The first reveal of the all new 2015 Chevrolet and GMC SUV's together was in Dallas on Sept. 12 - exclusively for Texas media.
Earlier in the day, GM had revealed the all new Chevrolet and GMC large and full-size SUV's to the national media in New York and Los Angeles. But the media in each city only saw one of the brands. Media in New York saw the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2015 Chevrolet Suburban. In Los Angeles the media saw the GMC 2015 Yukon, Yukon XL and Yukon Denali.
Given the significance that the new vehicles are being built at the Arlington Assembly Plant in Texas and the importance of Texas being such a large market for these products, GM scheduled this special showing for Texas media to see both the Chevrolet and GMC vehicles on the same day.
On Thursday night, at an intimate preview showing in Dallas not far from the Arlington Assembly Plant where they will be built, approximately 50 Texas automotive journalists were invited to reach out and touch all of the new Chevrolet and GMC large and full-size SUV's for 2015. Representatives from both brands along with Arlington plant officials were on hand to talk about the new SUV's with the media.
These new 2015 model year SUV's will come to market in early 2014 according to GM. The vehicles we were able to inspect closely were all hand built prototypes (as were those in New York and Los Angeles), but represented in close detail what the finished production vehicles will look like inside and out.
If you could boil down what is most significant about these new SUV's, it would be the sheet metal. For the first time these SUV's will not share same sheet metal components with their pickup truck cousins.
The recently completed $200 million stamping addition at the Arlington Assembly Plant is producing these new body components separately and specifically for the all new 2015 Chevrolet and GMC full-size SUV's.
What that means is that these new vehicles have a new sleekness of form and shape that gives them a level of distinctive exterior sophistication that was not there before. In particular, among several things, we noted the new headlight styling along with the subtle roof line changes of these new SUV's.
On the inside, they have looked to the luxury materials and components of the Cadillac XTS Premium level luxury sedan for cues to kick up the luxury treatments yet another notch. This was particularly evident to us as we are currently test driving a 2014 Cadillac XTS AWD Premium Sedan and were able to immediately make the comparisons.
But let us emphasize that they have not borrowed features and functionality per se. Rather, what they have done is to develop features and functionality that are important in a full-size and luxury level SUV and then use those luxury materials cues to execute the designs.
We will be reporting on the specific detail of each of the new 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and the new 2015 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL and Yukon Denali SUV's between now and launch at the first of the year.
We would note briefly though that the new fold flat seating for second and third rows is nicely executed and some new storage under the flat cargo floor adds nice utility for the family.
These vehicles will be powered by the new line of EcoTec3 engines that were introduced in the 2014 GM pickup trucks a few months back. They will all use a six-speed automatic transmission.
The engines (depending on the model) will be either the 5.3L V8 or the 6.2L V-8. We have driven the 5.3L already in the 2014 pickup trucks and find it to be very capable and efficient.
We have not driven the new and more powerful 6.2 L V8 as yet as they have not been available. But we will be driving this larger V8 for the first time on a first drive of the all new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country and GMC Sierra 1500 Denali pickups a week or so from now. We will give you a report on them following.
Production of final test vehicles begins on Sept. 16 at Arlington with over a million miles of driving scheduled over the next several months to make sure these all new 2015 SUV vehicles for Chevrolet and GMC are as close to perfect as possible when they go into final production for the market.
For now, these new GM large and full-size SUV's all look like winners and you can see for yourself if you attend the Texas State Fair in Dallas this year as GM says they will be on display at the Texas State Fair Auto Show.