A New Inflation Worry: Exorbitant Maintenance Costs for GM SUVs
A new study from research firm We Predict reveals that buying a new General Motors sport utility vehicle will be expensive in terms of maintenance. The study, released on Monday, draws its data from first-year-of-ownership service and warranty costs for the past four model years, from 2018 to 2021.
But the 2021 GM SUVs stood out in the survey, newly redesigned models that share their platform with Silverado/Sierra pickups.
Service costs are skyrocketing
According to the new survey, maintenance and warranty costs for the Cadillac Escalade more than tripled to $1,115 in the first year, compared to $341 for the previous-generation 2020 model. The same goes for the Escalade ESV, whose costs skyrocket to $1,030 in 2021 from $348 in 2020, thanks to the new platform.
Buyers will see a similar increase in maintenance costs from the Escalade’s cousins. Chevrolet Tahoe dropped to $668 in 2021 from $144 in 2020, Chevrolet Suburban dropped to $722 in 2021 from $225. Service and warranty costs for the GMC Yukon also skyrocketed from $193 in 2020 to $716 in 2021, and the Yukon XL was $719 in 2021 from $251 in 2020.
Curiously, vans that share their platforms haven’t seen this price increase, according to We Predict – although costs have increased significantly. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 saw maintenance costs drop from $253 in 2020 to $378 in 2021, while GMC Sierra costs nearly doubled to $583 in 2021 from $299 in 2020.
That doesn’t bode well for newer models, which could earn a reputation for excessive maintenance costs as they age.
The data contrasts sharply with Ford, where first-year maintenance costs fell to $211 in 2021 from $412 in 2020, while Ford F-150 costs edged up to $234 in 2021 from $211. in 2020. Ram 1500 pickups also saw slight increases, for $202 in 2021 from $170 in 2020, as did the Toyota Sequoia, to $209 in 2021 from $183 in 2020. In contrast, costs for the Nissan Titan plunged to $385 in 2021 from $1,090 in 2020.
But the high cost of maintaining a premium SUV isn’t unusual.
We Predict says servicing a Mercedes-Benz GLS costs $1,108 in 2021, down from $736 in 2020. That compares to the GLE, which is much less expensive at $651 in 2021, down from $632 in 2020. Or, consider BMW: its X7 costs $753 to maintain, up slightly from $688 in 2020. That’s better than the X5, which rose to $819 in 2021 from $534 in 2020.
Given the increasing complexity of new vehicles and their dozens of processors and microchips, such costs are not surprising.