GMC announced last week that the all-new 2015 Yukon, Yukon XL and flagship Yukon Denali models will deliver greater capability and refinement, with more power, new fold-flat rear seats and a quieter interior. And thanks to a new family of advanced EcoTec3 engines, the lineup is expected to deliver the segment’s best V-8 fuel economy.
“We’ve engineered the Yukon and Yukon XL from the ground up, building on a strong legacy of capability to take them to the top of the segment with exceptional refinement and purposeful technology,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “And when it comes to the tasks people rely on a full-size SUV for, they do it better than ever – and with more style.”
Bold styling and advanced technologies – including new safety and security technologies – support Yukon’s greater capability, while a more comprehensive list of standard features and enhanced infotainment options are designed to broaden the appeal of one of the industry’s most-popular full-size SUV lineups. Combined Yukon/Yukon XL and Denali sales were up 24 percent for the eight months of 2013.
Yukon and Yukon XL share design, architectural and powertrain elements, but Yukon XL has an approximately 14-inch longer wheelbase and is approximately 20 inches longer overall, providing greater legroom for third-row passengers and almost twice the cargo room behind the third-row seat.
“Although they are based on a similar architecture, Yukon and Yukon XL are distinctive products that appeal to different customers,” said DiSalle. “Versatility and spaciousness are valued by customers for both vehicles, but the Yukon XL is the choice for families with more children and those with lifestyles that require its unique combination of passenger- and cargo-hauling capabilities. In fact, Yukon XL owners are more than twice as likely to transport passengers daily in the third-row seat.”
New and enhanced product highlights of the 2015 Yukon lineup include:
- Fold-flat second- and third-row seats that enhance cargo capability and convenience – including an available power-folding feature
- Approximately two inches more legroom for second-row passengers and easier entry/exit
- All-new cargo management system
- Available power rear liftgate with multiple programmable height settings
- Standard eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen radio with enhanced IntelliLink and available navigation
- Eight-inch-diagonal customizable driver display with three available user themes and available head-up display (Denali models)
- Multiple USB ports, SD slots and accessory power outlets – including a 110-volt three-prong outlet – to support electronic devices of all kinds
- Available Blu-ray/DVD rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens on Yukon XL
- Conversation mirror in the overhead console that provides a panoramic view of the rear seats
- Keyless entry and push-button start.
When it comes to safety, the Yukon lineup incorporates new technologies to help protect the driver and passengers before, during and after a collision. They include a forward radar system and the segment’s only front seat center-mounted air bag (models with bucket seats), which is engineered to provide additional protection to drivers and front passengers in far-side impact crashes, where the affected occupant is on the opposite, non-struck side of the vehicle.
Standard and available safety features, depending on the model, also include forward collision alert, front park assist, lane departure warning, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking, and GM’s Safety Alert Seat. It offers directional vibrations to alert the driver about potential crash threats.
Bold styling, enhanced refinement
All-new exterior and interior designs advance GMC’s professional grade aesthetic with elements designed to be beautiful and functional. The exteriors are sleeker and more aerodynamic, enhancing efficiency on the highway and contributing to the new Yukon’s quiet ride.
Bold styling cues include highly detailed, chrome-accented grilles matched with GMC’s signature C-shaped light-emitting diode lighting motif, front and rear. Projector-beam headlamps are standard on Yukon and Yukon XL. The distinctive Denali models are instantly identifiable by their signature chrome grille and unique exterior appointments, including exclusive high-intensity discharge headlamps.
Additional exterior features include:
- New inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly reducing wind noise and contributing to improved aerodynamics
- Laminated windshield and front door glass to enhance quietness
- Lightweight aluminum hood and liftgate panels enhance efficiency through reduced overall mass
- A standard rear spoiler on the liftgate houses a relocated rear window wiper that is hidden when not in use
- New worm screw-style liftgate arms take up less interior space than the previous gooseneck arms
- Illuminated, power-retractable assist steps available on Denali
- New family of 18-, 20- and 22-inch wheels, including standard 20-inch wheels on Denali.
Inside, the all-new 2015 Yukon’s precisely crafted interior features a quiet cabin, authentic materials and premium infotainment choices. Examples include soft-touch instrument panel, console and door panel materials with live stitching and purposeful use of ambient lighting in functional areas, including first- and second-row foot wells and the center console. All models have a standard Bose sound system, seats with dual-firmness foam and an ambient air vent designed to enhance comfort for front-seat passengers.
Denali models feature active noise cancelation technology to make the interior quieter.
There are more storage options in the new Yukon lineup, including a compartmentalized center console that’s large enough to store a laptop or iPad and has provisions for hanging file folders and other organizational features, especially for customers whose vehicle also serves as a rolling office.
More capable, more comfortable
The 2015 Yukon lineup delivers greater capability and greater refinement through new and enhanced chassis and suspension systems. A fully boxed frame – composed of more than 75 percent high-strength steel – supports a quiet and controlled ride. New shear-style body mounts attached to the frame significantly improve stiffness and contribute to the Yukon’s smooth ride.
Compared with previous models, the driving experience of the new SUVs is further enhanced with:
- Wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
- Wheels that are a half-inch wider, reducing tire flex for improved cornering performance
- New, electric variable-assist power steering system enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
- New 9.5-inch rear axle and standard automatic locking rear differential
- Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, tow/haul mode, trailer sway control, auto grade braking and hill start assist
- New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions that improve pedal feel for stronger-feeling, more confident braking performance
- Denali models include third-generation magnetic ride control, a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond and changing damping in just five milliseconds.
Advanced engine technology
The all-new Yukon family is more powerful and efficient than before, thanks to the new EcoTec3 engine family, which debuted earlier this year in the all-new 2014 Sierra. A 5.3L V-8 is standard in Yukon and Yukon XL models and an exclusive 6.2L engine is standard in Denali models, which is expected to deliver the segment’s best horsepower and torque.
The EcoTec3 engines feature state-of-the-art technologies, including direct injection, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system, designed to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. More precisely controlled combustion enables the new engines to run with a higher compression ratio, which delivers greater power and efficiency.
Hydraulic engine mounts, electronic throttle control, adaptive exhaust systems, improved aerodynamics and other technologies help the engines operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods of time with Active Fuel Management, further increasing efficiency.
Both engines are matched with the Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission.