GMC’s rebadged Chevy Tahoe/Suburban models are as spacious as ever in Yukon and extended-length Yukon XL; new styling and updated content keep this big rig in the big-ute game; Denali base and XL versions add an abundance of luxury.
New 5.3-liter V8 makes more power; Denali’s new 6.2-liter V8 makes 420 horses (up from 403) and comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
GMC’s giant-sized Yukon rigs are specialists at heavy hauling in all kinds of road conditions and with up to eight people on board. For 2015, they’re also better looking with sharply creased bodywork and a handsome grille for the standard versions and the extended-by-20-inches XL. As well there’s a unique nose for the Denali and Denali XL. Although both configurations can hold up to eight people, the XL’s extra space is completely dedicated to cargo room. Previous Yukons could hold up to nine people, but the three-person front bench is no longer part of the deal. Interior Yukon/Denali changes include a more fashionable dashboard and control panel complete with a five- or available eight-inch color touch-screens that control the infotainment and communications systems. A smaller secondary screen is located between the gauges and also displays key info. Like most General Motors vehicles this year, Yukon comes with a Wi-Fi Internet connectivity for all aboard as part of a paid subscription through GM’s OnStar concierge/emergency help system. For 2015, the Yukon and XL come with a new 5.3-liter V8 that makes 355 horsepower, which is a gain of 35 from the previous engine. Key upgrades include direct fuel injection that can tailor the fuel entering the engine to the actual engine load and not just the revs per minute. The new 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, which is based on the Chevrolet Corvette engine with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, is a Denali exclusive. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission (previously a six-speed). Both regular- and extended-length models come in SLE, mid-level SLT and Denali trim levels with a wide assortment of gear specific to each package. Among the Denali’s numerous special touches are power fold-and-tumble second-row bucket seats, hands-free power liftgate (opens with a kicking motion below the bumper), wireless phone charging, heated and cooled leather seating surfaces, power adjustable pedals, heated windshield-washer system, automatic wipers, Bose-brand 10-speaker surround-sound audio system including (XM satellite radio) and climate control.
Base price (incl. destination): $47,300; $50,000 (XL)
Type: Four-door full-size sport-utility vehicle
Base engine (hp): 5.3-liter OHV V8 (355)
Optional engine (hp): 6.2-liter OHV V8 (420)
Layout: Front-engine, rear- /four-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic; eight-speed automatic (Denali)
MPG (city/hwy): 16/23 (5.3)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; front center airbag; anti-lock brakes; stability control with rollover protection
Weight (lb.): 5,470