Meet the next generation of GM sport utility vehicles. The pundits and automotive talking heads may clamor for smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient cars, but if you see any VIP or government official being carted to and fro, it’s likely to be in a full-size SUV.
The space and capability offered by a four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle is without question, and so while vehicles like the Ford Explorer and Nissan Pathfinder have moved to car-based rides, the next generation of Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/XL will continue on with sought-after truck-based underpinnings.
That said, the 2015 Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon are lighter and more efficient than their predecessors, employing cylinder deactivation, direct injection, and continuously variable valve timing in their signature 5.3-liter V8. It generates 355 horsepower, sent through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The exteriors are visually linked to their pickup-truck counterparts, though GM boasts that no exterior parts are shared with the Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra. (This writer remembers a time when it was bragging rights that your SUV was so closely tied to a pickup.)
The interiors have been thoroughly revamped as well, bringing the cabin into this decade. The stereo system is available with Bluetooth streaming capability, as part of Chevy MyLink, and includes Pandora web radio. There are USB power ports scattered like cup holders throughout the cabin, and there is even a 110-volt, wall-style power outlet.
Other gear includes available lane departure warning, collision avoidance and all sorts of other tech goodies. Finally, the Denali Yukon comes with the Magnetic Ride Control found in the Corvette Stingray and Cadillac Escalade.
No word on pricing, but these vehicles will hit dealerships in the first quarter of next year. We’ll be eager to get behind the wheel.