2014 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Review
By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
What's New for 2014
The GMC Yukon is a full-size, 3-row SUV that is the sibling to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. 2014 marks the last model-year for the current version ahead of the completely revamped 2015 Yukon. Because of this, the 2014 lineup will have a shorter production run. Though an all-new model is in the works, the current GMC Yukon still offers a lot of vehicle for the money. With seating for up to nine, an extended-length version available and 4-wheel drive (4WD) also an option, the Yukon and the larger Yukon XL hold their own against rivals such as the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada. When dressed in premium Denali form, the Yukon can even give a Cadillac Escalade a run for its money.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you regularly need to carry eight or nine passengers and their gear, plus require V8 power to tow up to 8,500 pounds, the 2014 GMC Yukon could be your family hauler of choice.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you don't need the ability to tow big loads or the off-road capability that comes with truck-based SUVs like the Yukon, look to a crossover SUV such as the GMC Acadia, Nissan Pathfinder or Honda Pilot. They have better fuel efficiency, are more comfortable and are easier to maneuver.
With the all-new 2015 GMC Yukon around the corner, the 2014 model carries over virtually unchanged except for a new exterior paint color – Deep Indigo Metallic. The slow-selling hybrid version has officially gotten the ax, and the 2500 3/4-ton model has also exited the lineup.
Driving the Yukon XL 1500
Though their size can make these vehicles unwieldy in tight spots, the GMC Yukon is civilized once on the road. The pair of V8 engines available for 2014 offer decent-to-good...
passing power, and shifts are smooth via the standard 6-speed automatic transmission. The Yukon's ride in general is surprisingly compliant, even more so for models equipped with the Autoride suspension system that quickly adjusts to put a check on body motion. Given the size of their bodies and engines, it should come as no surprise that the 2014 Yukon isn't exactly a fuel miser. On the high end, models with the 5.3-liter V8 and 2-wheel drive (2WD) earn a combined 17 mpg, while the 4WD Yukon XL Denali with the larger 6.2-liter V8 is rated at 14 mpg. If you plan to park a Yukon XL in your garage, measure first to make sure it can accommodate an SUV that's over 18.5 feet long.
With the proliferation of smaller cars on the road, drivers of big vehicles such as the Yukon can only benefit from extra safety features. This one – standard on Denali and optional on SLT models – uses radar beams to keep high-tech eyes focused on the spots that yours may miss.
Finding the right fit behind the wheel is important in any car, and even more so in one as large as the Yukon SUV. This standard feature helps people of all shapes and sizes obtain a comfortable driving position.
2014 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Details
Technically, the 2014 GMC Yukon can carry up to nine passengers across three rows of seats. Most buyers, however, will opt for the more comfortable 8-passenger setup of two bucket seats in front instead of a 3-person bench. With the more popular setup, the driver and front passenger also have easy access to a large, convenient center console. The Yukon's big and blocky exterior equals interior space that could command rent in New York City. There is ample legroom in the second row, though 3rd-row legroom in regular-length models is much tighter. If you regularly need to carry adults in the last row, the Yukon XL has generous room.
With its tall profile and walls of slab-sided metal, the 2014 GMC Yukon appears imposing. Park one next to a Yukon XL model, though, and see how quickly the standard-length version disappears. At 222.4 inches long, the XL adds 20 inches to the Yukon's already sizable proportions. The GMC Yukon has nine inches of ground clearance, so its standard assist steps are appreciated to help passengers climb aboard. Wheels range in size from 17 inches to massive 22-inch chrome rollers. Top-line Denali models bring on the bling with extra chrome and a unique grille, plus a power liftgate.
Even if you spend the least amount on a 2014 Yukon SLE, you'll get quite a bit of vehicle for your roughly $44,000 price of entry. Features on that base model include a powerful V8 engine, 9-speaker Bose AM/FM/CD audio system with USB port, tri-zone climate control, power front seats, rearview camera, and a locking rear differential to help you get out of tough terrain. Mid-grade SLT models add leather front seats, remote start and universal home remote. Top-line Denali models dish up the goods with a larger 6.2-liter engine, Autoride suspension, heated/cooled front seats, leather-covered 2nd-row captain's chairs, navigation, blind-zone alert, and 20-inch chrome wheels.
In addition to 4WD availability (all-wheel [AWD] on Denali models), other major options for the 2014 Yukon and Yukon Denali include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system to keep the kids occupied, 2nd-row captain's chairs in lieu of a bench, power liftgate, heavy-duty trailering package, off-road suspension, blind-zone monitor, sunroof and navigation system. Packages are also available that bundle features, including the Chrome Package that adds plenty of shine.
Under the Hood
Two V8 engines are available for the 2014 GMC Yukon. Most models are powered by a 5.3 liter that makes 320 horsepower. Denali versions use the 6.2 liter that's good for a hearty 403 horsepower. The maximum tow rating is 8,500 pounds with the smaller engine, while the larger one is actually rated at slightly less: 8,300 pounds. Four-wheel-drive models are rated to pull slightly less. Both engines use regular gasoline and have the ability to run on an E85 gasoline/ethanol blend.
5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
320 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (gasoline), 11/16 mpg (E85)
6.2-liter V8 FlexFuel
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 mpg (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 mpg (2WD, E85), 13/18 mpg (4WD, gasoline), 10/14 mpg (4WD, E85)
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