Skip to main content

General Motors has manufactured some of the most beautiful automobiles America has to offer. With luxury vehicles such as Cadillac Escalade and the GMC Yukon Denali, owning a GM-made product can be quite costly for consumers. However, efficiency and costs should decrease as time-tested models are built on a particular platform, shouldn’t they? A recent article in Forbes suggests this isn’t the case for GM.

What can GM SUV owners expect to pay in the first year for service?

2022 Chevy Tahoe High Country GM SUV front end, grille, and headlights
2022 Chevy Tahoe High Country | Chevrolet

Various maintenance procedures must be done to keep General Motors vehicles performing at their best. Vehicle warranty and servicing costs are usually consistent over four years without significant changes. 

For General Motors, the cost of its 2021 SUV models has increased threefold compared to other automakers. According to Forbes, GM’s service and warranty costs for the Chevrolet Tahoe increased from $144 in 2020 to $668 in 2021. The GMC Yukon tripled from $193 in 2020 to $716 in 2021, with the Yukon XL rising from $251 in 2020 to $719 a year later. 

GM is heading in the wrong direction compared to competitors like Ford, which upgraded the Explorer with troubling results, according to Kelley Blue Book. Like Ford, most auto manufacturers learn from their mistakes and tend to keep first-year maintenance fees to a minimum over time. When the Ford Explorer’s first-year service and warranty costs rose from $184 to $412, the automaker reduced it to $211 in 2021 after making the necessary changes to improve the model. 

The most expensive General Motors models to maintain

The Cadillac Escalade is one of the most luxurious SUVs on the market, thanks to its smooth ride, ample cargo area, and elegant interior. Services and warranty costs for the 2020 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV were $341 and $348. When GM changed its SUV platform in 2021, service and warranty prices soared to a staggering $1,115 for the Escalade and $1,030 for its ESV trim.

What are the reasons behind GM’s rising maintenance costs?

The drastic increase in maintenance and warranty costs to some General Motors SUVs can be attributed to one main factor. GM decided to build some of its SUVs on a platform initially used for pickup trucks. In doing so, it had a significant negative impact on after-purchase maintenance. The 2021 model year was the first iteration since the SUV platform change, and of course, some hiccups can be expected. The question is, will GM address the issue sooner rather than later?  

What model changes affect first-year service costs?

Maintaining an automobile should become more affordable as problems are fixed. Forbes reports that if vehicle repairs are expensive in the first year, they will also be costly in subsequent years. Consumers should avoid this, if possible, by avoiding the first model year of an automobile, such as in the case with these new General Motors SUVs.

Car manufacturing is a constantly evolving process, pushing the boundaries of luxury, efficiency, and affordability. Car manufacturers are continuously competing to offer consumers the best options available on any market. There will inevitably be mistakes and recalls if automotive perfection is to be achieved. To remain competitive, GM must follow in Ford’s footsteps by reducing the high maintenance costs of its select SUV models. The impact of not doing so will undoubtedly hurt the company’s bottom line in the end.


How Much Is the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500?