Most Undervalued Aspect of your GMT???

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
So I went for a drive tonight since the weather was so nice out, and I had the idea to come up with a thread discussing the most Undervalued, most Under-appreciated aspect of our trucks that you guys really like about them. Idea is to come up with reasons that might not be as apparent as the excellent ride quality, or great versatility of our trucks.

For me, it is the steering feel. I have a GMC Envoy XL. Arguably one of the worst handling SUV's in current times. Even though I've long since upgraded the suspension on mine, I've always felt that the steering has been spot-on for our trucks. I don't know about you guys, and I don't know if the steering ratio is different on the 370s as opposed to the more common 360s, but I have absolutely no understeer. Sure, in its OEM form it is subject to a lot of body roll, but when you upgrade the suspension and take it flying through twists and turns, never once have I experienced even the slightest understeer. The wheel tracks very well, and it springs back to the nominal position. I feel like it has just the right amount of boost from the power steering. Sometimes if I don't drive my truck for a week, I'll notice the steering feel is pretty tight and takes some heft to turn, which is a pretty cool feeling. I know this sensation is short lived, but even when its working like it does every day, the steering makes it fun to drive. It goes where I point the steering wheel. It gives moderate feedback, not as much as a sports car, but definitely way more feel than other vehicles of this size.

In comparison, my 2007 GMC Yukon, and 2010 Acadia have a really numb, over-boosted steering feel. When turning with the Yukon at slow speeds, it requires the driver to track the steering wheel back to nominal position once straightening out. My Envoy does that on its own. Sure the steering is looser at slow speeds and tightens up at high speeds, but overall, the steering feel is just overboosted and a bit too numb.

With my Acadia, the steering is similar to how I described the Yukon, except with MAJOR understeer. It handles so much better and is much quicker and more nimble to drive than my Envoy, but wow I have to go slower in the same turns I don't have to slow down in my Envoy at all because of the major understeer. I turn the wheel 180 degrees and I'm still not tracking through the corners without the aid of having to significantly slow the vehicle down.

So there it is, my opinion of what the most under-appreciated aspect of our trucks is: The Steering

Post yours here!
 

MDBT

Member
Jan 26, 2012
223
I too have noticed the steering feel on the GMT360 is significantly better than the GMT330 I came from. The 330 had a lot of dead space on center with a vague feel both at low mileage and after replacing some associated components years down the road. Despite the fact that my 330 had a quicker ratio than the 360 it did not feel as responsive (though I attribute much of that responsiveness to the stiffer suspension on my Saab and the change from a 75 series tire to a 55).

I'm not sure about whether the XL/EXT/XUV models but from what I can gather the rest of the 360s had a 20.3:1 ratio. The 9-7x has an 18.5:1 and if I had to guess I'd say the SS probably has the same as well.
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
My Silverado has very powerful steering. A word to describe it would be numb.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
MDBT said:
I'm not sure about whether the XL/EXT/XUV models but from what I can gather the rest of the 360s had a 20.3:1 ratio. The 9-7x has an 18.5:1 and if I had to guess I'd say the SS probably has the same as well.
Some specs:

Steering Ratio
TrailBlazer: 20.3:1; TrailerBlazer EXT: 18.5:1 TrailBlazer SS: 16.0:1

Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock
TrailBlazer: 3.82; TrailerBlazer EXT: 3.48 TrailBlazer SS: 3.00

Turning diameter (ft):
TrailBlazer: 36.4 ; TrailBlazer EXT: 42.3
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
the roadie said:
Some specs:

Steering Ratio
TrailBlazer: 20.3:1; TrailerBlazer EXT: 18.5:1 TrailBlazer SS: 16.0:1

Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock
TrailBlazer: 3.82; TrailerBlazer EXT: 3.48 TrailBlazer SS: 3.00

Turning diameter (ft):
TrailBlazer: 36.4 ; TrailBlazer EXT: 42.3

Figured the XL/EXTs would have a bit tighter turning spec. Do you 360 guys experience any understeer?
 

million-miles

Member
Jan 10, 2012
189
For me i would have to say the I6 is very good in the 2nd and 3rd gear passing power.

