Black 2018 GMC Yukon Denali in front of white mansion and pool

4 Reasons the Yukon Beats the Tahoe Any Day of the Week

When it comes time to shop for a new SUV, a large number of consumers still default to the more accessibly-priced crossover offerings, enjoying the more modest footprint that they offer. And, while I’m no crossover enthusiast, the simple truth is that GM offers some of the most compelling offerings as part of Chevy’s lineup. But there is still a huge segment of car buyers who demand ample three-row seating, confident power and utility ratings wrapped up in a package that is both eye-catching and on-brand. And for those consumers, it’s hard to argue the appeal of Chevy’s top-tier offerings, in the form of the iconic Suburban and the equally enduring Tahoe. But when it comes to the Tahoe, how does it measure up against its General Motors cousin, the Yukon? While it’s rare that I find myself favoring a GMC offering against almost anything, comparing these two is an interesting exercise because…well…they’re basically the same vehicle. That said, deciding a victor in any area is reliant upon a nuanced examination so let’s compare the 2018 GMC Yukon vs 2018 Chevy Tahoe and see if we can find 4 reasons why the Yukon comes out on top.


1. The Basics

The Yukon is available in 2WD and 4WD, offers seating for up to 8 passengers and is priced to start around $49,100 MSRP. Available in SLE, SLT and Denali trim levels, the starting price of the Yukon can easily jump up $20K+ depending on the configuration selected.

The Chevy Tahoe is also offering in 2WD and 4WD builds, and seat up to 9 passengers (depending on configuration) and is priced to start around $47,900 MSRP.  Served up in either the LS, LT or Premier trims it is similarly tiered in terms of pricing, which places both vehicles on almost equal footing. That said, if we’re going to split hairs, the Tahoe offers a slight pricing advantage, and might be preferable to those aiming to fill more seats.


2. Powertrain

At the base SLE trim, The Yukon is powered by a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Channeling 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, it’s a confident performer. That said, the Yukon also offers up the 6.2-liter variant that serves up 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. No matter which way you go, there’s no shortage in terms of power ratings.

And guess what? The Tahoe is offered up with identical powertrains, in terms of engine and transmission specs, as well as horsepower and torque. Is this any surprise? Of course not, but we’re going to keep digging since we set out to see if we can determine anything that the Yukon ‘does better’ than the Tahoe.

Red 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe in front of cityscape at dusk

3. Utility Ratings

When properly equipped, the Yukon (with the 6.2-liter V8) can haul up to 7,100 LBS, and tow up to 8,400 LBS. A properly-equipped Tahoe with the 6.2-liter V8 has a 7,300 LB max payload and can tow up to 8,100 LBS. That said, this is yet another category where we can call it “too close to call.


4. Exterior Design

We saved this until last because any discussion of aesthetics is going to be largely subjective. In this case, there’s an added level of complexity considering that the body styling is largely the same. Differences in the grille and front fascia, as well as headlight design are going to be the defining variables, and it will ultimately come down to which fit your personal preferences.

Based on those variables, both the Yukon and Tahoe serve as on-brand representations of the lineup they are included in. That said, the Tahoe’s simplified front end doesn’t do it any major service, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking car, but (considering the price point) it feels sabotaged by its consistency of design with Chevy’s other SUVs and crossovers.

On the other hand, the Yukon makes a noticeable first impression, regardless of trim level. The oversized grill creates the illusion of both size and power more successfully than that of the Tahoe, but the Yukon’s appearance also reads of refinement.  That said, we finally have one area where (in our opinion) the Yukon bests the Tahoe. It’s a small, subjective victory (and one you might not agree with) but we’d all be lying if we couldn’t admit that superficial superiority isn’t a major influence in any vehicle purchase.


The Choice is Yours

So, in conclusion (and, let’s be honest, there are no real surprises here) we’d be hard pressed to find any reasons why the Yukon would be rated over the Tahoe (or vice versa) At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference as to which of these two GM stablemates are a better fit for you. If you’re interested in a closer look at these two GM offerings, here’s one courtesy of The Fast Lane Truck.


That said, which is your preference, in terms of the 2018 offerings?