I own a 2001 Yukon XL SLT with 8.1 and 4X4. Currently there is about 63,000 miles on the odometer.
I think it is one of the best vehicles I've ever owned.
It is comfortable, reliable and fun to drive, makes towing a breeze and in my opinion is a really good-looking truck.
I bought it in the Dark Indigo Blue color with Shale leather interior. I was thinking of buying a new one, but the color combination I prefer is no longer available.
I basically loaded it up when I bought it. If I were to buy another, I'd go for the rear bench instead of the captain's seats. They offer better and more seating .. which I didn't think I'd prefer.
Also, I replaced the factory hitch with a Reese Titan hitch. The OEM equipment was rated for 5,000 lbs. I asked GM what the deal was...selling a truck with a 12,000 lb towing capacity with a 5,000 lb hitch. They answered me that properly equipped, the truck will tow the higher weights. They indicated that most of their customers will tow to the full rated capacity with the OEM hitch, but if there were a problem, well.. the capacities are clearly marked and the customer would have no recourse.
I noticed that Ford is now offering the 2.5" receivers as standard.
Anyway, mileage is decent. I get about 9-10 in the city and 12-14 on the highway. Towing on the highway drops me down to 9-10 again. I have the 4.10 axle. Next time .. 3.73.
What else.. problems...
I have had a few.
The transmission was rebuilt under warranty at just around 36,000 miles. I also had to have a few TSBs done .. and there was one recall relating to resealing the rear tire well to prevent errant exhaust fumes from entering the vehicle.
The 8.1 also uses oil. It's a big big motor and I need to add a quart or so every 1,500 miles. which is pretty good compared to some other owner's experiences. I started to use synthetic after the engine was broken in.
Regular service at the dealer is fairly expensive. I have been flushing the brake system and transmission every other year. I replace the diff and transfer case oils every year. Oil changes are based on the GM oil-life indicator system.
Quality, fit and finish and dealer attention so far has been great. (I switched dealers relating to the transmission problem. The truck shifted poorly from the day I picked it up. The selling dealer said it was normal. I drove a Suburban and it didn't shift the same at all. I brought it back several times. The warranty was going to expire, and since I was skeptical, I bought an extended warranty. Sure enough, right after the GM warranty expired. .. Literally 100 miles, the truck was deemed to have a transmission problem by the dealer. Unfortunately, the warranty expired and the cost for repair would be about $4,000.
I reminded them I had complained about the shifting from day ONE... and I had the service orders to prove it. Actually I had twelve complaints all showing "operating Normally at This Time"
I said ... to fix it..under the extended warranty.. and they said they couldn't because the warranty company had gone belly-up. I was pissed off. I was out about $1,300 for the bogus warranty and the transmission repair cost was unacceptable given the history of the vehicle.
I went to another dealer (which I should have done long ago ... but I have stupid loyalties)
The other dealer made one call and got GM to cover it under a "goodwill" warranty. They now have all my business. And the credit card company got my Warranty premium refunded. so I was made whole - albeit with a bit of stress.
As for quadrasteer. I'd prefer the 8.1 vs. the complexities of the steering system. Something else to go wrong .. but I guess it depends on how long you plan to own the vehicle. I decided to keep this one another 30 years. I really love it.
there's only one minor rattle in the dash when it gets very cold out.
I had a friend with a Mazda 4WS steering system. every now and then the rear wheels would wiggle on their own. It was weird.
I drive and trailer in and out of places that are fairly easy in terms of manouverability. About the only time I really have to pay attention is at the mall parking lot during the holiday shopping season. But even then, I've gotten used to parking in the outlying parking fields to avoid tight aisles, etc. I get some extra exercise .. plus enjoy the side benefits of reducing the dents that inconsiderate drivers might leave from opening their doors.
Put it this way... for all the times you'll really benefit from quadrasteer - you can mount a front hitch to the truck. Keep the 8.1 and a few thousand in the bank .. which will more than cover you incremental fuel costs.
Just my 2-cents... +/-