By on May 26, 2016

2016 GMC Yukon SLT Premium Edition, Image: GM

Stop the presses! There’s a new GMC Yukon in town!

Until this morning, humanity was only familiar with three trim levels of GMC’s Suburban clone. There was the SLE, which does not have push-button start and is therefore beneath contempt. There is the SLT, which is the Yukon your neighbors got when they couldn’t swing the lease payments on the Denali. Finally, there is the Denali, with which you are no doubt familiar from the line of “cars” waiting to pick up kids at your local private school. With the exception of devoted George Strait fans, everybody who imagines a Yukon in their head imagines a Denali.

I’m not aware of anybody ever questioning the density of the Yukon lineup, but it’s obviously been done quite a bit because now there’s an SLT Premium. It slots between the SLT and the Denali on price. Unless they’re holding something back in the GMC press release of which we aren’t aware, the SLT Premium package is strictly an appearance package, featuring a new shinier grille, “exclusive” 22-inch wheels, and a few extra chrome trim pieces thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Do you have the next five or so minutes free? Would you like to talk for a moment about what this all means — this new Premium trim level and the associated discontents which led to its production? If so, you’re in luck, my friend, because that is precisely the thing about which I would like to talk this fine morning.

Rather than try to imperfectly weave thoroughly disparate thoughts into a single narrative, I’m just going to go stream-of-consciousness on you with the below:

What Happened To The General Motors That Understood Branding Better Than Anybody Else?

It’s almost impossible to believe given the current situation, but there was a time that GM wrote the book on branding. Alfred Sloan believed in a car “for every purse and purpose,” but he also believed in avoiding competition between brands and nameplates. That was a long time ago. In the past 35 years or so, GM has proven comically inept at managing public perception of its brands. Periodically, however, even a blind squirrel finds a nut, and the “Denali” trim level on GMC trucks certainly qualifies as one. The 1999 debut of the Yukon Denali didn’t impress very many people, but the idea of a slightly more expensive GMC had enough legs that it carried over to the 2001 model that absolutely built the Denali sub-brand image.

The Denali concept has been an unqualified success. Chevrolet had never really been able to get people to pay any meaningful premium for the GMC nameplate, even though every one of my fellow grocery-baggers at the Dublin, Ohio “Big Bear” store in 1990 was thoroughly and absolutely convinced that GM tested every S-10 that came off the assembly line and put S-15 badges on the trucks that had exemplary results in said testing. With Denali, they cracked the code. The Yukon Denali in particular is a perfect halfway point between the pedestrian Tahoe or Suburban and the rap-video Escalade, offering most of the luxury and all of the mechanical content found in the latter at a price that is usually ten or fifteen grand lower. I’d suggest that the Yukon Denali probably has the best demographics of any General Motors product sold in America. And it shines so brightly on the lower vehicles, encouraging the middle-middle-class types to step to Denali trim on their Terrains.

With all of this in mind, why threaten the Denali brand image with a gussied-up SLT? What kind of corrosive effect will this truck have on the Yukon Denali’s image? Can a few extra sales possibly justify it? You had one job, GMC dudes: keep the Denali cash cows happy. One job.

And Won’t These Be Bought By The Absolute Worst People In The World?

The rationale for an SLE is easy: cheapest Suburban-platform vehicle that you can buy from a former Oldsmobile dealer. The rationale for the Denali is also easy to understand: it’s the best Suburban you can buy without raising some questions about your personal taste and/or background.

It took me a few years of watching hideously wealthy people pile out of Yukon SLTs in front of churches and museums to understand the at the SLT also has a certain appeal. It’s the Yukon that implies your ability to purchase a Denali but also your diffidence about doing so. This is particularly true of the Yukon XL SLT, which has all but taken the place of the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser among America’s better families. The point of the SLT is that it’s not a Denali, so what’s the point of an SLT that looks like a Denali but possesses none of the mechanical upgrades? Oh, that’s right: it’s the Yukon for people who would shed blood to be seen in a Denali but who are so close to the financial edge that they can’t spring for the extra $150/month in lease payment. Think of the people you know who might fit that description. I’ll pause for a moment here so we can both shudder.

God, This Is Such A Great Reason To Hate Dealers.

The origin story of the SLT Premium is almost self-evident: Dealers calling their regional reps demanding a Yukon with a chrome grill at a price point below the Denali. You’ll see a lot of these in stock everywhere you go. That’s hideously offensive because over the years GM has fastidiously pruned its brands and product lines for the sake of simplifying and reducing dealer inventory. You see, dealers absolutely despise having a wide variety of available products because it increases the chances of the customer wanting something you don’t have. That depressing DX/LX/EX/Touring lineup for Hondas? Blame the American dealer, not Honda. If you go to Japan, you’ll see that Honda would love to offer a million different model and option combinations. It’s the dealers who squeeze that joy out of the business.

In the past 20 years, dealers have been the loudest voices calling for the elimination of manual transmissions, the neutering or dismissal of outstanding sports cars, the extinction of the traditional full-size sedans, and various other injuries to automotive enthusiasm too many and varied to be mentioned here. Think of all the GMC dealers who wouldn’t stock a Syclone. Remember all the combo GMC/Oldsmobile dealers who wouldn’t stock 442s or SCXes? What about the Buick/GMC dealers who don’t have a single stick-shift Regal “wasting space on the lot”? All of those jerks are going to magically find parking spots on their property or showroom for an SLT Premium in every color GMC offers. Maybe two of each, just to spite me. Dealers, man. Hate ’em.

And Of Course, It Would Just Kill Them To Do A Real Work Truck Yukon.

Is there a particular reason for the cheapest Yukon on the spec sheet to ring the bell for a full fifty grand? The markup between a Chevrolet Silverado LS crew cab and a Yukon SLE is about fourteen grand. That’s a lot of money for two extra windows and a more complex tailgate. You can save two grand more by taking the “WT” version of the Silverado. That stands for Work Truck, not White Trash, by the way. Figure that the work-truck version of a Yukon would have even more materials savings than the Silverado. Maybe it’s four grand cheaper. It’s $44,999. It could even be $39,999 if GM could restrain itself on the rebates and incentives.

