A mid-year updating for the primo GMC Yukon Denali and stretched XL Denali models sees the 420-horsepower/6.2-liter EcoTech3 V8 in both backed by a new and more-efficient 8-speed automatic transmission. This new Hydra-Matric 8L90 cog changer replaces the 6-speed 6L90 autoshifter originally fitted when the new-generation 2015 variants launched earlier this year and also appears in all of GM's new 6.2-liter pickup trucks as well as the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.  

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Complementing this new and even-smoother, quicker-shifting 8-speed with its narrower ratio splits is a lower 3.23:1 rear-axle gear. That combo helps reduce engine revs at cruising speed and raise EPA highway ratings for the rear-drive Denali and Yukon XL Denali models from 21 mpg to 22 mpg while lifting the official city stat on the Yukon Denali 4WD model from 14 mpg to 15 mpg. Maximum tow ratings - 8,400 pounds for the Denali and 8,100 pounds for the XL Denali -- remain unchanged. 

New 4G LTE connectivity and wireless charging

The GMC Yukon Denali/XL Denali updating also nets several new convenience touches. Like other GM vehicles, 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot has been rolled into their OnStar system. An enhanced GMC Intellilink setup can now deliver text messaging alerts via Bluetooth when paired with a smartphone and the center console lid now features an integrated wireless charging surface. A new hands-free power liftgate activated by a swipe of the foot under the rear bumper also joins the feature set. Pricing for the 2015.5 Yukon Denali starts at $64,965 while the updated Yukon XL Denali opens at $67,665. 

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