help me decide 8.1 or 6.0

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Beau Bo, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Beau Bo

    Beau Bo New Member

    Hi - first post here. Looking for a 00-06 2500 and am trying to decide if I should get a 6.0 or 8.1.

    I'll be using it to tow a car hauler with a heavy jeep, figure around 7k loaded. Most of the towing will be between Denver and Moab or other mountain routes through the Rockies. I expect it will be about 50% towing and 50% other to include mostly highway road trips, little around town or daily driving. I estimate I'll only be putting about 5,000 mi/year on it.

    I like the idea of the 8.1 as it should be able to keep up speed up the hills and if I did decide to get a TT or something heavier to pull the 8.1 could handle it.

    I like the idea of a 6.0 because they are easier to find and should get better mileage although with the low miles I plan on putting on this rig I'm not sure how much I would be saving in gas.

    So, would appreciate some of your thoughts on what to do here.

    Thanks in advance...Bob
  2. saxart

    saxart New Member


    Get the 8.1...

    All things being equal (same tires, gear ratio, etc) I've heard the 8.1 gets as good or BETTER than the 6.0.

    I've got a 2000 Suburban with 265-size tires and 4.10 gears. I get a CONSISTENT 11-12mpg while towing NOTHING! Don't get me wrong, it's a towing machine. I've towed many 7,000lb+ loads with zero problem, but since the 8.1 gives you more power, why not?

    Zero problems, but I still wish I had the 8.1. Vroom, vroom!
  3. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I agree with a tow vehicle that is primarily used as such with minimal miles, you really wont be spending that much more on fuel even if the 8.1L does burn a bit more. And with the option you will want the most power and there is absolutely no replacement for displacement, and an 8.1L Gas will pull anything you can think of or will want to down the road. Yes the 6.0 is a good motor as well but with the extra power the 8.1 provides you will always have a smile on your face... I have a buddy with a 2006 K3500 Crew dually, with the 8.1L and with his 35Ft car trailer it still hauls the mail, and he gets a consistent 9mpg loaded like that, and 11-12 unloaded..
  4. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    get the 8.1. mileage will be similar which doesnt matter if not driven much, but the 8.1 has more HP and more torque. Mods are readily available for the 8.1 as well.
  5. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the GM truck club Bob
    I agree with the others. Get the 8.1 especially since 1/2 of your driving is going to be towing. I have read articles in travel trailer mags that say the bigger displacement engines will actually get better mileage when towing because they aren't being overworked like a smaller engine would be. And like the others say the mileage might not be that much different than the 6.0 when you're not towing.
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I'm a mpg fanatic, but even I would vote to go big.

    While towing-2500 of your miles-the mpg will be the same, perhaps even favoring the 8.1- and the 8.1 will do a better job towing- lower RPMs, quicker acceleration, and it will hold speed uphill much better.

    While not towing-2500 of your miles-the 6.0 will be maybe 2-3 mpg better(at best)-maybe 14 mpg hy vs 11 mpg hy-this would be maybe 50 gallons a year difference-not much. 50 gallons is only $200 difference per year at $4/gal.

    Easy choice if you tow that much.

    Now if you can't find a 8.1, the 6.0 isn't an outright dog, just not as good.The big motor vehicles are frequently cheaper to buy in places where folks are concerned with mpg and gas prices.Gas goes up 8.1's go down in price.
  7. mtbob

    mtbob New Member

    I tow a 31' Airstream (7000# GVW) with my 06 8.1 Burb 4x4. Here in Montana its up down and all around. Looked for quite awhile for the 8.1 and it was worth it.
  8. ntbush83

    ntbush83 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I agree 8.1. I'm a bigger the better fan. I have the 6.0 and have had 0 problems but I still haven't ever gotten better than 10 mpg's. Just like everyone else said its just as cheap and more power I say easy choice! Also did they put an 8.1L in the classic models after the 02's?
  9. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I know it was still an option in the 04's when I was looking.

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