Wouldn’t there be some merit in offering a cheaper Yukon for families who wanted seven-passenger capacity and some towing ability at the same time? It would certainly expand the GMC owner base a bit. Hell, it might bring in people who, upon exposure to the SLE or SLT, might spend the extra money. I dealt with a lot of fellows like that when I sold Ford trucks. They’d walk in swearing they wanted the cheapest Ford work truck money could buy and they’d leave in an XLT with extra options.

Maybe GMC doesn’t want their image sullied through association with construction workers or evangelical families, but how “Professional Grade” is GMC when they don’t even offer a Yukon you can clean with a hose? What professions are GMC owners hailing from that they need an SLT Premium? Real estate in Beverly Hills? Running a Quality Farm&Fleet? Rural pimping?

Of course, it will succeed.

And that’s the worst part. It might hurt Denali in the long run, it might take up space that could be used for interesting product, it might not even make that much more profit for GM this year. In the near future you’ll be seeing that chrome-lined face everywhere you go. Shopping malls, office parks, and … oh yeah. The GMC Yukon Premium SLT: Coming To A Rear View Mirror Near You. Much too near you, in fact.

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157 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: Filling Every Hole In That SLT (Lineup)...”


  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Paging Corey and 28 to call me out because its a GMC article.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      We knew you’d be here.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Really, I’m more into the half tons. The full SUV doesn’t really appeal to me.

        That said, I think the Sierra SLT is a really nice place to spend some time. The only reason I even look to the Denali is the easier availability of the 6.2L. There are the odd 6.2L equipped SLT but they are pretty rare, and the 8 speed was Denali exclusive for a while. The chrome mesh grill and larger rims actually turns me OFF the Denali. My ideal Sierra would be a nicely equipped SLE with cloth seats, if I could get the big motor, good auto 4×4 and locking diff in that trim. If not, an SLT with those goodies, but the smaller rims and lower key mouldings.

        One thing that makes the SLT trim the one to get on the 14-15 is the upgraded running lights. Chrome doesn’t do it for me, but I really like the DRL setup on the SLT, compared to the plain boring SLE ones with no LEDs. The 16 and up models doesnt suffer this, because all models have the same less good looking headlights.

        SLT Premium is just a cash grab for those who want the more outwardly flashy rig, Jack is right on.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Eventually, Guangzhou Motors will have 18 different variants of these same SUVs, priced from $39,999 to $89,999 (Clack-I-Lack that pays the utility bills at Cadillac Dealers), and Roger Smith will rise from his grave in a furious, revenge-filled fit of “[S]ee, I told you so!” to be re-seated as Bridge Commander of the GM RMS Titanic.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I do think it’s ridiculous that these full-sized BOF vehicles are, for a base model are, near-as-makes-no-difference, $50K to start. I don’t know how so many people can afford to buy and own these, but they’re every third vehicle here in Oklahoma. I could afford to acquire one, but with all of the driving I do, even if I wrote off some of the cost it would be a losing proposition.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Imagine my surprise when I found you can option a Tahoe up to more than $70k.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The Tahoe doesn’t even come with real wood trim ever. There’s no point in optioning it very far at all. It will always look much more “fleet” than the Yukon.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Nope. But neither does the standard Yukon. Only the Yukon Denali and the Escalade have real wood veneers.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t care for the light arrangement on the front of the Tahoe and Suburban presently, either. Too corny.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Me either. It is goofy, with that weird cut-out in each headlamp, and the string of LEDs that looks like Christmas lights just haphazardly strung across the middle. In my mind, the Yukon looks far better. The opposite was true of the GMT900 trucks; the Yukon’s goofy, rounded features were trumped by Chevy’s sharper, more-confident front fascia.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          On the contrary. The Tahoe is one of those vehicles, kind of like the Land Cruiser but not quite as expensive, that says “I’m richer than you AND too sensible and value-conscious to spend my money on bling.” It’s a subtle but very arrogant, er, self-confident message. Before the SUV took over the world, people drove lower-spec E-Classes to send the same message.

          Jack is completely wrong with the ultimate thesis here about branding. But he comes close to the truth with both his paragraph about the non-blinged Yukon SLT and his identification of the SLT Premium’s target buyer. GM has absolutely mastered branding with this BOF SUV lineup, and each trim level in it appeals to a very different person.

          • 0 avatar
            matthewjoneill

            This is true ^^. I actually spent money on one of these, I drive a 2016 Suburban LTZ. The GMC’s have way too much chrome, no thanks.

            To me, the GMC’s are too flashy, even more so than the Escalade.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      I agree… I see so many of these loaded up as denalis and SLTs, and Tahoe’s and silverados that are blinged out. How is everyone affording these? I mean I could swing payments for one, but why? Although I will admit that I am out of touch as my daily driver jeep cost less than two months of payments for one of these road hogs.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Seems crazy to me too. It’s only anecdotal, but I see far less of the new models than ever. Cayenne’s, X5/6, and Audi rule around here. Porsche’s especially are everywhere here. Only you hit $50k+, there are some fantastic competitors these days. Who would I drive a Denali, when I can drive a Porsche Cayenne? (And before anyone misses the point and jumps to the details, I realize there is a price difference)

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        Same here in metro Boston. Tahoes, Yukons and Escalades are for those with very big familes, who need to tow or who have no taste (Escalades).

        People with enough money drive X5s, Q7s, Range Rovers the new XC90 and Lexus or Acura SUVs. The new Land Rover Discovery replacing the LR4 is going to be a huge hit here. How anyone could buy a blinged out Yukon over that is amazing to me.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I didn’t think they had even showed the new full-size Discovery yet?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            They have not. But I’m sure it will do well in middle-upper-class and upper-class markets. The Land Rover lineup in general definitely has brand-cachet. I’m just glad LR have decided to go back to the Discovery nameplate, as was first evidenced with the advent of the Discovery Sport.

