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Driving Notes

2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali

May 17, 2016, by Mike Antich - Also by this author

Photo of 2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali by Mike Antich.
Photo of 2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali by Mike Antich.

The 2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali is a perfect fit for management level employees or business owners who value a body-on-frame architecture that excels in trailering capabilities, while offering a multitude of luxurious interior appointments.

I recently had an opportunity to test drive the Yukon XL Denali and my immediate driving impressions focused on its quiet and controlled ride. According to GMC, shear-style mounts attached to the frame have significantly improved stiffness and contributes to the Yukon’s smooth ride. The wheelbase of the Yukon XL is 14 inches longer and its overall length is 20 inches longer than the Yukon model.

The Yukon brand was relaunched as an all-new model in the 2015 model-year with new exterior and interior styling. Its wide rear track creates a confident sure-footedness in all driving environments, whether on a freeway or windy country road. This confident driving stance is further enhanced by the standard Stabli-Trak electronic stability control, tow/haul mode, trailer sway control, auto grade braking, and hill start assist.

As an extra added feature, the Denali model includes 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.

Photo ofYukon XL Denali  cabin by Mike Antich.
Photo ofYukon XL Denali  cabin by Mike Antich.

The Yukon XL Denali is powered by an exclusive 6.2L V-8 engine, which is the standard powertrain, coupled to the Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission. According to GM, the 8L90 features smaller steps between gears, compared to the previous six-speed automatic, which keeps the engine within the sweet spot of the rpm band to make the most of its horsepower and torque to optimize performance and efficiency. The engine is brawny, generating 420 hp and 460 lb.-ft. of torque.

There is also plenty of cargo-carrying capacity in the Yukon XL, which features fold-flat second-and third-row seats. The Denali model offers a power-folding feature that makes it a snap to configure a flat surface to start loading cargo with a push of a button.

As would be expected with a Denali, it is loaded with technology, such as hands-free liftgate operation (also available on the SLT model), 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and multiple USB ports and accessory power outlets.

For 2016, the Yukon Enhanced Driver Alert Package adds Lane Keep Assist, which gently steers the vehicle back into its lane when it detects the driver is inadvertently leaving the lane of travel.

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Author Bio

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Amy Winter-Hercher

Senior Editor

Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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Andy Lundin

Assistant Editor

Andy Lundin works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

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Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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Eric Gandarilla

Assistant Editor

Eric Gandarilla works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

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Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Paul Clinton

Senior Web Editor

Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, Vehicle Remarketing, and Work Truck. He has covered police vehicles for Police Magazine.

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Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

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