The Yukon and Yukon XL are GMC's full-size SUVs. The Yukon XL has a longer wheelbase than the regular Yukon. Both Yukons are offered in SLE, SLT and Denali models. Each of these models is available in either rear- or 4-wheel drive. Both Yukons offer a standard 320-horsepower, 5.3L V8 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Yukon Denalis come with a 6.2L flex-fuel-capable V8 with 403 horsepower and 417 ft-lb of torque. No matter the model, tow ratings are strong; the Yukon can tow up to 8,500 pounds, while the Yukon XL can handle trailers up to 8,100 pounds.
All Yukon models are built on a fully boxed frame, which gives them truck toughness and helps keep vibrations out of the cabin. A coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering give the Yukon a surprisingly good ride and reasonably responsive handling. Denali models get a special Autoride suspension system that employs real-time, semi-active adjustable dampers to help reduce body motion. Yet in any of these models, the interior is plush and comfortable and the instrument panel is more like that of Chevrolet's passenger cars and modern crossovers than like Chevrolet and GMC's work-oriented pickup trims.
The Yukon comes with a strong set of safety features across the lineup. Each of the Yukon trims includes GM's StabiliTrak stability control, along with anti-lock brakes, seat-mounted front side airbags and head-curtain airbags for the first and second rows, as well as the OnStar suite of services, such as Stolen Vehicle Slowdown and Automatic Crash Response. Additionally, all Yukons include a backup camera and rear park assist, along with remote start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and power adjustable pedals. A side blind-zone alert system is optional.
Most Yukon models include seating for up to eight, with two buckets in front plus second and third-row bench seats good for three across, but a front bench is available on the Yukon XL to fit up to nine. Several upholsteries and styles are offered, and both the first and second rows can be heated. Top Denali models include upgraded wheels and chrome trim, a navigation system with XM satellite radio and XM NavTraffic, Bose Centerpoint surround sound system with ten speakers, heated and cooled front seats, perforated leather upholstery and extra power outlets, among many extra features. Among the noteworthy options on the Yukon and Yukon XL are navigation, DVD rear entertainment, tri-zone climate control and a power-folding second-row seat.
Ahead of a full redesign next year, the 2014 GMC Yukon features few significant changes. The Hybrid model and Yukon XL 2500 have been discontinued, as has the convenience package, though many of that package's options -- backup camera, rear park assist, remote start, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power adjustable pedals -- have become standard equipment on all Yukons.