            Here in OK, the GX 460 has had a surprising resurgence since its 2014 refresh. I see several of them a day, whereas before, sales had lulled quite a bit. For whatever you want to make of the new spindle-grille transplant, evidently it was a success.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Indeed, those wealthy LR customers just purchase for the name, no matter the quality behind it – as we’ve seen with Discovery I/II, LR3/LR4 throughout the decades, twenty years on.

            I approve of using Discovery again, I think they’ve figured it’s been long enough for everyone to forget the quality disaster that was Discovery I and II.

            Do not approve of the awful, money grab Discovery Sport. It goes down there on par with the Freelander.

            Very rarely see a spindle GX here, I think. I usually notice when I see a new one because they’re offering new, better colors now. That dark red/brown pearl especially is nice.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          Slance66 I live in Wayland bud, plenty of the moms around driving the Denalis and Escalades. Lots of the usual RRs and others but plenty are choosing the GM trucks with no tow hitch in sight.

          To the others, I live in the place where the people who buys these things are. Poor is the $500k house so as much as i am out of touch with the people who might be stretching to show off, i think some here dont understand the dichotomy. Among the doctors and attorneys and VPs and CEOs and sundry there is no issue affording these things and all that social stuff Jack talks about is more important than the price tag.

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      Glad to see like-minded people. I drive around all the time asking “Who is buying these things?” Goes for both cars and houses.

      Here’s your answer, from this poll:
      http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_AP_POLL_FINANCIAL_STRAIN?SITE=AP

      “and two-thirds of those making between $50,000 and $100,000 would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to cover an unexpected bill.

      Even for the country’s wealthiest 20 percent – households making more than $100,000 a year – 38 percent say they would have at least some difficulty coming up with $1,000.”

      The answer is that some can legitimately afford a $60k SUV plus a $500k home, plus dance class for Kendall and soccer camp for Jacen. But the rest are pretending and you and I will finance their retirement when they’re destitute and living off the system.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Kendall and Jacen…LOL. Yep.

        I think everyone’s coming to the conclusion that retirement is not really retirement. I’m sure I’ll drop off at my desk at around age 80.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Kendall and Jacen spent their first months messing diapers in thousand dollar Pottery Barn cribs with $300 coordinated bedding sets. You can bet the vehicle that takes them to extracurriculars is going to look the part as well.

          Retirement worries me as well. With employee pensions extinct you need to save early. And if your employer doesn’t offer matching contributions on a 401k, it seems the kind of early retirement I’ve seen in my parent’s and grandparent’s generation will be very difficult to accomplish without much higher income than they had.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Has the name AidenJaydenBradenKaden fallen out of favor these days? What about TylerSkylerKyler?

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        “But the rest are pretending and you and I will finance their retirement when they’re destitute and living off the system.”

        “Interest earns interest” is a real-world reading comprehension exam…it seems that the majority of Americans are failing this exam, but retirement will always work out better for the minority that pass this test.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        On the 108 month loan my dealer offered, the Denali is only like $725 a month. That is totally reasonable.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “Even for the country’s wealthiest 20 percent – households making more than $100,000 a year – 38 percent say they would have at least some difficulty coming up with $1,000.”

        That’s really bleak. Even those with the ability to earn within the top fifth of the world’s richest nation cannot understand the difference between income and wealth.

        It also explains why we shuttle our kids around in a 6 year old C-segment VW and ex-rental Altima instead of a new Yukon and leased 328, but don’t lay awake at night worrying about an unforeseen $1000 medical bill.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      To echo these comments: I used to work in a bank, I now work in HR for a big company that pays pretty good wages. I know how much money “middle class” people make, at least in Toledo, and I know how much money they save, and the answers are “$20/hr or so” and “basically nothing, or even less than that”, respectively.

      You ask how normal people afford these, or the Helicoptering Manhood Edition of the trucks they’re based on, and houses with garages big enough for both, and here is my best guess: none of them own a cent of it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        That’s what I just naturally assumed. The irony is even if they scaled back the crushing tax rates, Joe and Jane Public are too stupid to manage their own finances and will simply consume MOAR overpriced junk.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Sav 4 retirements? y u do dis? Jus use cred card!

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I will state facts regarding PRIVATE household debt holdings (we’ll discuss government debt, as it should be treated/addressed differently, another time).

          2016 will be a record year for levels of private household debt, with credit card and student loan debt reading all-time highs in the U.S., and mortgage debt matching the prior high level mark reached in 2005 (despite a much larger % of persons renting/leasing now versus then):

          Credit Card debt will reach or exceed 1 trillion USD by year end (it’s over 900 billion now)

          Student loan debt currently resides at 1.2 trillion USD

          Mortgage debt of the residential kind (non-commercial) currently resides at 8.1 trillion USD

          So, yeah, more and more households are financing greater consumption (and keeping up with the Jones’) by diggingbthemselves deeper in debt, despite proclamations to the contrary by the talking heads on CNBC (with its Nielsen Rating of 0.0006).

          Also, the GINI Ratio, which measures income distribution and inequality across U.S. Households, hasn’t been this high (unequal distribution) since the 1930s.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Credit Card debt will reach or exceed 1 trillion USD by year end (it’s over 900 billion now)”

            if nothing else, I can be proud of the fact that I contribute exactly $0 to that total.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            OOPS – I left out auto loan debt, which exceeds 1 trillion USD as of the latest quarterly tally.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’d think $20 an hour goes a lot further in Toledo than it would most places, though. There’s that.

        (The problem is GETTING a $20/hr job in Toledo, probably.)

        • 0 avatar
          sco

          It really is frightening. Paying a mortgage, college tuitions (in-state) and saving an appropriate amount for retirement consumes nearly all of my well above average salary. There is no way I could or would want to add payments for a $50K+ rapidly depreciating car on top of that. Now if I let the tuition and retirement things go by the wayside and only paid the interest on my home mortgage, well then it could work out. I could probably even afford a large towable motor home (and the associated storage fees) that I could haul out 2 or 3 times a year to justify buying the Denali.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam Hell Jr

          It’s decent money in Toledo … unless of course you wish to reside in a family dwelling served by one of the three local school districts that aren’t smack-addled bordellos.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Of course, the hardest part is getting TO those homes, at least in one direction of the daily commute, with most of the freeway system under construction! (That would be a story in and of itself on here, thanks to the Ohio Department of Obsessive Taxation, though I’m sure Jack can sympathize, since Columbus has also been a big orange barrel the last few years!)

