We’re spending time with the newly revamped 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon XL, vehicles that appear to defy the forces of evolution. These are huge, old-school SUVs built on a full-sized pickup chassis inside a world where nearly every other SUV has adopted carlike structures.
Standing more than six feet, 2 “” tall, occupying almost 19 feet of parking space, and weighing close on to three tons, these are the vehicles that make green enthusiasts see red. But there is however no denying the Suburban’s iconic utility and status.
GM has found plenty of takers for this formula, having its full-sized SUVs claiming almost three-quarters of this lucrative market. Price hikes for the 2015 models will take a typically equipped Tahoe to about $60,000, and the Suburban close to $70,000. The top-trim GMC Yukon XL Denali will surely cost in the mid-$70s and higher.
GM’s dominant market share means that it has little incentive to try anything revolutionary, and it hasn’t. The “national car of Texas,” because the Suburban is sometimes known, continues to be modernized without risking becoming too modern.
The interiors of the Chevrolet GMC and Tahoe Yukon XL we’re sampling look plush, with lots of soft-touch padded surfaces edged with the “French” stitching GM does so well, giving a tailored, hand-sewn look. With controls wrapping across the driver, as well as a legible and easily understood MyLink touch screen that manages the climate, phone and audio and navigation systems, the cockpit looks almost modern. If it weren’t for the high-effort, long-reach column shifter, a throwback on the 1970s, and foot-operated parking brake, the inner would be all modern and befitting the vehicle’s asking price.
The multi-adjustable front seats are large. Second-row passengers get limousine-level stretch-out room, especially with another-row captain’s chairs. Abundant cabin storage includes a seemingly endless supply of large and small covered, open and bins.
You could almost move into this mobile home. Approximately six USB ports are given, plus five 12-volt power ports, plus a 110-volt outlet. Also new is a power-folding third-row seat that with the ability-release second-row captain’s chairs can fold down to make a flat load floor. While the third row folds flat now, eliminating the desire to take it out when they are not needed as in the previous generation, it doesn’t fold in a well so that it creates a high loading floor. That’s a consequence of retaining the solid rear axle as opposed to choosing a more expensive independent rear suspension setup.
They’re a little noisy when they crank in and out, although mounting up is eased by new power-retractable running boards.
These trucks are exceptionally quiet, a lot like a good luxury car,. That’s the initial thing you notice while driving. You merely don’t hear muchwind and road, or tire noise, and it’s easy to possess a comfortable conversation no matter what’s happening outdoors. The bulk is ever present, although handling is sound and responsive enough, without having excessive body roll. The ride is compliant enough, but a great deal of jiggle is evident at low speeds.
The powertrains could be better. Suburbans and Tahoes offer just one combination: a 355-hp, 5.3-liter V8 mated to some six-speed automatic. That sounds like it must deliver a good amount of gusto but somehow it doesn’t. Acceleration feels leisurely.
While lesser Yukons make use of the same 5.3L because the Chevys, top-trim Denali versions employ a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V8 exclusively. We haven’t been exactly bowled over by the 6.2L, either. It gets up to speed fine, but it too is like it’s dragging an anchor. So far we’ve been seeing about 16 mpg overall with the Tahoe LTZ 5.3L and about 15 mpg with the 6.2-liter inside the Yukon XL Denali.
A full complement of electronic safety gear is accessible, including forward-collision alert, a lane-watch and blind-zone system, cross-traffic alert, smart cruise control, among others. Your seat vibrates about the appropriate side to warn you if you cross a lane marking without signaling. In case of a side-on crash, a novel center air bag pops up such as a partition involving the front seats.
We’ll have a more evolved assessment of those new trucks when we buy models to check. First impressions suggest that GM has merely brought everything it needed to the table but not much more.