The 2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali is a able full-size SUV with basement for up to eight, but the berth isn’t audible abundant from its Chevrolet ancestors to accreditation its luxury-class amount tag.
GM redesigned its ancestors of full-size SUVs for the 2015 archetypal year, giving them a stronger frame, new V-8 engines, boxier exoteric administration and richer interiors (to see the 2015 and 2014 Yukon XL compared, bang here). The approved Yukon and extended-length Yukon XL are positioned amid the mass-market Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and the luxury-oriented Cadillac Escalade in GM’s lineup. Outside the GM family, the Yukon XL competes with the Ford Expedition EL (see their specs compared here).
We activated a four-wheel-drive Yukon XL Denali, which is an flush adaptation of the Yukon XL SLE and SLT that gets a added able 6.2-liter V-8 agent and altered administration cues, like a altered chrome grille. It starts at $71,415, including a $1,195 destination charge, but alternative actualization brought our as-tested amount to $78,725.
Admitting the Yukon XL’s boxier appearance, GMC says the SUV is added aerodynamic than its predecessor. The adamant attending apparel this big SUV well, though, and the cocked grille administration is a big advance over the above-mentioned model’s cartoonish shape.
Denali models get a mesh-style chrome grille that looks absolutely a bit altered from the approved Yukon XL’s horizontal-bar design. Added changes accommodate high-intensity-discharge headlights and accepted 20-inch aluminum admixture wheels. The all-embracing look, though, is added adventurous than elegant.
Clarification has been accident in all corners of the automotive world, including the full-size barter and SUV segments. The GMC Yukon XL is a prime archetype of this, absorption how baby the driving-experience gap has become with full-size car-based crossovers.
This clarification comes beyond in a few ways. The GMC Yukon XL is composed on the artery and accessible to steer. It’s quiet, too, with aloof a adumbration of wind babble at artery speeds. Overall, it has an easy-driving way about it that seems ideal for continued ancestors alley trips.
Denali models accept GM’s Magnetic Ride Ascendancy adaptive suspension. The arrangement is actual acceptable at attached anatomy motions — both anatomy cycle back cornering and additionally bobbing movements on rolling pavement. Compared with the non-adaptive abeyance added trims have, however, ride affection over abate bumps and pavement break is harsh; you feel every irregularity, and on rougher pavement it makes for a aflutter ride.
According to a GM representative, the Magnetic Ride Ascendancy shocks were appointed to be bigger in astern 2014 to accomplish them beneath acute to baby alley irregularities. Our analysis archetypal was congenital in June 2014, however, so we weren’t able to acquaintance the adapted arrangement that should now be in Denali models on banker lots.
A 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 agent is accepted in the Yukon XL, but the Denali adaptation gets a 6.2-liter V-8 rated at 420 hp. The added ability is welcome; the 6.2-liter V-8 gets the Yukon XL up to artery speeds bound and provides able around-town acceleration. The Denali archetypal weighs about three tons, but the 6.2-liter V-8 doesn’t feel burdened.
Our analysis archetypal had a six-speed automated transmission. While you may be able to buy a new Yukon XL Denali with this transmission, it’s added acceptable that ones on banker lots now will accept a new eight-speed automated manual that became accessible in November 2014 as a astern change for the 2015 archetypal year.
EPA-estimated gas breadth for the four-wheel-drive Yukon XL Denali charcoal 14/20/16 mpg city/highway/combined with the new transmission, but rear-wheel-drive versions accretion 1 mpg on the artery for a 15/22/17 mpg estimate. GM says the eight-speed automatic’s accouterment are quicker, and a new torque advocate provides smoother low-speed performance.
As for the six-speed automatic, I like how it works with the 6.2-liter V-8s. It’s actual responsive, blame bottomward bound back you charge added power. We’ve been afflicted with the eight-speed’s bond with the 6.2-liter agent in GM’s full-size auto trucks, so the change bodes able-bodied for the Yukon Denali.
The Yukon XL Denali has the aforementioned berth blueprint as non-Denali models, but it gets nicer accepted materials, like absolute copse trim and aberrant covering seats. There are abounding soft-touch materials, the controls are accurately abiding and the administration is eye-pleasing, but the all-embracing attending is too agnate to the Chevrolet Tahoe’s interior.
The avant-garde brazier seats accept bendable bank cushions, but backrest cushioning is absolutely firm. Abounding bodies like the animated active position SUVs provide, and the Yukon XL delivers; you sit up aerial and can attending over cars in avant-garde of you. Alternative power-retracting active boards accomplish it easier to ascend inside.
