By Veeno Dewan
The GMC Yukon Denali, a large versatile SUV is a popular choice for adventurous families and those who tow a boat or trailer. This SUV also offers spacious accommodations across three rows of seats and there is a longer wheelbase model—called Yukon XL—that offers more cargo space. The Yukon is typical of the brand , wide, tall and with handsome broad shouldered good looks.
New for 2023 are more luxury finishing in the interior with features such as updated leather upholstery, 16-way power-adjustable front seats with massage, open pore wood trim, and an 18-speaker Bose stereo system. Among other niceties is GM’s impressive Super Cruise hands-free driving highway driving mode, available as an option.
Engine choices include: a base 5.3L V8 that makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The larger 6.2L V8 unit produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. The third engine option is a more fuel efficient 3.0L inline-six turbodiesel that makes 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. All three engines are paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. Both V8 units arrive with Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM), fuel-saving technology that shuts down some of the cylinders when full power is not required.
The SLE and SLT trims are available in 4×2 or 4×4 configuration, while the AT4, Denali and Denali Ultimate – are four-by-four only. Depending on the trim and equipment spec, the Yukon has a maximum towing capacity ranging from 7,500 to 8,400 lbs. Ideal if you have boat, or trailer.
The base SLE trim is very well-equipped while the upscale Denali trims such as the Ultimate trim add more bling and luxury such as: dark chrome trim on its grille and body and unique 22-inch wheels.
The long-wheelbase Yukon XL can seat up to eight passengers, or seven if you opt for the luxury second-row captain’s chairs. Denali, and premium Denali Ultimate also offer premium full-grain leather upholstery in all three rows, open-pore wood, 18-speaker Bose audio, and 16-way massaging front seats.
The well-equipped and more affordable SLT is offers leather upholstery, heated, and cooled front seats, 20-inch wheels, a power liftgate, and driver-assistance features. Yukon options include an illuminated grille emblem, trailer camera, power side steps with LED perimeter lighting, and Super Cruise hands-free adaptive cruise control.
The base SLE with 5.3L V8 starts at $66,103 in four-by-two, and at $69,348 in 4×4. The SLT starts at $74,003 in four-by-two, and at $77,303 in 4×4. The 4×4- off-road-orientated AT4, starts at $82,603 with 5.3L V8; the Denali at $89,103, with the 6.2L V8; and the Denali Ultimate, as tested is $110, 203.
In terms of Infotainment and Connectivity all Yukon models come with a large infotainment display with GMC’s latest easy to use interface and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. A Wi-Fi hotspot is part of the standard spec. Navigation and a Bose audio system are both optional features.
The smart roomy opulent cabin in our Ultimate tester featured one of the most impressive cabins I have set eyes on, with lavishly comfortable two- tone light and dark leather seats and trim, cross stitched leather, headrest mounted speakers and a wonderfully high-quality look and feel everywhere. Storage is excellent with tons of space: two tier door pockets, plus a novel power-sliding center console is available and allows the driver to electrically move the center console back and forth over a 10-inch track to provide more flexible interior storage.
The Yukon is extremely spacious with comfortable seating, and leg, hip, elbow, and headroom plenty of room in all quarters. The third-row seats are also amongst the most generous in this class. The Yukon offers 722 litres of cargo space behind the rear seats, if you need more cargo space and the three row seats you can opt for the longer Yukon XL, with more third-row legroom and 1,175 litres of cargo space behind it.
With the Yukon’s third row folded, you get up to 2,056 litres of cargo space, and if the second and third row are down, up to 3,480 litres behind the first-row seats.
In terms of safety there is a host of driver-assistance features offered, while the more advanced tech is extra cost. Key safety features include Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning, Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, available adaptive cruise control with hands-free driving mode.
Smart, comfortable, roomy and a pleasure to drive the Yukon Denali is superb truck for families who play and work hard. It drives easily and the 6.3 Liter engine offers performance when it comes to long distance cruising and hauling. A top pick in this segment when it comes SUVs.
2023 GMC Yukon Denali Yukon Ultimate– Priced from $110.203. Price as tested – $111,543.
More info at www.gmc.ca