            Let me guess the schools: Perrysburg, Sylvania, Ottawa Hills?

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      The answer is that most people can’t afford them. When the recession hit, I can’t tell you how many new full size GM BOF suvs went back to the dealer/bank. Suddenly everyone was driving their wife’s paid off minivan. Sure, you still saw the old ones. Where I live, they’re popular with guys who hang out at sports bars, and guys who go hunting/fishing. Though the outdoorsy guys tend to drive trucks that are a generation or two old and seem to have better odds of responsibly buying them – why buy a brand new one when you’re going to get it scratched driving through a forest to get to the hunting spot.

      Now that the economy is humming / credit is available again, a lot of people are backing to buying the full size SUVs. It’s whatever. But the cost of ownership is darn near the cost of owning an X5 / Cayenne which have comparable room for long people (not as much room for wide people as the full size GMs). And the people who seem to do a better job of managing their money flock to MDXs and RXs and XC90s – which are shockingly thick on the ground in some of the nice areas I drive through.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        how many are bought vs. leased? I see GM has $399/mo lease deals on Yukons, but it’s probably not for the Denali.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        The only argument I can make for the GM twins, is the real TCO. If you are going to buy and hold for a long period of time, they are in my opinion a far better value than an X5 or Cayenne.

        I have an 08′ Suburban and have a couple of buddies with 04′ Denali XL’s each with north of 150k on the odo. I do not have that mileage, as I use mine sparingly. Gotta make it last through H.S for the kids. I don’t plan on dropping 70k for a family car…

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    What portion of the automotive buying public really games out the message communicated by their trim level selection to the extent you describe?

    Most new buyers I’ve spoken with seem to just identify the cheapest available trim level that includes the features they want, and then buy that trim level. This applies both to “car guys” and normal people.

    Looks like the MSRP difference between a 2WD SLE and a 2WD Denali is $49k vs $66k. I’m not sure a $66k truck communicates much about the owner’s finances that a $49k truck doesn’t. Both costs exceed the average personal income by more than ten thousand dollars. If you are seriously considering a truck that is even SLE expensive you’re already doing pretty good or are grossly irresponsible.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      If it were me, I’d be less concerned about the bling and more concerned about the content. The difference between even an SLT and a Denali is pretty profound. The Denali uses far better interior materials, a snazzier instrument panel, and of course the 6.2-liter + MagneRide combo shared with the Escalade. I think the Denali also has a superior 4WD system. I’d be more interested in an SLT with those features, but without the chrome grille and 22″ wheels of a Denali.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Your first sentence sums up my sentiment. I think as car guys we’re overthinking this whole car ownership thing. Who picks an AMG, Denali or Touring model so they can look good while pumping gas at the gas station? I’m fairly certain people are buying entirely based on features and price, not perceived image.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I will usually just buy the top-line trim of whatever car (yes, usually an Accord).

        That said, I have my limits: if I can live without the features on the highest level while still getting what I want the most, that’s what I’ll buy.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Hey, the Accord Touring is a very nice place to be. I’d say it’s almost an entry-level luxury car in its own right.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Yep! Beats the TLX, if you can live with a lesser warranty, (3/36 vs. 4/50), slightly lower-quality interior figments, and memory settings for the outside mirrors.

            On the Honda, for now, you get rain-sensing wipers, auto-brights, and a nice-sized inside mirror that won’t vibrate at speed (as opposed to the mirror in the Acura, a frameless affair which looks like it’ll snap off the post, and has a gorpy “smiley” shape to it which limits visibility); if Honda goes to one of those on the next Accord, and have the “normal” one as an accessory, provided the various cameras will allow it, I’ll have it swapped out before delivery. Both mirrors are auto-dimming, but are decidedly different! I don’t give two hoots about “style” in this case!

    • 0 avatar
      ItsMeMartin

      Bikegoesbaa, I might be an ocean away from you and then some but I noticed just the opposite:

      People tend to buy the most expensive trim of a car that they can afford. If they have 50K on hand, you can be damn sure that they’ll option the car up to that amount. Same with payments: if they can spend 700 a month, they will bling their whip up to make it at least 690. Better yet: if you asked them what the difference between the trim levels are, none of them would know.

      I know of people who paid for 4-zone AC (standalone option) in a car that carries more than 2 people less than 5 times a year.
      I saw a guy with a hearing aid pay for a 12-speaker audio system in his SUV.
      And don’t even get me started on the way women rack up the car cost. Even the most vain guys around these parts ain’t got shit on them.

      Sure, you might say that it’s not like that in America. You could be right but my country adopts pretty much every single stupid financial trick meant to keep people in debt serfdom from America, and I reckon this car thing is no exception.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “What Happened To The General Motors That Understood Branding Better Than Anybody Else?”

    It was torn asunder by Ron Zarrella, and hasn’t really recovered.

    • 0 avatar

      Yup. Cars are not toothpaste, but Zarrella & Co. brought that mentality with them to GM from…

      …PROCTOR & GAMBLE.

      Sloan’s ladder started to crumble the moment the ’55 Chevy hit showrooms. But there was still plenty of product differentiation until the late ’60’s, anyway.

      The dealers are exceptionally good at screwing things up, it was their crying to GM a dozen years ago that gave us Chevy clones, Pontiac G5 and G3.

      If Chevrolet is allowed to continue maneuvering like Ford has for, oh, the past six decades…eventually we should reach the point of speculating whether the GMC brand is needed at all.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Is there a particular reason for the cheapest Yukon on the spec sheet to ring the bell for a full fifty grand?”

    Because the big dollar trucks and SUVs is all that keeps the lights on over there. A lot of people on here talk about how bad it will be for FCA when gas prices spike, but GM is just about as screwed. I so wish it was possible to see a car sales chart adjusted for retail percentage and ATP or a Cadillac-specific P&L with the Escalade removed.

