Ford? Chevy? Cadillac? The Oldest Debate Plays Out Today In Woodyboaterville.

Ford f250. IS this the next Woodyboater mobile?

Ford f250. Is this the next Woodyboater mobile? Kodiak Brown.

Over the past 5 months or so, I have been living in limbo regarding a new Woodyboater mobile. As you may recall I even took a stab at a Chevy Volt. That didn’t work out. I did sell the 2009 Silverado that I loved, and have been traveling to and from work in the Orange suburban, and ..a Ford Cmax Energi. 65 miles per gallon..

The trusty suburban, but she has close to 200,000 miles on her. Payed off, and runs like a champ. Just dont want to break down anyplace..

The trusty suburban, but she has close to 200,000 miles on her. Payed off, and runs like a champ. Just dont want to break down anyplace..

the pride of driving happens at the gas pump. I drive a lot. 50 miles a day, so the money savings in gas alone has saved me about 1000 bucks in gas a month alone. But try and tow a boat with an electric car? So. today I am headed out to the dealers to shop. And I am going nuts. Should it be a new Ford f250? Gas? Diesel ? Or a new 2014 Chevy truck, 1500? HD? UGH.. IS the standard V8 from the Silverado enough?

The New Silverado. Very nice look'n, standard 5 .2 V* did a good job for milage and towing, kinda.. Should I upgrade to the HD?

The New Silverado. Very nice look’n, standard 5 .2 V* did a good job for milage and towing, kinda.. Should I upgrade to the HD?

Or do I go with the 6.2 V8 upgrade in the GMC? And to throw a loop into the mix? Used Cadillac Escalade’s are cheaper than the trucks. But it does feel a little over kill .

Cheaper than a truck, but same drive train. 6.2 V8, tow package, and drives like a sofa on wheels. Think of all the hemroid cream I will save.

Cheaper than a new truck, but same drive train. 6.2 V8, tow package, and drives like a sofa on wheels. Think of all the hemroid cream I will save.

What about the ecoboost turbo v6 in the ford 150″s great gas milage? But might as well tow with the electric car. I do think that there is no real winner here. When I tow, I need juice, but 80% of my driving is just long highway driving… Florida in just one month! I need wheels?

60 replies
  1. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Nix the slade from the list. It’s lipstick on a pig, and you know I speak from experience, Matt.

  2. Alan
    Alan says:

    I just picked up 2014 jeep grand Cherokee with the 3liter Eco diesel. 7200 lb tow capacity. 420 lb ft of torque at 2000 rpm. Really looking forward to see what it gets for mileage towing but without a boat it gets 29 mpg highway , 23 combined. It’s my daily driver and I do about 60 moles a day so I had to find something that could tow and not get 18 mpg. I’ve got about 2700 miles on it so far and I am still blown away at how this thing performs.

  3. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    Gosh, matt, if you are driving that much, and presumably many days not towing anything, consider the new BMW 3 series sedan in diesel for driving on non towing days. Gets fantastic mileage and will definitely upgrade your image! A mid life yuppie, no less.

  4. matt
    matt says:

    Dang! The jeep was not even on my radar? I love the way they drive, but all my old jeeps did not age well. What I fear is that the eco v6 stuff is great for no boat towing. But the second I start towing, it moans and growns

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Matt, that same diesel package that gets 28 mpg is now available in the Ram PU with the same towing capacity.

    • Alan
      Alan says:

      You got nothing to lose, go drive one. The new JGC is build on a Mercedes platform and it is light years ahead of anything jeep has ever put out.

      You will be amazed at what this little package can do, 8 speed trans in so sweet. This engine has been around for 15 years so it’s not new tech, proven track record. Gale Banks Engineering is completing a 280hp, 520 ft/lb torque version for use in mid size military applications. The engine is manufactured in Italy but is 50% owned by GM and this little beauty will probably make its way into the GM lineup very shortly.

      If it tows fine for you the added benefit of 23-29mpg daily driver just makes it a no brainer. So whether you go with the JGC or the Ram PU the diesel is the only power to be looking at.

  5. Troy
    Troy says:

    Have you considered an International pickup?

    Don’t imagine the mileage is very good, but I bet it would even pull my Connie!

    Since I am having my 1990 F250 spruced up I am not a very good one to ask about new vehicles.

