How the two SUVs really stack up
Anyone in the market for a large SUV in 2022 will likely consider the Chevy Tahoe or GMC Yukon at some point in the purchase process. They have been strong sellers in their segment for years, beating competition from Jeep, Ford and Nissan. Most buyers will know that the Tahoe and Yukon share the same platform and many of the same parts, so it’s easy to assume that the two SUVs are largely identical except for their different badging.
Is it true? Well, not really, as there are a few key differences that mean some buyers will be better off opting for one over the other. Even in 2022, both cars still lead the full-size SUV segment, but the subtle differences between the two mean it’s important to choose carefully. Comparing the two cars in eight key areas should help buyers decide which is right for them, so let’s get to it.
8 To be able to
There are several areas where the two cars are nearly identical, and their powertrain selection is one of them. The Tahoe and Yukon are offered with a choice of two gasoline V8s or a six-cylinder diesel engine.
The smaller 5.3L V8 produces a respectable 355 hp, and the larger 6.2L V8 makes 420 hp. Both of these engines are powerful enough to tow trailers and small boats, but for maximum pulling power, it’s best to opt for the diesel option which produces an impressive 460 lb-ft of torque, despite being less than that of the V8s.
The recent restyling of the Tahoe by Chevy been the subject of some controversy, because some people are fans of the brutal new look and others can’t stand it. Anyone in the latter camp should probably opt for the GMC, as its styling is relatively conservative aside from the huge grille that seems to be a feature of all big SUVs these days.
That’s not to say the Chevy is ugly, in fact in a decade or two its styling just might age better than the rather forgettable Yukon. Really, it’s a matter of personal preference, as well as badge loyalty of course.
Another area where the two trucks are very neck and neck is in their interior appointments. Both offer a comfortable cabin for up to eight occupants and plenty of space even in the second and third rows.
There are a variety of trims available in each truck that vary the materials and finishes used, but overall they all strike a good balance between premium feeling and durability. Both interiors have plenty of additional storage and lockers to really maximize the usefulness of the available space.
5 Technology and Support
Both cars are well-equipped with comfort and assistive technologies, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a WiFi hotspot included as standard. All Tahoe trims come with a standard 10.2-inch center touchscreen that serves as the primary control point for the infotainment system.
Standard versions of the Yukon come with nearly identical configuration, but pay a little extra for the Denali version and the touchscreen is integrated into the center console for a cleaner look. GMC Pro Safety Plus is also available on the Yukon that adds additional safety features, including a 13-camera suite and ultrasonic hazard-detection sensors.
4 Cargo space
The whole point of buying a large SUV is to be able to haul as much as possible, whether it’s cargo, passengers, or a mix of the two. The Chevy comes with a very respectable 123 cubic feet of space with the second and third rows folded, but it’s the Yukon that takes the crown here.
In XL trim, it offers a whopping 145 cubic feet of space with the seats folded down, which puts it at the top of its class in terms of capacity. That’s considerably more than rivals like the Ford Expedition Max, which has just 122 cubic feet of space, less than even the standard-wheelbase Yukon.
As mentioned earlier, the Yukon and Tahoe come with the same powertrain options, so unsurprisingly their maximum towing capacity is identical. Both are capable of pulling a maximum of 8,400 lbs or 3,810 kg.
This is one area where the Tahoe/Yukon twins are beaten by the competition, as the Jeep Wagoneer takes the towing crown with a maximum capacity of 10,000 lbs. Even the Nissan Armada can tow a little more, with an 8,500 lb. capacity.
A large SUV like the Tahoe or Yukon will never be the most fuel-efficient form of transportation, but even so, both cars claim reasonable EPA ratings for their class. The most fuel-efficient option is the six-cylinder diesel Tahoe, albeit by only a fraction.
In the Yukon, the diesel is capable of hitting 21 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, but in the Tahoe it’s slightly more efficient with a rating of 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. None of the V8 options are particularly eco-friendly, barely scraping 20 mpg even on the highway.
There’s a wide range of trims available for each SUV which greatly affect its price, although it’s probably worth adding extra features to get the most out of each car. The Tahoe starts at $51,845 for a base LS model, but that goes up to $53,295 for a base Yukon.
The Yukon also has the more expensive top trim of the two, with fully equipped Denali models costing $74,295. By comparison, the Tahoe offers a very similar level of luxury for a little less, at $72,095. Their prices, as with many other aspects of the two SUVs, are broadly similar, but take a closer look at the small differences, and most buyers will be able to pick a clear favorite. Both the Yukon and the Tahoe are objectively a good choice for a full-size SUV, so whichever one buyers choose, they’ll likely be very happy with their purchase.
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