What to Buy? Tahoe vs Yukon Denali

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Jamet

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Hello,
I've never really been an SUV/Truck guy, mostly muscle cars and the like. Currently drive a '71 Monte Carlo, but need something that's a little better for daily commuting (not long distance, 10-15miles, so gas mileage isn't a concern), hauling my dogs around, and going camping and such out on blm land w/ dirt roads.

So I've recently been looking at the 2000-2006 Tahoes with a 5.3L and 4wd, but just came across a '03 Denali as well and that interested me even more. Can somebody help me confirm that the Denali's all had the 6.0L, 4L80, and AWD/4WD? Also what is the difference between the stated AWD versus a regular 4WD? Is it just full time with the option on high/low? These also just had regular suspension, no air-ride or anything, correct? Appreciate the help, as I'm a total truck newbie.

The two that I am planning on looking at this weekend both look pretty solid, what are your guy's thoughts on these?

(1) 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 4x4
"8 people seat (with removable 3rd-row seats). The body is in good condition. Runs good and has Low mileage 134k. Excellent tires. The tags and smog are up to date. I have the smog certificate. The seats are in good condition. I have the carfax report history as well. Asking price is 6000 OBO."

(2) 2003 GMC Yukon Denali
"Drives excellent, one owner , original miles 150k , passes smog , always serviced really well tooken care of, new tires , breaks semi new asking 6800 OBO."

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Roll On

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I had a 03 Chevy Avalanche with the 5.3L, ran good, got about 15-17 mpg.
Now I have a 16 GMC Yukon Denali with the 6.2L 4x4 8 speed automatic transmission, man, it will go if you want it to, I like it much better than the 5.3L.
The mileage is about the same.
Good luck with your decision.
 
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GoNoGo

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My cursory approach is newest year model with lowest milage and features that I need and never buy one that lived in snow-salt areas of the USA.

Then I look at their Car Fax dealer service history for excessive electrical-related service or MAJOR accidents.

Finally I'll do an inspection and perform what I call the smell test.. where I look at everything, test drive and then go with my gut.

5.3L is okay, should go 300k miles if properly maintained and a smidgeon of good luck.
 
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Big Mama

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Yes AWD is all the time. No high or low thus your mileage will suffer. Do you need 4WD? Denali generally has most every option available including leather which may or may not be good for your dogs. Not all Denali came with a 6.0 but most did. I believe the suspension on the Denali is different as well in the gmt800.
 

MassHoe04

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Difference in miles between the two you listed is negligible.
Difference in price, between the two is also negligible.

The Denali is newer and may have some more doo-dads than the LS Tahoe. That said, the Denali is AWD. Not necessarily a negative, but the systems are just a little more involved that the traditional 4WD on the Tahoes. As things get older, there might be a little more opportunity for some of the extras on AWD to start showing their age. Might also have stability control/traction control on the Denali AWD. AWD also has implications on having to buy 4 tires rather than two at a time.

That Denali might have the air ride or a self-leveling suspension. Again, not necessarily a negative. But... the suspension and related control systems add just a little more complication to things as components get older.

Just something to think about.

If the Denali was kept 100% all along, then I would say either truck.

In my mind, the way I think now... I am about less is more. If both were in similar condition and maintenance was equally as good on both, I would lean towards the Tahoe.
Just because it has less to go wrong as it continues to grow older.

For me, simpler is better. In fact, I may even look at going to 1990's (or older) vintage when I am ready to get into a "new" Tahoe/Suburban! Less electronic stuff to fail.
 
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Jamet

Jamet

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Yes AWD is all the time. No high or low thus your mileage will suffer. Do you need 4WD? Denali generally has most every option available including leather which may or may not be good for your dogs. Not all Denali came with a 6.0 but most did. I believe the suspension on the Denali is different as well in the gmt800.
Yes, locally there is BLM land that I like to frequent for target shooting with friends that needs 4wd to get up the mountains if not absolutely dry. I can make it up there no problem in the rain in my parents 3rd gen 4runner when I need to borrow it, but my buddies 2wd Tahoe couldn't make it up. Leather doesn't matter, if there is 3-row seating in that one, i'll take out the rear seat, will be putting in pet retaining bars as I have a couple of 55-80lb husky's that try to work themselves from the rear to my lap and passenger seat everytime. 5.3/6.0 doesn't matter too much to me, I would rather have a 4l80 over a 4l60 if thats what the denali has. I can't find much basic info on the suspension setups, but if the Denali's have air suspension or something finicky, that would turn me off.