Also just did a road trip to the beach between 65-70 running ethonal free 87 gas. Got 23 mpg with ac blowing
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
million-miles said:
For me i would have to say the I6 is very good in the 2nd and 3rd gear passing power.

Also just did a road trip to the beach between 65-70 running ethonal free 87 gas. Got 23 mpg with ac blowing


I found one place within a 100 mile radius of me that sells ethanol-free gasoline. Once our trucks get used to the 10% ethanol blend, does the PCM have to re-adjust to regular fuel? Or will it run as efficient as it should on the first fill-up with regular fuel?


Also, the brakes I feel are very solid for our trucks. I decided to replace my rotors at 90k miles, despite them having good life left in them. A good set of pads will go a long way too, and I never had any problems with brakes wearing out faster than another. Calipers are in great shape, and the stopping power for how big it is, is pretty impressive, especially retaining OEM-style brake rotors and pads.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
For me, I really like the easy supply of reasonably priced parts. The truck is very reliable on the whole, and any parts that are needed are very easy to find and very inexpensive....especially compared to Euro or Asian vehicles. The truck is also fairly easy to work on, with the exception of a few areas where GM were out ot lunch on the design.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
I've got a few but I have two 360's so have items between the two. The first is that the 9-7 has a higher skid pad rating than many cars and even higher than the SS. That leads to all sorts of really good handling charasteristics beyond what you would think a trucks is capable of. Even better than some family 4 door sports cars. It handles far better than the Rainier but isn't as good of a highway cruiser. I'd say though that the main one is how cheap these things are compared to their foreign competition and generally with more HP and TQ.
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
Jkust said:
I've got a few but I have two 360's so have items between the two. The first is that the 9-7 has a higher skid pad rating than many cars and even higher than the SS. That leads to all sorts of really good handling charasteristics beyond what you would think a trucks is capable of. Even better than some family 4 door sports cars. It handles far better than the Rainier but isn't as good of a highway cruiser. I'd say though that the main one is how cheap these things are compared to their foreign competition and generally with more HP and TQ.


So what exactly is difference between the 9-7x and the SS from a performance/handling perspective?
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I just appreciate that for a 4600 pound SUV it handles quite well (particularly after putting on the Bilstein HD shocks). It doesn't take turns quite as quickly as my Camaro can, but it actually feels more planted and stable through the turns (I aim to improve the Camaro later on).
 

million-miles

Member
Jan 10, 2012
189
DenaliHD66 said:
I found one place within a 100 mile radius of me that sells ethanol-free gasoline. Once our trucks get used to the 10% ethanol blend, does the PCM have to re-adjust to regular fuel? Or will it run as efficient as it should on the first fill-up with regular fuel?

It ran great from the first tank. Around town with a little interstate 70+ im getting about 16 with 10% ethanol.

with ethanol free im getting 18.5+ same driving.

I also wonder whats better 87 ethanol free or 92 with ethanol
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
million-miles said:
It ran great from the first tank. Around town with a little interstate 70+ im getting about 16 with 10% ethanol.

with ethanol free im getting 18.5+ same driving.

I also wonder whats better 87 ethanol free or 92 with ethanol

I guarantee the 87 is better than anything with ethanol. The ethanol effects more than the octane IMO, unless you are getting into racing fuels. I'd rather pay 10% more at the pump for ethanol free than to have 10% pumped into my gas tank. Saves money in the long term.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
DenaliHD66 said:
So what exactly is difference between the 9-7x and the SS from a performance/handling perspective?

