2021 Escalade vs 2021 Yukon Denali. Warning!! Long read…

Pro299

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We can all speculate, but unless someone finds specs from GM that fess up to a different cam, heads, valves, rail pressure, or whatever for the Esky vs. the Denali, my money is that the motors are exactly the same. From what the OP says about running them side by side, I would be more inclined to believe there are different tunes for the transmission. Since shift points (up or down) are controlled by the Powertrain Control Modules (EMC/TCM/both?), the engineers control how the power "feels" in the vehicle.

Maybe Cadillac just calls for quicker shifts and more pressure on the clutches during full throttle acceleration. No more power from the 6.2, but seat of the pants would be a lot different. I've had HP tunes installed on vehicles in the past that made only a half second or so difference in the quarter, but for all around driveability, the difference was night and day. I recall the 6L80E in my G8 GT was a slushbox because the shifts were slow and soft. With a different tune, it was much snappier and safer to drive, because the shift points were quicker and the car responded much better. The transmission part of the tune alone was worth the cost.

There may eventually be tuners available that will make the Denali "feel' like the OP says the Esky does. I don't feel the need in mine, since it's a Dmax and I really can't find fault with the engine/transmission interface. It downshifts when I want, and seems to be firm enough to use the available power. For you 6.2 guys, the story may be different. Especially since not everyone's priorities are the same. Some want a smoother, softer shift and some want to chirp the tires when the next gear hits.
 

Ajmalian

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I for one have been someone who’s always been into modifying vehicles (Yet I unfortunately still fail to understand certain technical things) but point is I completely agree with what @Pro299 said…the tune simply makes and CAN make all the difference in the world, perhaps not necessarily for performance, but also for simply how the vehicle drives and feels. So as an alternative to spending $30k or more on the Caddy….I would even consider tuning…problem is that like the Corvette C8, GM has played it very smart and factory locked the ECMs on these new Gen trucks too.

I spoke to my resident speed shop and my tuner’s certain that the drive can be replicated in addition to a power bump and better MPG, however the cost it entails is too far and wide compared to what was with previous trucks. He’s quoted me approximately $3,265/- and in the same breath told me it’s not worth it (Cuz normally it costs about $650/-). When I asked for a price breakdown, he told me it is because he would not meddle with my factory ECM, also in order to retain my warranty, rather he’d go for a new ECM, ship it to someone in the US who apparently is unlocking these new GM ECMs, have it shipped back…then buy a new license (Minimum purchase is 5 licenses and it seems HP tuner’s prices have gone up significantly) from HP tuners for the new trucks and then we’re in business…but for what! Hardly 10, maybe 15hp gains to the wheels?!?! Not worth it!! At least not for a little while till others in this country start modifying these new trucks which is inevitable. People here will not let go of an opportunity to modify something.

My question is…do you guys know of this somebody or anybody who’s managed to unlock these ECM’s?

Lastly, the new Silverado was just announced and in a weeks time the new Sierra will be too…any idea if those guys will face the same issues with regards to locked ECMs? Because 2019 - 2021 were all unlocked.

Again…apologies for the long write up. Once the thoughts start flowing I just can’t seem to stop writing LOL!!
 

DaAlphaSupreme

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Yep..it’s sharp and I love that dashboard, but not 30k worth. I for one think the Denali rides great and I’m loving 25-30 mpg….


Escalade has things you won't really use, well I didn't. Like soft close doors & massage seats. The top trims all have the exact same motor, same suspension, same tires, etc. The weight is different & the length is slightly off from one to the other. They do use different leather. I got the Caddy when they had the summit white, which they do not even offer anymore. Dealer didn't have a problem with taking the SUV back & I didn't lose any money on the deal. I did love how you could push the emblem in the back to open the tailgate. I like the plain jane white over the pearl, hate they discontinued it. I ended up lowering the Denali 3 inches in the back & 2 1/4 in the front. I wish I would've waited as they all get Google & embedded apps in the entertainment system.

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DaAlphaSupreme

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We can all speculate, but unless someone finds specs from GM that fess up to a different cam, heads, valves, rail pressure, or whatever for the Esky vs. the Denali, my money is that the motors are exactly the same. From what the OP says about running them side by side, I would be more inclined to believe there are different tunes for the transmission. Since shift points (up or down) are controlled by the Powertrain Control Modules (EMC/TCM/both?), the engineers control how the power "feels" in the vehicle.

Maybe Cadillac just calls for quicker shifts and more pressure on the clutches during full throttle acceleration. No more power from the 6.2, but seat of the pants would be a lot different. I've had HP tunes installed on vehicles in the past that made only a half second or so difference in the quarter, but for all around driveability, the difference was night and day. I recall the 6L80E in my G8 GT was a slushbox because the shifts were slow and soft. With a different tune, it was much snappier and safer to drive, because the shift points were quicker and the car responded much better. The transmission part of the tune alone was worth the cost.

