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Chevy Tahoe vs GMC Yukon

Chevy Tahoe vs GMC Yukon

If you happen to be scouting around for a versatile large pre-owned SUV, then these two heavyweights should be on your radar.

These two full-size SUVs share the same platform and pretty much everything else from their General Motors parent.

Read on as we share with you what each of the generations of these true American heavy hitters has to offer.

First Generation

Chevy Tahoe

The nameplate has been around since 1994, when the two-door Chevy Trailblazer was rebranded as the Tahoe, and a four-door version was introduced along with the name change.

The four-door models were longer than the two-door models, and Tahoes were available in base, LS, and LT trim levels. Power came from Chevrolet's 5.7-liter small-block V8, making 200 horsepower, and a 180-horsepower turbocharged 6.5-liter Detroit Diesel V8 was made available in 1994. Only the two-door 4WD models used the 6.5-liter turbo diesel.

The two-door Tahoe was dropped in 1999 when the second generation was revealed. However, two special edition models, the 2WD Tahoe Limited and 4WD Tahoe Z71, fitted with a 5.7L Vortec V8 making 255 horsepower were offered for the 2000 model year only.

GMC Yukon

With mechanicals similar to the Tahoe, the Yukon was available in base, SLE, and SLT trims. The "Yukon GT" trim level was on offer for the 1992 to 1994 two-door Yukons with exterior enhancements such as a monochromatic grille, front and rear bumpers, the exclusive "Yukon GT" badges on both doors and interior upgrades with bucket seating and center console.

The Yukon received an available "AutoTrac" full-time all-wheel drive system in 1998, and the exclusive GMC Yukon upscale Denali trim line was introduced in 1999 to compete against the Lincoln Navigator.

Second Generation

Chevy Tahoe

The Tahoe was redesigned and launched for the 2000 model year, still sharing the platform with Chev's full-sized pickups. Two new engines replaced the previous V8s: a new 275 horsepower 4.8 Liter Vortec V8 in base Tahoe trims and a 5.3 liter 285 horsepower Vortec V8.

Interior highlights are the standard side-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger, automatic headlamp control standard, a power-operated sunroof that was optional for the first time, and a new upscale 9-speaker audio system fitted with a rear-mounted subwoofer.

A major refresh was seen in 2003 and featured a StabiliTrak stability enhancement system, dual-level airbags, a passenger-sensing system, adjustable brakes, and accelerator pedals with memory. Infotainment saw a new radio system with a Radio Data System (RDS) and a custom-designed Bose audio system for trims with front bucket seats.

Production of the second-gen Tahoe continued until 2006.

GMC Yukon

As was the case for the first generation, the Yukon shares a powertrain and drivetrain similar to the Tahoe for this 2000 model. As per the Tahoe, the Yukon features an all-new independent front suspension with torsion  bars, an all-new five-link rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel disc brakes.

In 2004, the 4.8L Vortec V8 output was upped to 285 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and the 5.3L Vortec V8 also upped its power to 295 hp and 330 pound-feet of torque.

Trim levels available continued as per the previous generation.

Third Generation

Chevy Tahoe

For the 2007 model year, General Motors redesigned the Tahoe on the new GMT900 platform, and a hybrid version using a shared GM/Chrysler Advanced Hybrid System 2 was first seen in 2008.

For this third generation, both SUVs received different front fascias, hood, and tail lights. The Tahoe featured a front grill divided horizontally with a body-color bar. The Tahoe cabin also received a redesign with features such as the faux wood trim dashboard with chrome-accented instrument controls and a new inset gauge cluster design.

Other changes included new door panels and seats. Base models only offer seating up to nine passengers.

GMC Yukon

For 2006, the Yukon sported a new monolithic grille and headlights, plus the aforementioned redesigns on the Tahoe. The Yukon and larger Yukon XL continued with trim levels of SLE, SLT and Denali.

For 2009, the 6.2-liter engine in the exclusive Yukon Denali now made 403 horsepower.

Fourth Generation

Chevy Tahoe

For the 2015 model year, the fifth-gen showed off different front fascias; however, from the base of the A-pillars backward, the two SUVs share most of their styling. The new inlaid doors tuck into the door sills to improve aerodynamics and fuel economy, plus reduce cabin noise. The front hood and liftgate panels are now aluminum to reduce vehicle weight, and both received a new, more efficient, direct-injected EcoTec3 powertrain.

The Tahoe front headlights feature projector-beam headlamps, and the top LTZ trim features high-intensity discharge headlamps and LED daytime running lamps.

GMC Yukon

The redesigned Yukon interior added more features than the Tahoe models, including seats stuffed with dual-firmness foam, a standard Bose sound system, SD card slots, laminated windshield glass and front windows for reduced interior noise.

The Yukon range also added a standard eight-inch-diagonal color touchscreen radio with enhanced IntelliLink and available navigation.

The Denali trim was redesigned for 2015 and continued with its top-of-the-line features, showing a front grille with a honeycomb design. The Denali was equipped with new active noise-cancellation technology and GM's third-generation magnetic ride control suspension as a standard feature.

Fifth Generation

Chevy Tahoe

Introduced late in 2019 and still in production, the Tahoe and Yukon now feature an independent rear multi-link suspension setup with coil springs. The Tahoe has grown in length, upping its cargo space.

Interior highlights on both models are a 10.25-inch touchscreen standard on all trims and a pair of 12.6-inch LCD rear screens for rear passengers operable from a smartphone.

Trims carry on as the basic LS, LT, and Premier, with the Z71 and RST now part of the trim level, plus a new range-topping High Country trim.

GMC Yukon

Mirroring the mechanicals of the Tahoe, the Yukon is fitted with a standard 5.3-liter V-8 and an optional 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V-8, all paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The latest lineup of trims are SLE, SLT, Denali, and a new 4WD-exclusive AT4 trim that is equipped as standard with the Magnetic Ride Control electronically adaptive dampers.

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