Fantastic vehicle/bad gas mileage
We bought the truck from a close family friend, who was relocating out of the country, and got a great deal on it. In fact I wouldn't have bought another gas guzzler if it were not for the price.
The vehicle had not been maintained much mechanically over the past year due to travels. So when our family got it, there was a bad miss in one of the cylinders. There was a bad miss between the loping in the engine, and the air conditioner wouldn't blow cool while idling in park. I promptly diagnosed the problem with a computer analyzer I'd bought from an auto parts place, and it showed a cylinder misfire. I changed the spark plugs, which was a much longer process than I've ever experienced before. (The OEM plugs are necessary for this vehicle and they are $8.50 a piece). I also changed the plug wires ($50.00 a set). This did not fix the problem. Due to an upcoming trip and lack of time on my part, I took it over to our family mechanic. The mechanic replaced a fuel injector and recommended using only supreme gas in the future.
The former owner mentioned that he'd only used synthetic oil for the life of the engine. That was fine with me since I've only used "Royal Purple" Synthetic Oil in all my vehicles for years. So I put in Royal Purple 10W/30, and it's running as well as expected.
One of the interesting things about this vehicle is all of the sensors on the engine. There's an air filter sensor, shock sensors, oil sensor and even a battery sensor to tell you when they need to be replaced.
There was some wear in the driver's seat when we bought the vehicle, so I can't say whether it's worn well or not. The seat is still in good condition. Most of the gray coating around the cup holders has worn off surprisingly as well. There is an area on the dash board that the tan paint has worn off and left with the black undercoating showing. In my opinion, these look like factory defects, and I assume have been solved on the newer models. Our mechanic has a 2006 Denali that has been wrecked at his shop. I looked inside and was surprised to see no interior differences between it and our 2002, other than gauges.
Maybe that's because the interior is so nice and comfortable.
The truck has been pulling to the right quite a bit and causing some extra wear on the outside of the front, passenger side tire. I took it to NTB to have the 4 wheel alignment done, and the tires balanced and rotated. The mechanic that did the work wanted to speak with me. He said the "Idler Arm" and "Pitman Arm" needed to be replaced. He quoted $176 for each part + one hour labor ($45) for each as well. He insisted that the parts were a great brand and only being marked up by $10 a piece. Hahaha! I went home and looked up the parts on Oreilly. The same brand parts were only $75 a piece. So... the challenge is... who can do the work? Thankfully I have a close family member who easily did the work for no cost for me. The vehicle then needed another 4 wheel alignment. This corrected the problem.
Since the fuel injector issue it has run like a champ. Our family has only taken one long trip in the vehicle and it didn't disappoint. We have a 2004 Chevy Tahoe and a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria LT as well. This vehicle is MUCH more comfortable than either of our other vehicles. My wife unfortunately refuses to drive anything else now. My wallet is paying the consequences as well, with the low gas mileage.
We made a 700 mile trip with 4 adults and 2 children. The MPG average was 12. I guess that's not bad considering the vehicle was loaded down with people, with luggage strapped to the top. If you don't mind the gas mileage, I would highly recommend this vehicle for its comfort and drive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th October, 2006