So you’re in the big leagues now. Van-life, save it for the burnt out hippy baby boomers. Van was never an option. A small sized suv: that’s like calling your party barge a speedboat just because it has a motor. No, you need a Full-Size Sport Utility Vehicle. Terms like dad-rock and soccer mom fail to define you as a person. You’re a parent, yes. But you’ve also got a career, a social life, and a thirst for off-road adventure. Mid-life isn’t a crisis; it’s a badge of responsibility earned that you proudly carry. And you need a vehicle that can do the heavy lifting necessary to support those many complexities that make up your life.
But what happens when naturally you narrow your choices down to corporate twins, 2019 Chevy Tahoe vs 2019 GMC Yukon, only to be stumped by the striking similarities of two distinct Large SUVs that are built under the same General Motors umbrella. Here’s our side by side spec breakdown to help you make the right choice:
Pound for pound, engine for engine. The base models of the Tahoe and the Yukon are exactly the same. Both leave the factory outfitted with a standard 5.3-liter V-8 engine with a six-speed transmission capable of providing 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.
The 2019 edition of the Tahoe finally provides another option for a possible upgraded 6.2-liter V-8 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission in what Chevy is calling their Premium Plus Special Edition; their previous first-time inclusion of a 6.2-liter V-8 in the Tahoe frame came last year with the Chevy RST Performance Edition Tahoe. Both are available now as upscale trim options at a price tag hovering around the 75,000 dollar mark.
The GMC Yukon also offers a similar alternative option for a 6.2-liter V-8 Engine with a 10-speed transmission that comes standard now with the Denali trim and is also made available on the new SLT Graphite Performance Edition package. The price tag for the Denali and SLT Graphite Performance Edition are comparable to the Yukon.
The 6.2-liter V-8 in either full-size SUV is capable of cranking out 420 hp with 460-pound feet of torque. As far as maximum towing capacity, the Tahoe has a slight edge getting 8,600-pound tow rating vs the Yukon’s 8,500. Mind you this is nothing to scoff about in terms of SUV engine performance but unfortunately, there is not much of a winner when both vehicles share the same powertrain. It was almost inevitable that both Chevy and GMC would have access to the same General Motors’ powertrain technology, so there are no surprises here.
All the Trimmings
A turkey is a turkey no matter how you cook it, so just like Thanksgiving dinner for a vegetarian, it comes down to the trimmings. When deciding between the corporate twins, options is the name of the game, and the 2019 GMC Yukon is the obvious winner. GMC offers three levels of trim: SLE, SLT, and the Denali. All trim levels seat eight comfortably with an option for a front row bench to seat 9 in the SLT. All trims come standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, a teen-driver monitoring system, OnStar communications, 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, an 8-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Bose nine-speaker audio system with a CD player and satellite radio. Even the base model of the Yukon is decked out in luxury. When it comes to the SLT and Denali packages, options increase to include a possible sunroof, adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, and a rear-seat entertainment system. While only the Denali offers power-retractable side steps.
With the SLT trim alone, Yukon offers luxury amenities like heated leather seats, wireless charging pad, hands-free liftgate technology, electric folding mirrors, and keyless entry and ignition. And for the ultimate indulgence, Yukon offers the Denali, a subsection of decadence that deserves its’ own title and not just an abbreviation. Aside from the larger engine previously discussed, the Denali includes all previous options in addition to adaptive suspension dampers, trailer brake controller, a ten-speaker surround sound system, and active noise cancellation. Once again with the options, GMC Yukon offers most of these upgrades individually over all three of their trim levels.
In recent years, the Chevy Tahoe has begun to offer many of the premium upgrades options that come standard for GMC Yukon base models, but the standard Tahoe still comes in three trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. The main difference between the two vehicles starts to show here at the base level. The Chevy Tahoe offers a very limited scope of options with the LS while the Yukon is decked out from the start. The LS gets the same tri-zone automatic climate control but little else in the way of comfort and control on the interior. The technology is very comparable with a teen-driver monitoring system, 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot, Onstar Communication, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. In order for the LT to compete with the Yukon’s second-tier trim, drivers must add a luxury package. Only then do the options like hands-free tailgate opener, electric folding mirrors, heated seating, wireless charging pad, and keyless entry and ignition. And finally, the top of the line Premium Tahoe does come with many of the luxury additions from the Yukon Denali – adaptive suspension dampers, sunroof, rear seat entertainment system- but with a smaller engine and less decadence comfort wise on the inside. As mentioned previously, the Chevy Tahoe is now finally offering the larger engine in RST and Premium Plus Editions, but once again Chevy comes at you with another upgrade.
Not So Identical Fraternal Twins
Before you start claiming that the 2019 GMC Yukon and the 2019 Chevy Tahoe should be candidates for the next doublemint twins, take a closer look at their trim options. The GMC Yukon has more options available at the base model while the Tahoe limits those options parceling them out with upgrade after upgrade. With the same frame and powertrain, it comes down to the comfort and decadence that the GMC Yukon offers at all trim levels, but especially in the Denali.