You're not supposed to ask that. It is .01 G difference easily applicable to different tires. The difference between the 9-7/SS and the TB is large though.
 

vipergg

Member
Dec 7, 2011
191
I love the amazing driver legroom .The legroom is amazing in this thing and I'm tall at 6ft 2 1/2 inches and I can almost totally straighten out my legs. Also love the passing gear power on this , stomp on it and you better have a good hold of the steering wheel. I'm also impressed with the paint quality, shines up really nice.:thumbsup:
 

pejeeper

Member
Jan 27, 2012
81
the LS does have a bit of understeer...especially noticeable on hwy exits ramps..but still easily handled once speed is slowed

Brakes are great. Yes pedal is quite spongy, but I recently had 3 emergency/panic stops where I put the brake pedal all the way to the floor at 45/50 mph, 55mph and 65+mph and the TB tracked straight, antilocks chirped slightly and the truck slowed & stopped in a very short distance. All 3 would have easily crashed my old Cherokee and Comanche. I know pads/rotors age/quality play into it...
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
2.7:1 transfer case. Many dont realize we are lucky to get that.
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,143
Brighton, CO
This is so simple for me.. The XUV part of it. I can put my personal stuff back there, that I need under lock an key, without clogging up the passenger area. Then when I need it, I can retract the roof, carry home a tree, take the ATV to the shop/trail, take the snowmobile to the shop/trail, just whatever I need. Then when I am traveling on the cheap, I can lay down in the back, without some damn 3rd row passenger seat being in my way. I beleive the XUV to be the most under apreciated car made of all time.

There is only one thing that I wish GM had done for the a option for all cars. HUD. This is by far my most favorite feature on my Aztek, and my Grand Prix.
 
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jrSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
3,950
I did like the hud on my 98 gtp. I didn't have to keep looking down at the speedo.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
jrSS said:
I did like the hud on my 98 gtp. I didn't have to keep looking down at the speedo.

Loved the HUD on my 97 Bonneville SSEi back in the day. Would love it with radio station info like they did in the early 2000's
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
I know that there are some aftermarket HUD setups out there that operate off the OBDII port. For example: Heads Up Display for OBD II Vehicles, 6LE Designs LLC I think that one requires a film piece attached to the windshield. I'm sure there are others out there (that's just one that I'm aware of), some may not require the film on the glass but not sure. I really haven't looked into it much.
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
Sparky said:
I know that there are some aftermarket HUD setups out there that operate off the OBDII port. For example: Heads Up Display for OBD II Vehicles, 6LE Designs LLC I think that one requires a film piece attached to the windshield. I'm sure there are others out there (that's just one that I'm aware of), some may not require the film on the glass but not sure. I really haven't looked into it much.

The only HUD vehicle I have driven was a 2005 Grand Prix GXP. It was pretty sweet being able to see the [digital] speed being displayed while accelerating without taking your eyes off the road. Is there a reason this was considering more a novelty thing and not an industry standard? You just don't see it in most vehicles. It only seems to be on high end luxury vehicles now with all sorts of night vision enhancements and such now.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
DenaliHD66 said:
The only HUD vehicle I have driven was a 2005 Grand Prix GXP. It was pretty sweet being able to see the [digital] speed being displayed while accelerating without taking your eyes off the road. Is there a reason this was considering more a novelty thing and not an industry standard? You just don't see it in most vehicles. It only seems to be on high end luxury vehicles now with all sorts of night vision enhancements and such now.

Where we really liked it, I know people who hated it and just kept it shut off.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Yep. We had it in a Buick rendezvous loaner and i found it distracting
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
HARDTRAILZ said:
Yep. We had it in a Buick rendezvous loaner and i found it distracting

I only used it on a test drive, so it was neat, but I'd probably just turn it off too.
 
Dec 16, 2011
110
Sparky said:
I know that there are some aftermarket HUD setups out there that operate off the OBDII port. For example: Heads Up Display for OBD II Vehicles, 6LE Designs LLC I think that one requires a film piece attached to the windshield. I'm sure there are others out there (that's just one that I'm aware of), some may not require the film on the glass but not sure. I really haven't looked into it much.

They would all require the film. When I replaced the windshield on my GTP, I had to specify the HUD so I could get the windshield with the film embedded.

Let's see. Keeps your eyes on the road. Shows you where your front bumper is. Allows you to avoid tickets without the expense or ugliness of a radar detector. Why on Earth would you turn it off if you had one? I miss mine every day....
 

essaycho348

Member
Mar 7, 2012
58
i have a top three:

1.Not just the steering feel but the actual steering wheel. Ive driven a lot of trucks, not a lot of SUVs but id say in general in the era that the gmt360's came out im very impressed in the comfort of the actual wheel. its comfortable to grasp in many different angles and spots, and the stereo and temp control buttons are in a great spot too. its also great to look at, the steering wheel to me is a very important part of the vehicle. your using it all the time...

