2021 General Motors Full-Size SUVs Get Lower Max Towing, Higher Standard Towing14
General Motors completely overhauled its full-size SUV lineup for the 2021 model year, with the GMC Yukon / Yukon XL, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Chevrolet Suburban all receiving brand-new generations. Given many consumers buy these vehicles with the intention of towing, we took a look at the spec sheets to see how the next-gen models compare to their predecessors.
Let’s start with a rundown of the equipment in use for the full-size General Motors SUVs. Each next-gen model is offered with either the naturally aspirated L84 5.3L V8, which produces 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm, or the naturally aspirated L87 6.2L V8, which produces 420 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Each model is also offered with the new Duramax turbo-diesel LM2 3.0L I-6, but given the oil burner will be available later in the model year and ratings haven’t yet been announced, we’re leaving it out of this particular comparison. All three engines pair with General Motors’ Hydra-Matic 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, each of the previous-generation models were offered with either the naturally aspirated L83 5.3L V8, which produces 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm, or the naturally aspirated L86 6.2L V8, which produces 420 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. The 5.3L V8 is paired to a six-speed automatic, while the 6.2L V8 is paired to a 10-speed automatic.
Max Towing Ratings
With that covered, let’s check out the max towing ratings for each of the next-gen full-size General Motors SUVs.
Note that the ratings listed for the previous-generation Tahoe and Suburban include the NHT Max Trailering Package when equipped with the 5.3L V8 engine.
|Model||Engine And Driveline||New Generation Max Towing (lbs.)||Previous Generation Max Towing (lbs.)||+ / – Next-Gen Model (lbs.)|
|GMC Yukon||5.3L V8, 2WD||8400||8500||-100|
|GMC Yukon||5.3L V8, 4WD||8200||8200||0|
|GMC Yukon||6.2L V8, 2WD||8200||8400||-200|
|GMC Yukon||6.2L V8, 4WD||8000||8100||-100|
|GMC Yukon XL||5.3L V8, 2WD||8300||8300||0|
|GMC Yukon XL||5.3L V8, 4WD||8000||8000||0|
|GMC Yukon XL||6.2L V8, 2WD||8100||8100||0|
|GMC Yukon XL||6.2L V8, 4WD||7900||7900||0|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||5.3L V8, 2WD||8400||8600||-200|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||5.3L V8, 4WD||8200||8400||-200|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||6.2L V8, 2WD||8300||8400||-100|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||6.2L V8, 4WD||8100||8100||0|
|Chevrolet Suburban||5.3L V8, 2WD||8300||8300||0|
|Chevrolet Suburban||5.3L V8, 4WD||8100||8000||+100|
|Chevrolet Suburban||6.2L V8, 2WD||8200||8100||+100|
|Chevrolet Suburban||6.2L V8, 4WD||7900||7900||0|
As we can see, the ratings appear to be either down or identical to those of the previous generation, with the exception of the Chevrolet Suburban, which posts an extra 100 pounds for the 5.3L V8 with 4WD, and the 6.2L V8 with 2WD.
While the next-gen vehicles post max towing ratings similar to those of the previous generation, the standard towing figures show big improvements across the board, ranging between an extra 1,300 pounds and 1,700 pounds, depending on the model and setup.
|Model||Engine And Driveline||New Generation Standard Towing (lbs.)||Previous Generation Standard Towing (lbs.)||+ / – Next-Gen Model (lbs.)|
|GMC Yukon||5.3L V8, 2WD||7900||6500||+1400|
|GMC Yukon||5.3L V8, 4WD||7700||6300||+1400|
|GMC Yukon||6.2L V8, 2WD||7700||N/A||N/A|
|GMC Yukon||6.2L V8, 4WD||7500||N/A||N/A|
|GMC Yukon XL||5.3L V8, 2WD||7800||6300||+1500|
|GMC Yukon XL||5.3L V8, 4WD||7500||6000||+1500|
|GMC Yukon XL||6.2L V8, 2WD||7600||N/A||N/A|
|GMC Yukon XL||6.2L V8, 4WD||7400||N/A||N/A|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||5.3L V8, 2WD||7900||6600||+1300|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||5.3L V8, 4WD||7700||6400||+1300|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||6.2L V8, 2WD||7800||N/A||N/A|
|Chevrolet Tahoe||6.2L V8, 4WD||7600||N/A||N/A|
|Chevrolet Suburban||5.3L V8, 2WD||7900||6300||+1600|
|Chevrolet Suburban||5.3L V8, 4WD||7700||6000||+1700|
|Chevrolet Suburban||6.2L V8, 2WD||7800||N/A||N/A|
|Chevrolet Suburban||6.2L V8, 4WD||7500||N/A||N/A|
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Guys your chart is useless. Please fix. This is important data for many potential buyers.
Yeah, I’m confused. I see higher numbers under previous gen and lower numbers under current gen, yet the far right column appears to show an increase over the previous gen. And when lower numbers are switched around I see decreases.
Might want to re-edit this……
This chart is all mess up. Nobody proof read it. Pretty embarrassing publication.
This chart is all mess up. Nobody proof read it. Pretty embarrassing publication. Please republish with corrections.
As, has been noted, your columns are miss-labeled or your analysis is flawed and the reverse of what you stated is correct.
What is the difference between MAX and STANDARD towing?
You have the column titles reversed. 2020 Tahoe 2wd base engine/axle max trailer is 6600 lb and with NHT package is 8600 lb, not the 7900/8400 values listed above. Delta values and description correct. The 2021 standard model likely has higher gcwr compared to previous generation as enabled by chassis handling/powertrain/cooling, but lower NHT trailer ratings due to payload availability to support tongue load.
Would MAX towing include vehicles with a factory tow package, while STANDARD is for a vehicle that just has a trailer hitch bolted to the frame (no special engine/tranny coolers or upgraded brakes)?
Why does Chevrolet feel that it must copycat the front fascia of the pickup truck on the Suburban and Tahoe. They are two different model trucks. Just plain insane thinking…and stupid!
They were spot on with the last generation which had its own interior and exterior look but once again the bean counters found it more prudent to give it a unique interior and copy the exterior. It just seems that GM doesn’t learn from previous models in terms of what works and what doesn’t. They either do one or the other but never both which is stupid. Some have suggested copying the interior of the suv’s for the trucks, but I’m hoping they provide the trucks their own interior….
This is EXTREMELY disappointing. I was really looking forward to these coming out and now I am beyond disappointed to see these numbers. My family just got too big for our Silverado and will soon be too big for our camper. I was hoping the Suburban numbers would come out bigger than this so that the camper could get bigger in a few years.
I will be crunching the numbers to see if it will be able to handle in the future but I unfortunately will have to look into considering the Expedition as well :'(
Buy a motorhome with enough GCWR and you can flat tow your new 2021 Suburban behind it, Then when you get to where you are going, you will be ready for anything.
Lol. It would probably has a ford chassis anyway so I can save a lot of money and get an Expedition.