Most of the puzzle pieces have fallen into place with GM’s new full-size SUVs, but today we have fuel economy and towing to add to the picture. Numbers for the standard 5.3-liter V8 and upgrade 6.2-liter V8 are out, but GM has held back on the 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six for the time being. Those numbers are most likely not ready yet.
2021 Tahoe/Yukon 4WD: 16/20/18
2021 Suburban/Yukon XL 4WD: 15/19/17
2021 Tahoe/Yukon 2WD: 15/20/17
2021 Tahoe/Yukon 4WD: 14/19/16
2021 Suburban/Yukon XL 2WD: 15/20/17
2021 Suburban/Yukon XL 4WD: 14/19/16
As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options. You can eke out an extra mpg here and there, but it’s a penalty we’d be happy to live with to have four-wheel traction. The biggest loser in all of this is highway mpg. Chevy has made the trucks bigger and added weight with the independent rear suspension, causing a decrease in fuel economy. For example, a 2020 Tahoe with the 6.2-liter V8 and four-wheel drive is rated at 14/22/17. The 2021 truck drops 3 mpg on the highway and 1 mpg in the combined rating. There are improvements to be found, though. A 2020 Suburban with the 5.3-liter V8 and four-wheel drive is rated 14/21/16. Fuel economy in the city goes up 1 mpg, but you lose 2 mpg on the highway and 1 mpg in the combined rating. There’s a bit of give and take here, but at least a slight increase in city mpg has accompanied the greater loss in highway fuel economy.
As for towing, the Tahoe/Yukon with the 5.3-liter V8 and two-wheel drive has a new 7,900-pound capacity, and the four-wheel drive model is rated at 7,700 pounds. Respectively, those are the best figures you’ll get with the standard towing capacity. Opt for the maximum towing package, and the Tahoe/Yukon capacities go up to 8,400 pounds (two-wheel drive) and 8,200 pounds (four-wheel drive). The numbers all take slight cuts when you go for the 6.2-liter V8. Both the Suburban and Yukon XL offer similar or identical towing figures as their shorter counterparts do. The new maximums are notable because they represent an increase over the 2020 capacities, and GM did that while adding an independent rear suspension.
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