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Old 08-11-2016, 12:21 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyfree View Post
This is the conventional wisdom, but it hasn't been my experience FWIW. Our Touareg TDI was about $3K more expensive than the gas V6 and has gone 105K with zero problems. I would have no reservations about buying a diesel Colorado/Canyon.
The Touareg seems to work well as a TDI, but in practice few vehicles have a diesel premium as low as $3000; this pricing may have been part of VW's now-dead "clean diesel" marketing strategy, using their TDI engines as their market differentiator. With most vehicles sold in North America (the Grand Cherokee is a great example), to get the diesel you first upgrade from the base by thousands of dollars of leather and toys, then you are allowed to pay thousands more for the diesel engine (which for all technical purposes could have been offered in the base model - this is just marketing).

I'm sure the average VW owner (of any model, any engine) would be delighted to go 105,000 miles without substantial maintenance and repair cost, and just from anecdotal reports diesel pickups don't make that. When they do need work, diesel-specific components are certainly expensive; while the intricate mechanical high-pressure injection pumps of the past are gone, current diesel injectors are more expensive than gas injectors, diesel exhaust treatment systems (for those companies that comply with emissions regulations) are more extensive and expensive, etc.

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Originally Posted by skyfree View Post
Not the vehicle we are talking about here, but ...
These turbo sizing comments are good - design choices do affect engine operating range and response time. Vehicles which are highly dependent on boost will likely have more lag.
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:18 AM   #72
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I have a 2016 Canyon diesel, 4WD longbox crewcab, and a 2006 25B17.5 Bigfoot (OK, not an Escape, but at least molded fiberglass :-) ). Like all 2500 series Bigfoots, our trailer is no lightweight. I haven't weighed it, but I'd guess 3800lbs dry based on similar trailers that have been weighed. The tanks are usually at least partly full when towing, as we frequently remote camp. The Bigfoot is a full 8' wide, which I believe is comparable to the largest Escapes, and is raised 4" for back road use. So, it has a fair bit of frontal area. We have an Equalizer hitch, transferred from our previous tug, a 2013 Ram 1500 quadcab.

We just returned from a trip from Nova Scotia to northern B.C. and back, totalling 16,000km of towing. Three adults (totalling 450lb) and one 60lb lab on board. We carried a couple hundred pounds of upright bicycles and luggage in the box. The truck has ~1400lb payload capacity (not including driver), giving sufficient leeway for the Bigfoot's tongue weight.

The mini duramax is, in short, great for pulling our Bigfoot. As one would expect given it's torque at low revs, the truck tows at highway speeds at ~1600--1900rpm (90-100 km/h), and pulls grades at 1800-2500 rpm. It's very 'relaxed' and no gear hunting occurs. It's not going to pull the Bigfoot up a pass in the Rockies at 120km/h -- not something I want to do anyway -- but it will do it steadily at ~80km/h and 2400rpm, and seem like it's barely trying.

The so-called 'exhaust' brake (actually variable-pitch vanes on the turbo, which adjust and can increase engine braking) works very well. Tap the brakes at the beginning of a long downgrade, and the truck will maintain speed using the engine brake thereafter. WAnt to slow down more? Tap the brakes again. The truck and trailer wheel brakes are rarely needed and the trailer+truck unit feels very controllable. The benefit of this feature was much greater than I expected. The built-in brake controller (for trailer brakes) is also well integrated and seems to work better with the Bigfoot's brakes than our previous controllers.

Our old tug, the Ram 1500, had a Pentastar, 4WD, 8sp tranny, and tow package (3.55 axle etc, giving a ~6100 lb tow rating). I really liked the Ram, especially it's highway ride, interior space, and decent fuel economy for a fullsize truck. There never been a hint of trailer sway with the Ram, and it pulled OK albeit with lots of revving.

In my opinion the Canyon is a better tow vehicle in every way for our Bigfoot. The additional torque, and less revving, was expected. What was unexpected to me is that the Canyon feels more stable towing, especially on grades and curvy 2 lane roads. I think this is largely due to the exhaust brake, though the Canyon's lower CG may help too.The Canyon's slightly greater payload may mean the rear springs are less taxed with similar load, too-- I dunno. The Ram WOULD win an uphill towing race (it has a lot more hp), but only if revved at 5000rpm.

The Ram averaged 17L/100km (14mpg) towing on our last trip through ME,VT,NH, NY and PA. We typically tow at 90-100km/h; I probably drive the Canyon a bit faster than the Ram as it seems so effortless. The Canyon averaged 13.5L/100km towing for our entire trip, and was progressively improving as it finished breaking in (the truck had 1000km when we started the trip). For example, on the homeward leg we averaged better than 12 L/100km across VT, NH, ME and New Brunswick, none of which is flat. That's about 20mpg at 90-100 km/h. I'm happy with that!! With a 21 gallon tank, it feels like we can tow all day on a fillup.