    • Jim Staib
      Jim Staib says:

      I looked at the MXT. They also make the CXT and RXT. all half million mile machines. It was nice but the Ford F-650 seemed to be easier to service, add accessories and sell at the end. My big issue besides the 12MPG was try to park one.

    • Troy
      Troy says:

      Don’t really want to get the whole Chevy Ford thing going, but wouldn’t you want an SS to pull your SS?

  6. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    You need 2 vehicles. 1 for everyday driving, good MPG and something HD for hobbies. The Escalade is the #1 biggest loss when you drive off the lot.
    I always go with diesel. Bigger hit up front but EZ to sell when you change your mind.
    Really miss the 7.3L Fords

    • Troy
      Troy says:

      Ford has not had a good Diesel since the 7.3, IMHO.

      Of course that was an International engine.

      My FIL keeps talking about selling his 2003 F250. The last year they used the 7.3. I suspect I will own it one day.

      I have heard rumors of Cummings going into Fords.

  7. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    I have an f150 eco boost that I tow a 32′ enclosed trailer with no problem. You have to make sure it has the 3.73 gears and it is a beast for towing. When not towing I get around 20mpg mixed and have almost 50k on the truck.

  8. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I am with Jim.

    If you drive more than 20 miles a day not towing, you are going to be better off with a daily driver and a separate tow vehicle.

    A German diesel will get you the mileage of a hybrid but in a car you don’t mind driving. If you go BMW get a new one and plan on replacing it in four years. They are much better cars when under warranty than when not.

    The new jeep grand Cherokee from fiat has nothing that reminds me of the classic jeeps, good or bad.

    Finally, get something with a backup camera. It makes it so easy to line up the ball and trailer tongue, making hook up an easy one man operation with no muscle required.

    • Jason
      Jason says:

      Hmmm…interesting statement on the BMW. I just sold my 1999 328 with 202K and just bought a 2006 330 with 135K – one of the best, problem free, long term vehicles ever! Buy a used Bimmer with 100K and drive it to 200K!

      • don vogt
        don vogt says:

        I agree, Gary, our 2001 X5 has over 215K miles, and we finally gave it to our son as a knock around car. Low maintenance, and very practical.
        Paul, as long as we are talking suv’s, I think Matt might want to consider the current X5 along with the MB. Our newer one is great for hauling our boat, and drives like a bmw sedan. Comes in a diesel, too. If one doesnt want to go the two car route, then an SUV can pretty well solve all needs. Audi also makes a good one. (Not to mention the porsche cayenne, but I dont think that is Matt’s style? Goes like a wounded ape, however.)

        • Paul H.
          Paul H. says:

          Don, a friend of mine just bought the X5 with the diesel, likes it so far. He had a Volks toureg diesel before that,and before that a couple of Cayenne twin-turbos and an Escalade. He’s had them all and prefers the diesels now. All these things are about the same – another friend has a Mercedes GL SUV and his wife has the Audi A6 – they are very comparable. I don’t think you can go too far wrong with any of them.

  9. Carl Garmhaus
    Carl Garmhaus says:

    Consider a Dodge Ram. I’ve had very good luck with mine. Up around 250K now and running great! V-6 has been very reliable, gets good gas mileage, tows all the boats just fine. I always turn off overdrive when towing but that’s only concession I make. Planning on a vacation this summer to PEI and towing camper, over 1200 mi one way. I like the extra handle on the driver’s side front roof pillar that the Ford’s and Chevy’s don’t have so that I am not pulling myself into the truck by the steering wheel. Got over 315K on the one before that and it was running when I sold it to the next guy.

      • Carl Garmhaus
        Carl Garmhaus says:

        Don’t know yet, just starting to plan trip. Towing small pop up and plan on moving around island for about 8-9 days. Sure would like heads up on a couple of good seafood restaurants and fish markets. Plus anything else off the beaten path to do.

        • Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
          Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

          Carl: The east side of the island is prettier, thats where our house is Murray Harbour -the home of Brad Richards the Hockey Player. If your camping,there are tons of places that are cheap. Shot me an email

  10. don
    don says:

    $8900 deal of the day;
    here is the new woodyboater towing machine that is already painted for you; one of the best built diesel pickups in the world with low mileage and it will pass any test you throw at it including emissions. with the money you save you can buy another boat or take a couple of months off work and enjoy boating.

  11. Scott K
    Scott K says:

    The Ram 1500 was just released with the same V-6 diesel that is used in the Grand Cherokee. 28mpg highway and 9200lbs towing.
    Might be worth your time to take a look.

