Expedition Max to Yukon XL?

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.


TYF Newbie
Apr 5, 2024
Reaction score
Hi everyone. Hoping I can get some answers/feedback here regarding the Yukon XL. I apologize in advance if this is a long winded post. There is a lot to unpack. Currently own a 2020 Expedition Max w/Max tow that's about to roll over 30k miles. After 2 years of ownership, here's what I think about it:

- Love the performance from the 3.5 Ecoboost
- Good interior layout, everything is where it should be
- 2nd row tip n slide seats make for easy access into the third row
- Third row is big enough for adults
- Overall seat comfort is excellent(I'm 6'3")
- Turning radius
- Tows our 27' camper well 90% of the time(more on this below)

- Ride can get bouncy at times; too much body roll as well
- Fuel economy is nothing to write home about, average 16mpg in town
- Ford's version of the 10R80 trans is poorly executed - doesn't shift smoothly all time; can be erratic with shifts(will expand more on this below)
- Outdated infotainment
- No air suspension option

As you can tell like/dislike is fairly balanced. Overall, I wouldn't be considering to move on from it if wasn't for two things that have become a glaring problem:

As mentioned, this thing tows beautifully 90% of the time. The 10% that it doesn't is something that could potentially leave me with an expensive paperweight. I live in a mountainous state that has hot summers. Access to our favorite campgrounds have steep, slow winding roads. I've had to pull over on such roads every time due to the high transmission temps. First summer it reached 260F at the summit on our way to a particular campground. Last summer it reached 265F before I even got to the summit(same destination as prior year). As mentioned previously, it is equipped with the Max tow package(trans cooler and HD radiator). The speeds that I've made this climb are very slow, 15-25mph in Tow Haul mode. The engine starts off strong but by the end of the climb it's got hardly any power(pedal to the floor) in 2nd gear. That's when the trans temp start to rise(along with engine temps, just not as much). Again not an expert, but this sounds like a classic example of heat soak to me due to small engine displacement, plus the added heat output from having two turbos. Lack of significant airflow due to slow speeds and high outside temps don't help either.

As a side note, I'm well within the tow limits of the vehicle. This Expedition has 1710 lbs of payload, trailer(Sundance 241BH - GVWR is 7500lbs but we are around 6500 when loaded) has a gross(dry is 570lbs) tongue weight of 700lbs. I run a Blue Ox WDS with it. In addition to the trailer, we are a family of 6. So our payload is approx. 1500lbs all in. Any other mountain grade on even the hottest days is not a problem so as long as my speeds going up are higher(like on paved roads). The moment I take it up the slow and steep dirt/gravel stuff is where it all starts to fall apart. I believe it's only a matter of time before I destroy the transmission.

Lastly, the other issue that's a concern is the erratic nature of the transmission itself since day 1. Sometimes there is a delay in upshifts or downshifts. Other times it slams into gear, especially from 4-5. I've done the adaptation reset but it doesn't really help. Funny enough, as I write this, it's actually perfect. But literally was behaving like this up until it got cold here(maybe it healed itself lol?). I understand that it was co-developed by Ford and GM but I can assure you that Ford's derivative is not as good(tuning?). This is our third Ford product with this transmission(previously owned a 2019 Expedition and 2020 F-150) and they all have acted this way. This is evidenced more so by the numerous posts pertaining to it on the Expedition forum. My friend just replaced his 10R80 last month in his 2018 Expedition after his went out at 65k miles. To add insult to injury, I owned a 2022 Silverado for 9 months and it was perfect. Two of my friends own '23 Sierras and theirs are buttery smooth too.

So basically it's come down to this. It appears that the Yukon XL might be the a good replacement for our Expedition. Trust me, I'd get a 3/4 pickup in a heart beat if our family was smaller and we had more use cases for a truck. Just isn't a good option as a primary family hauler for us anymore since we welcomed our 4th child. Also doesn't make financial sense to own a dedicated tow rig because we go camping 3-4x a year. So back to the Yukon. I'm looking 2021's w/the 6.2. My aforementioned Silverado had the LM2 3.0 Dmax and it was a sweetheart. However, I never put it to the same tow test. Again no expert, but honestly don't think it would fair much better if my assumptions are correct regarding small displacement performance in certain scenarios. So I don't think the same engine in the Yukon will bode well in those scenarios. My only concern with the 6.2 is reliability due to DFM.

Ugh, I really hate predicament that I'm in... Please help!
Dad had a 91 F350 4x4 'cowboy Cadillac' 4 door with 360 gas. We had no idea the transmission (auto with OD) and transfer case were poorly designed and figured the low mpg was size/weight related. Ford was forced to fix it at no cost. They did argue the year, 91, put it past their responsibility. We got it fixed at no cost due to it being a Cimaron aftermarket and the first retail sale was within 10 years, barely. This may or may not help, good luck. I've had 98 Land Rover Disco (loved it but 2 sunroofs pouring water). 80 Chevy full size 4x4 with auto, Ford explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee (Never again), 86 NASA/Ames follow me suburban (still sitting near house after submarine episode) and 03 Yukon Denali bought about a year ago. I wasn't too keen on the Denali at first due to concerns about AWD vs 4X4 and 3 miles of gravel, dirt and a creek between end of public road and home. As this rainy winter is ending it has done very well and will town anything up to a tractor with tow chain under front loader and gannon scraper chained to ROP.


Feb 9, 2024
Reaction score
Alright, well I pulled the trigger and picked up a 2022 Yukon XL Denali in Midnight Blue Metallic over a Dark Walnut/Very Ash Gray interior. 43k miles on the odometer. All the options except Super Cruise and air suspension. I wanted to get one with air suspension, but this was too good of a deal to pass up.

My 2 week ownership experience may be limited but I can tell you this is one hell of a ride compared to my 2020 Expedition. Feels like a bank vault on wheels, soaks up the bumps over crappy pavement like it’s not there. Better interior, more technology, and man, the 6.2 is one fabulous engine.

Fingers crossed it gives us many years of reliability(I’m very well aware of all the engine issues, the one in ours was replaced 13k miles ago).

Last but not least, the seats. Dunno why everyone keeps bagging on them, they feel fantastic. Even my buddy commented on how they felt better to him compared to the Expeditions. Back when I had the 2022 HC Silverado, I thought those seats were too firm. These don’t feel the same as those seats at all.

Anyways, thanks all for the feedback. Here are some pics.



Forum statistics

Latest member