2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali Delivers An Exceptional Ride, Incredible Roominess

Jerry Reynolds | September 18, 2018
2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali Delivers An Exceptional Ride, Incredible Roominess

This week we take a look at the 2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali, a very popular large SUV that was completed redesigned in 2015 and has been largely unchanged since them.

2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali

The XL designation means it is the extended length, think of it as an upscale version of the Chevy Suburban, and features over 39 cubic feet of cargo area behind the third-row seat.

A walk around the exterior shows angular lines, a high beltline, the classic GMC Professional Grade grill, and a rear spoiler.  This one features 22” wheels that look great!

Under the hood, there is the tried-and-true 6.2-liter V8 that is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.  This combo produces 420-horses and 8100-pounds of towing, so this is a very capable SUV, especially with four-wheel drive like this one.

Cabin and Connectivity

The interior is very well done with stitching on the seats and dash and wood accents on the door panels and center console.  Everywhere you touch is soft.  The gauges are bright and easy to read and it has an easy to use customizable driver information display.

The center console has a built-in cell phone charger, cup holders, and two USB ports.  Above that are controls for the tri-zone climate control and Bose sound system.

Then above that is the 8” GMC infotainment system that is color and has apps for Bluetooth, navigation system, real-time weather, the rear video system, text by voice, and you can project your phone onto the screen.

On the following page you get the OnStar app, real-time traffic, and you can pre-order a Starbucks and other things from the shop app.  Surprisingly, you can do this function while moving, although it is a really bad idea. 

The Yukon Denali has Apple Car play and Android Auto, and it has 4G LTE Wi-FI, HD radio, and SiriusXM.  This screen also serves as the rear camera with rear cross alert, and there is a hidden compartment behind the screen, activated by the push of a button.

2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali.

Passenger Space

There is a ton of leg and headroom for all passengers in the Yukon.  Second-row captain chairs are standard, which provides ease to the third-row seat, or from the rear cargo area, you can tumble over the center row seats with the push of a button.  The third-row seat also folds flat electrically.

Safety Technology, Features, and Packages

The Denali comes loaded.  On the safety front, you get front and rear parking assist, lane change alert, blind spot monitoring, HID headlights, and forward low-speed braking.

It also has remote start, hands-free power liftgate, heated and cooled seats, magnetic ride control, power heated steering wheel, and power adjustable pedals.

My review vehicle has the Ultimate package, and for $8000 you get retractable running boards, power moonroof, two screen DVD players in the roof, an enhanced security system, and adaptive cruise control.

It also has the $1000 Black Edition package, which is essentially the 22” gloss black wheels, and other gloss black exterior trim items.

2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali.

Ride, Fuel Economy and What You'll Pay

The Yukon XL Denali is large, but it has a tight turning radius, so it is easy to drive, the ride and handling is exceptional, and the interior quietness is terrific.  Seven passengers can be very comfortable in this SUV.

Fuel economy is what you expect, not very good at 14 in town and 20 on the highway and, of course, this level of luxury and room comes at a pretty hefty price tag.  Total MSRP as you see it is just shy of $82,000, but if you shop for large luxury SUVs, you’ll see it is well in line with its competitors.

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2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali

  • What I liked most: Exterior and interior, overall drive characteristics.
  • What I would change:  I’d like the gearshift on the console.   
  • MSRP: Base price $72,300 as equipped $81,940.
  • Fuel Economy:  14 city/20 highway/16 combined.
  • Official Color: Onyx Black.   
  • Odometer reading when tested: 1100 miles.
  • Weight: 5600 pounds.
  • Spare Tire: 17” spare tire with steel wheel.      
  • Length-Width-Height: 224” long/80” wide/74” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 26 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side. 
  • Towing Capacity: 8100 pounds.
  • 2019 GMC Yukon XL in a few words: Incredibly enjoyable larger SUV with a ton of passenger room.
  • Warranty:  3-years/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation assistance, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty, first free scheduled maintenance visit. 
  • Final Assembly Location:  Arlington, TX.   
  • Manufacturers website:
  • Up Next:  2018 GMC Canyon Denali
Tags: GMC, New Vehicle Reviews, yukon
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