The GMC Yukon, like a few of its main competitors, aims to satisfy a very distinctive market. It can seat up to nine and still have some room for cargo; it can tow a mountain and it gives loads of comfort and tech perks for a large family with an adventurous spirit.
The 2018 generation of the Yukon is probably the last one of the model that first appeared in 2015. This means it has been upgraded over the years and brought to its best form in the 2018 version. These additions have made the model far more up to date and have added the latest tech and comfort features to make the 2018 GMC Yukon feel completely fresh.
The 2019 model is going to be all new, but let’s see what the 2018 Yukon with all its additions offers.
Design of the GMC Yukon
Design-wise, the GMC Yukon is pretty similar to most full-size SUVs. This is a very specific niche where spaciousness, ruggedness and practicality are more important than quirky design solutions and the Yukon fits the picture perfectly.
It is boxy, with sharp edges that take up as much space as possible to ensure maximum interior space and no surprising parts sticking out while parking in tight spaces. The most prominent part of the front is the huge grille flanked by squared headlights. The lower section has fog lights in the bumper and nothing else.
The side is equally boxy with large doors and massive window surfaces for improved visibility and more sunlight, and the rear has thin pillars to further increase visibility.
This much practicality can make a design uninspiring and bland, but the truth is that the Yukon is a vehicle that looks reassuringly confident, with an imposing road presence and elegance.
Interior of the GMC Yukon
With up to 9 seats, the Yukon is first and foremost a people carrier. That automatically requires features such as comfort, tech, safety, charging ports, multi-zone climate, interior versatility, spaciousness and enough power to push the huge body with all the amenities.
Again, the Yukon delivers. The cabin is spacious, bathed in high-quality materials and exceptionally quiet when driving. It is also very easy to enter all seats. Doors open wide and the versatile interior setup allows easy access.
When it comes to the design, the GMC Yukon is very modern and practical. Again, GMC engineers did not try to conceal the vehicles size, but used it the best way possible. The Yukon feels solid wherever you look, and it is very easy to use and drive. Engineers managed to put all controls very close to the steering wheel, so despite its size, the Yukon is easy to control.
Understandably, the infotainment touchscreen includes loads of options including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It is up to date, with a modern design and interface, and lag-free operation.
The seats are massive, comfortable and supportive. The first and second rows give ample room even for taller adults, while the third row is most accommodating to children or adults on short trips.
Of course, the Denali version ups the quality and comfort by a notch. It packs the best available materials and dedicated features reserved for the top of the range model. More about that in our section on trim levels.
Engines and Drive of the GMC Yukon
There are two engines available for the GMC Yukon – a 5.3 l EcoTec3 V8 which produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque and a 6.2 l EcoTec3 V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of twisting force. The first engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic, while the 6.2 comes with the latest 10-speed automatic.
The 10-speed comes with an option to include 2-speed transfer case, which will be welcomed by the people who venture off road occasionally.
Even the smaller engine on the Yukon is pretty respectable when it comes to the power it provides. Maximum weight of the trailer you can tow with this engine is 2948 kg, so it is not very likely that even the entry level power plant will be lacking in this respect. The more powerful 6.2 increases this figure further to 3674 kg.
The thing that people need to get used to is the slow throttle pedal calibration. The Yukon is made like that deliberately so that you can control the power delivery with more precision. This is very good while towing, or trying to park in tight spaces. It is also a great feature for novice drivers who don’t feel confident with dosing the throttle.
However, when you press the pedal, the Yukon flies. The huge body with all the weight-adding amenities reaches 100 in about 7 seconds with the smaller engine.
The Yukon is very comfortable, both on the highway and on bumpy local roads. However, this does not mean that suspension is too soft and that cornering causes boat-like behavior. Advanced suspension tuning allows remarkable control for a vehicle of this size.
Add to this very successful noise insulation and there aren’t many better options for long trips. Even after a day-long drive, the Yukon is relaxing, rather than tiresome.
Trim Levels for the GMC Yukon
There are three trim levels for the GMC Yukon – SLE, SLT and Denali. There are also two body styles, the addition being the longer XL version.
The base trim comes as standard with loads of features usually reserved for high-end models.
The SLE comes with active aero grille shutters, ABS and brakes with Duralife rotors, optional engine block heater, heavy-duty automatic locking rear differential, StabiliTrak with traction control, trailer sway control and hill start assist, premium suspension and optional air-based rear level control, standard trailering equipment, optional 9-seat interior with front 40/20/40 bench, second and third rows 60/40 splitting, front and rear park assist, 4.2” colour driver information centre, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Teen Driver function, tow/haul mode selector, tire pressure monitoring, tri-zone automatic climate, total of 5 110V household power outlets and 12V outlets, remote start and keyless entry, optional universal home remote, 8” touchscreen with advanced features such as 3-month trial for SiriusXM, 5 USB ports, Siri Eyes Free function and more. This base trim level has even more, including Bose 9-speaker sound system, 5-year basic OnStar plan, assist steps, deep-tinted solar-ray glass, rearview camera, vehicle theft deterrent system, optional forward collision alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, low speed forward automatic braking, safety alert seat and much, much more.
The SLT adds front heated and ventilated seats covered in leather. The second row seats are heated and power released and the third row is also power folded. Adaptive cruise control and sunroof come as optional in this trim, while power-adjustable pedals are standard, as are push button start, heated steering wheel, universal home remote, power tilt and telescoping steering column.
More optional features on the SLT include rear-seat entertainment system and 9.2” screen for the third row. They are a welcome help for large families on long trips.
More features standard on the SLT include hands free lift gate, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, low speed forward automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, safety alert seat, lane change alert and side blind zone alert.
The Denali introduces the more powerful engine and 10-speed gearbox, but also ups the game with styling, comfort and tech perks. Just some of the standard features on the Denali are dedicated infotainment touchscreen with navigation, Bose Centerpoint surround sound system, HID projector-beam headlamps with automatic exterior lamp control, LED signature lighting and flash-to-pass, 170-amp alternator, 2-speed transfer case, integrated trailer brake control, Magnetic Ride Control, head-up display, 8” diagonal customizable driver display, active noise cancellation, wireless charging and more.
If you are interested in a lower trim level, but you would like some of the higher trim features, you can upgrade the vehicle of your choice with one of 9 optional packages and make your GMC Yukon truly unique.
To learn more about the GMC Yukon, come into our Fort McMurray car dealership at 530 MacKenzie Blvd, or give us a call at (780) 743-2871. We’re happy to answer all of your questions. Want to skip right to the fun part? Book a test drive online and see why Summit GM is one of Fort McMurrays top car dealerships.