The GMC Yukon formula is familiar. Big and comfortable with a powerful engine getting things motivated. It’s a winning formula, too – the Yukon is quite popular, as you know.
Underneath, the formula remains the same. Stylistically, though, chances were taken. And that roll of the dice doesn’t pay off quite as well.
GMC had the sense not to mess with the powertrain, but the attempt to keep the styling current is a bit of a messy miss in this application.
The reviews are breaking today on the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer. As Jeep resurrects one of its most historical full-size nameplates from a three-decade slumber, it’s getting a lot of positive press coverage. But Jeep is in for a world of disappointment in a couple of years.
We continue the Cheapest Of series today on Buy/Drive/Burn, and check out the least expensive full-size truck-based SUVs on sale in America in 2021. And we’ve been generous today and equipped each of them with four-wheel drive to avoid any usability concerns. Today’s trio is very close in price but diverges elsewhere. Let’s go.
Toyota’s Land Cruiser is soon to be a casualty of technological advancement, after rumors of the venerable SUV being dropped were confirmed by Car and Driver when they spoke with a partner in a large dealer franchise who said that 2021 would be the end of the road for this premium SUV. This seems to confirm some earlier reporting we shared from Motor Authority.
General Motors intends to start selling its full-size SUVs in China and is currently showcasing the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Yukon Denali at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. That means these vehicles will be imported rather than being manufactured in-country as part of their government-mandated partnerships with Chinese automotive firms.
Why would GM do this in a nation that’s supposed to be prioritizing hyper-efficient electric vehicles? Well, China is currently the world’s largest car market and is on track to be the only major economy on Earth that will grow during the pandemic — the yuan has already hit a 28-month high against the dollar after the U.S. presidential election started skewing in favor of Joe Biden. Meanwhile, General Motors happens to be one of the region’s largest automakers and competition is stiffing between it and the likes of Volkswagen, Geely, Honda, and Toyota.
Do you remember 2008? I do. I was six years into a career in sales with a Fortune 500 company that I figured I’d retire from. I had an 18-month-old daughter, with a second on the way toward the end of the year. I had a shiny silver Motorola Razr cell phone, though some of my colleagues were gushing about a newfangled device from Apple that married a phone with an iPod.
Well, I now have two daughters in and around their teen years, each of whom have a smartphone fancier than that first iPhone. I’ve moved around to a few different sales careers, supplementing my income (to pay for those daughters and their data plan) by writing. Things change.
Except at Toyota, it seems, as they are still making the 2019 Toyota Sequoia with very few changes since the waning days of the Bush administration. But people keep buying them, so there must be a reason for it.
Do not adjust your monitor. This full-size SUV is indeed painted something other than the piano black of livery companies and Uber drivers trying to emulate livery companies. I didn’t pick anyone up at an airport while driving this beast, nor did I drop passengers at a tony downtown restaurant.
It says something about our world when large luxury SUVs have become the default conveyance for the well-heeled. But this 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label turns that idea on its head, as beneath the the many plush layers is a proper truck, ready to haul in style.
I recall once having a discussion in TTAC’s Slack chatroom. The topic, one that doesn’t come up all that often these days, was styling excess. Way too much gingerbread, far too much latter-day Baroque flourishes, and too confusing a design can turn a high-priced vehicle into a dog’s breakfast.
In my opinion, that described the Infiniti QX80 to a “T.”
When Infiniti’s full-size, body-on-frame SUV launched in mid-2013, “understated,” “muted,” and “tasteful” were not words that jumped to the forefront of one’s mind. Thankfully, Infiniti has taken an eraser to the model’s most controversial elements for 2018, resulting in a vehicle that’s much more cohesive, yet similar in profile.
Would a minivan with all-wheel drive, added ground clearance, and wheel arch cladding ever stand a chance of being called an SUV?
It’s not so far-fetched. There was a time when the Subaru Outback was perceived as nothing more than a wagon, but times changed.
