This week we did find time to do another round of vehicle test-fitting. We rounded out our experience with crew cab pickups from the Big Three, and tried the “big-daddy” SUV from GM - the Suburban/Tahoe platform.
Chevy Crew Cab
We tried an ‘08 model similar to what I’ve shown here. I liked the fact that there was no leg-space-stealing center floor console - overall drivers side legroom was good. However it just felt a bit smaller than the Ford crew cab we sat in earlier - a lower roofline, a bit less side to side headroom, and a bit less legroom in the rear seat. I think we could make it work if we found a screaming deal on one - but just not the perfect truck.
Dodge Crew Cab
We sat in a 2007 crew cab. I also understand Dodge makes a “Mega Cab” - which is understandable because although this truck has four doors the rear seat is as tiny as a club cab truck. The seating position seemed more upright, and this made for a leg/foot/gas pedal angle that was just uncomfortable. The front passenger side foot area was crowded - the transmission tunnel skewed to that side so it sort of felt like sitting in a full size van. I also didn’t find the driver’s seat to be comfortable. Not a good fit for our needs.
Of the big three’s crew cab pickups the Ford seems to be the best fit.
Yukon XL / Suburban
Of course no tow-vehicle evaluation is complete without a look at the longest running nameplate in auto history - the Chevy Suburban. We actually sat in a GMC Yukon XL which is the same vehicle - but felt more optioned out. First impression was that it was comfy - didn’t have quite the same “big truck” feel as the true trucks. I noted that I had the seat darn near all the way back - but it was enough and wouldn’t have to go back further. Front legroom and headroom was good. This particular rig had the optional second-row bucket seats - which we’d love as they’d allow easier access to the rear area from insde. It would also keep the kids more separated and more comfortable. I don’t think we’ll find one in our price range with those options however, and the lot didn’t have a version with the standard bench second row seat. Overall the Ford Excursion is bigger and provides more legroom and headroom all around - but I think the Suburban is still a solid contender.
So at this point we’re down to an Excursion or Suburban to pull a travel trailer, or a Ford Crew Cab to go with a fifth wheel trailer.