GMC Yukon: Luxury SUV or NYC Studio Apartment
I was given the keys to a GMC Yukon for a week. Here are my thoughts on it.
In its fourth generation, the Yukon has been known to be a luxury SUV for quite some time. Over the course of 26 years, it has earned quite a reputation to match that of Cadillac in the luxury department but still keep its SUV roots. Just how luxurious is the Yukon? I was given an XL, it not exactly a base model. But, also a trim level below a "Denali." So, let's start with that.
At first glance, the Yukon XL SLT that I was given is nothing but massive. The length of it stretches out to 224.4 inches and has a wheelbase of 130 inches. "It's a behemoth!" exclaimed my mother-in-law when she first saw the Yukon. And indeed it is. I parked it next to one of those Ford E-350's at my job, and it is the same size, if not, bigger. The Yukon is like looking at a storage container with wheels, but prettier. I say prettier in the sense where it has some edges and curves with a bit of an attitude. It carries itself highly in that regard.
The interior is just as big as it looks on the outside. Nothing is small about the inside of the Yukon, with 3 rows capable of seating a family of 7 and a decent size trunk that will hold a MINI. I think, if I were to take out the seats and whatnot, I could host the next Super Bowl. Not only that, but the center console was big enough to hide an entire locker room. As for interior design, the panels and trim compliment one another in a blend of luxury and convenience. For starters, the pedals aren't fixed and can move further or closer, depending on the driver's liking. There is a heads-up display. Plug-ins for a laptop, multiple USB ports, and a plethora of cup holders. The front seats are not only powered and heated, but ventilated as well. The infotainment screen raises to reveal a secret compartment. The second row has control of its own air-conditioning and has heated captain's chairs. The third row are controlled electronically to collapse and raise with the press of a button in the back of the trunk. To top it all off, the seats are comfortable for a long car drive.
So, how much is this Yukon? Total price comes to $74,630. Including $10,135 in options. So, what does it come with? For safety, it has forward collision alert, lane change and blind spot alerts, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, rear view backup camera with cross traffic alert, stability and traction control, low-speed automatic forward braking, and tons of airbags. For convenience and luxury, the Yukon XL SLT has Bose premium speakers, tri-zone automatic HVAC, heated electronic telescoping and tilting steering wheel, infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sat-nav, W-Fi hot-spot, trailering equipment, and front and rear park assist. The $10,000 in options includes a 3.23 rear axle ratio, trailer brake control, active noise cancellation, heads-up display, magnetic ride control, roof rack, side-steps on the outside, black chrome grille, rear bucket seats, 22 inch black wheels, 2 speed transfer case, and the 6.2L Ecotec3 V8 backed by a 10 speed automatic transmission replacing the 5.3L V8 with a 6 speed automatic gearbox.
For performance, the Yukon XL actually gets going, and faster than expected. It's almost like strapping a few jet engines to a house. Sure, it'll move, but not how it all moves. From 0-60, the 420 horsepowered 460 pounds of torque 6.2L V8 will get the Yukon there in about 6.1 seconds. The exhaust is loud. The throttle response is quick. Steering is lighter than expected. But where the Yukon XL SLT really shines is its suspension. For something so heavy and high in the air, the suspension really makes it feel as if I was floating while cruising on the highway. On the typical Jersey roads, it tackles through the cancerous potholes and bumps like they are nothing but tiny holes and small rocks. The only time I felt that it was a big SUV was with the brakes. Sure, they were able to stop the Yukon, but I have to say I did get worried a couple of times when I needed to come to a halt. Reluctantly, the Yukon was able to not hit anything. And for the most part, I did not really feel like I was driving a full-size SUV. I felt as if I was driving maybe a crossover to say at best. Until stated earlier about the braking. Well, that and the fuel economy actually. In my experience, I was able to achieve a mere 15 miles to the gallon. When it came time to fill-up, my wallet felt the impact as well. At under a quarter of a tank and filling it up with premium fuel, I managed to spend just over $65 to top it off.
So, would I buy a Yukon XL SLT? Absolutely. But only if I was able to afford the price of filling it up every time I had to. It is understandable why some people did not like the Hummer, or other SUVs for that matter. I own an SUV, but it doesn't cost me nearly as much as this. Mainly because I can use regular fuel, and my tank doesn't hold over 15 gallons. I would have to live quite comfortably to buy a Yukon XL SLT, but it sure has made it onto the list. Probably just for the sheer sake of how great the ride comfort is. But for those who can afford it, I say go right ahead.
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