It took a long time to get this truck (I ordered 6 months before delivery), but so far I'm very pleased. Besides making a good tow rig, we like the ergonomics, size and utility for all round use, and have made it our sole vehicle.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:00 PM   #73
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Thank you Lawrence for such a good review. I have a Ram quad cab also, but with the hemi/8speed/3:21 rear. My gas is avg 13-15 towing and close to 18-19 unhitched. I have toyed with the idea with the diesel, but after having a Jeep Liberty CRD that blew a turbo hose and $150 oil changes, I'm sticking with gas for awhile.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:26 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I have a 2016 Canyon diesel, 4WD longbox crewcab, and a 2006 25B17.5 Bigfoot (OK, not an Escape, but at least molded fiberglass :-) ). Like all 2500 series Bigfoots, our trailer is no lightweight. I haven't weighed it, but I'd guess 3800lbs dry based on similar trailers that have been weighed. The tanks are usually at least partly full when towing, as we frequently remote camp. The Bigfoot is a full 8' wide, which I believe is comparable to the largest Escapes, and is raised 4" for back road use. So, it has a fair bit of frontal area. We have an Equalizer hitch, transferred from our previous tug, a 2013 Ram 1500 quadcab.
very good real world information and comparison..thank you
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:28 PM   #75
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I have misgivings about buying any first-model-year vehicle (a first-year drivetrain in this case) but took the jump anyway. So far so good, not a glitch yet, and someone's gotta roll the dice. KNock on wood!
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:39 PM   #76
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Right, somebody has to be the explorer.....
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:03 PM   #77
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Thank you Lawrence, great review. As we get closer to retirement I would like to move to one vehicle. We both cycle to work daily so we have two vehicles that spend most of their time just sitting in the drive.

Our Cummins is still low miles and in pristine condition but the better half doesn't like driving it, due to its size. I'm thinking that the Canyon diesel will be a feasible alternative two, three years from now. (I'm hoping that the 2018 model will have integrated tow mirrors). Scott

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Old 08-11-2016, 01:12 PM   #78
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Great review, Lawrence!

That Bigfoot is 8 inches (20 cm) wider than even the widest Escape, so it has even more aero drag... bad for the Bigfoot owner's fuel consumption, but an indication of good news for Escape owners.

Since the variable-geometry component of the turbocharger is on the turbine side, it really is an exhaust brake... although a much more clever and useful device than a simple throttle valve. With proper control, it also reduces turbo lag and help manage emissions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I have misgivings about buying any first-model-year vehicle (a first-year drivetrain in this case) but took the jump anyway. So far so good, not a glitch yet, and someone's gotta roll the dice. KNock on wood!
Since the chassis is well proven in the international Colorado, and even the engine is just a variation for North American emission controls of a proven engine from the same truck, this seems like a relatively low-risk "first year".
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:00 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Great review, Lawrence!

That Bigfoot is 8 inches (20 cm) wider than even the widest Escape, so it has even more aero drag... bad for the Bigfoot owner's fuel consumption, but an indication of good news for Escape owners.

Thank you, Brian! And thanks for the clarifications. I didn't realize that even the Escape 21 was significantly narrower. The width of the Bigfoot has its drawbacks (towing mpg) but we certainly do love the palatial interior that results.


Quote:
Since the variable-geometry component of the turbocharger is on the turbine side, it really is an exhaust brake... although a much more clever and useful device than a simple throttle valve. With proper control, it also reduces turbo lag and help manage emissions.
Thanks for the correction. I was hoping to make it clear that it's not a 'jake brake' form of exhaust braking, in which exhaust valves are opened/closed. It's not that noisy, which is a good thing :-)

Quote:
Since the chassis is well proven in the international Colorado, and even the engine is just a variation for North American emission controls of a proven engine from the same truck, this seems like a relatively low-risk "first year".
That was my reasoning too, and it alleviated my misgivings enough to jump in. Globally, GM uses the 2.8 in pickup trucks and SUVs (the Trailblazer).

My secondary concern was that service techs at dealerships would be unfamiliar with the powerplant, and that parts, if needed, would be scarce and/or not stocked. That could still be an issue, but I was pleased to learn that GM is incorporating the same 2.8 engine into the full-size 2017 vans in North America. That shows a commitment to the powerplant in North America, and can only improve the familiarity of technicians with the little diesel.

