2019 GMC Yukon Introduction

Closely related to Chevrolet’s Tahoe and Suburban, the GMC Yukon and its extended-length Yukon XL companion continue to provide a traditional, truck-based SUV experience. Fitted with three rows of seats, the full-size SUVs may be old-school in theme, but they include abundant technology and capabilities for modern-day families. Despite their heft, GM’s biggest SUVs manage to avoid feeling like relics from another era.

For the 2019 model year, GMC has added two option packages: the Graphite Edition and Graphite Performance Edition. Each is available for the SLT trim level. Both versions feature a darkened appearance, but the Performance version gets a bigger V8.

GMC’s Yukon lineup includes the standard Yukon and lengthier Yukon XL. The extended version is 14 inches longer in wheelbase and 20.5 inches longer overall. Cargo capacity behind the XL’s third-row seat is more than double that of the standard model.

Trim levels include base SLE, SLT, and near-luxury Denali, in addition to a value-priced Standard Edition. Denali trim pushes the Yukon into the realm of Cadillac’s Escalade, which uses the same platform.

GMC offers a choice of two big V8 engines: a 5.3-liter that makes 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, or a mighty 6.2-liter that packs a 420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet wallop. The smaller V8 mates with a 6-speed automatic transmission, but the 6.2-liter drives a 10-speed automatic. Both come with either rear-drive or four-wheel drive.

Fuel economy is reasonably good, helped by cylinder-deactivation technology at higher cruising speeds. With its husky ladder frame, a Yukon can tow as much as 8,500 pounds.

Few safety features are standard in the base model. Bucket seats include a front-center airbag.

Upper trim levels, including the Standard Edition, get an Enhanced Driver Alert package that includes forward collision alert, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and low-speed forward automatic braking. SLT and Denali trim levels can have adaptive cruise control, as an option.

Full crash-test ratings for the 2019 Yukon are unavailable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Yukon four stars overall, with five stars for frontal and side-impact tests. The Yukon XL fared worse, earning only a four-star score for frontal impact. Rollover prevention – a calculated figure – scored only three stars.

1Dealer Discount applied to everyone.

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