GMC Yukon vs Cadillac Escalade

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 22, 2015

General Motors makes it easy to carry large amounts of people and cargo. The hard part is choosing between the company's full-size vehicles for all of those hauling duties. Luxury buyers will zero in on the GMC Yukon and the Cadillac Escalade, both of which were thoroughly redesigned for 2015. But which is the better buy?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Yukon & Escalade »

Under the Hood

If fuel efficiency is a top priority, the base Yukon's 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 is a clear winner, with 16 mpg in the city and a whopping 23 mpg on the highway. Top-of-the-range Yukon Denali models share a 6.2-liter V8 with the Cadillac Escalade -- horsepower jumps to 420, but economy dips to 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway. Both engines are yoked to six-speed automatic transmissions.

Inside the Cabin

With seating for up to nine, the Yukon has more versatility than the Escalade, with passenger capacity that maxes out at seven. Without second- and third-row seat in place, the GMC and Cadillac offer 95 cubic-feet of cargo space. The Yukon and Escalade both feature long-wheelbase variants – the Yukon XL and Escalade ESV – that boast an impressive 121 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats.

The Cadillac takes the lead in standard and optional equipment, however. Even in Denali guise, with an interior swathed in wood and leather, the Yukon still lacks clever Escalade features such as IntelliBeam LED headlamps and Magnetic Ride Control.

The Bottom Line

The GMC does not have the Cadillac's bling factor, nor its bragging rights as a status symbol, which explains why the Yukon's MSRP starts at a much lower price. Even the fancier Denali's admission price is a mountain of cash away from the Escalade's starting figure.

Verdict: GMC Yukon

It doesn't have the glitzy Cadillac nameplate, but the Yukon has many of the Escalade's glitzy amenities for a lower price. The Escalade is, in essence, a pricey appearance package for the GMC, which possesses the same utility and powertrain capabilities.

Take a closer look at the GMC Yukon »

Take a closer look at the Cadillac Escalade »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.