Chevy, GMC, And Cadillac's Diesel Engine Is Worth The Wait

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The 2021 Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon benefit from the great gas mileage, too.

All three of General Motors' full-size SUV models, the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and the all-new Cadillac Escalade, will be available with a 3.0-liter turbocharged Duramax inline-six diesel engine producing 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. This engine will be available before the end of the calendar year 2020. While the diesel engine lacks the available V8 engines' power, it makes up for this deficit in torque and fuel economy.

GM has been claiming a significant fuel economy improvement with the diesel engine, but we've been left to speculate on how much that increase would be up until now. Finally, the EPA has published fuel economy figures for all three of the full-size GM vehicles. And the results are great.

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The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is the most efficient of the bunch, rated at 21/28/24 mpg city/highway/combined with 2WD. For comparison, the 5.3-liter V8 with 2WD only musters 16/20/18. The EPA doesn't list any fuel economy ratings for the diesel engine with 4WD, even though this option is listed on the configuration tools. For the longer Chevy Suburban, the ratings are slightly lower at 21/27/23.

Those numbers are identical for both the 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. There is no available listing for the Escalade ESV, though we don't anticipate the numbers will change drastically.

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Seeing nearly 30 mpg in a full-size SUV like a Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, or Escalade, even on the highway cycle, is truly uncharted territory. Many mid-size SUVs with three rows can't even come close to this figure, so it's impressive to see such efficiency on some of the largest vehicles on the market.

We still don't know how much the Duramax diesel will cost as an option over the base 5.3-liter V8 found in the Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon. Seeing as Cadillac will offer the diesel as a no-cost option instead of the 6.2-liter V8, we assume it should be priced evenly with that engine in the Chevy and GMC models.

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