Chevy Suburban vs. GMC Yukon XL: Compare SUVs

The Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL are pure America. This three-row, full-size SUV packs a punch, including space, power, equipment and options.

The 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2023 GMC Yukon are cousins ​​that share their underpinnings, powertrains, features and most options. The chrome-laden GMC Yukon Denali meets its match in the new Suburban High Country Edition. Both push price tags of nearly $100,000.

The general difference between the two depends on how much you want to spend and how strong you like your car’s nose. Both earn strong TCC ratings, but which is the other? Let’s take a look.

2023 Chevrolet Suburban

Suburban vs. Yukon XL trims and prices

  • Suburbans start around $57,000

  • Base Yukons cost $60,495—and require OnStar

  • Top picks: Suburban LT and Yukon SLT

How much does a Chevy Suburban cost?

You’ll save money by buying a Suburban—more if you stick with base models. The Suburban LS has a sticker price of $57,295, which includes power front seats, remote start, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We like the Suburban LT for about $65,000 (plus $3,000 for all-wheel drive). Step through the RST, Premier and Z71 trims to get to the most expensive Suburban High Country, and you’ll be paying around $90,000 with some options.

How much does a GMC Yukon XL cost?

With a base price of more than $60,000, the Yukon XL comes with a larger 10.2-inch touchscreen than the Suburban, but is otherwise the same. The big caveat: GMC forces buyers to take a $1,500 package of OnStar connected vehicle services, which you may not want, use or need. If you can handle it, go for the Yukon XL SLT at about $67,000 and save money over the pricier AT4 and the awesome but very expensive GMC Yukon XL Denali Ultimate.

Winner: Chevy Suburban

2023 Chevrolet Suburban

2023 Chevrolet Suburban

Suburban vs. Yukon XL performance

Are the GMC Yukon XL and Chevy Suburban 4WD?

Most versions can be had with four-wheel drive. It’s standard on high-end versions like the Denali Ultimate, and the available electronic limited-slip differential helps with traction in snow, mud and rain. Bumpy off-road tires and skid plates can be fitted.

How fast are the GMC Yukon XL and Chevy Suburban?

Base versions of both vehicles have a 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 with plenty of pulling power, paired with a sometimes clunky 10-speed automatic. For more expensive but stronger traction, the 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 ​​gets better fuel economy, but also costs more for fuel. The top-line 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 has tremendous acceleration and a great soundtrack, too.

An excellent ride in either vehicle counteracts a big, bruised look. In both, an independent suspension can be enhanced with air springs and adaptive damping that can raise or lower the vehicle for better off-road performance or highway efficiency – a good thing – and can offset the ride impact generated by large 22-inch wheels. No SUV handles like a well-tuned crossover, but their mass dissolves at highway speeds thanks to precise steering.

Winner: Tie

2023 GMC Yukon

2023 GMC Yukon

Suburb vs. Yukon XL towing and hauling

In either the Yukon XL or Suburban, towing can be a breeze—though the ratings are much lower than some full-size pickups. The Yukon XL with a trailer package can tow up to 8,400 lb. The Suburban checks in at 8,300 lb when configured with rear-wheel drive and the 5.3-liter V-8. Overall towing ratings may be lower, but vehicles with the more powerful V-8 and turbodiesel may feel less strained than the still-strong V-8.

Winner: GMC Yukon XL, with 100 lb

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

Suburban vs. Yukon XL cargo space and utility

Both the Yukon XL and Suburban can be configured to seat up to nine passengers, while holding a huge amount of gear in their cargo spaces. Utility is not an issue – the main question is whether there is too much room for some who would be better served by a crossover SUV instead.

Most of these SUVs come with a pair of front buckets, a set of captain’s chairs or a three-person bench in the middle of the row and a folding bench in the third row. An option for a front bench seat brings total capacity up to nine, but adults shouldn’t count on more than two getting in the way – and getting back there will take some gymnastics, despite the fold-down middle row seats.

By the numbers, the Yukon XL and Suburban can fit more than 41 cubic feet of stuff behind their third-row seats, or 145 cubic feet behind the front seats. Small items will find a home in a dozen or so pockets, bins and consoles located throughout the cabin.