    However, if the Terrain Denali didn’t hurt the top-spec Yukon then I doubt the SLT Super Chrome Edition will do much either.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    I’d say GM is actually being smart about this one.
    It’s all about marginal revenue and market stratification.

    Think about it-why don’t manufacturers just make One Model , and let customers pick and choose their options ?

    No M3, no Sport Package, no SE or XLE. Just Model X, and option what you want.

    Besides the monstrous production and maintenance cost of making essentially semi customized cars, its also a profit opportunity. Divide the one basic model into multiple trim bands with specific and fixed options, and you’ll make more money that way.

    Want the sunroof? Gotta get the Deluxe Package. The Deluxe Package only applies to Trim Level X, so the customer either ponies up or does without .
    Bam, profit.

    By making an in between trim grade, GM sells trucks to the Denali posers who otherwise would walk out and buy elsewhere. Marginal gain achieved.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      This would be the anti-BMW model.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        This. BMW just loves to stock cars that exclude options you’d want, or that don’t include features as standard that they ought to have. Tell me why my coworker has a 2011 535i with navigation, lane-keep assist and the Multi-Contour seats, but no backup sensors, cameras or Comfort Access (keyless entry/exit).

        Also, I found out with a 4-Series Gran Coupe loaner that apparently an alarm isn’t standard on BMW’s lower-tier models. And if you don’t have the alarm, you don’t have the exterior speaker that “beeps” when you lock the car, or a panic button. I just think that’s silly considering the Gran Coupe I drove stickered at $50K. The alarm is optional, but most of the dealership stock won’t have it.

    • 0 avatar

      In 1969, Chevrolet totalled up all the possible combinations you could get of its full-size lineup.

      OVER 150,000 POSSIBLE COMBINATIONS.

      The attached article explains the cost analysis of those years showed a full-size Chevy cost nearly as much to build as an Olds.

      http://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/chevrolet-impala-1965-1969/

      That’s why you have three option packages today. Costs less to build ’em.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Rural pimping”

    The climate’s easy on my switches and my stable’s full of b*tches.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    In my humble opinion (which is most humble), the newer wannabe posh Yukons look rather ratty once they age, especially the Denalis. Suburbans look a lot more at home putting in work… pulling a load, being used by contractors on construction sites, etc., perhaps because they look more “toned down” and conservative. It’s almost as if the Suburbans aren’t trying to run so far in the other direction from their commercial/utilitarian “truck” roots.

    I live in a relatively blue-collar suburban (no pun intended) area. I still regularly see 7th gen and GMT 400 Suburbans working their big asses off on a daily.

    2000+ model year Denalis age rather poorly with their remnants of that large chrome grill and shoddy interior bits, especially when the mulletized 5th owner adds his goofy LED tail lights, chrome exhaust tips, obtrusive trailer ball, etc. All that bling may look nice when it’s new(-“ish”), but using your well-worn Denali loaded up with old remnants of bling doesn’t look particularly graceful anymore. Lol

    In short, buy a Suburban. And no reason to buy a Tahoe, per se, as your reducing your amount of utility. Fill up your Tahoe/Yukon with eight people and tell me how much luggage you’re throwing in the back.

    Of course, I’m a little biased, seeing as my ’99 ‘Burban (just a good ol’ modest 1500, LS w/ cloth seats, 2WD model) rests comfortably in my driveway and sees light use about once or twice a week.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Couple weeks ago I saw a brand new Escalade being used to haul construction supplies for an office renovation. Boy did that look out of place.

      I came out of the office to the parking lot, and there was an Escalade right in front of the door.

      My first thought was “Oh what Escalade a$$hat has parked this here in the way making people walk around it?”

      Nope, full of tools and stuff! I was confuse.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I dislike GM (honestly…wait…what?) but these vehicles, while NOT genuinely luxurious (even in Escalade form) OR space efficient (they’re terrible in terms of % of outside board feet of vertical panel-to-inteior -usable-cargo-and-passenger-room-space), have been fairly reliable and durable from a powertrain perspective (transmission, motor, cooling system, etc.), and GM has, to be objectively honest, improved the interior and interior materials.

      I still detest them b/c they all look tacky and just unnecessarily massive, however, not to mention that there are vehicles that can haul as many passengers as or more comfortably, reliably, capably and overall in better taste for far less $$$.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “IIn short, buy a Suburban. And no reason to buy a Tahoe, per se, as your reducing your amount of utility”

      After living with an ’07 Tahoe for almost 9 years you couldn’t talk me into replacing it with a Suburban. I agree that the ‘Burb offers a lot more room without much if any penalty in MPG but the Tahoe is so much easier to drive. It turns on a dime and when I’m towing(which is the only reason I own it) I love how easy it is to pull into gas stations, boat landings, driveways, ect. By far the best tow vehicle I’ve ever owned and that’s what I love about it. Takes up a lot less room in the garage as well.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    “Finally, there is the Denali, with which you are no doubt familiar from the line of “cars” waiting to pick up kids at your local private school”

    Not so much anymore. Hardly any actually. The private school mom and dad fleet here is almost predominantly Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5/6, Audi, and Range Rovers. I’ve even seen a couple Jaguar F-pace cars waiting in line like everyone else for Lacrosse or field hockey to finish.

    • 0 avatar
      06V66speed

      Agreed.

      When I lived in a really exclusive area of town, all the “moms” donned German crossovers. If it wasn’t German, it was Lexus or Acura. And they’d better be silver or black, black being most dominant.

      “And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky, and they all look just the same.”

      PS: don’t forget the private school’s crest located neatly on the back window. Because it’s important to let the rest of the world know that your child ain’t NO part of that public school mess!!

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I like that song. And the show “Weeds” that used it in the title sequence. That was just a perfect depiction of upper-middle-class suburbia, at least in the first three seasons.

        But I’m no Nancy Botwin. There’s a reason I like those cars other than how I look in them.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yep, that intro was a DEAD RINGER for the neighborhood I used to live in.

