Specifications of GMC Yukon V 5.3 V8 (360 HP) Automatic
General characteristics of GMC Yukon V 5.3 V8 (360 HP) Automatic
Sitting in the driver's seat and looking across, there's a flow across the dashboard in and out of the mix of crisp technology and traditional materials. Between the front seats of the show vehicle was the optional and useful sliding console, which, as promised, can fit a purse or bag and has a hidden drawer for storing valuables.
By extending the wheelbase, access to the third row has been much improved. The middle row can now slide 5.5 inches forward which makes getting in the back a breeze.
The independent rear suspension has also allowed the floor to be lowered and makes for a more comfortable seating position. Third-row passengers now get 34.9 inches of legroom compared to the outgoing model's 24.8-inches. That means longer distances shouldn't be a problem for back seat passengers, and the new suspension helps a lot with comfort when things get bumpy - as we learned going over the 18-degree grade entry and exit from a tabletop ramp.
The lower floor in the back afforded by the new suspension makes for a lower loading area, which is essential for Yukon customers planning to load up the rear of their SUV. The outgoing Yukon is hardly cramped, but the gain of 10.1 cubic feet in space behind the third row from a fractional gain in overall length is immediately noticeable. In terms of total cargo space, the increase is a massive 28.2 cubic feet. That brings the new Yukon to 25.5 cubic feet of storage behind the passengers and 122.9 cubic feet in total.
Our time in the Yukon was limited to a short stint behind the wheel and a couple of minutes as rear-seat passengers. That was enough to get an idea of how the magnetic ride control suspension provides a pillowy smooth ride over the chopped up snow. GMC claims the electronically controlled suspension is one of the fasting reacting systems in the industry, evidenced by how well it reduced bouncing and vibrations through the snow and over the ramp.
The optional electronic limited-slip differential was also put through its paces in the Yukon, and impressed as it navigated tight corners split on each side by ice and wet tarmac, and exhibited none of the judder associated with previous mechanically controlled units.
To climb the 18-inch grade the suspension raised by two inches, and will also lower to allow for more comfortable egress and ingress. On the downslope, the Yukon was able to comfortably descend at around 1 mph without the driver having to engage the brakes. All signs point to the new Yukon being incredibly capable off the road as well as a general hauler and towing machine. When it comes to towing, the adjustable suspension will also load balance the chassis for the extra weight on the back.
GMC has taken its time to move to an independent rear suspension but has made sure it ticked all the necessary boxes it needs to achieve Denali's tagline of "useable luxury."
Inside, the Yukon Denali is dripping with soft leather and good looking wood trim while also being hugely practical. Easy access to a comfortable third row is the holy grail of large SUVs, and GMC has nailed it. At the same time, it looks as rugged as ever while featuring high-end technology and a powerful drivetrain. We'll withhold overall judgment until we get a proper first drive and full test drive, but our first impression is that GMC has smacked the Yukon Denali out of the park for those that will be able to afford it.