After a long wait, GM's redesigned full-size SUVs are finally here.
Better late than never: GM has officially started regular production of its brand new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon at the Arlington Assembly plant in Arlington, Texas, after several months of setbacks begotten by the coronavirus pandemic. For now, just the regular-wheelbase Tahoe and Yukon are rolling off the line, according to confirmations from GM spokespeople. It's expected that the long-wheelbase Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL will start production shortly after, and the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade will join later in the year.
All of these newly redesigned SUVs share the same T1-platform underpinnings - the same ladder-frame platform that debuted with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra - but with a new fully independent rear suspension setup.
It's hard to communicate just how critical these vehicles are to GM's bottom line. Trucks and SUVs are typically high-priced, high-margin vehicles, not to mention currently tremendously popular, and GM's Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac brands reign supreme, claiming nearly half the full-size SUV market combined.
But Ford made a big play for the heart of the market with its 2018 redesign of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, updating them with advanced aluminum alloy bodies and torquey EcoBoost powerplants, and leaving GM to play catch up.
Despite the fact that production is now underway, certain flavors of the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon aren't set to arrive for some time yet. This includes the sharp, stylish Chevrolet Tahoe RST, the off-roadable GMC Yukon AT4, and any and all models powered by GM's 3.0-liter Duramax diesel six-cylinder. Those options are all expected to arrive this fall.
The Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon are close in starting price, both carrying a base price right around $50,000 and some change. At the high end, either can be optioned to well beyond $80,000 on their top-tier High Country and Denali trim levels without breaking a sweat.