          It was so whitebread and suburban that every time I drove down the street on a Saturday morning, with all the lawns being mowed, expensive cars being washed, and well-scrubbed kids riding bikes, the theme from “American Beauty” inevitably played in my head.

          I knew I never belonged there.

        • 0 avatar
          pb35

          The name of the community that I live in is Barton Creek West but I call it Agrestic.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It bothered me they used Disco II models in the starting sequence, but Nancy had a Range Rover of similar vintage instead.

          The Disco trim levels didn’t match on there, it was obvious they weren’t all identical.

          And I bailed on that show after it turned to a piece of complete crap – around the time she got the van and ran away from the cartel dude.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            YES! Me, too. Considering that the show debuted in 2004 or 2005 (well into the years of the L322 Range Rover), Nancy must have had a late P38 Range Rover lease. But the title sequence used Discovery 2s. The other thing that bothered me was that the scene in the title sequence with the husbands’ cars showed identical Explorers. By that time, Explorers weren’t nearly as perceived-upscale or likely to be found in that demographic as they had been in the nineties. So unless the husbands all had government jobs, they likely would have been driving something else.

            Also, there were two different Priuses (Prii?) that they seemed to use after Nancy turned in the Range Rover lease, one with cloth and one with leather. Normally, the leather one was used, but they switched it with cloth when Nancy had to take U-Turn’s friend to the hospital after he got shot in the a**, and the blood-stained interior was a plot point. And they thought I wouldn’t notice. I believe the cloth and leather Prii were swapped in the same episode once, the one where they had Nancy go into Mexico to “replace a busted tail-light”.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol ugggh. I didn’t notice the Prius thing. Just that it was a ridiculous car for hauling drugs and doing offroad things.

            And how she always was too busy to pay attention to her kids, but had plenty of time for iced coffee.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            “And how she always was too busy to pay attention to her kids, but had plenty of time for iced coffee.”

            Well, that was her undoing. In the end of the series, none of her kids was particularly attached to her and she was all alone.

          • 0 avatar
            garuda

            So… halfway through the third season? I finished it all, but it was rough going.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That sounds about right. Alanis Morrissette was there, and had been dating the brother or something. I couldn’t bring myself to watch any more. I think there were what, 1-2 more seasons after that one.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        “PS: don’t forget the school crest located neatly on the back window. Because it’s important to let the rest of the world know that your child ain’t part of that public school mess!!”

        Lol, I forgot about those. And NO ONE puts anything on their car about being an honor roll student around here. It’s a logo or crest from the school or some sticker about all the sports they play at that school.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The public school system we live in is excellent, actually, and in fact, better than many of the private schools (that cost as much as 21k a year for KINDERGARTEN through 8th grade) that refuse to release their IOWA (standard, not state of Iowa) test scores.

        BUT WE PAY FOR THIS WITH OUTRAGEOUS PROPERTY TAXES.

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        “And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky, and they all look just the same.”

        I see what you did there!

        +100

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      The only cars I notice at my daughter’s private school are the Acura MDX and Volvo XC60 of the hot moms Jessica and Heidi, respectively, because I know to be alert to see them decked out in yoga attire for my morning pick-me-up, and the other dad who drives a sports car, squeezing his kid in the back of a 996 cab. Otherwise, it’s lots of bland, and often nanny-driven anyways.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        This is stating the overly obvious, but if you’re married, do not try and sneak long glances at the hot moms in yoga pants or other a$$ hugging attire, b/c you will get busted by the ever present and stealthy woman spidey sense eventually.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          My wife isn’t present at drop off. I can glance at will. Also, even she admits Jessica is smokin’.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            That’s the nice thing about being gay, in my case. We can both stare and not feel guilty.

        • 0 avatar
          06V66speed

          Lmao

          DW if I *ever* see an attractive woman walking my way when my lady is present, I go out of my way NOT to look, even for a second. I might as well just look in the opposite direction of where ever said attractive woman is.

          She has eyes like lazers, man. She ain’t havin it. Lol

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Yoga pants.

            Sigh.

            There’s something so evil about them b/c they’re *ostensibly* for a healthy, mindful, passive, meditative lo-exercise.

            Yet…

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      The private school fleets in my area are flooded with the new GM full size SUVs, Tahoe, Yukon, and Escalade, with a few European SUVs, and tons of MDXs. Even the public school carpools are filled with a good bit of expensive SUVs, and Minivans. Oh and BTW, The public school system in my are was in such a mess, that my upscale suburb had to create their own municipal school district!

      http://www.gmsdk12.org/

      All the other Memphis suburbs created their own school districts as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I assume you mean the vehicles of the parents who are sending their kid to a private school and not that the school owns those vehicles. The private school I coach at has an old Caravan, a F150 and 8 or so GM cutaways with 16? passenger bus bodies.

        Since it is HS many of the students drive themselves and what they drive runs from a Brick Station Wagon to new Porsche, BMW, Audis ect. Now because of where the school is located they don’t have a parking lot for students, except for one space that goes at the annual auction. I’ve been told that someone payed $100,000 so their daughter didn’t have to find a place on the street to park her Porsche.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          Yes, I’m talking about the parents vehicles in the carpool line. Perhaps I misused the word fleet.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          The private high school near me charges $54,500 per year with boarding and $42,900 for day students. They can afford whatever they want for vehicles. In the past, I’ve seen new E series vans. Not sure what they have now.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Save me Jeebus. No child is worth 42,9.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            So basically, they’re spending the money for eight years of college instead of four. That’s a ridiculous amount for a high school education, which matters little to college admissions.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            http://www.andover.edu/Admission/Tuition/Pages/default.aspx

            It’s funny. One of my neighbors sent his son there. Mine went to a public school with close to the same student to teacher ratio. They both ended up at the same college together.

            I forgot to add the “feeder” elementary school:
            http://www.pikeschool.org/page.cfm?p=2193

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            PS. It’s a better idea in college to go a little higher on the student:teacher ratio. I went to a college where it was 10:1, and it ended up feeling a lot like high school.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You used to be able to make the argument preparatory schools offered effective secondary if not current college level education since so many public high schools have become babysitters, but I am not sure if this is still the case.

