8.1L with the Quadrasteer package. It may be best people movin' boat towin' machine ever made.

Rob
 

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MesaBeige,

We've got a '99 Burb that has held up pretty well. Like most GM products, it's got a cheap plastic interior, but for a family traveling vehicle it can't be beat if you've got more than 2 kids. We're going to drive it until we get rid of our oldest, another 3 years, or until it dies, whichever comes first...then I'm getting a 2006 MDX. :2:

I'd be looking at the used market. Our '99's sticker price was almost $40k in '99 (we didn't pay that much), and its Kelly Blue Book value today is a whopping $16,185 with only 48k miles on it. Very disappointing! :mad: :mad:

You can pick up an appropriately equipped '99 in good condition for under $20k. Based on my experience, I won't buy another 'new' GM product, but I would consider a cared-for 'used' one.

In fact, I know a guy in South Carolina who'd like to sell a White '99 K2500, but I've got no idea what he's asking for it.

I hope this helps...

jnbsdad
 

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Frequent 3hr trips...

Man, if you really travel 150+ miles at a pop on a freqent basis I would HATE to be stuck in the third seat of anything. I do think the Navigator has the nicest riding third seat out there(air suspension really helps), but with it up not much cargo room. The Excursion is better for cargo, but ride is pretty harsh. The Envoy XL rides better, but you give up cargo room, towing capacity and power.

A full sized GM or Ford van offers some decent seating options, but hooking up the trailer is challenge. And talk about depreciation!

You cannot beat the value of used Navigator/Suburban!!! New, those suckers top the MDX, but they drop like lead in the ocean.

Heck, have you considered getting a CR-V for mom and/or the 16 year old to use as an "escort vehicle". :D It would make for some interesting driveway management/increased insurance/happy youngsters!
 

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MesaBeige said:
I am looking at replacing our Chrysler Minivan with a Checy Suburban and was hoping some fellow mdx'ers might give me advise on the Burb.

We have a big family, me, wife + 4 kids; 8, 11, 14, and 16 years old and we take frequent 3 hour drives.

While I love drining the MDX, the third seat is starting to get cramped for our 11 year old.

There are not many automotive alternatives that are spacious enough and tow a decent size boat.

Comments?
My wife drives the Suburban's sister: the GMC Yukon XL. It's a 2001 with the 5.3L V-8 and has plenty of tow capacity. The interior is comfortable, but I highly recommend the rear captain seats configuration rather than the bench. The bigger kids will like the captains seats and the smaller one's will find it easier to get to the rear bench seat. Of course, your MPG will differ from the MDX. We get about 11 mpg city. Best high MPG was 19 (most of it was downhill coming back from Tahoe/Reno). It's a spacious vehicle which rides very nice, but also depreciates rapidly. Good luck! I can't get my wife to let me drive it, but she always wants me to wash it (I use the leaf blower to dry the behemoth).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info

Thanks everyone,
You confirmed my thoughts that it is worthwhile - used.

regards
MB-
 

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MesaBeige,
We had a 1999 Yukon that was the Suburban's middle brother and it was a great vehicle for a truck. Some things to consider. When GM went to the new Silverado trucks for 2000 they redsigned the chassis for the SUVs also including adding 4W disc brakes instead of rear drums on the back like mine. The suggestion about finding a used 1999 vintage Suburban may be a good suggestion for another reason. The redesigned chassis has a harsher ride due to more torsional rigidity. The newer ones also appear to have less cargo room than my old one so I suggest you check out both new and used models to compare ride and space. I prefer the GMC line over the Chevy but since the vehicles are identical it may not matter. The final point about my Yukon was it had absolutely no problems since it was at the end of a model run and they had many years to get it right. I am not sure the new ones will be quite as reliable but do have some nice improvements.
 

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If you're going used...do not go any older than 2000. The 2000 model is based on the new GMT800 platform. Hydroformed frame, GENIII Vortec small block engines, much more refinement. 2001 is when the Vortec 8.1L big block came out. I'd try to get that engine/poewrtrain if there's going to be heavy towing involved.

Rob
 

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This year I bought a used 2001 Denali XL (basically a Suburban with AWD and a larger motor) to replace our 1991 Previa minivan. For a large family, I highly recommend this vehicle, especially for traveling.

At first, my wife, whom drives the vehicle the most, thought that the vehicle was too large compared to the minivan. However, after only about two weeks, she liked the vehicle much more than the minivan. The comfort on longer trips cannot be matched. The seating comfort is unbelievable. The rear cargo area of the Suburban is much more usable than in a minivan, even though the load height is lower. The depth and width of the Suburban make it better for packing most things you typically carry on a trip.

We used to take the MDX on trips, but now the Suburban is our vehicle of choice for long trips (also keeps the miles off of the MDX!). Also, you will enjoy the additional power. If you can find a used 2001 Denali, it can be had for at least $10,000 off the original sticker. With all of the zero percent financing deals from GM, it has dropped the value of used Suburbans. If you go with the Denali, you will get AWD which you have probably come to enjoy driving your MDX.

As far as quality/reliability, we have not had any problems with the Denali. However, compared to our MDX, they are worlds apart in fit and finish. Also, one final thing. If you plan to garage your Suburban, be aware that it is a full 219" in length, substantially longer than any minivan. It makes for a tight fit it most garages.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Everyone.

Definitely thinking of a 2000 or 2001 used low mileage example.

Anyone have a preference of Denali or Surburban?

MB-
 

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Denali hands down. Not only does it look nice, but it's pretty much fully loaded. Which will include GM's AutoRide load leveling rear suspension.

Oh, and I checked...you can either have a Suburban 2500 with the big block engine or the Quardrasteer, not both.

Rob
 

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Finished my lease on my 99 Suburban SLT prior to buying the MDX.
What a bucket of bolts the Suburban was! We can fit as many people in the MDX as the Suburban, However the Sub had way more room for Luggage! fwiw: The buyout on the Suburban at the end of the lease period was $10,000.00 less than KBB! Obviously I chose not to buy it at lease end! Consider the dismal resale value of this vehicle before you get one!
 

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This isn't a complete list, but this is why I chose the GMC Yukon Denali XL over the Suburban or GMC Yukon XL.

Exterior: Much sportier front facia, with chrome grill, painted bumpers, different headlights, etc. Side molding is more integrated and seems to suit the vehicle better than Suburban or Yukon trim.

Engine: Denali has 6.0 liter, 320 HP, vs Suburban 5.3 liter 285 HP

Transmission: Denali has full time AWD. Suburban available with 4WD, but this also means you get the transfer case-historically not the most reliable part on a truck. I read an article somewhere where GM actually stated that the Denali transmission should improve drivetrain reliability.

Interior: More luxiourious, also has incredible Bose stereo with 6 Disc CD in dash. Has front and middle heated seats.

One final note. If you want a used Denali XL, they weren't available in 2000. Just came out in 2001. Also, be aware that the AWD and 6.0 liter motor come at the price of MPG. I average 14.5 in a mix of in town and Highway. Highest MPG on highway is 17. A one year used Denali will also cost you about ~$8,000 more than a used Suburban.

Good Luck
 
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