We’re spending time with the newly revamped 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon XL, vehicles that seem to defy the forces of evolution. These are huge, old-school SUVs built on a full-sized pickup chassis in a world where nearly every other SUV has adopted carlike structures.
Standing more than six feet, two inches 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 no denying the Suburban’s iconic status and utility.
GM has found plenty of takers for this formula, with its full-sized SUVs claiming almost three-quarters of this lucrative market. Price hikes for the 2015 models will bring a typically equipped Tahoe to about $60,000, and the Suburban close to $70,000. The top-trim GMC Yukon XL Denali will 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,” as the Suburban is sometimes known, has been modernized without risking becoming too modern.
The interiors of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC 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 around the driver, and a legible and easily understood MyLink touch screen that manages the audio, climate, phone, and navigation systems, the cockpit looks almost modern. If it weren’t for the high-effort, long-reach column shifter, a throwback to the 1970s, and foot-operated parking brake, the interior would be all modern and befitting the vehicle’s price tag.