With all due respect, your buddy really does have a problem.
We have a 2001 V-10 Limited 4 x 4 and WOW, it is an awesome vehicle and the very WORSE mileage I have ever seen is 9.9 MPG and the best I have seen is 15.8 MPG and Dave Ledford can verify that.
We use to drive Jeeps, Tommie and I got the same jeeps at the same time. Liked them but could not tow the Baja 272 we had. She wanted an Excursion really bad and I thought she was crazy.
So I surprised her with a new 2000 Yukon Denali. She hated it and after we towed with it a few months I hated it too. Great for riding around in, but not for much else. The tires and supension were too soft and the wheel base was too short.
She then surprised me by getting the Excursion she wanted to begin with. When we bought they listed for about $10K less than they do now and we also got the ZERO financing.
Bottom line is this this is well worth the money. It does cost to fill it up, but it gets about as good of mileage as my truck.
We towed the 272 all the way to Miami and back and it did a great job. You did not know the boat was back there. Averaged about 10-11 MPG at 70 MPH.
Dave, Sonya, Tommie & me went to Baja in Ohio and that baby cruises at 80 MPH up the West Virginia hills like nothing to it. Front and second row seat all recline, heated seats, XM radio, you cannot beat it. All the room needed for gear and anything else.
We checked the mileage manually on the trip and the best was 15.8. Not bad for what you get in the overall package.
The ride and handling are very good and it is an extremely comfortable vehicle to travel in. The wife has had it full with nine girls from her office and it don't care a bit. The 6.8 is one strong engine.
It will pull the 36, we keep a 20K tag on it as a backup vehicle, but had to add air bags to keep the ride height level.
Yes, the resale SUCKS, but I cannot imagine selling it. Tommie would kill me if I even thought about it. SHE LOVES IT.
I would buy a second one if I could afford it before they stop building them.
One very happy Excursion owner!