GMC Yukon: Same Car Different Names

GMC Yukon

GM is the biggest auto group in America, it owns marques like Chevrolet and Cadillac. Of particular interest is how it uses these marques. Chevrolet seems to be its entry-level marque, while Cadillac is its ultimate expression of luxury. Coming to SUVs the Chevrolet Tahoe is its entry level trim, while the GMC Yukon happens to be its mid-trim, while the Cadillac Escalade is its upmarket offering. Comparing the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, they are virtually the same car with different pricing regimes.

What’s in a Name?

The Yukon is named after a north Canadian territory. As for Chevrolet’s ute, it’s named after Lake Tahoe which is to be found in the California-Nevada border.

The History

Back in the early 90s the Yukon was known as the Jimmy, it was later rebadged by GMC to the Yukon in 1992.  Chevrolet didn’t immediately rebadge their Blazer SUV, as they waited until 1994, before renaming it to the Tahoe. Interestingly, the Tahoe badge has been able to gunner more accolades, even receiving the 1996 Truck of the Year award by Motor Trend.  The end for both the Yukon and Tahoe’s first generation was 2000.

Current Model

Currently, the Yukon and Tahoe have reached their fourth generation, and they were unveiled in February 2014 as 2015 models. Rumors were rife that the new Tahoe/Yukon would adopt a crossover monocoque, however GM shelved those plans and stuck to its body-on-frame setup. One of the reasons for this was that financially body-on-frame cars are still popular. The new Yukon/Tahoe was based on the Chevrolet Silverado, which was launched back in May 2013. Both the Yukon and the Tahoe are based on the BMT K2XX platform.

The Variants

For the Yukon it comes in these trims:

  • SUV
  • SLE
  • SLT
  • Denali 4WD SUV

It’s important to note that Denali is GMC’s performance trim, as for the Chevy it is available in these variants:

  • LS
  • LS 4WD
  • LT
  • LT 4WD
  • LTZ
  • LTZ 4WD

Chevrolet Tahoe

The Powertrain

Powering the Yukon/Tahoe is a 5.3L V8 engine that manages to churn out 355 hp.  The Yukon Denali gets its own 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine that delivers 420hp. This engine isn’t offered exclusively for the Denali, as it is available for the Russian built Tahoe, which is available in the Russian and CIS markets. For transmission the standard 5.3L V8 receives a 6-speed auto, while the 6.2L V8 is coupled in with an 8-speed auto.


Sharing the same platform, both the Yukon and Tahoe have the same design cues except when it comes to their front fascia. At least when it comes to the dash they are distinct, however everything else is pretty much the same inside both cabins. Both cars are spacious and quite practical in that respect. As for other features, you can expect sat nav, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, USB amongst as standard.


Really, the Tahoe/Yukon hasn’t changed much over the years, and the current generation isn’t that different from its predecessor.

Our Verdict

On the road the Yukon/Tahoe is jittery, however off it, they deliver some incredible performance. For Yukon in particular, there is no excuse to make an uninspiring interior and charge a premium for it. However, considering it was based on the Silverado truck, this could explain a lot. As for Tahoe its pricing makes it value for money. Practical is the word for this SUVs, especially when they can seat eight. Depending on your budget, you won’t have buyer’s remorse getting any one of these American workhorses.

Pricing for the Yukon starts at $ 49,510, while for the Tahoe begins at $ 48,195.

Should GM merge both the Tahoe and Yukon into one model range, with more trims or leave them both to be? Have your say, leave a comment.

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