Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
General Motors has today unveiled its new family of fullsize SUVs, including the 2015 Chevy Tahoe, its longer Suburban sibling, and their GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Yukon Denali cousins. More efficient powertrains, improved aerodynamics, increased connectivity and better overall refinement are what Chevy and GMC say will separate their new SUVs from the current generation.
Sporting a tried-and-true body-on-frame architecture, these full-size SUVs feature platforms that are stronger and offer a wider rear track for "a more planted stance," according to Chevy and GMC. Mounted at the front of each SUV is an EcoTec3 powertrain, which consists of a standard 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 (or a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V8 for the GMC Yukon Denali alone) with direct injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing, that's paired with a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission. The setup is said to be more efficient than before, though official EPA fuel economies for each vehicle are not yet available. To help the powertrain achieve the best possible fuel economy in these 5,000+ pound SUVs, the new styling was developed with aerodynamics in mind. For the same reason, electric power steering also makes its debut in the Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon family.
The front fascias of the Chevy Suburban/Tahoe and GMC Yukon are distinct, but from the base of the A-pillars back, they share most of the same styling cues. This now includes inlaid doors that tuck into the door sills, instead of over them, which improves aerodynamics and fuel economy, and lessens interior noise. The hoods and liftgate panels now are made of aluminum in an effort to reduce vehicle weight. Chevy and GMC also tout that the Tahoe/Suburban and Yukon don't share a single piece of sheetmetal or lighting element with the brands' full-size pick-up trucks.
There's not much to see here, but if you're one of those waiting for the reveal of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, above is the teaser image that Chevrolet posted on its Facebook page. We've seen the truck in form-fitting camo before, and even less can be made out here beyond those seriously punchy Silverado-esque fenders and the knowledge that the projector-beam headlamps teased previously do indeed work. We'll have to wait until Thursday for a full perusal of the "bold exterior design" and "careful attention given to every detail" we've been promised.
Gathering intel and rumors, magnesium and aluminum contribute to the Silverado's weight loss plan, the purported "High Country" top-tier trim will contribute to luxury pickup truck competition and profit margins and the next-generation small-block V8 will contribute to improved fuel economy. On the engine note, there have been rumors of available V6 engines, and when Facebook user John Jones asked "Where's your answer to that EcoBoost Chevy?", the Bowtie replied "stay tuned on the 13th. We think you'll be pleased...".
Along with the "Raise the Bar" tag, Chevrolet says of the Silverado, "You asked, we delivered." You can watch the reveal live on Chevrolet's Facebook page at 9:30 am EST, this Thursday, December 13. The GMC Sierra 1500 will also be there, and we'll see both in person at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
Car buyers have a responsibility to be well-informed consumers. That's not always a very simple task, but some guidelines are self-evident. If you live in a very snowy climate, you generally know a Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro might not be as viable a vehicle choice as an all-wheel drive Explorer or Traverse, for example. If you want a fuel-efficient car, it's generally a good idea to know the difference between a diesel and a hybrid. But what if it's kind of tough to be an informed consumer? What if the information you need is more difficult to come by, or worse, based on different standards for each vehicle? Well, in that case, you might be a truck shopper.
For years, customers of light-duty pickups have had to suffer through different ratings of towing capacities for each brand. For 2015 model year trucks, though, that will no longer be a problem. According to Automotive News, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group have announced that starting with next year's models, a common standard will be used to measure towing capacity. The Detroit Three will join Toyota, which adopted the Society of Automotive Engineers' so-called SAE J2807 standards way back in 2011.
The standard was originally supposed to be in place for MY2013, but concerns that it would lower the overall stated capacity for trucks led Detroit automakers to pass. Ford originally passed, claiming it'd wait until its new F-150 was launched to adopt the new standards, leading GM and Ram to follow suit. Nissan, meanwhile, has said it will adopt the new standards as its vehicles are updated, meaning the company's next-generation Titan should adhere to the same tow ratings as its competitors.