There’s abundant legroom in the added row to amplitude your legs a bit, and the basement position is comfortable. The alternative second-row captain’s chairs don’t accelerate avant-garde or backward, but their backrests recline. Like the avant-garde seats, the second-row chairs accept bendable bank cushions and close backrests. They tumble avant-garde to accomplish a avant-garde walk-through to the third row, but you can additionally airing amid them.
The Yukon XL’s added breadth — about 20 inches best than a approved Yukon — goes a continued way against convalescent commuter abundance in the third row. Unlike the Ford Expedition, which offers aberrant third-row bank comfort, the approved Yukon’s third row is abstract for adults because legroom is acutely limited. The Yukon XL remedies that with an added 9.7 inches of third-row legroom for a absolute of 34.5 inches. It’s appreciably added adequate admitting the adamantine bank cushioning.
Controls are evidently abiding and accessible to use. GMC is astute to beacon bright of the capacitive touch-sensitive button fad, which appears to be in its aftermost days, but some of the Yukon XL’s concrete buttons, like the ones for the acrimonious seats, could be beyond so they’re easier to use. Unlike abounding added full-size SUVs that accept animate shifters, the Yukon XL has its shifter on the council column. This lets the abject trim akin bank up to nine bodies with an accessible first-row bank seat, and the architecture additionally frees up amplitude for added animate storage.
Denali trim levels get a altered apparatus animate with an 8-inch blush affectation amid the tachometer and speedometer. The awning has a few capacity and can appearance altered kinds of agent information, like what song is arena on the radio, cruise advice or a bombastic aeronautics map. The accessory map is a nice feature, but GM doesn’t advance the awning to its abounding potential; the map takes up aloof a allocation of the awning alike admitting there’s allowance for a abundant beyond image.
The accepted IntelliLink multimedia arrangement has an 8-inch touch-screen that recognizes smartphone-style gestures like annexation to appearance altered information. Concrete buttons amid beneath the affectation supplement the on-screen menus. At the tap of a button, the awning motors up to acknowledge a hidden alcove and one of bristles accepted USB ports. An MP3 jack and an SD agenda aperture are additionally included.
The arrangement commutual calmly with my iPhone application Bluetooth and bound loaded all my contacts. The Bluetooth affection includes alive audio for arena music stored on your phone; song names arise on the touch-screen and you can skip through your music application awning controls.
The GMC Yukon XL acquired 4G LTE internet connectivity in astern 2014, authoritative the SUV a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot for tablets and added adaptable devices. GMC includes a three-month/3-gigabyte abstracts balloon through OnStar.
Another account of the Yukon XL’s added breadth is appreciably added burden allowance abaft the third row. The approved Yukon has aloof 15.3 cubic anxiety of burden allowance abaft the third row, while the Yukon XL has 38.9 cubic feet. Maximum burden allowance with the added and third rows bankrupt is 121.1 cubic anxiety — a little beneath than the Expedition EL’s 130.8 cubic feet. You accept to bright the GMC Yukon XL’s aerial bonanza back loading cargo.
The Yukon XL has lots of amplitude for abate items acknowledgment to tiered aperture pockets, baby cubbies forth the centermost console, the hidden alcove abaft the touch-screen and a big centermost animate accumulator bin that’s ample abundant to authority a laptop computer. The cuff box, however, is small.
Crash-test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance weren’t accessible as of publication, but the National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration gave the 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL an all-embracing appraisement of four out of bristles stars. Regular- and long-wheelbase versions of the Expedition accustomed bristles stars overall.
Besides acceptable front-seat side-impact airbags, there’s a side-impact airbag on the inboard ancillary of the driver’s brazier bank that’s advised to anticipate avant-garde cartage from hitting anniversary added in a crash. A advancement camera and avant-garde and rear parking sensors are standard.
Alternative avant-garde assurance actualization accommodate a dark atom admonishing system; lane abandonment warning; avant-garde blow warning; rear cross-traffic alert; adaptive cruise ascendancy with automated braking; and GM’s Assurance Alert Seat, which issues disciplinarian warnings through seat-cushion pulses.
For a abounding account of assurance features, see the Actualization & Specs page. To see how able-bodied child-safety seats fit in the Yukon XL, analysis out our Car Bank Check.
Big SUVs like the GMC Yukon XL appear with big amount tags to match; the SUV starts at added than $50,000, and in Denali anatomy it can amount as abundant as full-size affluence body-type SUVs like the Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. While accurately appointed, the Yukon XL Denali doesn’t alluvium affluence like some of those models do.
It is beneath ostentatious, though, and that’s resonated with SUV shoppers; GMC says added than 60 percent of all Yukon sales are Denali models. That’s impressive, and it will be absorbing to see how GMC evolves the Denali blueprint in the years ahead.
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