Yukon Denali Duramax - Is it slow?

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steiny93

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Here is my mini review which includes a con concerning the high speed perf: https://www.tahoeyukonforum.com/thr...comparing-with-ecodiesel.130478/#post-1628416

Anyway, for those of you who typically drive faster cars, does it feel lacking off the line, or overtaking on a two lane country road?

Against the above question.
The dmax isn't the same as the GM 6.2's or any of the other big gasers or any of the imports, a BMW X5 or X7 with an 5.0 or M as example are significantly quicker.
Off the line the dmax is fine, 0-40mph is pretty good, after say 60mph it when it starts to show it's a diesel.

If the expectation is that the dmax will hang with the performance variants of the other suv's you will be unhappy, it absolutely isn't going to. Passing on country roads is tolerable but absolutely not exhilarating.
My wife doesn't have that expectation, she likes the dmax a lot and really enjoys not being at the fuel stations all the time (she was in a 2019 Escalade prior to the 2021 Denali xl dmax).
 

Txriff

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I'm 5,000 miles into a '21 Denali XL with the DMax. My experience is a mix of rural highways, San Antonio/Austin traffic, Interstates and the TX SH 130 Toll Road (85 MPH speed limit). Coming from a '17 Suburban with the 5.3L, I've never felt like power is limited, even when passing, and most of my driving is at 75 MPH - 85 MPH. I spent time with 6.2 before settling on the DMax. The 6.2 has a nice rumble but I haven't felt like I'm missing out on power. I'm in love with the DMax. There's something about a road trip in West TX at 75-80 MPH while maintaining over 25 MPG makes me giggle a little. I would absolutely choose the DMax again.

The only thing missing is a Turbo Gauge (not necessary but fun to watch) and I haven't figured out how to show a gear indicator anywhere.
 
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VAF84

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Here is my mini review which includes a con concerning the high speed perf: https://www.tahoeyukonforum.com/thr...comparing-with-ecodiesel.130478/#post-1628416



Against the above question.
The dmax isn't the same as the GM 6.2's or any of the other big gasers or any of the imports, a BMW X5 or X7 with an 5.0 or M as example are significantly quicker.
Off the line the dmax is fine, 0-40mph is pretty good, after say 60mph it when it starts to show it's a diesel.

If the expectation is that the dmax will hang with the performance variants of the other suv's you will be unhappy, it absolutely isn't going to. Passing on country roads is tolerable but absolutely not exhilarating.
My wife doesn't have that expectation, she likes the dmax a lot and really enjoys not being at the fuel stations all the time (she was in a 2019 Escalade prior to the 2021 Denali xl dmax).

This is pretty much what I needed to know. Doesn’t sound like it’s the right one for me. My current diesel pickup (not modified) lags a bit off the line, but pulls like a freight train from 40 mph to the limiter. When I wind it up just right, it will sling shot around cars on a two lane. Probably better to stick with what I know; the 6.2L has been great, no need to mess with it.
 
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VAF84

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I'm 5,000 miles into a '21 Denali XL with the DMax. My experience is a mix of rural highways, San Antonio/Austin traffic, Interstates and the TX SH 130 Toll Road (85 MPH speed limit). Coming from a '17 Suburban with the 5.3L, I've never felt like power is limited, even when passing, and most of my driving is at 75 MPH - 85 MPH. I spent time with 6.2 before settling on the DMax. The 6.2 has a nice rumble but I haven't felt like I'm missing out on power. I'm in love with the DMax. There's something about a road trip in West TX at 75-80 MPH while maintaining over 25 MPG makes me giggle a little. I would absolutely choose the DMax again.

The only thing missing is a Turbo Gauge (not necessary but fun to watch) and I haven't figured out how to show a gear indicator anywhere.
Your area is usually our stomping grounds (home), but we travel most of the year for work. Seems like it’s a solid 50% of two lane roads these days. I’d probably feel more comfortable with the Duramax if we were in Austin full time. I burn a lot of miles a year, so to that end I agree with you. I miss having great gas mileage. This thread has helped me figure out that I just can’t bring myself to give up the power reserve.
 

Stbentoak

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The fact that you can get 25-30 mpg on a big bus like this is really all you need to know. That is phenomenal considering all this vehicle can do,passenger and gear wise…This is a road and road trip vehicle, not something you will see at Nurburgring….
 

