Few vehicles sell in greater numbers than GM's full-size SUVs, and for 2015 the GMC Yukon flagship has been thoroughly updated in order to make it even more appealing to the wide range of customers who flock to it year in, year out. The 2015 GMC Yukon is aimed at families, those who need a hardcore towing vehicle, and drivers who just enjoy the commanding comforts of such a capable four-seasons vehicle. It's a compelling package, as the Yukon is one of the prime movers behind GMC's status as the second most popular brand under the General Motors umbrella.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 GMC Yukon.
01. The 2015 GMC Yukon Is An All-New Design
The 2015 GMC Yukon rides on a thoroughly revised platform that borrows much, but not all of its charms from last year's upgrades that were made to the brand's Sierra pickup. This means a stronger frame, revised suspension geometry, and a more focused driving experience. That being said, the key aspects of the GMC Yukon haven’t changed: there's still a live rear axle out back for the utmost in strength when towing or traveling over rough terrain, and the form factor of the SUV remains suitable large, especially when compared to its key competitors the Ford Expedition and the Toyota Sequoia.
02. The 2015 GMC Yukon Moves Away From Past Pickup Styling Cues
The 2015 GMC Yukon might be based on the same chassis as the GMC Sierra full-size pickup, but several design decisions further separate the SUV from the truck for the current model year. A key example is in the door department: new styling for the GMC Yukon allowed its designers to trade in pickup-style doors for more snug-fitting, inlaid entry-points, greatly improving passenger compartment seal and dramatically reducing noise inside the cabin. The revised doors are part of a comprehensive aerodynamic makeover for the square-shaped Yukon in a bid to keep fuel consumption reasonable during highway travel.
03. The 2015 GMC Yukon Is Available In A Long-Wheelbase Model
While the standard 2015 GMC Yukon is certainly large enough for most people's purposes, GMC hasn't forgotten that there are those out there who crave a little bit more in the wheelbase department. The 2015 GMC Yukon XL stretches out the distance between the front and rear axles by a full foot, increasing its overall length to just over 223 inches (a bump of more than 20 inches, total). The longer stance doesn't just improve interior room (more on that below), but it also adds stability to the Yukon Xl. This is especially noticeable when traveling over rough roads, or when towing a particularly long trailer.
04. The 2015 GMC Yukon Seats Up To Nine Passengers
The 2015 GMC Yukon can be configured to haul up to nine passengers thanks to the availability of a front bench seat with the base model. Most versions of the three-row GMC Yukon, however, will feature a pair of captain's chairs up front and offer a more comfortable ride for up to eight. XL models offer more leg room for those riding in the second and third positions (although it's interesting to note that there's one-inch less legroom for the very last row as compared to the previous model).
Cargo capacity is down slightly in the redesigned 2015 GMC Yukon, but one could argue that it's more usable than ever before thanks to the introduction of fold-flat seating. Every row behind the driver can now be laid down almost completely horizontally, which is a big improvement over the old 'removing the entire back row' routine. Due to the presence of the folding mechanism the Yukon XL's total interior storage capacity drops 16 cubes to a still-impressive 121.1 cubic feet, while the standard Yukon features almost 95 cubic feet of space.
05. The 2015 GMC Yukon Offers A Pair Of V-8 Engines
The 2015 GMC Yukon starts out with a 5.3-liter V-8 under the hood, a unit that has been lifted directly from the GMC Sierra. This is a good thing, as the 5.3-liter mill in the GMC Yukon (and Yukon XL) now offers direct fuel injection as well as an automatic cylinder deactivation system that can drop the SUV down to four-cylinder operation while cruising at a steady speed. The upshot is 355 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque, along with fuel mileage of 16-mpg in city driving and 23-mpg on the highway. The Yukon and Yukon XL can also be had with a more robust 6.2-liter mill that produces 420 horses and 460 lb-ft of twist, which makes for much more spirited acceleration. Both motors are matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, and each is available with the option of four-wheel drive.
06. The 2015 GMC Yukon Comes In Two Trim Levels
The 2015 GMC Yukon is initially offered in the SLE trim, which includes parking sonar, a rearview camera, a Bose stereo system, an LCD driver information screen, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and remote start, satellite radio, and three zones of automatic climate control. The SLE also features 18-inch rims, fog lights, and rain-sensitive windshield wipers. The GMC Yukon SLT adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, upgraded keyless entry, heated and cooled leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a memory feature for the front positions, power-adjustable pedals, a power-folding third row, power adjustments for the steering column, and additional safety gear.
07. The 2015 GMC Yukon Can Be In The Denali Edition
The 2015 GMC Yukon's top trim level is called 'Denali.' Denali is actually more than just the name for the nicest GMC Yukon you can by - it's in fact a very profitable luxury sub-brand for GMC that represents a significant portion of SUV sales for the company. Not only does the Yukon Denali gain exclusive access to the vehicle's 6.2-liter V-8 engine upgrade, but it also offers unique exterior styling (including a mesh grille and body-colored trim), 20-inch rims, genuine aluminum interior trim, an active noise cancellation system, a customizable digital dash, a push-button starter, and access to options like a head-up display and 22-inch wheels.
08. The 2015 GMC Yukon Denali Packs Adaptive Suspension
The 2015 GMC Yukon Denali also gains a Magnetic Ride Control suspension system as standard equipment. Magnetic Ride Control consists of active suspension dampers that can automatically react to changing road conditions and alter their response in milliseconds. This gives even the Yukon XL Denali a level of handling that feels unusually sharp for such an ultra-large vehicle. The Magnetic Ride Control feature is also quite helpful when towing, as it keeps the SUV more stable in a variety of different driving scenarios and helps the GMC take full advantage of its 8,500 lbs trailer rating.
09. The 2015 GMC Yukon Features Advanced Safety Gear
The 2015 GMC Yukon provides a much higher standard of available safety gear than ever before. In addition to its standard complement of airbags, it also features a center-mounted airbag in the first row of seating that is intended to keep passengers from slamming into each other during a severe accident. The GMC Yukon additionally offers a blind zone monitor and a lane departure warning system, each of which is connected to the brand's vibrating safety seat technology that alerts drivers as to what direction a given threat is located. An adaptive cruise control system is also available with the Yukon, and it bundles in a forward collision warning feature.
10. The 2015 GMC Yukon Is The Twin Of The Chevrolet Tahoe / Suburban
The 2015 GMC Yukon maintains its close ties with the Chevrolet Tahoe and the long-wheelbase Chevrolet Suburban. The recent redesign introduces some important styling differences between the two vehicles, however, especially in the front fascia which is far more rounded on the Chevrolet. There's also the fact that neither the Tahoe nor the Suburban can be ordered with the 6.2-liter V-8 - that's reserved exclusively for the Yukon Denali and Yukon Denali XL. The Yukon also offers better levels of noise reduction and a higher standard of fit and finish than the Chevrolet.
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