Shopped large GM SUVs, bought a Ford despite 5.4 3V issues

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Austin, TX MSA
I posted some of these comments in another forum, but I think it deserves a thread of it's own.

I recently shopped 2007-14 large GM SUVs and ended up buying a 2010 Lincoln with 133K e.g. fancy Ford. Mainly due to GM interior issues that I chose not to live with, that seemed to be endemic to the entire GM line of large SUVs.

I drove probably 15+ GM SUVs and a couple of Expeditions before buying the one I ended up with. I started off wanting a GM because of the reliability of the LS series engines plus not having 50 feet of timing chains, but, I found out some things about GM SUVs firsthand that I could not live with.

The GM interiors frankly suck after 5-7 years, including the dash, leather shows more wear, rattles, etc. The Ford interiors hold up better all around. We only found one GM that didn't have a cracked dash and byzantine rattles, it was a 2012 Escalade Hybrid and we guessed it had been garaged it's whole life. My wife loved it and I liked the idea of slightly better gas mileage, but the dealer was too proud of it for it to come home with us, the cost was double of the vehicle that I ended up with. It also had 22" wheels which I was dead set against.

Perhaps if you live in the North the GMs have less issues with the cracking dashboards? I don't know, but almost all of them had the problem where I live.

It also seems like the GMs with sunroofs have less headroom than a similar Ford/Lincoln vehicle with a sunroof. That is important to me, because I am 6'7".

Lastly, I prefer the way the Fords handle on the highway. They are more dead on center going down the highway, which makes for an easy drive. The GMs seemed to wander more in the lane.

The unit I bought is extremely clean and straight and was well cared for. Very few blemishes on the paint, no door dings at all. No faded paint on the roof or hood, which is an issue here in Central Texas with many used cars. Judging from the Carfax both prior owners lived in Texas so rust is not an issue, there is no visible corrosion looking under the vehicle. Good maintenance practices were followed as per maintenance records logged on the Carfax.

I was looking for something a bit newer with less miles but this one made a good impression and cost less so we bought it. Leaves more money in my pocket to buy more fuel. I came from a car that got 26-27MPG combined, now I'm expecting 15ish.

Yes I'm aware of the timing and cam phaser issues, but I'm able and prepared to do a full timing job in my garage. Not that it seems to need it at the moment, the engine runs smooth and quiet, no ticking at all other than the normal fuel injector noise. It pulls strongly. Well pulls strongly for a Ford 5.4 anyway, the GM SUVs definitely had more power, especially the Escalade, but that's neither here nor there. I think the 5.4 has adequate power for my needs. I don't anticipate doing heavy towing, although the Lincoln I bought has the heavy towing package and is rated to tow 9000 lbs.

The 6R80 transmission shifts very well, very smooth with moderate acceleration, and a bit more snappy if you give it the beans, overall as expected. Will do a fluid exchange in the near future though for preventative maintenance.

We took our Navigator on a 900 mile road trip the first week we had it, got 18.2 MPG in mixed driving and with the cruise set on 75 when we were on the highway with occasional excursions into the 85-90 range for passing.

Your thoughts?
 

4WD

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That’s too long to read and what I did read has not been my (actual owner) experience
 

Brons2

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Ok, sure, here are the pics that the dealer texted me sitting on the lot before I bought it.
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Brons2

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some more...
 

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4WD

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15,118
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Always liked the front end on that model … a well off rancher here runs those 5 years and grabs another
(you would not want his) …
 

Brons2

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That’s too long to read and what I did read has not been my (actual owner) experience

The older generation of GM interiors, as in, pre-2007, seemed to not have issues with the dash cracking, but sitting inside them reminded me of the 1980s/1990s GMs with the controls and ergonomics and so forth. I wasn't a fan of that. However, if I could have got one cheap enough in really good condition to make a cash deal, I might have considered it.

Didn't try any of the 2015-2020 GM generation due to them being out of my price range, as in, didn't find any with less than 100K for less than $25K. Maybe they are better interior wise, they did have some nice features like the 2nd and 3rd row folding flat. I would consider them next time around, whenever that is.

I am a cheap used car buyer, buy em cheap and take care of them and hopefully get 5-7 years out of them. If not, c'est la vie, I'll get what I can out of it and go buy another.
 

