2018 GMC Yukon Denali

Pros: Ample passenger and cargo space, especially in Yukon XL models; quiet interior; tractable and easy to drive for the size; 3rd-row seats now fold flat with the cargo floor as do 2nd-row seats; towing capability

Cons: Fuel economy; tight-quarters maneuverability; cramped legroom in 3rd-row seats on regular-length Yukons; jittery ride with available 20-inch wheels; high-end models get very expensive

CG Says: For 2018, Denali versions of GMC Yukon and Yukon XL gain a 10-speed automatic transmission in place of the previous 6-speed automatic. Denali also offers a new Ultimate Black Edition package with 22-inch wheels and unique exterior trim. The Yukon is a large SUV that shares its basic design with the Chevrolet Tahoe. The Yukon XL, which is 14 inches longer in wheelbase and 20 inches longer overall, is kin to the Chevrolet Suburban. Yukon and Yukon XL have three rows of seating that can hold up to nine passengers with available front- and second-row bench seats. The 3rd-row seatbacks fold flat into the floor. Designers had to raise the cargo floor to accomplish this, which makes for a higher liftover, but also allows for some handy under-floor storage bins. The base engine in Yukon and Yukon XL is a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower that is paired with a 6-speed automatic. The topline Denali models get a 420-hp 6.2-liter V8 mated to the previously mentioned 10-speed automatic. Safety features include low-speed automatic braking, forward collision alert, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Some of the safety features use GM’s Safety Alert Seat, which vibrates to warn the driver of potential obstructions. Interior materials are of high quality, especially on higher-end models. Enhancing the upscale feel are available features such as adaptive cruise control, heated/ventilated front seats, a power-folding 3rd-row seat, and keyless entry and starting. Denali models get exclusive features such as windshield heads-up display, configurable instrument panel, and unique interior/exterior trim. The very notion of a hulking, V8-powered full-size SUV seems anachronistic to many shoppers these days, but for those who need the power, interior room, and towing capacity that only a large SUV offers, the all-new Yukons are a fine choice. Yukon Denalis are especially pricey, but they offer a luxurious feel that approaches the Cadillac Escalade.

The Facts
Class Large SUV
Body Style(s) 4-door wagon
Passenger Count 9
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive
Manufacturer GMC
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices Yukon SLE: $50,375
Yukon AWD SLE: $53,375
Yukon SLT: $58,425
Yukon AWD SLT: $61,425
Yukon Denali: $67,460
Yukon AWD Denali: $70,460
Yukon XL SLE: $53,075
Yukon XL AWD SLE: $56,075
Yukon XL SLT: $61,125
Yukon XL AWD SLT: $64,125
Yukon XL Denali: $70,160
Yukon XL AWD Denali: $73,160

Base Engine
5.3-liter V8 (SLE, SLT)
Horsepower
355
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
15-16
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
22-23

Optional Engine
6.2-liter V8 (Denali)
Horsepower
420
Std. Transmission
10-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
14
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
21-23

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2018 GMC Yukon SLT
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2018 GMC Yukon XL SLT
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2018 GMC Yukon XL Denali
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 4
80%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 5
100%
Side Crash - 5
100%
Rollover - 3
60%

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