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2015 GMC Yukon

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2015 GMC Yukon Expert Review

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If you're buying a GMC Yukon or Yukon XL (the long and longer versions of the big SUV), GMC says there's a 60-percent chance you're getting one of the upscale Denali models. We understand. With its more powerful V8 engine and upscale interior trim, the Denali has offered high levels of content for a more reasonable price than luxury-branded competitors. However, with the 2015 GMC Yukon, we think the Yukon Denali version may actually expand its reach. Why? Because the standard 2015 GMC Yukon – with its new interior, new styling, and newfound refinement – is nicer than the old Denali ever was. That means the new 2015 GMC Yukon Denali moves even higher up the food chain.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need no-compromises hauling and towing ability, along with a no-compromises, first-rate interior, the 2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are just the ticket. That goes double for the high-end Denali models.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your hauling, towing, or family-hauling needs are more modest than the GMC Yukon demands, then the combined penalties of size, poor fuel economy and – in the case of the Denali – price, probably aren't worth it.

How It Ranks

#30

out of 36

Fuel Economy

#8

out of 36

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.6 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 GMC Yukon Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The 2015 GMC Yukon is all new, with new exterior styling, and a fresh and comfortably luxurious interior. But the changes are more than cosmetic: Under the sheet metal is a new chassis and suspension, and the two V8 engines are significantly improved for more power and better fuel economy.

Driving the Yukon
2015 GMC Yukon Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The 2015 GMC Yukon comes in two distinct flavors: standard and Denali. The standard-issue GMC Yukon is mechanically identical to its 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban...

... counterparts. The same can't be said for the upscale Denali models, which have no Chevrolet counterpart. The more-powerful 6.2-liter V8 engine moves the Denali with authority, be it the standard or extended XL body. The upscale interior includes real poplar wood trim, aluminum accents with a burnished tint, an 8-inch TFT (less glare, visually sharper) display between the gauges, and our test model even had a head-up display. It also comes with Magnetic Ride Control, which helps give this heavy SUV a comfortable ride while simultaneously controlling body motions. Put it all together, and you have a luxurious, comfortable and well-controlled full-size SUV that's as at home on the highway as it is on a twisting mountain road.

FOLD-FLAT THIRD ROW
It has been a long time coming, but the GMC Yukon finally has a third row that folds flat. GMC had to add a little extra height to the load floor to make it work, but it's not wasted space – lift up a panel and there's hidden storage space.

MAGNETIC RIDE CONTROL
This technology allows this big SUV to handle like a much smaller vehicle. The secret is in the shock absorbers, which read the road and adjust their stiffness instantaneously, allowing this the Yukon to absorb bumps, but not wallow in corners. Too bad it's only available on the expensive Denali models.

2015 GMC Yukon Details
2015 GMC Yukon Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

This is where the GMC Yukon is head and shoulders above its predecessor, and where it sets itself apart from Ford, Nissan and Toyota competitors. The materials are first rate, the switchgear is logically arranged and feels high-class, and the driver's seat is exceptionally comfortable. The same is true for the second row, which can come with either a bench or a pair of captain's chairs. The third row is best for kids in a standard Yukon, but the XL manages grownups thanks to extra legroom. The new fold-flat third row makes it easier to maximize cargo room.

Exterior
2015 GMC Yukon photo

GMC's designers describe their inspiration for the 2015 Yukon as a "fist in the wind." Hokey, maybe, but it certainly is a good descriptor for the blunt, nearly brutish design of the front end. The Denali models share the same sheet metal as non-Denalis, but with a chrome mesh grille instead of the 3-element one on regular Yukons. Similar to the mesh design currently used, its new design adds depth. Still, it's a lot of chrome, and some think it's simply too much.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 GMC Yukon offers more features on the SLE base model than the Chevy Tahoe does on its LS, but it also costs more. Standard on all Yukon models are niceties like automatic windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and fog lights. Step up to the SLT and you'll get leather seats, a power-folding second and third row, and safety tech like forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning. The Yukon Denali piles on the options, adding the 6.2-liter V8, upgraded interior and exterior trim, and Magnetic Ride Control to the SLT package.

