Want A Full-Size Diesel SUV? You'll Have To Wait

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GM's diesel full-size SUVs aren't expected to enter production until November at the soonest.

There's good news for full-size SUV shoppers: GM is gracing its all-new full-size SUVs - the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade - with a diesel option for 2021. The move expands the number of choices SUV shoppers have when it comes to powerplants, and it goes without saying that the 3.0L LM2 Duramax diesel should deliver a sizable bump in the fuel economy department, although the EPA hasn't yet released numbers for that mill. And there's a reason why.

Unfortunately, if you're among the multitude of new GM SUV shoppers holding out for diesel power, you'll have to wait; a spokesperson for the automaker tells us that the LM2 will only be available late in the 2021 model year, and not at launch.

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How late is "late"? We have reason to believe that production of the LM2-equipped GM full-size SUVs will begin in November, at the earliest. But of course, we find ourselves in a fluid situation at the moment; new car shoppers might have to wait even longer than that.

The LM2 is a turbocharged inline-six diesel engine with peak output ratings of 277 horsepower and a stout 460 lb-ft of torque - at least in GM's full-size trucks. In the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2WD, the oil-burner manages 27 mpg on the combined cycle, compared to 21 mpg combined for the turbocharged 2.7L gasoline engine.

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The LM2 will be available across the lineup, save for Chevrolet's Z71 Tahoe and Suburban models, and the GMC Yukon AT4 - basically, all the off-road-oriented variants. That may seem like a puzzling choice, given the correlation between enjoying off-roading and living the diesel lifestyle, but it's reportedly a packaging issue; the Z71 and AT4 models feature revised front fascias designed to maximize the approach angle off-road, and that fascia doesn't leave enough room for the Duramax intercooler.

Still, it's a good thing that GM is offering diesel power for its full-size SUVs at all. You won't hear us complaining.

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