March 4, 2014
2015 GMC Yukon. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Peter Bleakney
Eight years is an eternity for a vehicle to soldier along without a major refresh, but that is how long General Motor’s perennial quartet of pachyderms – the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL – have been pounding the earth and sucking back vast quantities of dino juice.
This advancing age hasn’t affected the market performance of GM’s full-size body-on-frame SUVs – sales were up 15 percent last year, claiming over two-thirds of the segment in the US and about 50 percent here in Canada. It’s a given this type of vehicle is more relevant south of the border where the appetite for brute-utes shows no sign of abating. If your motoring needs include haulage of numerous humans, some off-road capability and mega towing (up to 3,900 kg/8,600 lb), all sprinkled with a dusting of civility, the Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon experience is hard to beat.
With the introduction of the fully-revamped 2015 lineup, it’s fair to say the General’s lock on this segment is secure for another eon.
The biggest thrust of this makeover was to improve the civility part of the equation along with… any guesses? Correct. Fuel economy.
The fact that pricing is down by about $2,000 to $3,500 depending on model is great news for everybody (except those who recently bought one).
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe (left) & 2015 Chevrolet Suburban (right). Click image to enlarge
There are two wheelbase lengths for this family of SUVs – long and holy-cow. In the Chevy camp, these lengths are represented respectively by the Tahoe and Suburban – the GMCs are denoted Yukon and Yukon XL.
There are also three trim levels for each nameplate, and 2WD is offered along with 4WD on all but the king-of-the-hill Yukon Denali which being the priciest, is separated from the herd with its own 420 hp 460 lb-ft 6.2L. It also gets standard Magnetic Ride Control, HID headlights and rolls on 22-inch wheels.
Pricing starts at $49,155 for the base Chevy Tahoe LS 2WD, while the base 2WD GMC Yukon SLE bows at $51,090. You’re looking at $60,545 for the mid-trim Tahoe LT with 4WD. The most expensive of the bunch is the $76,530 Yukon Denali 4WD XL.
The freshly creased bodywork with sculpted sides gives these new SUVs a handsomely modern look, with more than just hint of Range Rover in the rear quarters. The GMC and Chevrolet are distinguished by unique grills, hoods and front fender. Rear tracks have been increased by an inch to give the trucks a better stance.