Unquestionably 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 merits, you get an abundance of comfort features, plus prestigious design. Contemporary active-safety features are available, too. Of course, we can’t ignore the visceral satisfaction of commanding a tall, three-ton vehicle.
What's New for 2017
Like the regular-size Yukon, the XL edition gets some equipment revisions for 2017, starting with a newly standard Teen Driver feature, which lets parents track the road behavior of young family members. Active front aero shutters are new. Perforated leather upholstery and heated/ventilated front seats now are standard on the SLT trim. Rear-seat infotainment systems have been upgraded with an additional USB port and digital headphones. Low-speed automatic braking now is available.
Choosing Your GMC Yukon XL
The XL is more than 20 inches longer than the regular Yukon. Most Yukon XLs are powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 355 horsepower. The line-topping Denali get its own 6.2-liter V8, generating 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission, which can be mated with four-wheel drive rather than the standard rear-drive. Low-range gearing is standard on the 4WD Denali and optional on the other trim levels. Towing capacity reaches 8,500 pounds, thanks in part to a standard locking rear differential.
Fuel economy with rear-drive and the 5.3-liter V8 is estimated at 16 mpg in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway (19 mpg combined). Four-wheel drive reduces city and highway figures by 1 mpg, for 18 mpg in combined driving. With its 6.2-liter V8, the Denali gets an estimated 15/22 mpg (city/highway) with rear-drive, and 14/20 mpg with four-wheel drive.
Up to eight adults (nine with the available front bench seat) and their luggage can fit comfortably in the Yukon XL. When not in use, the third row folds neatly into the floor. 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. With the third row folded down, capacity totals 76.7 cubic feet, shrinking to a still-abundant 39.3 cubic feet when all seats are up.
Like other GMC models, the Yukon XL is offered in three trim levels. Standard equipment is similar to that of the regular-size Yukon:
Of the three trim levels, the SLT scores highest on worthy features for the money. Passengers can expect a luxurious environment, while the owner stays well below the price range of various premium-brand competitors. Fuel economy wins no prizes, of course, but the Yukon XL doesn't consume much more than the standard Yukon.