Car And Driver GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic Review

2017 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic Basic Motors quite a lot owns the full-size SUV segment with its entries from Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac. Sales from the General’s six regular- and extended-length full-size SUVs totaled 255,907 through November; inside the identical period, Ford located just 63,887 buyers for its 4 total variants on the competing Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. It cannot hurt that GM covers each of the pricing bases from the $48,410 entry-level Chevy Tahoe to the $98,790 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum 4x4. As these hefty MSRPs suggest, these trucks make a great deal of earnings, specifically luxury variants just like the 1 we’ve tested right here, the GMC Yukon XL Denali.

2017 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic

Car And Driver GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic Review

Greater than a folks hauler, the extended-wheelbase Yukon XL can tow and haul heavy cargo, too. Nearly 19 feet lengthy from stem to stern and riding on a enormous 130-inch wheelbase, the large GMC has area for up to eight men and women (our Denali test truck’s second-row captain’s chairs restricted it to a maximum of seven) and may carry 39 cubic feet of their belongings behind the third row. Tow ratings range from 7900 to 8100 pounds, based on gear.

Paying the $8650 premium for the Denali upgrade more than the next-lowest trim, the SLT 4x4, brings magnetic-ride-control dampers, HID headlamps, active noise cancellation, a bigger alternator (to handle these electrical upgrades), a customizable driver’s display, a glitzy grille, and sparkling body-side trim. A far more functional Denali upgrade is its 6.2-liter V-8, which supplants lesser versions’ five.3-liter V-8. The 6.two is really a detuned version in the Corvette Stingray engine and produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque right here, output we created ample use of in the course of a 40,000-mile long-term test of a 2015 Yukon XL Denali. So why test precisely the same GMC once again? Because our long-termer was built, GM replaced the six.2’s former six-speed automatic transmission using a new eight-speed unit.

The new powertrain pairing propelled this 2017 model from rest to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and by means of the quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds at 98 mph. Compared using the very best benefits we got from our 2015 long-termer, those are improvements of 0.1 and 0.2 second-essentially a wash. The eight-speed proved somewhat a lot more beneficial with regards to fuel economy, if not in our combined average-16 mpg, just just like the long-termer-then over our 200-mile, 75-mph highway cruising test. For the duration of that physical exercise, this Yukon XL returned 21 mpg, or 1 mpg greater than its EPA highway rating.

2017 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic - Features:

Car And Driver GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic Review

The Yukon’s interior is almost identical to that of its mechanical twin, the Chevrolet Suburban, setting aside the upgraded supplies and features that come with the Denali trim level. This isn’t a poor issue in terms of comfort, ergonomics, and first- and second-row room, but a number of the same plastics that disappoint in that base $48K Chevy are still prominent within this rig, and also the third row is uncomfortable, difficult to clamber into, and set extremely low for the floor. The central infotainment touchscreen is crisp and clear, responds rapidly to inputs, and has redundant buttons and knobs beneath it. There’s even a little space behind the screen-which motors up and out from the way-to retailer or charge a telephone and to hide other little products you’d like to conceal. There are so many storage cubbies of different sizes scattered all through the cabin that it is difficult to picture anybody needing to leave one thing behind.

In its element although cruising the interstates, the Yukon XL wafts along quietly and typically isolates occupants in the outdoors planet, even though also feeling planted and steady. However, when traversing Michigan’s most broken pavement, some tire slap and suspension noise invades the cabin, and the ride can get flinty around the Denali edition’s 22-inch wheels (our long-termer’s 22s weighed 88 pounds per corner together with the tires installed).

The Yukon XL yields to the Ford Expedition EL/Lincoln Navigator L with regards to cargo capacity, giving up four cubic feet with all seats raised and ten using the second and third rows stowed. These are not insignificant, but you'll be able to still match a studio apartment’s worth of stuff in right here. Indeed, deciding on the long-wheelbase XL model implies 24 cubic feet more space behind the third row than within the standard Yukon and as a lot as 26 extra cubes with the seats folded. Within the most current redesign for 2015, GM achieved a almost flat load floor by adding a platform with storage beneath, but this can be a work-around for the inefficient packaging on the live-axle rear suspension, a carryover from the full-size-pickup platform on which GM’s full-size SUVs are based. In contrast, Ford’s Expedition employs an independent rear suspension that each enables a lot more effective packaging as well as a much more compliant ride more than washboard sections of gravel roads. Additionally, GM’s platform raises the load height by about 3 inches, which might not seem like much till you are trying to stuff a heavy refrigerator via the hatch.

2017 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic - Interior:

Car And Driver GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD 8-Speed Automatic Review

Parking or maneuvering a automobile that is certainly seven feet wide (such as massive mirrors) and 224 inches extended is usually a challenge. Certainly, although testing the GMC, a tight parking lot place the SUV’s security characteristics via their paces. Proximity sensors were buzzing front and back, cross-path detection chimed as other folks navigated about the monster SUV, along with the transmission and shifter (as well as the driver) got a exercise whilst making one thing like a six-point turn to slot the beast into a narrow space. Our test automobile also came equipped with a high-resolution backup camera and also GM’s haptic alert system, which vibrates the driver’s seat when the car closes in on an obstruction. These haptic alerts also deliver warnings in the lane-keeping-assist system.

While the Yukon XL Denali is really a hugely capable and pleasant sufficient vehicle, there are plenty of other choices that ring in beneath its massive $81,000 MSRP. As an illustration, all the space, a big portion of the capability, and the majority of the comforts can be had for $10,000 significantly less within the Chevy Suburban Premier. The bow-tie version’s only concession is that it can not be ordered together with the six.2-liter V-8, but the 355-hp five.3-liter V-8 is no slouch, delivering a zero-to-60-mph run of 7.1 seconds in our testing. Those considering the Yukon more for its trimmings than its hauling capabilities may well consider the Mercedes-Benz GLS450, which begins at much less than $70,000 and includes a much more luxurious interior. Additionally, it gives a a lot more satisfying driving encounter along with a lot more brand cachet. While the GMC resides within a excellent middle ground between Chevy and Cadillac when viewed from a GM-centric viewpoint, the Yukon XL Denali’s price tag elevates it to a level exactly where ultra-luxurious appointments, stellar road handling, and-in a lot of cases-better off-road prowess come from far more prestigious brand names that style their huge SUVs on dedicated platforms.

It’s a competent, sturdy, and luxurious SUV, but the Yukon XL Denali isn’t the best bang for the buck, unless, possibly, you’re pricing it like genuine estate, by the square foot. Building these cars on existing pickup-truck mechanical elements may possibly enhance GM’s profit margins, but difficult the most luxurious seven- or eight-seat SUVs would take much more effort to provide a deluxe driving expertise that goes beyond embellishing a function truck with a bunch of features and trim.

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