2015 GMC Yukon Denali
2015 GMC Yukon Denali. Click image to enlarge

Preview by Mark Stevenson; photos courtesy General Motors.

It isn’t everyday an automaker shows four new models all at the same time. But, General Motors, with their full-size SUV dominance, has done just that with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban along with professional grade cousins GMC Yukon and Yukon XL.

Tahoe, which has been the segment’s bestseller for a number of years, has also traditionally been the looker of the bunch. Used by law enforcement as their big-bodied enforcer of the streets and borders, Tahoe has provided families, professionals, and enthusiasts with a viable body-on-frame option without a significant competitor.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe2015 GMC Yukon Denali
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe & 2015 GMC Yukon Denali. Click image to enlarge

This time around, the model receiving the best bodywork is Yukon. Cribbing design cues from the newest Cadillac CTS up front, the new Yukon makes us wonder what a new Escalade could do in the design department.

But Tahoe is the cornerstone of General Motors’ sales success. The angular, boxy, family-towing machine has been able to go from handsome to absolute badass with a change of wheels and paint. Want to be classy? Go for the big polished wheels and a nice shade of white on the body. Looking to audition for the next edition of The Punisher? Go PPV with black paint and some hardcore looking steel wheels.

The newest Tahoe iteration, however, turns down the badassery and adds some deceptive chrome pieces to round out that very square front end. Grille treatment follows new corporate cues from the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado but executes them in a more flowing fashion. Instead of being drawn exclusively with a ruler and pen, designers have made an effort to round the bottom of the grille and give each headlight a flare wrapping around the edge to the front corner panel to house the turn indicators. The crossbar grille is here to stay (not a bad thing), as is the chrome split between each headlight (which is a bad thing). HIDs come standard on LTZ trims, but all models will get a chrome-finished grille.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe2015 Chevrolet Suburban2015 GMC Yukon Denali2015 GMC Yukon Denali
2015 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2015 Chevrolet Suburban, 2015 GMC Yukon Denali. Click image to enlarge

Of course, everything said about the Tahoe up front is also true for the Suburban. The front ends are absolutely identical, right down to the smallest detail.

Over at GMC, things are much more handsome and simple. Up front, the Yukon and Yukon XL get a tri-pocket grille with a chunky chrome surround, while Denali models eschew the tri-pockets for a full chrome grater grille.

Headlights do look like a “Honey, I Blew Up The Kids” version of those found on the 2014 CTS, but C-shaped LEDs check off the new signature GMC look.

Along the sides of these new brutes, you are greeted to slabbed metal and chrome trim around the windows. On the surface, nothing here seems new; you have to do some digging. Door panels now fit within their neighbouring panels and not overtop, contributing to a much quieter ride and improved efficiency.

2015 GMC Yukon Denali
2015 GMC Yukon Denali. Click image to enlarge

Complementing the design along the side are standard 18-inch wheels, with the option to go up to 20- or 22-inch alloys. Denali models get 20-inch wheels as standard.

Around back, strength is the new theme, with a chunkier look from spoiler to bumper. Taillights keep their square form, as does everything else for that matter. However, a nicely styled bumper means you can hide that traditionally horrible hitch receiver opening.

Much more important than sheet metal is the interior where you’ll spend most of your time. Again, the new Silverado and Sierra come into play, with all the buttons, infotainment, vents, and every other interior piece in front of the B-pillar exactly the same between the trucks and SUVs.

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