Difference in miles between the two you listed is negligible.
Difference in price, between the two is also negligible.

The Denali is newer and may have some more doo-dads than the LS Tahoe. That said, the Denali is AWD. Not necessarily a negative, but the systems are just a little more involved that the traditional 4WD on the Tahoes. As things get older, there might be a little more opportunity for some of the extras on AWD to start showing their age. Might also have stability control/traction control on the Denali AWD. AWD also has implications on having to buy 4 tires rather than two at a time.

That Denali might have the air ride or a self-leveling suspension. Again, not necessarily a negative. But... the suspension and related control systems add just a little more complication to things as components get older.

Just something to think about.

If the Denali was kept 100% all along, then I would say either truck.

In my mind, the way I think now... I am about less is more. If both were in similar condition and maintenance was equally as good on both, I would lean towards the Tahoe.
Just because it has less to go wrong as it continues to grow older.

For me, simpler is better. In fact, I may even look at going to 1990's (or older) vintage when I am ready to get into a "new" Tahoe/Suburban! Less electronic stuff to fail.
Miles/Price are similar enough to not matter to me, ive been ball parking to spend about $5k-7k for something with less than 180k miles. And yeah if the Denali has suspension oddities, I will probably stay away from it. I told the guy I would call him tomorrow evening before I check it out on Saturday morning, and I will ask about the suspension. I'm trying to get more maintenance info and history from him, but my reaction to his responses is that it was probably his parents suv and he drove it for a while and is now selling it without much knowledge. I will not buy a 90's model, I would much rather have a gen 3 (ls) based drivetrain over the gen 2 (vortec) drivetrains. Not to mention here in Sonoma County, 2000 & up is just a plug in check for smog, while '75-'99 requires a rolling/dyno type smog test that is much more of a pain in the ass and more likely to fail. I have only messed with older cars because of that the past few years, '70 elco, '71 monte carlo, '67 camaro, '73 k5 blazer, etc. However for a daily driver, these early 00's GM trucks/suvs sure are nice.
 

Alex_M

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I've never owned or parted one out, but I believe even the 6.0 Yukons still had a 4l60e. 4l80 didn't start until 1500hd or 2500 level vehicles, depending on year model.
 

Onlyone

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I would go the Denali route. 6.0 is a great motor and I would always go to the higher trim level, all things being fairly equal. The air suspension is an easy fix if you need to replace the shocks or air compressor. The ride quality will be better as well. No brainer.

Hard to tell, but looks like the Denali is in better shape as well as the tires. It makes a difference.
 
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Jamet

Jamet

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Thanks for all the input, I'm a little more weary about the Denali's now. I will be checking out the Tahoe tomorrow morning and if I don't buy that I may still check out the Denali as it's only ~1 hour furthur in the same direction.
 

Doubeleive

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Hello,
I've never really been an SUV/Truck guy, mostly muscle cars and the like. Currently drive a '71 Monte Carlo, but need something that's a little better for daily commuting (not long distance, 10-15miles, so gas mileage isn't a concern), hauling my dogs around, and going camping and such out on blm land w/ dirt roads.

So I've recently been looking at the 2000-2006 Tahoes with a 5.3L and 4wd, but just came across a '03 Denali as well and that interested me even more. Can somebody help me confirm that the Denali's all had the 6.0L, 4L80, and AWD/4WD? Also what is the difference between the stated AWD versus a regular 4WD? Is it just full time with the option on high/low? These also just had regular suspension, no air-ride or anything, correct? Appreciate the help, as I'm a total truck newbie.

The two that I am planning on looking at this weekend both look pretty solid, what are your guy's thoughts on these?

(1) 2000 Chevrolet Tahoe LS 4x4
"8 people seat (with removable 3rd-row seats). The body is in good condition. Runs good and has Low mileage 134k. Excellent tires. The tags and smog are up to date. I have the smog certificate. The seats are in good condition. I have the carfax report history as well. Asking price is 6000 OBO."

(2) 2003 GMC Yukon Denali
"Drives excellent, one owner , original miles 150k , passes smog , always serviced really well tooken care of, new tires , breaks semi new asking 6800 OBO."

View attachment 391078View attachment 391079
you are in Nor-Cal shop around there are slightly better deals
these get listed almost every day, unless you are in a rush check every day and try to be the 1st one there, call ahead and make sure they know you are coming.
 

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