GM Will Continue Building Large SUVs on Truck-Based Platform

Truck-based SUVs are not going away any time soon. Despite the recent trend towards crossover car-based SUVs, Automotive News is reporting that GM will build its next generation Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, due to come out in 2013 or 2014, on its truck-based platform shared with the popular Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pick-ups. The planned new SUV GMC Granite will also be built on the platform.

Truck-based SUVs were very popular during the 1990s and early part of the last decade. Models such as the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Toyota 4-Runner generated huge profits for their respective automakers during this time. Truck-based SUVs have better off-road and typically better towing capability than their crossover counterparts. Since the turn of the century, automakers have shifted to building more crossover style SUVs due to their improved fuel economy, ride, and handling.

The current version of the Tahoe and Yukon were introduced for the 2007 model year. 2010 models received a mild mid-cycle refresh which included a revised door trim, a slightly raised bumper, side torso air bags, and improved side structure. The Tahoe and Yukon have continue to sell well for GM, despite fluctuating gas prices and a weakened economy.

The models are popular with law enforcement, fire, and Emergency Medical Services agencies. They perform well in adverse weather conditions including snow and ice and have the ground clearance to get through rough terrain and mild flooding.

The Tahoe and Yukon have evolved over the years, with improved refinement, luxury, and fuel economy. They now offer such amenities as power release folding second-row seat, rearview camera, navigation, rear seat DVD, remote start system, USB connection, and heated seats. Hybrid Tahoe and Yukons are also available.

The price for a base two-wheel drive Tahoe LS starts at about $37,000. A well-appointed Tahoe LTZ with four-wheel drive can easily top $50,000. Both Tahoes and Yukons are assembled in the United States.

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