2021 Chevy Suburban Tahoe GMC Yukon Mileage Is Crap! Why?

Is this 1998 or 2020? After seeing the mileage figures that GM has finally revealed for its big SUVs we wonder if we’re in a time warp? These mileage figures in 2020 for 2021 models are crap. Honestly? Is this the best mileage GM can squeak out of its flagship SUVs? While GM was able to pull off one mile per gallon better figures for its new big two-wheel-drive SUVs, the four-wheel-drive numbers are terrible. All of the EPA-rated fuel economy figures for the Chevy Suburban, Tahoe, and GMC Yukon are below 20 MPG for highway driving. None do better than 15 MPG in city driving.

2021 Suburban Tahoe and Yukon EPA mileage figures seem like it’s 1990

Credit: Chevrolet

GM has yet to release the 2021 Cadillac Escalade EPA figures but we expect them to be even worse. How can this be for 2021 models whether two- or four-wheel-drive? It seems like we are not progressing much in the mileage department after all of these years. 

Maybe GM figures that with gas being so cheap plus demand and use of vehicles down as a result of the current pandemic that it doesn’t matter. Maybe it doesn’t? But, maybe it does. Millions of Americans are out of jobs right now. When the pandemic subsides and buyers are looking at new models, the few that will, does GM think EPA mileage won’t matter? In hard times? 

Here are the official EPA figures for GM’s 2021 Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon SUVs:

2021 GMC Yukon Denali

5.3-liter-equipped 2WD Tahoes and Suburbans; 16/20/18 mpg city/highway/combined

– 6.2-liter 2WD; 15/20/17 mpg

– 5.3-liter 4WD; 15/19/17 mpg

– 6.2-liter 4WD; 15/19/16 mpg for Tahoe

– 6.2-liter 4WD; 14/19/16 mpg for Suburban

How do these numbers compare with the previous versions of the Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon? Take a look:

– 5.3-liter 2WD: 15/22/18 mpg

– 6.2-liter 2WD: 14/23/17 mpg

– 5.3-liter 4WD: 15/21/17 mpg

– 6.2-liter 4WD: 14/22/17 mpg for Tahoe

– 6.2-liter 4WD return 14/20/16 mpg for Suburban

As you can see the numbers are almost the same. We know that the all-new SUVs are larger than the previous models. GM did this to give passengers a bit more room inside, and also to give them more cargo room. That’s all good. But the size considerations make for mileage compromises. And so we have the numbers shown here.

Our hunch is that Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon hybrid models are waiting in the wings

The new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe as revealed by General Motors.
2021 Chevy Tahoe | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Our hunch is that hybrid models planned for 2021 have been held up due to a combination of the coronavirus situation but also because gas is cheap. Cheaper than it has been in years. So while gas is cheap buyers now won’t be too concerned with the mileage.

As gas prices creep up; and you know they will, GM can offer hybrid versions that give better EPA mileage results right when they are needed. While that doesn’t seem very environmental, GM knows consumers. It knows that it can get away with offering fewer choices now that gas is so cheap. Why complicate marketing, manufacturing, and messaging when you can take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime situation? 

If you will be in the market for one of GM’s big SUVs will the EPA mileage figures affect your decision? Or are you cool with 14 MPG?