  12. Rick
    Rick says:

    Yukon rides like your living room on marshmallows and don’t even know the boat is back there. Room-wise basically an enclosed pickup truck that can also haul all your friends (note to self, make some friends). Gas mileage is a bit sad but a big tank keeps you going for a lot of miles. Go big or go home.

  13. Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

    Keep the suburban, its worthless to anyone else, paid for and not a rust bucket. Spend a grand and have someone go thru it entirely and buy yourself a nice personal ride.

  14. Wilson Wright
    Wilson Wright says:

    Boating or Boat US recently did a survey and review of trucks and as I recall they recommended a Chevy V-6 for towing….but what do I know I drive a Lincoln MKZ and it will hardly tow anything…but it does have a back up camera which makes it easy to back up to a little trailer to tow the garden tractor when it needs to be serviced.

  15. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    As you know Matt, I have a 2011 GMC Denali Diesel 2500HD, which after some initial lproblems has now been totally trouble free for 18 months. In three years I have put about 80k miles on it and it still has original brakes on it – great longevity there. Great power as well, but it is a total pig to drive in the city. I despise it for daily use – these trucks are great for towing or carrying loads but not much else. It is harsh riding (which it has to be for the loads it is designed to carry/tow) and they are really much physically larger than they need to be. I bought this after 17 year line of Escalades, Yukon XL’s and Suburbans. If you tow all the time every day, buy one – if not, skip it.

    Just this week we took delivery of Karen’s new everyday ride – a 2014 Mercedes ML 350 diesel. The powertrain is apparently used in other vehicles as well. It will get great mileage and the towing capacity it something like 7700 lbs- enough for most but the largest boats one is likely to tow. This car is great- very well built by non-union labor in Alabama, USA and I like it so far. It cost only $2k more than my truck, so the price was not ridiculous. I think we will use if for a lot of the towing I used to do with my truck, which will be relegated to long highway trips with the larger boats behind it. I think the ML, or a vehicle like it, offers the best combination of operating effeciency and versatility. After driving all this stuff for 20 years, I think I have finally figured it out. if you determine that you have to buy a truck for some reason, buy a 1/2 ton – much smoother and more comfortable than these now cartoonish 3/4 ton HD rigs they are pumping out.

  16. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    I love my 2008 F-250 6.4D

    I recently did a DPF delete after 100k miles. I now get 24 mpg Hwy and about 18 city.

    don’t care what brand but Diesel is the way to go for towing anything.

  17. Phillip Jones
    Phillip Jones says:

    Matt for long distance driving, most dependable, for me ( back trouble and to shot knees) I have found Nothing that compares to my 2011 ford super duty D 250. I make the run to Muskoka Canada to often from Va. 19 – 20 mpg at 75 + towing or not

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Phil, although I grumble about juvenile styling of these big 3/4 tons (mine especially) and their needlessly large dimensions, they are great for long distance travel. The power and relative economy they all produce is really amazing. For fun I googled up road tests of trucks from the 1980’s and the difference in size and effeciency is remarkable. I think few people really “need” 3/4 tons though. If a person does really need one, they will find they are superb at what they are designed to do. On top of that, I can go almost 700 miles on a 36 gallon tank of fuel in mine.

  18. brian t
    brian t says:

    I am going with the majority here – two vehicles. For the daily stuff, maybe a Tesla Roadster, or any boring econobox that gets great mileage.

    And for the towing – get yourself a real tow vehicle:


  19. Gary
    Gary says:

    Very interesting. I have a 28 year old beamer that has always been serviced and it is significantly cheaper than my wife’s Subaru service wise. It gets 27-29 mpg and is my daily driver.
    I just went thru the exercise of almost replacing it with a new Porsche but then looked at my age and how much trouble I want to get into – my right foot is heavy.
    The beamer got a new paint job – freshened upt.
    My tow is a 1992 F150 that was introduced as the predecessor to the lightning series. It originally got about 11 mpg but with a change to the ECU and wiring it now gets about 17 mpg and takes on the mountains with disdain. It gets used mostly for towing the boats. My right foot and I can get into trouble easily with it.
    It is all in the maintenance.

  20. Tyson K.
    Tyson K. says:

    Don’t forget that whatever you decide to buy, that addition of simple bolt ons, such as an air intake, exhaust, and throttle body spacer will help with fuel economy and tourque. More -so if its a diesel. Especially if its being used for towing.

