The Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL are pure America. We want what we want, when we want it, and a lot of it. These full-size three-row SUV provide plenty of everything, including space, power, equipment, and options.
Essentially the same vehicle, the 2020 Chevrolet Suburban and 2020 Chevrolet Yukon XL share a platform, engines, transmissions, and an interior layout that provides the same space for passengers and cargo. The only real differences are prices and equipment. Both earn a TCC rating of 6.0, but is there a distinguishing factor that makes one better than the other? Let’s take a look.
The Yukon XL is a slightly upscale version of the Suburban and that’s reflected in the price and equipment. The Suburban starts at $52,995 for a rear-wheel-drive LS model with a 355-horsepower 5.3 V-8 and 6-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive adds $3,000. The Yukon XL SLE with rear drive and the same powertrain starts at $54,695, a difference of $1,700. For that money, buyers get a Bose 9-speaker audio system versus a 6-speaker unbranded system, push-button starting, fog lights, and both front and rear park assist instead of just rear park assist.
2020 Chevrolet Suburban
2020 Chevrolet Suburban
2019 GMC Yukon XL 2WD 4-door SLT Angular Front Exterior View
2019 GMC Yukon XL 2WD 4-door SLT Open Doors
Standard features common to both base models include cloth upholstery, three-zone automatic climate control, remote start, an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, HD and satellite radio, a 4G LTE hotspot that provides in-car wi-fi, a limited-slip rear differential, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Suburban offers three models, while the Yukon XL is available in four, so GMC buyers have more trim and equipment options in the middle of the lineup.
At the high-end, however, GMC’s Denali models are well known for being swathed in luxury, but the Suburban offers a similar model called Premier. It costs $69,795, which is $2,000 less than the Yukon XL Denali with rear-drive, but it comes with the base engine and transmission while the Denali gets GM’s 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 mated to a 10-speed automatic. Moving up to the 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed in the Suburban bumps the price to $75,320, $3,525 more than the Denali.
2019 GMC Yukon XL 2WD 4-door SLT Dashboard
2019 GMC Yukon XL 2WD 4-door SLT Front Seats
2020 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD 4-door 1500 Premier Dashboard
2020 Chevrolet Suburban 4WD 4-door 1500 Premier Rear Seats
At that level, the GMC is the clear choice. Not only does it cost less, it also has more equipment. It comes standard with an 8.0-inch driver information center, a head-up display, and an integrated brake controller that are all either optional or unavailable on the Suburban.
Both top models, however, are very well equipped with such features as wireless charging, navigation, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable and heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable steering column, memory for the driver’s position, a hands-free power liftgate, HID headlights, magnetic dampers, and 20-inch wheels. They also come with a full safety suite that includes automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic high beams. The Chevy also gets GM’s Safety Alert seat, which vibrates in the direction of a potential hazard, but the GMC does not.
Both models are also available with options to increase their luxury and utility. They include a sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, power running boards, 22-inch wheels, four-wheel-drive with a 2-speed transfer case, and adaptive cruise control.
The answer to the question of which is right for you depends on your budget. The Suburban costs less to start, though it has slightly less equipment. However, the Yukon XL can be configured in more ways to get the features you want and it’s the clear choice at the high end as it costs less and has more equipment. Either way, if a big SUV is what you want, you get a lot with the Suburban and Yukon XL.