Chevrolet Tahoe vs. GMC Yukon: Which SUV Is Best For You

Chevrolet Tahoe vs. GMC Yukon: Which SUV Is Best For You

The Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon are two of the best large family SUVs, but regardless of whether your tribe is big or small, anyone can benefit from owning one or the other because they're both so versatile. 

Both SUVs are great if you need a bigger vehicle to fit all your friends and gear. Both allow for even your third-row passengers to have legroom. And, with both rows of rear seats folded down, both can quickly become pickup trucks with a built-in cap. 

There are many reasons why you’d want a Tahoe or Yukon, but things can get a little tricky when it comes to choosing one over the other because they’re so similar. Even their names have similar meanings. The Yukon and Lake Tahoe are both fantastic destinations for skiing, camping, and breathtaking scenery. 

However, like the two destinations, each SUV has features that make it unique and inviting. Here we size up the Tahoe and the Yukon to help you decide which is the best option for you.

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The same but different

The Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon are like twins. Technically, they come from the same parent company, General Motors, so mistaking them for doppelgangers is understandable. Both share enough similarities to make you think they're the same at first glance, but as you get to know them, you'll notice slight differences that help to tell them apart. 

Built with the same powertrain on the same GM truck platform, both the Tahoe and the Yukon look like pickups from the front. However, unlike a truck, they fit your whole family comfortably, with room for up to eight passengers.

How are the Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon similar?

Size and appearance are the most obvious ways that these large SUVs compare. Both have a truck-like front end and a similar side and back profile. Since they're sizable, both base models come with a larger 5.3-liter V8 engine. Depending on your needs, you can also get a 6.2-liter V8 engine or three-liter turbodiesel.

Both vehicles weigh upwards of 5,000 pounds, making for fuel efficiency of 16 mpg in the city and 20 on the highway. But they make up for it by not breaking a sweat when it comes to towing. Either vehicle has a towing capacity of up to 8,400 pounds, depending on the trim level.

The Tahoe and Yukon can also handle snowy roads and move the journey off-road with plenty of ground clearance. An off-road setting is also available on four-wheel-drive models of both vehicles to cover rougher terrains and conditions.

How do the interiors of the Tahoe and Yukon compare?

Along with their towing capacity, another benefit of driving a vehicle as large as either of these is space. If you're looking for something that will fit your large family or team, both SUVs seat up to eight passengers with three rows of seating, second-row captain's seats, and comfortable front seats for the driver and copilot. It's worth noting the third row has enough legroom to comfortably seat three adults.

When you need to run errands or transport bulky items, the second and third-row seats easily fold down to make 122.9 cubic feet of storage. At the touch of a button, you have the best of both worlds: access to cargo space that's on par with that of a full-size pickup truck and extra seats when you need them in place of a cargo bed.

2017 GMC Yukon SLT (from $41,950)

2017 GMC Yukon SLT (from $41,950)
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2017 GMC Yukon SLT (from $41,950)
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What kind of technological features do the Tahoe and Yukon have?

Both SUVs have the same touchscreen infotainment system built into the dash, which features nine views, including a hitch view and a rear-cabin media system to keep backseat passengers entertained. With the infotainment system, you can connect to OnStar, Alexa, Apple, and Android ecosystems. Backseat passengers can also tap into the main touchscreen panel, allowing them to send directions from their media system while the driver stays focused on the road. 

The Tahoe and Yukon also include a list of driver assistance and safety features like lane change alert, lane keep alert, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, park assist, and more.

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What are the benefits of owning a Chevrolet Tahoe?

Suppose you're wondering about the differences between the Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon, apart from the appearance of their grills and headlights. In that case, the Tahoe is a better price when buying new. While both start around $50,000 MSRP, the Tahoe has a base price of $49,000 and the Yukon $50,700. While $1,700 might not seem like a significant difference, the trim levels and add-ons add up.

With that said, the base models come with quite a lot of features. If you're interested in heated and power-adjustable seats, a hands-free power liftgate, and an upgraded audio system, you'll want the next trim level up, which comes at the base price of $53,800. Or you can buy a used Tahoe in the same trim level starting at $40,000. The next trim level up goes for around $47,000.

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ (from $43,950)

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ (from $43,950)
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What are the benefits of owning a GMC Yukon?

While the Yukon might come with a slightly larger sticker price, it's arguably the better-looking vehicle both inside and out. It has a more luxurious interior in all base models with less plastic than the Tahoe and more soft-touch surfaces, and it only gets better as the trim models go up. So it's no wonder why many consider the Yukon to be a less costly alternative to the Cadillac Escalade.

If you're stuck on the sticker price, you don't have to live in the lap of luxury to be able to afford it. With used Yukons starting at $38,350, nearly $12,000 less than their new counterparts, you could save enough to embark upon an unforgettable family vacation to the actual Yukon. Or you could put all that extra savings into months' worth of groceries and bills.

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Tahoe or Yukon, which is better?

With the same fuel economy and safety ratings when ranked against other full-size, three-row SUVs, the Tahoe and Yukon are so similar that it's safe to call it a tie. Choosing between the two comes down to budget and aesthetic preference. Do you like the more luxurious look and feel of the Yukon or the truck-like front end and utilitarian vibe of the Tahoe? 

If you're having a hard time deciding, or you think you might like something slightly smaller, we've also compared midsize SUVs and have a more general list of used SUV options here. While we can't tell you which SUV is best for you, we can tell you you'll save thousands buying used instead of new.

Whichever make and model you decide best suits your needs, Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every car. They also have complete vehicle history reports, so you can be sure your used car will feel as good as new. 

So, in the case of the Tahoe and the Yukon, whichever way you go, you'll rest assured knowing you made the right choice for you and your family, no matter how large or small.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team