What about the other way around: does the Chevrolet Tahoe Grande’s sliding doors necessitate a minivan designation for America’s top-selling full-size SUV? In other words, is a full-size SUV with sliding doors no longer an SUV?
The 2018 Nissan Armada will be priced at $46,795, including destination, when it goes on sale Friday, September 1st; a $700 increase compared with 2016.
While that price increase would have been enough for the Nissan Armada to maintain its position as America’s least costly body-on-frame, full-size SUV, the sudden appearance of the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom has altered the playing field.
Competitors, not just Nissan but Toyota and Ford as well, didn’t need to give the class-leading Chevrolet even more capacity to dominate the category. But now the best seller is also the bargain of the bunch, and by a noticeable margin.
General Motors announced today the September 2017 arrival of the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe Custom, priced from $44,995, including destination fees. That represents a $3,750 price cut for what will now become the base Tahoe, down from the 2018 Tahoe LS’s $48,745 MSRP.
GM says the 2018 Tahoe Custom is a response both to “strong consumer demand for Tahoe,” and to the “full-size SUV segment moving upmarket.”
Therefore, there’ll be no cooled seats here. No adaptive cruise. No head-up display.
No third row of seating. Gasp.
You’ll have to shell out a fair bit of extra cash to get into a 2018 Ford Expedition, as the completely redesigned full-size SUV now carries an entry price above the $50,000 marker. Ford has to pay for that aluminum body, you know.
Of course, buyers aren’t just receiving a lighter body and long-overdue styling update. More standard features and considerably more power comes as part of the package, as well as the return of an off-road package that disappeared as an option years ago. As buyers move up the trim scale, they’ll soon discover the price gap between 2017 and 2018 Expedition models only grows larger.
America’s auto industry has now reported year-over-year sales declines in three consecutive months. The size of the market was 3.5 percent smaller in the August-October period of 2016 than during the same stretch in 2015.
Yet during the same period, U.S. sales of General Motors’ six full-size SUVs jumped 39 percent, a rate of success that throws pie in the face of an industry that’s now fading.
In October, however, the market’s fade became much more apparent. Industry-wide sales slid 6 percent, year-over-year, the worst monthly downturn since the recession. Yet at the same time, General Motors reported a 59-percent surge in full-size SUV volume worth nearly 12,000 additional sales.
11.3 percent of the new vehicles sold by General Motors in the United States in September 2016 were full-size, body-on-frame, truck-based SUVs.
The Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL combined for 28,172 total sales in September 2016, a 45-percent year-over-year increase worth nearly 9,000 more sales.
September marked the second consecutive month — and just the tenth month in the last five years — that GM produced more than one out of every ten of its U.S. sales with full-size SUVs. Not since November 2011 has GM produced such a hefty portion of its sales with large SUVs.
So why can’t Buick have one?
In October, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne addressed a group of automotive analysts, where he was quoted as follows.
“We have a unique opportunity with renewal of the [Ram] pickup line, with the powertrains we selected, to significantly increase output. We will also be exploring, as a result of that investment, some other segments.”
Speculation related to a full-size Ram 1500-based SUV has been swirling ever since. And there is no denying the allure of $10,000 per unit margins. But what is the business case?
In short, it looks promising.
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Bullnuke Another item on the list of "benefits" for privately owned vehicles being wirelessly connected to the motherships...
- SCE to AUX "I spent a good chunk of my 20s wanting one"I spent a good chunk of my 40s wanting one, especially in the blue color they used at launch. But the interior is too butch for me, and boy do they drink gas.
- Sloomis I suspect this is more of a big city vs rural area divide than a state by state divide. I live in the 'burbs of a large Midwestern city and I see loads of EVs everyday. I'd bet you'll see the same in other Midwestern cities. Rural areas of those same states, not so much. And sparsely populated states like WY and SD are of course are going to have low EV sales, the infrastructure isn't there.
- JMII Why Toyota stopped making these or didn't introduce a revised one I'll never know. I am not an off-roader guy but given the demand for the new Bronco an updated FJ would sell like hot-cakes.
- Ajla I think I'd rather have a new Civic or Corolla.