Winner: Tie

2023 Chevrolet Suburban

2023 Chevrolet Suburban

Suburban vs. Yukon XL fuel economy

  • V-8s are thirsty for fuel

  • Diesel costs more and fuel prices are also higher

No one will call these large SUVs fuel efficient, even with cylinder deactivation. Base models match EPA fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg combined. The most efficient versions get the turbo diesel and its EPA combined rating of 24/23 mpg – but these versions cost extra not only for the powertrain but also for the diesel fuel per gallon. At worst, the big V-8 models tip the EPA scales at about 16 mpg combined.

Winner: Neither

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

Yukon XL vs Suburban technology and features

Which GMC Yukon should I buy?

With prices starting at more than $60,000, the GMC Yukon XL has Champagne flavor, even in base versions with cloth seats and 18-inch wheels. Suburbans cost a little less at about $55,000 for the LS model — but the GMC comes with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, while the Suburban settles for an 8.0-inch touchscreen. However, both screens deliver wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

We like the Yukon XL SLT — which costs around $65,000 and has leather, 20-inch wheels, wireless smartphone charging and Bose audio — more than the AT4 edition and its rugged good looks.

How much does a fully loaded GMC Yukon cost?

It’s possible to spend nearly $100,000 for a Yukon XL Denali Ultimate and its Super Cruise adaptive cruise control, 12-speaker Bose audio, and fine leather interior.

Which Chevrolet Suburban should I buy?

The Suburban LS’s cloth upholstery is good, as is its touchscreen interface and electric front seats. Still, we’d spend more for the LT and its 10.2-inch touchscreen, which also features GM’s new Google-based operating system, with Google Maps and Assistant. The LT also gets a power tailgate, heated front seats, Bose audio and leather.

How much does a fully loaded Chevrolet Suburban cost?

Jump on past the RST, Premier and Z71 trims to land on the Suburban High Country, which combines a luxury interior with a few options and commands around $90,000.

All versions of both have a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty that comes with a free service appointment.

Winner: GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

Suburban vs. Yukon XL exterior and interior

  • High base prices for both, but cloth interior is standard

  • Both have edgy, handsome style

  • Polished interior – especially Denali and High Country

Is the GMC Yukon a good-looking SUV?

It’s stylish and dressy, in an understated way. The Yukon XL has a 15-inch stretch in its rear doors, which doesn’t affect how it carries itself. It’s a simple look but well done – and the extra length of the XL offsets the massive front and its C-shaped accents. AT4 models carry some off-road cues that may appeal primarily to those who use it as a towing device. Inside, the Yukon has a soothing and calming look, with luxurious touches of metal detailing and leather.

Is the Chevrolet Suburban a good-looking car?

It’s also stylish, if a bit more conservative inside. The sharp details on the Suburban’s front end do not detract from the balanced and streamlined shape it delivers from the sides and rear, even in the blacked-out RST and high-riding ZL1 specifications. The interior has a push-button shifter, which we don’t care for, but has well-organized functionality that cleans up nicely in High Country trim.

Winner: GMC Yukon XL

2023 Chevrolet Suburban with Super Cruise

2023 Chevrolet Suburban with Super Cruise

Suburban vs Yukon XL safety

The Suburban and Yukon both have standard automatic emergency braking, but both share a four-star overall rating from the NHTSA that is below par, especially for such new builds. Options range from blind spot monitors to active lane control and a surround camera system; there’s also a rearview camera mirror and Super Cruise, GM’s amazing driver assistance setup that allows for hands-free driving on some 300,000 miles of mapped North American roads. It’s not “self-driving” – it’s better than the misleading misleading term.

Winner: Tie

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

Winner: GMC Yukon XL

Both SUVs remain a strong choice for any driver who needs a lot of space and a lot of towing capacity. We give the 2023 GMC Yukon a TCC rating of 6.5 out of 10, with an outstanding rating for styling that only becomes more compelling in its most expensive Denali models. (Read more about how we rate cars.) The Suburban is just shy of the GMC with a TCC rating of 6.2 out of 10, with lower styling scores but otherwise identical scores. If value is at the top of your list, the Suburban may be cheaper — and may be the better choice. Otherwise, GMC’s largest SUV remains our favorite of the pair.

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