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2019 Chevrolet Tahoe vs. 2019 GMC Yukon: What's the Difference?

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author photo by Eric Brandt October 2018
  • The 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe and the 2019 GMC Yukon are mechanically identical with a few differences setting them apart.

  • The GMC Yukon is more luxury-oriented and more expensive than the Tahoe.

  • The Chevy and the GMC are essentially the same SUV with two different personalities.

Full-size SUVs are great for the driver who needs it all. If you need to haul a lot of people, carry around a lot of cargo and tow a boat all at the same time, a big, hulking, old-school SUV is the right tool for the job. There are only a handful of options in the full-size SUV segment, and two of the most popular choices are the Chevrolet Tahoe and the GMC Yukon.

These two SUVs have a lot in common. They ride in the same platform and offer the same engines, but between the visual differences, different pricing and different brand-specific trims, there are enough differences between the two to make them their own distinct models. Let's take a closer look at the similarities and differences between the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe and the 2019 GMC Yukon.

Exterior

One of the biggest and most obvious differences between the two SUVs is their exterior appearances. The Tahoe and the Yukon both have a look that's both rugged and classy, with the Tahoe more on the rugged side and the Yukon carrying a more premium look. They both look nicer in their higher trims, and the Yukon Denali has a special, sculpted grille, premium wheels and Denali badging, indicating the luxury inside.

The Tahoe has a few special editions that keep things visually interesting. There's a sporty RST Edition with special wheels, black accents and red brake calipers, a classy Premier Plus Edition with luxurious appointments that make it look almost as nice as the Yukon Denali and the Midnight Edition, which has a lot of tasteful black accents from the wheels to the grille to the badging.

The different personalities of the Yukon and the Tahoe are made clear with their exteriors. It's hard to pick which one is better looking than the other, and it mostly comes down to personal taste.

Interior

The Chevy and the GMC are more similar on the inside than they are on the outside. Their interior designs are identical, with the biggest difference being which emblem is on the steering wheel.

But having the same interior isn't necessarily a bad thing because this interior is comfortable, functional and very spacious. It's only roomy for the first and second rows, however, and it's quite cramped in the third row. The third-row seats are fine for kids, but adults won't be comfortable back there. Cargo space is pretty generous thanks to the boxy shape of these SUVs.

The interiors of both of these SUVs can get very nice, with features like leather seats, a sunroof, a head-up display, wireless charging and back-seat entertainment. A few nice standard features on every trim of both SUVs include tri-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Mechanicals

The base engine in both the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe is a 5.3-liter V8 that makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It's fairly economical for its size, achieving 15 miles per gallon in city driving and 22 mpg on the highway, and it has a maximum towing capacity of up to 8,600 pounds when you opt for the Max Trailering Package on the 2-wheel drive models. For more power and about the same fuel economy, you can upgrade either SUV to a 6.2-liter V8 that pumps out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Incidentally, the 6.2-liter engine has a lower maximum towing capacity than the smaller engine at 8,400 pounds.

They both come standard with rear-wheel drive, but both are available with 4-wheel drive for better traction in bad road conditions and for off-roading capabilities. All-wheel drive, however, adds to the price and hurts fuel economy, so there's a bit of a trade-off.

Features and Technology

The infotainment systems in these two SUVs are technically different, but still very similar. The Chevy MyLink and GMC Intellilink systems both offer a generous host of features, including a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, optional navigation and tons of USB ports not just by the screen, but all over the interior.

When we look at the safety tech of these SUVs, we find another difference between the two. Both come standard with rear parking sensors, but only the Yukon comes standard with front parking sensors on every trim, which are optional in the Tahoe. Other safety tech that comes in every trim of both models except for the base trims are adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, front automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alert. That's a lot of safety tech, but we wish more of it were standard on the base trims of these SUVs.

Pricing

Pricing is where you'll find another difference between the Tahoe and the Yukon. From the bottom to the top, the Yukon costs a little more than the Tahoe even when similarly equipped. The Tahoe starts at $47,900, and the GMC Yukon has a starting MSRP of $49,500. On the high end, the Tahoe Premier starts at $63,895, and the posh Yukon Denali starts at $66,600.

With the Yukon, you're mostly paying for the fancier look and fancier nameplate. Considering they're so similar, and one is more affordable than the other, the Tahoe is a better value than the Yukon.

Conclusion

Neither of these SUVs is necessarily better than the other. As we said at the beginning, they're really the same SUV with a few differences setting them apart. Which one is right for you simply depends on which one you like more.

If you're looking for value, then you'll probably prefer the price of the Chevy. If you want something that not everyone else at work drives, however, you'll want the Yukon, which offers something a little different from its more affordable, more common counterpart.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Chevrolet Tahoe vs. 2019 GMC Yukon: What's the Difference? - Autotrader