GMC Yukon XL

The GMC Yukon comes in four basic configurations: Yukon, Yukon XL, Yukon Denali and Yukon Denali XL. XL versions of the Yukon come with a longer wheelbase and more interior room, while Denali versions are packed full of luxury. Two engines power the Yukon: A 5.3L V8 with 355 horsepower supplies power to Yukon and Yukon XL models, while a 6.2L V8 with 420 horsepower provides thrust for Denali and Denali XL versions. GMC claims that the engines should provide best-in-class fuel economy, with even the Denali XL achieving 21 mpg on the highway.

Within the Yukon and Yukon XL models are two trims -- SLE and SLT. SLE versions are more basic but still include plenty of amenities. Highlights on the SLE include a rear vision camera, hands-free liftgate, front and rear park assist, an IntelliLink infotainment system with Apple Car Play and 8-inch color touchscreen, rain-sensing wipers, a Bose premium sound system, remote vehicle start, keyless entry and a navigation system. SLT versions include leather seating surfaces, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, power-folding third row seats, a heated leather steering wheel, power adjustments to the steering column and pedals, and a blind-spot warning system.

The Yukon Denali and Denali XL come in just a single, all-encompassing trim level. The Denali comes with most of the luxury features that appear with the SLT trim, thought the Denali also includes a better sound system with active noise cancellation technology and magnetic ride control shock absorbers. The Denali also gets plenty of unique styling pieces on both the interior and exterior, helping to distinguish it from its less expensive sibling. Generally speaking, interior trim pieces are nicer, softer and more expensive feeling, while the exterior benefits from unique headlights, a unique grill and plenty of Denali badging.

Options on the Yukon are numerous. A variety of 22- and 20-inch wheels are available, allowing buyers to customize the exterior looks of the vehicle to their taste. Interiors can also be customized and one of the more popular options on the Yukon is a very nice rear seat entertainment system that includes a Blu-ray player. Electronic systems such as adaptive cruise control or a heads up display are also available, as is a panoramic sunroof.

Safety systems on the 2017 Yukon are state of the art. Electronic aids such as anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability all come standard. Optional blind-spot warning and lane-keeping assist also aid road safety. All Yukons also come with a 6-month subscription to GM's OnStar service.

Editors' Review

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While much of America goes crazy for car-based, more fuel-efficient crossovers, there are still plenty of people who need something more. Whether it's for towing, carrying loads of people or just because you like the feeling of something trucky, there's nothing quite like the capability of a full-size SUV.

Enter the 2019 GMC Yukon, currently going grille-to-massive-grille with the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada and Toyota Land Cruiser. The Denali trim tested here ups the luxe a bit, giving the 2019 Yukon enough amenities to stand tall with the Lexus LX 570, Lincoln Navigator and Infiniti QX80, not to mention the Cadillac Escalade, with which the GMC shares a platform.

Go big or go home

Now in the fourth year of its fourth generation, the Yukon is available in SLE and SLT trims, with a 5.3-liter V8 under the hood. The Yukon offers seating for seven, eight or even nine passengers, depending on configuration (the base SLE can be had with a front bench seat). Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional.

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The Good Great ride quality with standard magnetic ride control keeping body roll in check. An excellent 10-speed automatic transmission smooths the 2019 Yukon's ride.

The Bad Features are a little lackluster for something touted to be luxury.

The Bottom Line The 2019 GMC Yukon is a fine performer, but others in the class offer more features for a similar price.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 6.5
  • Design 7
  • Media 8

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