I did run across one issue with parts, when I needed an oil change on the road. Many GM dealers don't yet stock the oil filter cartridge for the diesel. These dealers hadn't even sold a diesel colo/canyon yet (because they can't get them; one dealer in SW Ontario had 4 already-sold orders, and was waiting for the trucks), and so haven't figured out what to stock. I reckon this will be resolved over the next 6 months or so. Fortunately I had anticipated this and brought my own filter for the first service, and found a well-stocked dealer for the 2nd service.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:46 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I have a 2016 Canyon diesel, 4WD longbox crewcab, and a 2006 25B17.5 Bigfoot (OK, not an Escape, but at least molded fiberglass :-) ). Like all 2500 series Bigfoots, our trailer is no lightweight. I haven't weighed it, but I'd guess 3800lbs dry based on similar trailers that have been weighed. The tanks are usually at least partly full when towing, as we frequently remote camp. The Bigfoot is a full 8' wide, which I believe is comparable to the largest Escapes, and is raised 4" for back road use. So, it has a fair bit of frontal area. We have an Equalizer hitch, transferred from our previous tug, a 2013 Ram 1500 quadcab.

We just returned from a trip from Nova Scotia to northern B.C. and back, totalling 16,000km of towing. Three adults (totalling 450lb) and one 60lb lab on board. We carried a couple hundred pounds of upright bicycles and luggage in the box. The truck has ~1400lb payload capacity (not including driver), giving sufficient leeway for the Bigfoot's tongue weight.

The mini duramax is, in short, great for pulling our Bigfoot. As one would expect given it's torque at low revs, the truck tows at highway speeds at ~1600--1900rpm (90-100 km/h), and pulls grades at 1800-2500 rpm. It's very 'relaxed' and no gear hunting occurs. It's not going to pull the Bigfoot up a pass in the Rockies at 120km/h -- not something I want to do anyway -- but it will do it steadily at ~80km/h and 2400rpm, and seem like it's barely trying.

The so-called 'exhaust' brake (actually variable-pitch vanes on the turbo, which adjust and can increase engine braking) works very well. Tap the brakes at the beginning of a long downgrade, and the truck will maintain speed using the engine brake thereafter. WAnt to slow down more? Tap the brakes again. The truck and trailer wheel brakes are rarely needed and the trailer+truck unit feels very controllable. The benefit of this feature was much greater than I expected. The built-in brake controller (for trailer brakes) is also well integrated and seems to work better with the Bigfoot's brakes than our previous controllers.

Our old tug, the Ram 1500, had a Pentastar, 4WD, 8sp tranny, and tow package (3.55 axle etc, giving a ~6100 lb tow rating). I really liked the Ram, especially it's highway ride, interior space, and decent fuel economy for a fullsize truck. There never been a hint of trailer sway with the Ram, and it pulled OK albeit with lots of revving.

In my opinion the Canyon is a better tow vehicle in every way for our Bigfoot. The additional torque, and less revving, was expected. What was unexpected to me is that the Canyon feels more stable towing, especially on grades and curvy 2 lane roads. I think this is largely due to the exhaust brake, though the Canyon's lower CG may help too.The Canyon's slightly greater payload may mean the rear springs are less taxed with similar load, too-- I dunno. The Ram WOULD win an uphill towing race (it has a lot more hp), but only if revved at 5000rpm.

The Ram averaged 17L/100km (14mpg) towing on our last trip through ME,VT,NH, NY and PA. We typically tow at 90-100km/h; I probably drive the Canyon a bit faster than the Ram as it seems so effortless. The Canyon averaged 13.5L/100km towing for our entire trip, and was progressively improving as it finished breaking in (the truck had 1000km when we started the trip). For example, on the homeward leg we averaged better than 12 L/100km across VT, NH, ME and New Brunswick, none of which is flat. That's about 20mpg at 90-100 km/h. I'm happy with that!! With a 21 gallon tank, it feels like we can tow all day on a fillup.

It took a long time to get this truck (I ordered 6 months before delivery), but so far I'm very pleased. Besides making a good tow rig, we like the ergonomics, size and utility for all round use, and have made it our sole vehicle.

Hope this helps.
Hello Lawrence,

Thank you for that great review! I have had my Canyon diesel short bed for a couple of months and I love it. My Escape 19 is due next June so I am spending time reading up and going over options.

I cannot find info on using the diesel brake in my manual. By how much does the vehicle slow down when you tap the brake? Does the computer adjust things based on what it feels is adequate speed? Or what?

Finally, are the Canyon's mirrors ok for your 8' wide trailer?

Thank you!

JP
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