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|