4WD

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Guaranteed your gonna hurt some Generic Motor fan boys/girls feelings with this thread topic. LOL
Maybe there are some of us that have bought nothing but domestic brands for decades … LT’s and full sized SUV’s and know a thing or two about them …
 

Brons2

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Guaranteed your gonna hurt some Generic Motor fan boys/girls feelings with this thread topic. LOL

I'm not a fanboy of any brand and would consider a later generation GM, whenever the next time comes around. I liked the 2015-2020 generation of GMs from what I saw, it was just more money than I wanted to spend.
 
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I like that body style a lot. Everything but the engine is very desirable. You made the decision to take all the good and take chances on the engine. I've thought about buying one of those in the 2015-2017 range someday as it has the 3.5 ecoboost.
 

4WD

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15,118
Location
Texas
The older generation of GM interiors, as in, pre-2007, seemed to not have issues with the dash cracking, but sitting inside them reminded me of the 1980s/1990s GMs with the controls and ergonomics and so forth. I wasn't a fan of that. However, if I could have got one cheap enough in really good condition to make a cash deal, I might have considered it.

Didn't try any of the 2015-2020 GM generation due to them being out of my price range, as in, didn't find any with less than 100K for less than $25K. Maybe they are better interior wise, they did have some nice features like the 2nd and 3rd row folding flat. I would consider them next time around, whenever that is.

I am a cheap used car buyer, buy em cheap and take care of them and hopefully get 5-7 years out of them. If not, c'est la vie, I'll get what I can out of it and go buy another.
This is what you find often … but cheap and easy to replace driver seat bottom only
 

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CKN

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As long as you are happy it's all that matters. The only exception I take issue with is your comment - "dead center" going down the road. Since you were comparing SUV's and the "boxy" shapes they are-it's really a subjective statement and is more a function of tires, suspension and road design.

Enjoy your new to you vehicle.
 

Brons2

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I like that body style a lot. Everything but the engine is very desirable. You made the decision to take all the good and take chances on the engine. I've thought about buying one of those in the 2015-2017 range someday as it has the 3.5 ecoboost.

We found a 2016 in absolutely like-new condition with the Ecoboost at a different dealership that was about $6000 more, but it had more miles like 185K and the kicker was they could not resolve the check engine light despite changing plugs and coils. It tended to kind of stumble to life when you hit the button but ran fine once running and driving down the road.

The Ecoboost has a ton of power, and I would say probably more usable power than the 6.2 in the Escalade as it made big torque right off idle. You had to be careful to give it light throttle getting on the freeway or else you'd be going well in excess of the speed limit. In the Navigator for 2016 it was rated at 380hp/450tq. It felt like it.

I thought about it but ultimately took a pass. Don't really want to hunt down someone else's problems, who knows what the check engine light was about.
 

Brons2

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As long as you are happy it's all that matters. The only exception I take issue with is your comment - "dead center" going down the road. Since you were comparing SUV's and the "boxy" shapes they are-it's really a subjective statement and is more a function of tires, suspension and road design.

Enjoy your new to you vehicle.

Ok how about this - driving down the exact same roads, the Fords seemed to hold the center of the lane more easily, whereas on the GMs I was making more frequent corrections.

I think when you drive a large sample size such as I did, we're talking more than 20 vehicles total driven, the comments become more objective because it's not based on the condition of 1 or 2 vehicles. But that's my opinion, and YMMV ;)
 

Brons2

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Nice Ford!

Saw a 15 Suburban with 430K miles for sale for $20k recently 😮 so technically you could have found one within your budget would have just had crazy miles.

I saw a 15 Tahoe or Suburban, don't remember which, on CarGurus in Georgia for $13,999 that had 250K. It had GA Limo plates so it probably didn't have a lot of heat cycles for the mileage, but for sure had a lot of city usage. I might have checked it out if it was local. But taking a 1000 mile road trip or a flight to check out a high mileage inexpensive car doesn't make much sense to me. I think going to Houston or Dallas was about my limit.

4WD posted a Denali that was closer to Houston. There were definitely better prospects for both Ford and GM in Houston with lower miles and better condition at better prices, and I thought about taking a weekend trip down there if we hadn't had found this one. I have a relative down there, so I have a place to stay. I don't know what it is about the Austin area but the other large Texas cities seem to have better deals.
 
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