The GMC Yukon XL slots in between the Chevy Suburban and Cadillac Escalade in GM's full-size SUV lineup, blending a rugged truck-based construction with premium amenities, and when properly equipped, a downright luxurious full-size SUV package.
Our top of the line test model Yukon XL Denali exemplifies this touch of class with a special chrome grille, not available on lesser models, custom-look rear taillights, available 22-inch chrome rims, and the largest of three available engines: a 6.2-liter V8 that delivers 403 horsepower and 417 pound feet of torque. A base 5.3-liter V8 that generates 310 horsepower and 335 pound feet of torque, and a 6-liter V8 that puts out 352 horsepower and 382 pound feet of torque are the other engine choices.
The two smaller engines route power through a 6-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels or available 4-wheel drive with low range. The Yukon XL Denali comes equipped with either rear wheel drive or available full-time All Wheel Drive, sent through the same 6-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel economy for the Yukon XL ranges from 12 miles per gallon city, up to 21 miles per gallon highway, depending upon choice of powertrain.
The Yukon XL has three rows of bench seating and can hold up to nine passengers. Denali models get first and second row captain's chairs, resulting in spacious 7-passenger seating. Depending on the seating layout, the Yukon XL can hold up to 137.4 cubic feet with all rear seats down. The Denali lets you access all that room with a standard power rear liftgate and power folding third row. The rear seats of the Denali model also get their own climate and audio controls, as well as an available rear DVD entertainment system.
Standard safety features on the Yukon XL include GM's StabiliTrack stability and traction control, dual stage frontal airbags, first and second row side-impact airbags, rollover sensor, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Initial base MSRP for the 2009 GMC Yukon XL is $41,225. A fully loaded Denali model will top out at around $68,000. The Yukon XL is backed by a 5-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
With rugged construction and available features that rival even its own luxury GM brethren, the Yukon XL will capably take you to the corner store or the great outdoors, in comfort and in style.