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2016 GMC Yukon XL Overview

John Diether
Automotive Editor - August 17, 2015

One of the largest SUVs money can buy, the Yukon XL appeals to drivers who want a cavernous interior and truck-like capability. In addition to those signature virtues, you get an abundance of comfort and safety features, prestigious looks, and the sheer satisfaction of commanding a three-ton vehicle.

What's New for 2016

Lane keeping assist and automatic high beams are available for this first time.

Choosing Your GMC Yukon XL

Most Yukon XLs are powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine that generates 355 horsepower. The line-topping Denali get its own 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower. Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission and can be paired with four-wheel drive. Low-range gearing is standard on the 4WD Denali and optional on the other trims. Towing capacity reaches 8,500 pounds, thanks in part to a standard locking rear differential.

Up to nine adults and their luggage can fit comfortably in the Yukon XL, and the third row folds neatly into the floor when not in use. With all seats folded, you're looking at 121 cubic feet of cargo space, which puts the XL firmly in the largest category of SUV.

Like other GMC models, the Yukon XL is offered in three trim levels:

SLE

Comes fully equipped with premium cloth upholstery, power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, and remote start. You also get a premium Bose nine-speaker sound system and GMC's IntelliLink infotainment interface. The available Driver Alert package adds lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and a vibrating safety alert built into the driver seat. There's also a Convenience package with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals, and a hands-free power liftgate. A front bench seat is optional on this trim level only.

SLT

Builds on the SLE with extra safety features like rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams. You also get a leather interior with heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and ambient lighting. Both the second the third rows fold at the touch of a button. The Sun, Entertainment and Destination package throws in a sunroof, navigation, and a rear entertainment system. Individual options include second-row captain's chairs, adaptive cruise control, and an upgraded alarm system.

Denali

Gets the 6.2-liter engine and an adaptive magnetic suspension, plus a unique grille, 20-inch wheels, a trailer-brake controller, and xenon headlamps. The interior receives a digital instrument panel, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system, active noise cancellation, and second-row captain's chairs. Navigation is also standard. The Denali's Touring package comes with a head-up display, chrome wheels, a sunroof, and a rear entertainment system. Standalone options include power-retractable entry steps and 22-inch wheels.

CarsDirect Tip

Of the three trim levels, the SLT scores highest on features for the money. It provides a perfectly luxurious passenger environment while staying well below the price territory of premium-branded competitors.

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