[2015] Cadillac Escalade vs. Chevy Suburban vs. GMC Yukon Denali vs. Chevy Tahoe - Compare- New 2017

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2015 Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevy Suburban is the original SUV, as well as the oldest nameplate on the market today—it has been around in one form or another since 1935. And while the 2015 Chevy Suburban shares more than just its name with the original, it pushes into brand-new territory as well.

For this year's new 2015 Suburban, Chevy has turned to some traditional touches--big shoulders, big V-8 engines, big towing capacity--and some crossover cues like fold-flat rear seats, to bring the Suburban into the same modern family as the recently revamped Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup truck.

Tradition is the keyword for the Suburban's new styling: it's a highly angular, creased-and-pressed look. Still, GM says the design is more aerodynamic than the 2007-2014 Suburban. In person, the new interior looks and feels markedly more up-scale than the previous generation's, particularly in LTZ models, where it moves beyond even the previous Escalade's quality and appearance.

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac has never shied away from size and mass. As early as 1930, there were Cadillacs that weighed more than three tons—and those were cars. Cadillac trucks wouldn’t be along for another seven decades. In the ’30s, Cadillac propelled its biggest classics-to-be with V-12 and even V-16 engines. You could time a zero-to-60-mph run with an alarm clock, but that was about as good as it got unless you wanted to pop for a Duesenberg.

Now Cadillac’s biggies are the Escalade and the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV. These body-on-frame trucks have entered their fourth generation of production since 1999. They share their foundations with the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and GMC Yukon XL. The new standard Escalade is 1.4 inches longer, 1.5 inches wider, and about 100 pounds heavier than last year’s example.

GM’s antidote for the increased dimensions and mass (5870 pounds total in our 4WD test unit) is a re-engineered version of its 6.2-liter pushrod small-block V-8. With refinements that include direct fuel injection, output improves from 403 to 420 horsepower and torque increases from 417 to 460 lb-ft. Performance in the EPA test cycle is also improved, yielding a rating of 14 mpg city and 21 highway. But as the feds love to say, your mileage may vary.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet has introduced its latest full-size Tahoe SUV, and it remains a proper body-on-frame, V-8–powered beast built to handle everything from a rocky trail to towing a large boat, and everything in between. Just like previous Tahoes, the 2015 model rides on a chassis shared with the larger Suburban, as well as the Silverado pickup. Also like the Tahoe that came before it, the new rig’s styling deviates from the Silverado’s, with a sleek new look that conceals an all-new engine, chassis, and up-market cabin.

The Tahoe might seem like a dinosaur in these fuel-conscious days, but it has almost no competition, and thus is quite the profit center for GM. Ford’s slow-selling Expedition, as well as the equally customer-proof Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada are its closest threats—and those trucks are only considered “close threats” because they’re roughly the same size as the Tahoe. Last year, the Chevy outsold its next-best-selling competitor, the Expedition, by a margin of nearly two to one. Besides its usefulness as a tool for towing and hauling, the Tahoe also happens to be a popular people shuffler for Americans who like riding tall in the saddle.

Like A Rock Chiseled By the Wind

Not to lean too heavily on Chevrolet’s old “Like a Rock” ad slogan, but the automaker clearly tried to instill the same basic idea in the new Tahoe. A strengthened, fully boxed ladder frame sits beneath a smoother-looking body. The styling is a departure for Chevrolet, with barbed projector-beam headlights reaching into each front fender; overall, the front graphic matches the brand’s corporate look, but it certainly doesn’t mimic the Silverado.

2015 GMC Yukon Denali

According to General Motors, owners "just love off-roading with [its fullsize body-on-frame sport utility vehicles]," namely the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and GMC Yukon. If that's the case, it's a bit odd that sales of the previous generation of these models with the Z71 off-road package didn't sell particularly well.

Perhaps, considering this disconnect between owner's thoughts and desires with actual sales, it's not surprising that General Motors is reportedly "considering" an off-road specific model. That means the package would include styling changes and badges along with suspension modifications and larger wheels with appropriately sized fender flares.

There's no indication if the off-road model would be called Z71 or when it may potentially go on sale, assuming it ever goes on sale at all.