GMC Yukon XL vs Chevrolet Suburban

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yukon xl vs suburban
Which SUV performs best for your family?

There’s no question that both 2020 models of the GMC Yukon XL and Chevrolet Suburban are two of the best large SUVs you can buy today. However, for the uninitiated car buyer, choosing between the GMC Yukon and Chevy Suburban is not an easy feat- since both vehicles are essentially riding on the same platform and are powered by the same batch of gasoline V8 engines and transmissions.

Chevy Suburban compared with GMC Yukon XL

If you’re left scratching your head, not knowing which way to go- the best way to compare these two giants is to figure out what you want in a full-size SUV. Remember, General Motors is marketing the Yukon XL and Suburban to different groups of buyers, even though both vehicles are mechanically the same. The Chevy is best for typical families that require a decent-sized hauler and towing machine. Meanwhile, the Suburban is the more economical choice, seeing as it starts at a lower base price.

The GMC Yukon XL is aimed squarely at luxury buyers. Yes, you pay more money for the Yukon XL, but you get more luxurious features and equipment than in a regular Suburban. And since the Yukon XL is decidedly the more ‘premium offering’ of the duo, it has a higher base price in exchange for its numerous luxurious features.


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How do you choose between the two, when both the GMC Yukon XL and Chevy Silverado have the same capacity to accommodate up to nine adults- not to mention the wheelbase, length, and height of the vehicles- since they both have the same physical dimensions?

But don’t get us wrong! Even though the 2020 Yukon XL is posher, it remains as capable as the 2020 Chevy Suburban in terms of hauling or towing. In fact, both vehicles are rated to tow more than 8,000 pounds when properly equipped. We didn’t find this surprising, as both the Yukon XL and Suburban are based on the same platform with identical engines, transmissions, and drivetrains.

Therefore, if you like to be pampered in your large SUV, the GMC Yukon XL is king. However, that isn’t to forget, the Chevy Suburban can also do double duty as a refined cruiser and family workhorse. It also boils down to how much you’re willing to spend on a brand-new SUV. Remember, expect to pay more for the Yukon XL even if comparing both vehicles in the same trim level.

GMC Yukon XL vs Chevy Suburban – Comparing Trim Models

So far, both the Yukon XL and Suburban are quite similar in comparison. However, now it’s time to tackle the various trim models of both SUVs. Evidently, both GMC and Chevrolet are currently offering three trim levels for the both models. Let’s dive deeper.

GMC Yukon XL


GMC Yukon
2020 Model shown


The GMC Yukon XL is available in SLE, SLT, and Denali trim models. The Yukon XL offers standard seating for eight passengers, but there’s an optional front bench seat to boast a max passenger capacity of nine. Alternatively, GMC is also offering second-row bucket seats, but this decreases the seating capacity to seven.

The base Yukon XLE has a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine with 335-horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. The engine is bolted to a six-speed automatic with rear-wheel drive. Of course, four-wheel drive remains optional across the board. Standard equipment includes an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen display, tri-zone automatic climate control, OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, and Apple CarPlay with Android Auto connectivity. You get all this from a base price of around $50,000 plus.

Next up is the Yukon XL SLT, which is offered in two sub-trims: standard Edition and SLT. The former receives all the base equipment of the XLE, including heated front seats and plush leather upholstery. Meanwhile, the SLT includes interior specs of a heated and power-operated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, ventilated front seats, power-folding second and third-row seats, and blind-spot monitoring. The SLT Standard Edition starts at $58,900 while the SLT is around $61,700.

The most expensive Yukon XL is the Denali. It features a larger 6.2-liter V8 motor with 420-horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. It also has a 10-speed automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case for 4×4 models. The Yukon XL Denali comes standard with xenon headlights, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, power-folding second-row bucket seats, a trailer brake controller, and a navigation system. The 2020 Yukon XL Denali starts at $68,600.

