We test drove three tow vehicle candidates this morning: an ‘01 Chevy Crew Cab 2500 Truck, an ‘02 1500 Chevy Suburban, and an ‘03 Ford V10 Excursion.
2001 Chevy 2500 Crew Cab
The truck sat well for us - better it seemed than the newer Chevy Trucks we have sat in. Looking around online it appears that between ‘01 and ‘02 the trucks got some added consoles and interior appointments which added storage space at the cost of room for bodies. With me at 6’3” and the kids getting taller all the time we appreciate legroom more than bigger consoles. The seats fit well - Crissa felt they were not going to hurt her back like our current station wagon seats. The kids liked the fact that the windows went all the way down. The truck was well-kept, but had the smaller 6.0 engine—and we’d like either the 8.1 gas or diesel version for better towing capacity.
2002 Chevy 1500 Suburban
I knew I wouldn’t want this particular rig as it’s just the 1/2 ton version (and it was owned by a smoker) but the year was within the range that I’ve been researching. Cockpit area was similar to the 2001 truck. The rig was very drivable - the turning radius felt as tight as our Wagon even though the wheelbase is longer and the visibility is good. We noticed the entry height was much lower than the truck, but not sure how much higher a 3/4 ton version will sit. This one also had a cloth interior - and with all things being equal I think we’d prefer leather. Performance seemed average - but I’m not even sure what motor was in this one other than it wasn’t the 8.1L gas or diesel version we’d be looking for.
2003 Ford Excursion
When we sat in this rig a few months ago I was impressed - the size is unlike anything I have driven (My thought was “this was how people of average height must feel in most cars..). Going back to drive it however - it just felt huge. But not huge in a good way—it’s simply bigger than we should need. Turning radius definitely suffered - overall I just didn’t feel as nimble in this as the Suburban. This was a V10 model - and when we got on a highway I put my foot into it, and honestly was not impressed. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the better HP to weight ratio of our Roadmaster, but it just felt sluggish. The seats - which were leather in this case - just didn’t fit us as well as the Chevy seats did. I felt like I was swimming in mine.
MsBoyink’s comment was “We’d end up sitting in it while camped rather than a trailer - because it would have more floor space”.
So in today’s round the Chevy truck came out the winner. I’d still like to find a Ford Crew Cab 3/4 ton truck however. And we need to find diesel versions to try—and see if the smell bothers the two family members prone to car sickness.