2. The stainless exhaust, not a very high grade of stainless but it does the trick...

3. Locking rearend, not bulletproof but its something...
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
essaycho348 said:
i have a top three:

1.Not just the steering feel but the actual steering wheel. Ive driven a lot of trucks, not a lot of SUVs but id say in general in the era that the gmt360's came out im very impressed in the comfort of the actual wheel. its comfortable to grasp in many different angles and spots, and the stereo and temp control buttons are in a great spot too. its also great to look at, the steering wheel to me is a very important part of the vehicle. your using it all the time...

2. The stainless exhaust, not a very high grade of stainless but it does the trick...

3. Locking rearend, not bulletproof but its something...


+1 on the steering wheel. Mine didn't come with the DIC and steering controls like it was supposed to, but the wheel itself is very comfortable to use. Much better than the current GM truck steering wheel that compensates well for people who have longer left arms... and I hate all the plastic trim in them. I really liked the Envoy Denali steering wheel, with the wood grain on top, but I'm a palm driver so that might not create enough tack for my preference over the year.

I REALLY like the steering wheels in the new Ford trucks. Very sporty, and very nice looking leather in the Super Duty with King Ranch package. All soft materials and a nice look.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
DenaliHD66;77084 I really liked the Envoy Denali steering wheel said:
All Rainiers have the wood wheel as well. I find that somethimes the Rainier wheel is slippery where the all leather version on the 9-7 never is. I like the look of wood and it feels more upscale then I look and see crappy, basic, chryslers not the 300 but the cheapo ones have wood wheels too.

I'll add to the list that I really appreciate the government mandated after 2007 tire pressure sensors. In MN where it gets 30 and 40 degrees below zero and colder up north, it's nice to know when your pressure drops severely. I'd have payed for it as an option. I constantly see underinflated tires on older cars.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Jkust said:
I'll add to the list that I really appreciate the government mandated after 2007 tire pressure sensors. In MN where it gets 30 and 40 degrees below zero and colder up north, it's nice to know when your pressure drops severely. I'd have payed for it as an option. I constantly see underinflated tires on older cars.

I HATE that the government mandated such a thing. If people want it, buy the option. I can see how it would be useful. But others (like me) don't care and rather check it manually on occasion rather than spend the money on a system like that. Besides, a lot of systems only tell you that you have a tire low, not which tire nor the actual reading.

TPMS was an option long before the government stuck its nose in and decided to force us all to pay even more for our vehicles. Stupid government needs to knock it off /rant
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
Sparky said:
I HATE that the government mandated such a thing. If people want it, buy the option. I can see how it would be useful. But others (like me) don't care and rather check it manually on occasion rather than spend the money on a system like that. Besides, a lot of systems only tell you that you have a tire low, not which tire nor the actual reading.

TPMS was an option long before the government stuck its nose in and decided to force us all to pay even more for our vehicles. Stupid government needs to knock it off /rant

Well you are singing to the choir as I am the most conservative human being on earth you will ever meet. However conservative you are I will out conservative you x10. If this was 8 Mile and we were doing a conservative talk off, I'd be Eminem. :cool: I didn't want to get political so got it out of the way and then said I'd have paid for it as an option. Our 360 system tells me exactly which tire is low and exactly how much pressure is in each one in other words one dummy light goes on then you scroll through the DIC for each tire's pressure and which lists each tire pressure with the additional word low next to the psi number if it happens to be low. Never saw TPMS on a car other than the 2006 chrysler minivans that only warns you with a light. We all know the political reasons but none the less I like the system. Government mandates literally thousands of regulations every year that come from unelected bureaucracies and our trucks are loaded with the results. For my personal use it can be 50 degrees above zero one day then 40 degrees below zero the next and like having a quick check capability since 40 below zero on the F scale is cold to be checking anything outside. The psi can drop substanstially with big temp swings.
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
Sparky said:
I HATE that the government mandated such a thing. If people want it, buy the option. I can see how it would be useful. But others (like me) don't care and rather check it manually on occasion rather than spend the money on a system like that. Besides, a lot of systems only tell you that you have a tire low, not which tire nor the actual reading.