Chevrolet Suburban

Chevy Suburban

The Chevy Suburban is sold in three trim models: LS, LT, and Premier. The base LS is packing a 5.3-liter V8 engine (355-horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque) with a six-speed automatic transmission. Apparently, the LS trim is the only one available with three bench seats to accommodate up to nine adults.

The Suburban LS comes standard with remote start, tri-zone climate control, and power-operated front seats. It also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With base prices starting at around $51,700, the Chevy Suburban LS also comes with an 8-inch diagonal touchscreen infotainment display.

Next is the Suburban LT with a base price starting at $56,500. The LT has leather upholstery and many other interior features, depending on each optional package. For instance, the Z71 package includes lifted off-road suspension, chunky off-road tires, and under body cladding. No matter which package you choose, the LT also comes standard with heated front bucket seats with memory settings, a power lift gate, and lane departure warning standard system.

The Chevy Suburban Premier starts at $66,800 with the standard 5.3-liter V8, but you can choose the larger 6.2-liter V8, producing 420-horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This engine is accompanied by a 10-speed automatic transmission and starts at $72,220.

Yukon vs Suburban – Which is larger?

As previously mentioned, both the Yukon XL and Suburban have the same dimensions. Both are 224.2-inches in length and are 74.4-inches high.

Both SUVs are equipped with large and prominent hoods, along with stylish accent lines running on each side of the SUV. They don’t look the same in terms of the overall design, but there’s no denying the familiar shape that is shared by both the Yukon XL and Suburban.

In terms of room, it’s a similar story.

Both the 2020 Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon XL offer 42.8-inches, 45.3-inches, and 64.8-inches of front headroom, front legroom, and front shoulder room, respectively.

Both vehicles offer three rows of seating, with up to 39.3 cubic feet of storage room behind the third row. But if you fold both the third row and second-row seats, you’re looking at up to 121.7 cubic feet of cargo room.

Perhaps the only difference is sound insulation. Being the luxury SUV of the duo, the 2020 GMC Yukon XL is equipped with active noise cancellation to deliver a quieter ride. Apart from that; however, you’ll be getting the same amount of interior room in the Suburban as the Yukon XL. 

Engine Differences


  • Both SUVs are equipped with a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. However, both the Yukon XL and Suburban can be upgraded with the larger 6.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • But in the GMC Yukon XL, the larger motor is accessible in the mid-tier SLT trim. In the Suburban, the larger motor is only available at the highest Premier trim model. 

Which is better?


It depends on what you want, and how much you can afford. If you’re prepared to spend more, the GMC Yukon XL is better since it offers a more premium driving experience. But then again, the Chevy Suburban offers the same capabilities for less money, and this bodes well for people wanting to get the best bang for the buck.

If we really have to choose, it’s easy. For a personal luxury vehicle, we’ll choose the Yukon XL any day of the year. But, if we want a more affordable SUV for both work and play, the Chevy Suburban is a wise choice. 

What’s the real difference between the Yukon and Yukon XL?

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The real difference between a standard Yukon and Yukon XL is the length, and it’s the same deal when comparing the Chevy Tahoe with the Suburban.


Model Length
Yukon/Tahoe 203.9″
Yukon XL/Suburban 224.4″

The Yukon XL offers up to 34.5-inches of legroom in the third row, while the shorter Tahoe only musters 24.8-inches. Meanwhile, the Yukon XL has 39.3 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the third row, and the regular Yukon is only good for 15.3 cubic feet.

However, the smaller Yukon/Tahoe also has a lower base price than Yukon XL/Suburban.

Suburban and Yukon
Whether you go with a Suburban or Yukon, rest assured you’ll be riding in style.


Even though both rides are family safe, if you want a luxurious full-size SUV, the GMC Yukon XL is a solid choice. However, if your priority is a sporty SUV with loads of comfort and additional features, the Chevy Suburban will not disappoint. 

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