CTown Duramax

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Nearly 2000 miles on the odometer of my '21 LT Duramax. Performance is way more than adequate. I've had fast cars (Z28, Mitsu Evo IX, 01 M Coupe) and of course this is not one. In real world conditions, however, this car is plenty fast. I prefer this kind of power to the gas for daily transport. Best 50 miles is 36 (hilly), worst is 16 mpg (bumper to bumper morning city traffic). Mash it to pass or get around someone and it has a lot of thrust. I find it pulls well to 90 mph. When the rpms climb, gas has the advantage. You should try one out if you can. You'll be surprised. I recall somewhere that it's a little slower 0-60 than the 327ci. I do not remember anything about roll on comparison.
 

Pro299

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This has been addressed in other threads, but yeah, pretty much what CTown said. If you're still young and coming from a high performance perspective, pass on the 3.0. I too, have been through my HP years with Z28, Z car, Porsche, SS, G8 GT, plus others. Loved them all. Even the 6.2 wouldn't keep up with the newer versions of these, so I'm a little confused why one would make that a high priority for this type of vehicle. To my mind that's a form/function disconnect. If you're of a mind you must have the fastest version and fuel cost is no object, sure the 6.2 is sweet. End of analysis. Max acceleration is not why I bought a Yukon XL. No drag racing, no autocross, no drift school, or whatever. After 6K miles now, I can say I haven't once felt short on power, but I've also not tried to defend badge honor at stop lights as I may have been tempted to do in my formative years. I have, however, confirmed that family and I can visit relatives 300 miles away smoothly, quietly, and comfortably and return home without a fillup.
 
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VAF84

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Thanks for the feedback. I’ve aged out of the drag racing, although I can be lured into one when the stars align. Less about drag racing, more about overtaking on a two lane country road when you’re stuck behind 3 cars for miles and no one wants to overtake the slow guy on his phone in the front. I’d rather have the peace of mind of getting to the front with some time to spare, than find myself in a situation where I’m inadvertently playing chicken. Ironically, I tend to speed more in my diesel pickup because of how the power band is laid out than our 6.2L Escalade. The 6.2L encourages you to cruise, with the power there when needed. When you hit the sweet spot on my F250, you don’t want to stop until it hits the limiter because of how that torque feels propelling you forward.

Anyway, thanks to everyone’s help on here, I‘ve figured out that I’d rather just have the peace of mind and added safety of the faster variant. As they say, “if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready!”. :D
 
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VAF84

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I can't believe it has been a year since I asked this question. As luck would have it, I have ended up in a loaded 21 Yukon Denali Duramax that we purchased last month. We got a great deal on it in exchange for our 6.2L 2019 Escalade. So now I can answer the question myself.

The power is more than adequate for my wife, she absolutely loves it. However, if I were the primary driver I would not buy the 3.0L. If I have to summarize this one one sentence, it would be "I always feel like I"m fighting this truck".

The powerstroke in my F250 was much livelier and responsiveness; it was a 6.7L v8 diesel, but was much heavier. The Yukon in this scenario just feels lacking when driving around town, but I attribute that more so to the transmission always staying in higher gears so I think that's what contributes what may feel to me as lacking responsiveness. Additionally, I feel like I have to wait for it to go when pulling from a stop; probably just turbo lag. Kind of like that feeling like it might even stall out as you pull forward (in a smooth way, it doesn't feel broken). I even tried driving it in "sport" mode, and not that I expected much, but obviously no noticeable difference. It has decent/acceptable mid range (20mph-70mph) before starts to fades out at the top.

So for those who expect a similar power experience to 3/4 and 1 ton diesel pickups (Ford/GM, not Ram as the Cummins is slow); this isn't it.

The savings in monthly cost is somewhat negligible with diesel being about $1 more a gallon, but I can see the payoff being much better for those who do a lot of highway driving. This is the perfect road trip car. We do appreciate less frequent stops for fueling.

Otherwise, the vehicle is excellent, and we both love it. In fact, I had just traded my F250 for a TRX, and after getting into this Denali, I'm thinking of moving to a 6.2L Sierra 1500 Denali, or perhaps wait on the 24 Sierra 2500 Duramax. I liked the design/interior/tech that much.
 
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