    I’m in love with my 2010 Silverado, 5.3 1/2. It tows my boat no problem. And it is great on gas and is comfortable as hell. I have add a throttle body spacer, Flowmaster dual exhaust, Air Raid intake and a Diablo I-Tune I-1000, set to the 87 octane performance setting. For my little gas motor, the improvements are noticeable. BUT, go onto different websites, Superchips, Diablosport or Edge performance ( Diesel) and the gains in both horsepower and torque are shocking.

    If I needed a truck like you guys do, towing crazy distances and bigger that 20′ boots, I will take a Duramax, thank you.

  21. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Keep the Pumpkin Puller (Suburban), have it professionally detailed, all fluids flushed and checked. It will feel new, and probably be as reliable. Don’t replace something unless you have to. For the everyday drive, find something that excites you while using less gas than a bus, and roll with it.

  22. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    33 replies so far and not one mention of the Toyota Tundra? They need marketing help, Matt!!

  23. Tom F.
    Tom F. says:

    Not wanting to drive a full size SUV, I tow with a 2005 Toyota 4runner with the 4.7 V8, 270 horse/340ft lbs of torque, 7000lbs towing capacity, ladder frame construction. It’s a truck, that doesn’t drive like a truck. ABSOLUTELY the best vehicle I have ever owned. Legendary Toyota reliability. Toyota stopped putting the V8 in the 4runner after I believe 2010. If I had to replace it I would find a used one. Toyota Sequoia, if you want a full size SUV would be at the top of my list, or even the Tundra if you want a pickup.

  24. Tom F.
    Tom F. says:

    Just a photo of my 4Runner towing my 25′ CC Express Cruiser (on the way to Danenbergs shop for some work). Custom built trailer for the boat with disc brakes on both axles. I estimate the boat and trailer will weigh probably 5500Lbs when done and going down the road. When towing with any vehicle you can pretty much always get it rolling, but stopping is what counts. Hence the trailer built for the boat, boat sitting low in the trailer as possible and the brakes to stop. Just my 2 cents.

  25. Carl Garmhaus
    Carl Garmhaus says:

    To all the replies that recommend a professional refurbish of the “tried and true” I say, Good Plan. Not many of us tow every day. Matt, Go out and buy that drop top sports car you always wanted!

    And enough with these darn math problems, I don’t have my glasses on half the time and have to squint to do them.

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      My bet is He goes with the Unimog for trailering and a custom droptop Lambo for everyday. Oh and we all need to hit that”Donate” button many times.:)

  26. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    …kinda wish these were still around…how ’bout a resto-mod with a big new turbodiesel for towing, hmm? Look at all that (steel) wood! She’d look good in Tavares, Cap’n!

  27. Texx
    Texx says:

    I recommend that you stay with a retro looking hauler. No passenger space, no luggage space, no suspension, no power, no brakes, no handling – but it looks cool at the boat ramp!

  28. Texx
    Texx says:

    Or – get a tow rig that has good aerodynamic characteristics so it will slice through the air on the Interstate… and you still have that retro styling to impress the girls at the launch ramp.

    1950 Gaz M-20 Pobeda Sport

  29. Nautilus Restorations
    Nautilus Restorations says:

    Well, since you asked, I think something like this 1949 Dodge Power Wagon, modern engine, 4×4, would be just the ticket…and when you eventually sold it, you’d see your money again. It would certainly make the right statement and most likely cost no more than a new loaded F250.

    • TFH
      TFH says:

      That is some seriously wishful thinking. go to dodgepower It will set cost you 150k (before negotiations).
      But you do have great taste!

      • Nautilus Restorations
        Nautilus Restorations says:

        We recently bought a 2006 Cadillac SRX. It’s got the big 400HP V8, AWD, towing package and is loaded with every single option offered that year. We got it for $15,500 cash at 35,000 miles and it looks/drives like brand new. Mileage is 15 on the open road but for the price we paid vs a new one, I figure we can spend about $45,000 on gas and we’ll do no worse than break even…plus save all the financing.

  30. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    I still love my ’11 3500HD Duramax…’s a great vehicle but I’m looking for something a little more fun for the day to day stuff.

  31. red dog
    red dog says:

    whatever you decide please buy or stick with an AMERICAN vehicle. most anywhere you drive you will be able to get service, the parts are cheaper. and the workers of america will appreciate it . if you want a forein (sp) vehicle make it your second choice. thats my two cents

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