      • 0 avatar
        aycaramba

        I remember when I lived in the next town over from you and the powers-that-be starting talking about consolidating the city and county school districts. Heads were exploding everywhere.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          @aycaramba
          You lived in Collierville? I remember it too. It was the biggest mess.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_County_Schools_(Tennessee)#Withdrawal_by_six_suburbs

        • 0 avatar
          aycaramba

          @Carfan49. Yes, Collierville. Nice little town back then, but we left before the attempted consolidation got really serious. It was clearly an attempt by the city schools to tap into the county taxpayers to fund their failed system.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    It’s the CAFE. Big utes are priced off scale because GM needs to make big money on them to pay for everything that goes into selling one, like losing money on some econobox to offset the CAFE hit.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Interesting, tell me more about how higher costs of production allow a manufacturer to charge more for the same item.

      The consumers I’m familiar with don’t permit that sort of thing.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        They sell less for more. I’m guessing this isn’t the only economic principle that eludes you.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          So why do the customers permit this instead of purchasing a different vehicle that offers more for the money?

          Also, please further explain the economic principle of “selling less for more”.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The new grill actually isn’t that bad…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Wouldn’t there be some merit in offering a cheaper Yukon for families who wanted seven-passenger capacity and some towing ability at the same time?

    What does the cheapest fleet Suburban cost and will they sell one to a civilian? I was recently piloting an older 10th generation model from the district fleet. Cloth seats, three rows, vinyl floor, 4×4 – perfectly serviceable and honestly the version I would want living in the desert Southwest and if I grew my family from 1 child to 3. I don’t want carpeting, hell I’d take Naugahyde if would let me order it.

    • 0 avatar
      06V66speed

      Principal Dan… I badly want a poverty-spec’d Suburban that you speak of.

      Benches in all three rows. Rubber floors. I would take that a step further and push for crank windows (because power window regulators are a b*tch when they fail) :)

      *swoon*

      But 4wd sounds heavenly on that application. That’s the only option I would want.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You can actually get a front “bench” in the base model SUVs (really, just a middle seat/flip-down console in place of the center console) for full 9-passenger seating. It costs -$250.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Buy an ex-Fed Yukon. They never have carpet (almost always the durable rubber material), a bench front seat (which I love), and usually the larger 6.2l engine. They are also well maintained and often have the leftover government switchgear for your add-ons. My next one will be an ex-gov Tahoe/Yukon with those specs.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      In answer to your question, the fleet Suburban is £49,700 MSRP…

      http://www.gmfleet.com/chevrolet/suburban-suv.html

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        But what does it sell for? I can guarantee that when a public school puts out to bid for 5 new ‘Burbans, they don’t pay MSRP.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Why do schools have five Suburbans?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I’m talking about a district with 12,000 students and 5,000 square miles of territory. There are literally roads you can take a school bus down. I use the term roads loosely – but there sure are students down those roads.

            Oh and in NM you can no longer legally carry students in vans. Too many of those ugly accidents that caused electronic stability control to be made standard on the Econoline and Express.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I see. So those vehicles are used like buses? But their transport per student costs have to be many multiples higher, right?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            In my school district, the Suburbans were used for three things: taking the special ed kids to wherever, towing the band trailer, or (very rarely) picking kids up when the buses couldn’t get out to the far edges of their routes in the winter.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            They are but also get used to transport small teams to events (think golf or swimming or track) and because they are part of the district fleet get checked out for transporting 5 or 6 employees to a conference that might be a 3 to 5 hour drive.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Our school had big crappy 15-passenger vans for that duty. They always smelled like puke.

            Shortly before I left high school, they replaced them with 15 (or 18?)-passenger Chevy buses.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            We didn’t use vans, I think because the garage where all the non-bus vehicles were kept was too low for a van, but the short bus (kept in the bus garage) is on a van chassis.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Come to think of it our short bus was just a shortened wheelbase BlueBird or whatever (?) like the rest of them. It had a special door with a wheelchair lift I think.

            Also, we had some hooded Chevy buses, and some flat-nose BlueBird buses, which were a bit longer and were assigned to the routes with more kiddies on them.

            There were two older model flat nose buses which were used for field trips only. I remember they had green seats (versus the normal brown) and the steering wheel was bigger than normal. Those disappeared around 1998 I’d guess.

            *I am sure I’m murdering these terms so someone will have to assist.*

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Maybe its much more cost effective than I envision but it seems like a very expensive plum on the back of interest bearing bonds (unless your tax base actually can afford to pay for the school district outright, at which point kudos).

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          They may not pay MSRP but as an individual you can get a better deal than the gov’t, on many vehicles, if you know how to negotiate.

          Fleets don’t qualify for the 0% for 60 or 72 months nor do they qualify for the competitive cash, additional moneys when using the captive financing company, military, law enforcement, teacher or college grad discounts. Also since those bids are usually an open contract for a vehicle to be ordered they aren’t giving a discount to move that unit that has sat for too long for whatever reason.

          Here is my state’s current winning bid for a 2wd LS $41,255.53 and the prices for other Utilities https://fortress.wa.gov/ga/apps/CARS/ContractVehicleMenu.aspx

          The interesting thing to note is that a Tahoe will cost you ~$400 more than a Suburban, unless you want a Tahoe PPV in which case it is ~$5,000 less. Though that may be for the stock units that they over bought and are trying to dump because they have fell out of favor. Or it could be that GM is just trying to keep some police market share.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            A couple of interesting things that can be learned from the bids.

            Apparently my state has deemed the Caprice PPV unacceptable based on their initial purchases and thus didn’t request bids for 2016’s.

            The order system opens for the 2017 Super Duty in just about a week.

          • 0 avatar

            Caprice PPV runs afoul of “buy American” mandates, mandates which often come with upwards of $5,000 grant money attached for buying a vehicle produced in the US instead.

            It’s that simple.

  • avatar

    There doesn’t seem to be enough differentiation between this and the regular SLT to make it a whole separate model. A chrome grill and 22″ wheels? Why not just offer it as “The Pimp Appearance Package” and call it a day?

