A significant drawback of building cars on the same platform is that they ultimately look the same. The GMC Yukon, the Chevy Tahoe, and the Cadillac Escalade have shared the same basic structure for decades. In the case of the newly released 2021 GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe, GM has allowed for more differentiators to enter the mix. As a result, the new GMC Yukon surpasses its SUV sibling in critical areas and is the one you should put on your driveway.
The GMC Yukon has a refined design
As a consequence of being built on a truck platform, both the GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe resemble their pickup counterparts. From the front, the Tahoe seems almost identical to a Silverado with the enormous front grille that stretches almost the front end’s width. The drawback here is that the Tahoe looks more like a work truck than a luxury SUV. On the other hand, the GMC Yukon utilizes a much smaller grille and chrome elements in an attempt to break up the front end’s design while adding contrast.
The use of chrome continues throughout the rest of the Yukon’s body. While the extra shine comes across as a bit ostentatious in some cases, a large SUV can benefit from the contrast. The GMC offers chrome trim throughout, and it accentuates the body lines in the design that could easily be obstructed by a darker color. The overall result is that the GMC Yukon appears to have a more appealing design with subtle touches that make it feel refined.
The luxury-oriented GMC costs about the same
The GMC Yukon has long since portrayed itself as the luxury midpoint between the Cadillac Escalade and the Chevy Tahoe. Despite this, it’s $50,700 starting price sits eerily close to the Tahoe’s $49,000 base cost. The result is that upgrading to the better-looking GMC won’t require a massive bump in price. As you move up between the trim levels, the Yukon and Tahoe’s prices remain relatively close. It is important to note that both of these SUV’s utilize the same engines, transmissions, and suspension.
Tick all of the option boxes, and these full-size SUVs will top out just under $90,000. Despite the similarity in price, the Tahoe has to use its standard dashboard design. On the other hand, the GMC Yukon has a completely redesigned dashboard for the range-topping Denali trim.
The GMC Yukon Denali benefits from a bespoke dashboard design
According to GMC, the main difference between the dashboards has to do with the screen placement. The Tahoe uses a touchscreen display that seemingly sticks out of the dashboard and is surrounded by the AC vents. The GMC Yukon Denali’s dashboard embeds the screen into its center, lowering its overall height and improving accessibility. The new layout also benefits of upgraded wood trims that are not available in the Tahoe despite its cost.
The GMC’s interior also benefits from small upgrades such as a unique gauge cluster, steering wheel, and AC control layout. The changes to the interior are subtle, much like the exterior. While these changes alone may not be enough of a differentiator, their combination pushes the GMC Yukon above the similarly priced Chevy Tahoe.