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3 row SUV for the family + towing

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Threw the intake on tonight

Gonna do a good bit of driving tomorrow so we’ll see if it helps mileage at all. Average since we’ve owned it is 15.7, but it also idles a lot thanks to my wife loving the remote start lol

I’d be happy with 17mpg or better around town and 20+ on the highway. We’ll see once it’s tuned, and if I decide to do anything with the exhaust


 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Haven’t updated this in a while, but still loving the Suburban.

About a week after the intake I tuned it and deleted AFM/DOD.

Since then it’s been getting 17-20mpg (still 15 if it idles a lot).

We’ve put just under 10k miles on it already and don’t know how we lived without it. Road trips to the beach and Ohio, lots of full trips to the waterpark and concerts...seating 6 people very comfortably (has 3 seats in the third row, so could fit 7) is so nice. It’s the perfect ying to the gti yang if you will.

I’m currently shopping for ball joints as the driver’s side upper has developed a little slop. I’m just going to replace all four and install a 2” leveling kit.

Once this set of tires is worn I plan to do some BFG all terrains (white letters out) and possibly some Method race wheels or refinish the Z71 wheels it has


 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Update after over a year with the Z71 Suburban, still loving it.

Outside of some maintenance and a few mods I did last year all we’ve done is drive it.




It’s done plenty of grocery getting, road trips and decently heavy hauling without missing a beat.

I still have 1” lift spacers waiting to go in the rear to level it out with a load on it, just waiting till my two post lift is up (which is also here).
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Ford Explorer Sport with the glorious TT 6. 5k rowing on the dot and a plethora of aftermarket support. Tune only will crush a stock GTI from a dig and have a stock R wondering WTF is happening right now. FBO and tune in the 12s FTW.

Well my Z71 was 1/3rd the price and I don’t plan on racing anyone with my kids and or a trailer lol.

I spent the difference building my 1500 sq ft shop.





 

zrickety

The Fixer
Location
Unknown
Car(s)
09 GTI
Love the shop. My wife's 16 Honda Pilot is going strong at 120k. Has the DSG type transmission which people complain about harsh shifts, but I like it. Very direct. Used a tow dolly with it, no issue. 5000 lb capacity.
 

staying_tuned

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Poconos
Car(s)
2016 Mark 7 Golf R
Well my Z71 was 1/3rd the price and I don’t plan on racing anyone with my kids and or a trailer lol.

I spent the difference building my 1500 sq ft shop.






sorry man, tried to delete it after seeing that you opted for something, and although it confirmed deletion it posted anyhow hah. Sweet truck!!
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
sorry man, tried to delete it after seeing that you opted for something, and although it confirmed deletion it posted anyhow hah. Sweet truck!!

I’d love to have the new Explorer ST, honestly it was my wife who talked me into going the cheaper route with the Suburban (which is her daily driver).

For the money I love it, although there’s nothing fun about it in the gti sense that’s why we have the gti haha (she won’t admit it, but she loves ripping around in it too).
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Love the shop. My wife's 16 Honda Pilot is going strong at 120k. Has the DSG type transmission which people complain about harsh shifts, but I like it. Very direct. Used a tow dolly with it, no issue. 5000 lb capacity.

I drove a new 2019 and man was it comfortable! Zero complaints there and the V6 felt great on the loop I did of mixed driving. There’s really no wrong answer, as I didn’t drive any three row SUV I didn’t like. There’s definitely something to be said for IRS too, which the Suburban doesn’t get till 2021 (diesel option available with the new redesign too).

Now my wife is on a Volvo XC 90 kick, which wouldn’t be a good combo with the Suburban.

I told her next year after the economy calms down (hopefully) we can look into two options based on her daily driver preference. I’m 100% done buying brand new cars so anything we’d buy will be used.

Option A:

Keep the Suburban and buy her a sedan M3, S4, Passat, Volvo, 392 Challenger (Random list I know lol).

Option B:

Sell the Suburban, buy XC 90 or Q7 and I’ll build a four door diesel truck to take over chores/towing duty.

I paid off my mk7 and we’ll be keeping it regardless of what else comes or goes. I just can’t imagine towing with a luxury suv or owning two SUV at the same time.
 

Skeej

Ready to race!
Location
Usa
Car(s)
2017 Alltrack S 6MT
Update after over a year with the Z71 Suburban, still loving it.

Outside of some maintenance and a few mods I did last year all we’ve done is drive it.




It’s done plenty of grocery getting, road trips and decently heavy hauling without missing a beat.

I still have 1” lift spacers waiting to go in the rear to level it out with a load on it, just waiting till my two post lift is up (which is also here).
Have you considered AirLift helper bags?
manually inflated- used a lot in SUV and pickups towing heavy horse-trailers etc.
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Have you considered AirLift helper bags?
manually inflated- used a lot in SUV and pickups towing heavy horse-trailers etc.

I believe they were available as a factory option, but the only reason mine appears to sag is the 2” lift up front. 1” in the rear will have it right where I want it.

Bags are nice, but even OEM ones are an additional point of failure to potentially ruin a road trip. We put 20k miles a year on it and at least half of that is on long trips so I’d rather keep it on coil springs
 

Skeej

Ready to race!
Location
Usa
Car(s)
2017 Alltrack S 6MT
I believe they were available as a factory option, but the only reason mine appears to sag is the 2” lift up front. 1” in the rear will have it right where I want it.

Bags are nice, but even OEM ones are an additional point of failure to potentially ruin a road trip. We put 20k miles a year on it and at least half of that is on long trips so I’d rather keep it on coil springs

Thanks Jake.
I agree, helper bags like the Firestone 4175 (blue) and AirLift Universal 1000 (red, that I used to replace the failed Firestone) that fit insude the rear coil springs of the Alltrack are surprisingly flimsy,
so I also put an EMD spacer (13/32") in rear of mine and had camber in rear reset on the alignment rack to zero, per SmithVW practice on Forge loft spacers, to help hold up saggy butt.
Thats my backup if airlift bags fail while heavy loaded and I dont mind the slight extra forward rake all the time.

Nice Montana Limo!

-skeej
 

Hoon

Autocross Champion
Location
Rhode Island
Shop looks awesome Jake, congrats!

My only real complaint about towing with my Sequoia is the sag. The coil springs in SUVs are a lot more comfortable than the leaf springs in a truck, but they don't take weight anywhere near as well.

Towing anything over 5k, especially if you have to load it nose heavy and end up with 800+lbs on the tongue, it's very clear that it's not the ideal tool for the job...but the SUV body definitely has its benefits also.
 
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