2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL: First Look

2015-GMC-YukonDenali-YukonXL-014

Competes with: Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada

Looks like: A more aerodynamic and elegant take on the current model

Drivetrain: Standard Ecotec3 5.3-liter V-8; six-speed automatic transmission; optional 6.2-liter V-8, Denali only

Hits dealerships: Early 2014

Need a full-size SUV, but find the Chevrolet Suburban to be a bit too common? Like the luxury of a Cadillac Escalade, but don't want the attention? Refuse to set foot in a Ford, Nissan or Toyota product? Then GMC would like to show you the new Yukon and longer Yukon XL, redesigned for the 2015 model year after a long stretch without much in the way of updates. The last Yukon update happened in 2007, and GM believes that there are many current Yukon owners who have been waiting for this model to arrive before heading down to their dealers to upgrade.

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban: First Look

2015 GMC Yukon Photo Gallery

GMC has thoroughly reworked the Yukon and Yukon XL, the only real difference between the two being the length and the resultant interior volume. Changes discussed here generally apply to both the Yukon and Yukon XL models. Changes start with all-new sheet metal and a distinctive front end that incorporates the new GMC C-shaped LEDs into the headlights.

2015-GMC-YukonXL-004-medium
The sculpted fenders stretch a distinctive body character line all the way to the taillights — no longer does the Yukon share any styling with the GMC Sierra full-size pickup truck; it has its own look now. Doors have been redesigned to fit into the bodyside instead of wrap over the roof, significantly improving wind noise according to GMC. Similar aerodynamic improvements in the rear make for a quieter ride, and the squared-off cabin improves interior space as well.

Powertrains come in two flavors — standard is GM's new Ecotec3 5.3-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and optional is the big 6.2-liter V-8 that's available only on the upmarket Denali luxury trim. The Denali gets subtle cosmetic changes as well, including a mesh grille, 22-inch wheels and nicer interior trim with an 8-inch reconfigurable driver display screen. No information was made available about the Yukon's four-wheel-drive system, towing abilities or fuel economy numbers at press time.

Interiors on all Yukons are a dramatic improvement and a welcome update. Carlike and beautifully styled, they are made of high-quality materials that seem very well screwed together. The dashboard contains a standard 8-inch touch-screen and GMC's IntelliLink multimedia system with optional navigation. A storage cubby resides behind the articulated touch-screen, and cupholders abound throughout the interior.

2015-yukon-cabin
New for the Yukons is a fold-flat third-row seat — no longer removable, the rear split-bench folds into the floor at the touch of a button, as does the second row, resulting in a relatively flat cargo floor without the need to manhandle a heavy bench out the rear hatch and store it somewhere. The new system does take a good 3 or 4 inches out of the usable interior cargo height, but the trade-off for always having three rows of seats with you is likely to be worth it to many buyers.

As one would expect with a major redesign, the new SUVs get a full raft of the latest GM electronic safety equipment. Forward radar for collision and lane departure warning systems, blind spot and rear cross-traffic alert, automatic braking systems, center-mounted side airbags for the front seats, adaptive cruise control and the patented Safety Alert Seat are all available.

The new Yukons will start production in Texas soon and are slated to arrive in dealerships in the first few months of 2014.

Related:
Cars.com Reviews the 2012 GMC Yukon XL
Where to Sit: Scion iQ's Front Seats or GMC Yukon XL's Third Row?
Research Full-Size SUVs on Cars.com

By Aaron Bragman | September 12, 2013 | Comments (7)

Comments 

Gerard

These trucks look awesome! Nice work GM

Jay

Looks very nice but too much like the Lincoln Navigator. Why does the grille have to be so big? The interior looks like a home run. Translation: Expensive...

Tony

I see a bit of 4runnar on the backside. Otherwise these trucks look the same for the last 20 years

sheth

anyone who can actually see can tell these are new trucks within about 5 seconds. especially if they look inside. The 911 has looked about the same for 30-40 years. No one complains about that. There is only so much that can be done to modify the look of a 2 box SUV.

Skankzilla

Did you really just compare the timeless design of the Porsche 911 to the Yukon?

"Anyone who can see" can appreciate the beauty of a well engineered sports car. Then again, some of us have GM so far up our backsides that we lost focus on what really makes an automobile worth appreciating.

Ken L.

I like the look of the Yukon Denali and regular Yukon a lot more than the Tahoe/Suburban. Those look too reminiscent of an enlarged Ford Flex/station wagon. The front-end of the Denali is my favorite.

sheth

the overall shape of the 911 hasn't changed in decades. Thats a fact. Point is to suggest that the fact that the overall shape of these SUVs looks the same as it did 10 years ago proves nothing has been improved is borderline idiotic. In other news the overall shape of the range rover hasnt changed much in the last few decades.

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