TPMS was an option long before the government stuck its nose in and decided to force us all to pay even more for our vehicles. Stupid government needs to knock it off /rant

Bigger government mandates help develop bigger average idiots. Teach people proper maintenance of their vehicles, how to check air pressure, and make them understand that not doing so may result in less than ideal traction, or drop in fuel economy.
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,143
Brighton, CO
DenaliHD66 said:
Bigger government mandates help develop bigger average idiots. Teach people proper maintenance of their vehicles, how to check air pressure, and make them understand that not doing so may result in less than ideal traction, or drop in fuel economy.

Or even death...

Sparky said:
I know that there are some aftermarket HUD setups out there that operate off the OBDII port. For example: Heads Up Display for OBD II Vehicles, 6LE Designs LLC I think that one requires a film piece attached to the windshield. I'm sure there are others out there (that's just one that I'm aware of), some may not require the film on the glass but not sure. I really haven't looked into it much.

Thanks for that!!! I now have a planned "WILL HAVE" mod for my XUV..
 

million-miles

Member
Jan 10, 2012
189
I love the turning angle of the front wheels. I have a short trailer that i haul and when i have to back it up i love the turning angle of the front so i can get back infront of the trailer fast.
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
million-miles said:
I love the turning angle of the front wheels. I have a short trailer that i haul and when i have to back it up i love the turning angle of the front so i can get back infront of the trailer fast.

Good point, I've noticed the same thing, even backing up without a trailer. Just seems very linear and never experience any oversteer when backing up.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
The community esp this site and the meets. Its amazing the support and friendship that is facilitated.
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
HARDTRAILZ said:
The community esp this site and the meets. Its amazing the support and friendship that is facilitated.
agreed

I also like the size/versatility of the vehicle.
With little modification it is at home on many trails, towing a boat or at the mall.

With 3 kids I had thought my next vehicle might be a suburban (vs a mini-van) but it might actually be an EXT because they fit in parking spaces much better.
 

Ghost

Member
Jun 1, 2012
932
The steering in my tb is fantastic infact it is better handeling then my Chrysler ! It feels like its 3:00....could be wrong.
 

dougman

Member
Mar 15, 2012
20
I love the comfort. When I got married, my wife hated that I drove an SUV. She had the common misconception about SUV drivers. She now loves it. Each year we drive from Utah to Texas to visit her family. I love that drive. There's just something about the balance of comfort, yet not so isolated that you need to sleep. I think GM did an excellent job managing the spring rates and rear suspension design. I rarely know there in a SRA under there.

My only hated design is the electronically controlled fan clutch. So prone to failure, and conservatively tuned. I regularly run 230 degrees according to my ODBII scanner when it's 100 outside, yet have poor A/C at idle because there is just not enough flow over the condenser, so the A/C cycles due to high pressure. That should cause the fan to engage faster. I've had both the factory patch as well as the second gen clutch installed. It's still working, but it sounds horrible - the bearing in it is bad I think. There's no play yet, but I'm waiting patiently so I can upgrade to efans which I think will be a lot better for me.

Overall, this has been by far my favorite vehicle I've owned. Not THE most trouble free, but among them. I must agree with posts above that "most" jobs are very easy, and parts are easy and relatively affordable. I've had my TB for 10 years and 8 days and still am so happy to hop back in the drivers seat after driving other vehicles - even much newer ones. I'm facing my third major repair - a transmission refresh as it's starting to show signs of wear after 180K miles (first was the engine due to the sleeve issue in early 2002 vehicles, and second was a broken spider gear in the rear axle - I swapped in a XL rear end). Still, I've spent very little in upkeep, just normal wear and tear items.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
Ghost said:
The steering in my tb is fantastic infact it is better handeling then my Chrysler ! It feels like its 3:00....could be wrong.

You'd love the hugely improved steering in the 9-7 if you like the TB's.
 

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