There may eventually be tuners available that will make the Denali "feel' like the OP says the Esky does. I don't feel the need in mine, since it's a Dmax and I really can't find fault with the engine/transmission interface. It downshifts when I want, and seems to be firm enough to use the available power. For you 6.2 guys, the story may be different. Especially since not everyone's priorities are the same. Some want a smoother, softer shift and some want to chirp the tires when the next gear hits.

They don't have a different tune or anything else significant. They differ in front & back clips. The dashboard & the suppliers are different. The leather is different as well, I almost forgot that.
 

mikeyss

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They don't have a different tune or anything else significant. They differ in front & back clips. The dashboard & the suppliers are different. The leather is different as well, I almost forgot that.
I used to be a GM tech around the time of the GMT900's, and I can assure you, there are many different ECM calibrations. If I had to replace one, or any other one, there was a list on Tis 2 Web of many different calibration numbers. They are NOT all programmed the same
 

DaAlphaSupreme

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I used to be a GM tech around the time of the GMT900's, and I can assure you, there are many different ECM calibrations. If I had to replace one, or any other one, there was a list on Tis 2 Web of many different calibration numbers. They are NOT all programmed the same
No, you can't, I was on the platform. I'm a program launch engineer for GM, I work at the VEC, I was on the T1XX for 3 yrs.
 
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DaAlphaSupreme

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If you did any tunning as a tech, it was at the customer's request. The suppliers are different from SUVs cause of electronics, nothing else. The front fenders differ on the Yukon cause of the badges, but you can still exchange the three. I work at the VEC & have worked for the last 11 years. Before Warren, I was a quality engineer at different plants, including Arlington. The engines are exactly the same, the suspension is the same on the High Country, Denali & Escalade. The tires are the same on the 22-inch wheel.
 
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avalonandl

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I'm sure the Escalade has a different tune from the factory. GM did that when they started putting the 6.2s in both the Escalade and Denali. It was the same engine, but the Escalade had a higher HP rating, just because it was an Escalade and they wanted buyers to feel that they were getting more for their money in the engine department.
They have the exact same tune, 6.2 tune.

He is in Dubai and I think the high temps there are the issue. Timing is being pulled...
 

Ajmalian

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They have the exact same tune, 6.2 tune.

He is in Dubai and I think the high temps there are the issue. Timing is being pulled...
Yeah ok so if the temps in Dubai are higher, it should mean all 3, being my Denali, the tester Denali and the Escalade should behave the same….but in my case I have 2 Denalis behaving the same while the Escalade behaves differently. The esky perhaps is the faulty one and as it’s fault it is performing exceptionally well

I’m certain the transmission at the least is tuned differently and so is the suspension because I’m telling you I have dedicated a day in testing out the 2 back to back on a deserted location and even went back to the dealership with my Dad’s Escalade to test their Denali and the difference is VERY VERY prominent.

In fact an uncle of mine after having driven the two, is on the fence with which to move forward with. Should he get the Escalade, I’ll test out his truck too. In fact even if he gets the Denali, regardless I’ll test it out. It just means the sample size to my survey will get bigger and hopefully my theory proven right. I just hope he doesn’t back out and go for the Patrol (Armada in the USA) because he is quite the Nissan fan.
Perhaps…and it’s just another theory…but perhaps….for the Middle East, GM is supplying differently tuned vehicles. I mean we do get certain things you guys don’t and it goes the other way round too. For example…we have a switch in all our trucks and SUVs from GM factory since 2014 that deactivates the airbags in case the vehicle detects a potential flip/topple over. Since the dune bashing culture is so big here and we face some extreme angles of pitch and roll during off roading, we actually have to sign a waiver before collecting the vehicle from the dealership or else they will refuse delivery of the vehicle and can consider a fully done deal null, void and cancelled. I have not seen this switch in the American spec trucks.
So much so that a friend of mine bought a second hand Sierra and wasn’t informed about the same by the second hand dealer and went off roading a few weeks after where he did not deactivate the airbags. As a result his roof airbags all just deploy while he’s sliding down a dune and lands up with an almost $4,500/- bill from the dealership and even insurance won’t cover it due to “negligence”. The dealership outright told him that his truck exceeded 20° sideways and as a precaution the airbags deployed. He should have deactivated the airbags and when he said he didn’t know this as the vehicle was from a second hand dealership, they told him to go take it up with where be bought it from…unfortunately he had no choice but to pay because second hand dealers in this country hardly ever know what they’re selling unless it is a dedicated high end car dealer.
So my point is…I’m guessing perhaps our cars are built differently maybe??
 

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