2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD Review

Tuesday September 20th, 2016 at 1:99 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD

By David Colman

Hypes: Brutal but Elegant Highway King
Gripes: Challenging to Park

This thing is positively presidential. When it arrived in my driveway for its week-long stay, I checked right away to make sure the Secret Service hadn’t left President Obama in the back seat. In Onyx Black, this $80,000 SUV really fills the bill for POTUS transport. With a length of 224 inches, a height of 74 inches, a width of 81 inches, and a weight of three tons, this is the most imposing passenger vehicle you can buy from GMC. It will barely fit in your regulation 20 foot long garage. And be sure to keep your credit card handy. Even with its 31.5 gallon gas tank, this rig will exhaust fuel faster than you can track the rapid descent of the gas level needle. For the record, the 6.2 liter V8 records city mileage of 14 MPG, highway mileage of 20 MPG, and overall consumption of 16 MPG.

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD

In trade, you get to ride herd on a thumping big V8 that puts out 420hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. That output makes towing an 8,000 lb. trailer easy. GMC even provides Trailer Sway Control (TSC) and Integrated Trailer Brake Control (ITBC) as standard features, so the Denali XL is perfectly configured to handle any hitch load you can throw at it. TSC limits the amount of trailer pitch, ITBC adjusts the power output, or gain, to the trailer brakes as needed, and a Tow/Haul Mode button on the shift lever prevents the transmission from hunting for gears on steep grades.

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD

That gearbox is a smooth shifting 8-speed automatic that metes out power smoothly and judiciously. You control its selection of gears with a shift wand that is bigger than that of the Fairy Princess. The entire dashboard is festooned with so many controls and buttons that it will take you a week just to notice them all. For example, no fewer than 19 graphic symbols can appear on the Driver Information Center. To the left of the steering wheel, you will find the 4WD control knob next to the headlight light control knob and below the ITBC switch. Above the ITBC control is another nest of buttons overseeing Traction Control, StabiliTrak, front and rear Park Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Pedal Adjustment (they slide) and Power Assist Step Control for the optional ($1,745) power retractable running boards.

If all this isn’t enough to confuse you, the steering wheel itself is a nexus of functions, including Adaptive Cruise Control ($995 option), voice recognition control, and driver information center display control. Behind the steering wheel you will find additional switches on the left spoke for accessing entertainment system tuning (Next/Previous favorite stations) and the right spoke (volume). If all this is starting to look like you need a Boeing 747 manual for pre-flight familiarization, you haven’t seen anything yet. The GMC IntelliLink Infotainment System offers a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot on a limited free trial basis. It also provides hands-free calling with voice recognition, audio playback with voice recognition, and access to Apple Carplay (including hands-free text messaging and Siri) when you download the free “MyGMC Owner App.”

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD

You could almost forget you’re commanding a 3 ton limousine. But GMC has you partially covered there too. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control automatically adjusts speed and will slow your vehicle to a stop, if necessary. Unless you first signal a lane change, Lane Keep Assist, which is a standard feature, will keep you from changing lanes by gently guiding the steering wheel straight while jiggling the seat bottom to inform you of your errant behavior. This could be a lifesaver if you fall asleep at the wheel, but it can also prove annoying, so GMC allows you to turn off LKA with yet another button on the dash. Park Assist also uses beeping and the seat jiggle to keep you from bumping into things you can’t see, and in this application, especially when backing up, the system is a golden safety parachute.

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD

Our Denali featured optional ($2,495) alloy wheels, 22 inches in diameter and mounting Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza rubber (285/45R22). These expensive monster tires mandate use of optional retractable running boards, since they elevate cabin entry height into the stratosphere. However, once you’ve climbed aboard, the only vehicle taller than your Denali is an 18-wheeler. Without question, this dominant posture confers a sense of vision and security on you that is simply unmatched by anything else on the road.

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4WD

  • Engine: 6.2 Liter V8 ECOTEC3
  • Horsepower: 420hp
  • Torque: 460lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 14 MPG City/20 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $80,650
  • Star Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Stars

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CarReview's 2009-2010 Hybrid Buyer's Guide

Monday October 26th, 2009 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: ggaillard

Honda CR-Z

By Greg Gaillard

Hybrids Come of Age

Just 10 years ago Honda released the Insight as the first US mass market hybrid combustion/electric car.  Its two seat aerodynamic teardrop shape, light weight and focused engineering delivered spectacular fuel economy that generated quite a bit of media attention.  In the real world however, the Insight represented significant compromises in terms of utility, performance and perceived safety.  Launched at the height of the SUV boom alongside inexpensive gasoline, sales weren’t significant and to many people the Insight was another Honda engineering experiment; a car that Honda’s Asimo robot might drive, but not something American families would put in their garage.

What a difference a decade makes.  Last week the EPA released its annual Fuel Economy Guide for 2010 and hybrids swept the podium with 9 out of the top 10 MPG scores.  At least in terms of EPA ratings, hybrids are the drivetrain technology of the moment.  Perhaps more important than MPG is how the technology has evolved into a variety of solutions that can be used across a range of body styles without many of the original Insight’s compromises.

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2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid 4×4 Review – The most intimidating hybrid on the road today

Monday April 14th, 2008 at 9:44 AM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid 4HY


  • Very smooth ride
  • Plenty of power
  • Yep-18 miles per gallon


  • Expensive
  • Susceptible to winds
  • WIDE

This is GM’s bold entry into the Hybrid SUV market. At first glance, the all black beast was intimidating yet “friendly” with its hybrid decals plastered about. What would it be like?

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Posted in Expert Reviews, GMC |Tags:, , || 3 Comments »

GMC Yukon Hybrid 4×4 Review – Environmentally Conscious Soccer Moms Applaud GM

Wednesday March 26th, 2008 at 3:33 PM
Posted by: Derek

2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

What is on Farley’s mind other than thinking about his next bag of oats? Parked next to Farley’s corral is the new GMC Yukon Hybrid featuring GM’s 2-mode hybrid system. The 2008 Yukon Hybrid boasts a 332 hp, 6.0L Vortec V8, a NiMH 300V battery, two 60KW motors in the transmission, and nifty software that controls the whole caboodle. Not only can you pack in 8 passengers utilizing the 3rd row seating, but this 4×4 hybrid has the capacity to tow 6,000 pounds. Translation: mom can take the team to soccer practice during the week and dad can tow the family boat to the lake on the weekend.

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