Whereas a lot of America goes loopy for car-based, extra fuel-efficient crossovers, there are nonetheless loads of individuals who want one thing extra. Whether or not it is for towing, carrying a great deal of folks or simply since you like the sensation of one thing trucky, there’s nothing fairly like the aptitude of a full-size SUV.

At 19 toes lengthy, the Yukon Denali XL is finest stored off of tight metropolis streets.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Enter the 2019 GMC Yukon, presently going grille-to-massive-grille with the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada and Toyota Land Cruiser. The Denali trim examined right here ups the luxe a bit, giving the Yukon sufficient facilities to face tall with the Lexus LX 570, Lincoln Navigator and Infiniti QX80, to not point out the Cadillac Escalade, with which the GMC shares a platform.

Go large or go house

Now within the fourth yr of its fourth technology, the Yukon is on the market in SLE and SLT trims, with a 5.Three-liter V8 beneath the hood. The Yukon provides seating for seven, eight and even 9 passengers, relying on configuration (the bottom SLE could be had with a entrance bench seat). Rear-wheel drive is customary, and four-wheel drive is non-obligatory.

After which there’s my tester, the ne plus extremely Denali XL. This luxury-focused model comes solely with a 6.2-liter V8, seating for seven and four-wheel drive. The XL mannequin is a full 20 inches longer than a regular Yukon, measuring a large 19 toes in general size. The excellent news right here is the XL affords you hella cargo area. The unhealthy information, after all, is that this large boy is a chore to drive in congested cities.

Big inside, however may very well be nicer

Fortunately, the Denali’s cabin is quiet, spacious and cozy, although it is beginning to really feel somewhat outdated. This most-loaded Yukon will get leather-trimmed, heated and cooled seats (for each front- and second-row passengers), however they lack the therapeutic massage perform of each the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

Heated and cooled seats are good, however what concerning the therapeutic massage perform?


The Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system appears somewhat small within the GMC’s expansive cabin. It runs GMC’s extremely easy Intellilink software program, with each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto customary. Now that the newest model of Apple iOS brings Google Maps to CarPlay, one thing that was already accessible on Android Auto, I like to recommend simply utilizing this interface as an alternative of Intellilink. It is simpler to get navigation instructions proper onto the touchscreen, avoiding GMC’s typically laggy system.

Wi-fi charging is customary within the Yukon Denali, as is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot for as much as seven units. Protecting issues charged ought to be fairly straightforward, with two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet up entrance, plus 110- and 12-volt retailers for second-row passengers and a further 12-volt outlet within the way-back. Add the non-obligatory rear-seat leisure package deal and the second row will get an HDMI port, two USB ports, wi-fi headphones and even wi-fi projection. Or, you possibly can simply kick it old skool (comparatively talking) and play DVDs on the pair of 9-inch shows.

The Yukon’s second-row seats flip ahead with the contact of a button, so it is simple to get out and in of the third row. As soon as again there, you will discover a respectable quantity of legroom — after all, I would count on nothing much less in a car of this dimension.

The place the Denali XL really excels is in its capacity to haul your cargo. You’ve got obtained over 39 cubic toes of area behind the third row, increasing to just about 95 cubic toes with each again rows folded. The Ford Expedition Max, in the meantime, provides 34.Three and 73.Three cubic toes, respectively. Nonetheless, and considerably oddly, the Yukon’s almost-identical twin, the Cadillac Escalade, provides 121.7 cubic toes of cargo area with all seats folded.

A number of energy, good to drive

As I discussed, the Yukon Denali solely comes with GM’s 6.2-liter V8, good for 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The Yukon comes customary with GM’s wonderful Magnetic Experience Management, which might regulate the suspension electronically in any respect 4 corners, in addition to actively scale back physique roll. No, it does not flip this practically 6,000-pound beast right into a corner-carver, but it surely does permit for a clean, managed journey. Magnetic Experience Management might be the most effective factor concerning the Yukon.

A 10-speed automated transmission shifts easily, however does not do a lot to assist quench the Yukon’s thirst for gas. Throughout my week of testing, I solely noticed 13.2 miles per gallon, effectively wanting the EPA’s mixed ranking of 16 mpg. The Yukon is formally rated at 14 mpg metropolis and 20 mpg freeway, which bests each the Infiniti QX80 and Lexus LX 570, however the Lincoln Navigator is essentially the most fuel-efficient of the large-and-in-charge SUVs, with 16 mpg metropolis and 21 mpg freeway.

The Yukon Denali XL returns mid-pack gas economic system.

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Two-wheel-drive Yukon Denalis can tow Eight,400 kilos, although this XL with four-wheel drive reduces that quantity to a still-plenty-useful 7,900. Regardless, the Yukon comes with a 2-inch receiver hitch and each four- and seven-pin wiring harnesses. An non-obligatory trailering package deal consists of an built-in trailer brake and routinely leveling rear suspension, however I want it had the superior Professional Trailer Backup Help of the Ford Expedition.

Different customary tech goodies embody blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping help and adaptive cruise management. Sadly, the ACC will not interact under 15 miles per hour and routinely shuts off under 10 mph, making it ineffective in heavy stop-and-go, rush-hour visitors. Different producers supply full-range adaptive cruise management. GMC’s system might actually use an replace.

Definitely worth the cash?

For my cash, I would skip the XL and simply go for the common Yukon Denali. Options just like the aforementioned Magnetic Experience Management, a head-up show and energetic noise cancellation are all customary at a $66,200 worth level. I might pony up $Eight,000 to get the Denali Final Bundle that provides issues like power-retracting steps for simpler ingress and egress, however that is some huge cash. As a substitute, I will bounce out the door with a frivolously optioned Yukon Denali that prices simply $69,600, together with $1,295 for vacation spot. A far cry from the $82,190 of the take a look at automobile you see right here.

That stated, if you happen to’re lifeless set on one thing within the GM household, the Cadillac Escalade provides the identical engine and driving dynamics, however feels nicer inside. Or, avoid wasting coin and simply get a Chevy Tahoe or Suburban. Good and helpful because the 2018 Yukon is, it is arduous to advocate it when newer choices just like the Expedition and Navigator are a lot extra refined. 


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