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    Went to the last kid’s high school graduation last night, thank heaven, because the University of Cincinnati will cost less than his high school. Anyway, the lot was FULL of high end luxury SUVs and CUVs, mainly dark colors, some lux sedans, some fancy-schmancy crew cab pickups for the dads who pretend they work for a living, and a smattering of “normal” cars. The lone fridge white Porsche Panamera (spelling???) stood out a bit, largely due to the light color.

    Big Catholic families tend to need big vehicles…

  • avatar
    NoID

    I’ve always contended that GMC needs to become truly “Professional Grade” and only sell vehicles with commercial and fleet aspirations. No more Terrain, no more Acadia. Eliminate the Silverado and Tahoe/Suburban, Chevy Express & Express City, and Colorado from Chevrolet and let GMC carry the BoF mantle for SUVs and trucks, INCLUDING true work-truck trim level(s) for the Yukon.

    Then the branding would make sense. As it stands, so long as they’re going to let Chevy play in GMC’s turf, why not badge-engineer a GMC version of the Camaro and Corvette? After all, there are professional racecar drivers, are there not? We need a Professional Grade GMC Wildcat with a chrome grille for the serious sporting drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      They did the “work trucks only” thing up until Denali came out. And GMC was a footnote in the ledger. With Denali, GMC is a “legitimate” (whatever that means) brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I do believe the GMC Acadia, for whatever reason, has a slightly higher tow rating than its Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse siblings.

    • 0 avatar

      Chevy dealers would never let GM take away their most profitable products.

      I read the book by the “car czar” who restructured GM. He mentioned that they were originally going to kill GMC, but because it was profitable and had owner loyalty, they kept it. And I’m guessing most of that owner loyalty was because of the Denali.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Chevy/GMC/Caddy for trucks is like Chevy/Buick/Caddy for cars, except the truck version actually works and sells well.

        Also, LOTS of people like that they can buy a luxed-up Tahoe or Suburban (GMC Denalis) without looking like a damn rap video rolling around in an Escalade.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Right. Never mind that GMC is the brand most guilty of badge-engineering; there is a perceived superiority over the Chevy products—and in styling, I would agree that GMCs are superior—and the brand prints money. More power to GM for that.

        A part of me wished that Saturn had survived, but it was already a shell of its former self by the time it went out. I suppose two of its products did live on, the Opel-derived second-gen Vue, which became the Chevy Captiva Sport, and the bodyshell for the Outlook, which was used on the Acadia from 2013 on. But GM could, at least, have taken some lessons from Saturn’s excellent dealership experience and applied them across its other brands. But based on my recent experiences with some GM dealerships, they’re just as sleazy as ever.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          Believe it or not, I actually know people who have bought Yukon Danali’s, but wouldn’t be caught dead dead in anything with a Chevy bow tie on it.

          • 0 avatar

            “Believe it or not, I actually know people who have bought Yukon Danali’s, but wouldn’t be caught dead dead in anything with a Chevy bow tie on it.”

            YUP.

            While Ford was allowed to maneuver as it saw fit, all the way back to the 1958 Thunderbird. Hence Ford, with its Platimum, Titanium, King Ranch, etc. models, and GMC with its Denalis, have enjoyed a more premium reputation than Chevrolet.

            Finally Chevy is getting at least some of that same freedom, but it’ll take a decade or more to improve the public’s perception.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Right. Never mind that GMC is the brand most guilty of badge-engineering; there is a perceived superiority over the Chevy products—and in styling, I would agree that GMCs are superior—and the brand prints money. More power to GM for that.”

          Styling is solely why I went with a Sierra HD or the Silverado HD in 2004. In 2007, the Yukon looked so homely to me compared to the Tahoe. No way was I gonna buy that over the Chevy.

        • 0 avatar

          “Never mind that GMC is the brand most guilty of badge-engineering; there is a perceived superiority over the Chevy products—and in styling, I would agree that GMCs are superior—and the brand prints money. More power to GM for that.”

          It’s an Eminence Front, it’s a put-on, a put-on, a put-on…

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      To me, GMC has always outranked Chevy in the GM truck hierarchy, the nicer of the two.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I don’t understand why GM chose to kill the medium-duty trucks rather than making them GMC only and killing just the 4500 and 5500.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    “MY KID BEAT UP YOUR HONOR STUDENT”

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “Wouldn’t there be some merit in offering a cheaper Yukon for families who wanted seven-passenger capacity and some towing ability at the same time?”

    Ackshually, the basic Yukon/Tahoe/Burb has eight-passenger capacity, and on the LS and SLE models, you can still get a front 40/20/40 “bench” seat (the middle is a flip-down console) for full nine-passenger capacity.

  • avatar
    aycaramba

    “Running a Quality Farm&Fleet?”

    Always been partial to Fleet Farm, myself.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    “Filling Every Hole In That SLT (Lineup)”

    There’s so much working class pig left in that guy even a generation or two removed from such an islamic upbringing.

    You can try an’ frilly-up a Real Man but it jus’ won’t take!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    There is a working class Yukon- it’s the Tahoe

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No, “working class” as in rubber floors, manual seats (knit vinyl), AM/FM/CD, 17″ steel wheels, manual HVAC, etc. These would ruin Yukon’s “middle class” image, or so GM thinks. Except “base” pickups don’t seem to slow down, premium pickup sales. You’re still talking maybe $40K starting price for “poverty spec”, 2wd Yukons including 5.3 V8 and power group.

      GM would sell a lot of them, with virtually zero downside.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t know if they’re sold to the public this way but the radio station promotional vehicles used where I work are, I believe, as impoverished as a Tahoe/Suburban can get. They have rubber floor mats and a base stereo but still have A/C, power windows/locks and the passenger seat has full power adjustment. I assume it’s just less expensive for GM to spec that one wiring harness and the amenities to which it attaches than develop a model with crank windows, manual seats and a heater.

        I will say this – the appointments (excepting carpet) are nicer than my loaded 2002 Tahoe LT with Autoride.

        Say what you want about the General, they’ve come a LONG way.

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