Optional Equipment

The GMC Yukon is one of the few vehicles left with an available front bench seat, for a total of nine seating positions. Other notable options include a $3,255 entertainment package that includes rear-seat entertainment, navigation and a sunroof, and a $395 security package that adds interior motion detectors. On the Denali side of things, the Touring package costs $4,110 ($4,160 on XL models) and adds a sunroof, DVD for the second and third row, the theft-deterrent system, 20-inch wheels, and a head-up display. Retractable running boards ($1,795) and active cruise ($1,695) are also available.

Under the Hood
2015 GMC Yukon Engine photo

2015 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL models come standard with a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission. This isn't a carryover engine though, as it boasts fuel saving technologies like Active Cylinder Management, which seamlessly shuts off half the cylinders under steady cruise. It also has direct injection, an advanced fuel-injection technology that improves fuel economy while simultaneously increasing horsepower and torque. Step up to the Denali and you step up in power with a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out 420-horsepower. It also features direct injection and Active Cylinder Management. All Yukons and Denalis are available with 4-wheel drive (4WD) with an off-road-ready low range.

5.3-liter V8
355 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
383 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg (2WD); 15/22 mpg (4WD)

6.2-liter V8
420 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
460 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (2WD); 14/21 mpg (4WD); 14/20 mpg (4WD XL)

The 2015 GMC Yukon costs a couple thousand dollars more than its predecessor, although you're getting more for your money. Base SLE trims with rear-wheel drive start a little above $47,000, while the more lavishly equipped SLT starts a little under $56,000. Yukon XL models start at about $50,000 for the SLE and $58,500 for SLT. As for the Denali models, the Yukon Denali starts at about $63,000, while the Yukon XL Denali starts at $66,000. If you want 4-wheel drive on any Yukon model, add about $3,000. Over the long haul, the GMC Yukon's resale value is about the same as its competitors from Ford and Nissan, and a bit below the Toyota Sequoia. Before you buy, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price for the 2015 GMC Yukon to find out what other buyers in your area are paying.

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2015 GMC Yukon Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.6
Out of 10

Based on 11 Ratings for the 2015 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    6.9/10
    Quality
    7.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.1/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.5/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

it's big but no space

By on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I don't own this car

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "nice interior, can tow properly"

Cons: "no space, pricey"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Very nice interior, ugly exterior. I did not like the too small exterior mirrors, and the visibility from inside seemed not so great in the few days I drove it. I tried to get things in the back and they rolled over back at me - it's at an angle. No space for the last row of seats - maybe kids, and if those are up, oh boy, there is no luggage space. How can it be so big but so little space inside? It drives nice but you need a gas station near all stops. A waste of money in my opinion. Get a Lexus or a Toyota Truck that can tow if that is what you need."

Best in class

By on Sunday, December 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Beautiful styling"

Cons: "Many features come standard that I will never use."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I looked at several SUV's before settling on my 2015 Denali. I have all the options except the 22in tires. I bought it because I needed a vehicle that would pull my 7400lb travel trailer with ease. The 6.2L engine is great and gets better mileage than my 4.7L Jeep Grand Cherokee. The seats need more padding. Not all that comfortable on long trips."

Chosen for towing capacity-shld have looked harder

By on Tuesday, December 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,400

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Very attractive to look at"

Cons: "Seats are not leather, but are "leather appointed""

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"After driving a beautiful, top of the line 2005 Sequoia Limited for 10 years with zero issues, I decided to trade cars because it made a slight noise when I hooked up my 5500 lb. horse trailer. I'm not willing to take any chances with my horses, so I looked for the highest towing capacity in luxury, comparable SUV's. I was sucked in to purchasing this truck by a dizzying array of electronic perks, and the 420 horsepower/6.2 liter engine. I paid top dollar for a top of the line 2015 Denali, that inexplicably had 200 miles on it already. When it had just over 500 miles, the entire dashboard array went dark, as I was driving alone in an unfamiliar area of Miami, in the rain! I had no navigation, no compass, no clock, and no phone! When I finally got home, I had to go out of town without the truck for 5 days. When I came back, the battery was so dead, I couldn't even open the doors with the key fob! The dealer replaced the complete dashboard array, which took several days. I had to spend over an hour with the GMC rep on OnStar, in order to sinc my phone with the BlueTooth. At 3000 miles, I returned to the dealer with an AC issue - it cuts out intermittently, and blows hot air. In South Florida, AC is not an option, it is a necessity. They kept the truck for 5 days, and returned it saying they could not duplicate my complaint. So, now I have it. I wish I had my Sequoia back. Oh, BTW, I paid $72K, including tax. How dumb do I feel?!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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