- Redesigned last year, adds Apple CarPlay technology for 2016
- Quiet, refined interior with fold-flat second- and third-row seats
- Standard 8-inch touch-screen and IntelliLink multimedia system
Fresh off of a complete redesign, the 2016 GMC Yukon gets a few small tweak to keep the full-size SUV at the top of the heap.
The Yukon gets a unique front fascia compared to its cousins, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, highlighted by a large front grille adorned by the GMC logo and headlight clusters with large C-shaped LED elements. The old Yukon was anonymous looking and hard to distinguish from previous versions; there was no easy way to tell if your Yukon was from 2008 or 2014. Gone is the rounded look to the sides, replaced by a tall, vertical stance that celebrates the Yukon’s size rather than trying to hide it. 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, a luggage rack, and heated side mirrors are standard. The upscale Denali trim gets its own set of cosmetic updates, including a mesh grille, 20-inch alloy wheels, power liftgate, and HID projector-beam headlamps. A hands-free liftgate is now standard on SLT models.
There are two available V-8 engines, one for SLE and SLT models and the larger reserved for the Denali. The base engine is new, part of GM’s new lineup of EcoTec3 engines. It is a 355-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 that makes 383 pounds-feet of torque. Denali models also get an EcoTec3 engine, a 420-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 460 pounds-feet of torque. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Yukon can tow up to 8,500 pounds with two-wheel drive, and 8,200 with four-wheel drive. The Denali checks in slightly behind that at 8,400 and 8,100 pounds respectively.
Inside, GMC’s versions of GM cars have always strived to live upmarket from their Chevrolet counterparts and the new Yukon is no exception. Extra attention has been paid to upgrading the materials and fit-and-finish of the latest Yukon, which can seat up to nine passengers with a three-row bench configuration (more common are setups which seat seven or eight). The cabin is quieter, thanks to better aerodynamics and redesigned side mirrors, which reduce wind noise. Standard equipment includes five USB ports to charge devices, HD radio, Bose premium audio, an 8-inch touch-screen with IntelliLink, Bluetooth connectivity, and tri-zone automatic climate control. Apple CarPlay has been added for 2016, which allows you to control phone functions via the Yukon’s infortainment system (Android Auto is coming later in 2016). Denali models add active noise cancellation, a better stereo (also from Bose), leather seating, powered/heated front and second-row seats, and navigation.
The Yukon also offers a lot in the way of standard safety equipment, including a rear view camera and front/rear parking sensors which are appreciated for those who have to maneuver the Yukon in tight spaces.