The GMC Yukon was introduced in 1992. Driving the 2015, the brand’s fourth generation, up here in the Yukon Territories makes plain the inspiration behind this SUV. It’s conspicuous, huge, replete with bling and certainly not inexpensive—but not showy.
No wonder the GMC Yukon represents an impressive one-third of all SUVs sold in Canada. Hosers don’t trust people getting’ too big fer thir britches. They clearly like the truck to be big though. The Yukon also represents over a third of the territory of most people’s homes—especially the XL with its extra 518mm of length.
Overall the price has gone down but the content has increased. Consider some of the new safety features in the 2015, starting with the marvelously self-explaining ‘Crash Imminent Braking’: front park assist; lane departure warning; forward collision alert; side blind-zone and lane change alert; and rear cross traffic alert which we discussed in part one.
If price is an issue, there are a couple of expensive features you could live without. The power running board that appears when you open the door runs $1,920 and the potentially frustrating adaptive cruise control, which tells slowpokes in front you’re cool with them not doing the limit, costs $1,780. You could always brake for free.
But the base price of the premium XL Denali (aka huge) trimline includes more than enough bling to get most Canadians’ attention. Inside there’s enough genuine leather and wood to outfit a Pride Day parade. A Bose surround sound speaker system accompanies an 8” display. The steering wheel is heated—this IS the Yukon after all—so you’re fingers can remain warm enough to touch the screen.
The drive more feels like a truck than a car but you can at least customize the positioning well to suit your shape, between the seat, the tilt/telescopic steering wheel and power adjustable pedals.
The front seats are heated and cooled. The middle seats are heated. The back row at least offers more room than you’d expect but, spacious as the Yukon XL is, grownups probably won’t want to drive from Whitehorse to Dawson City back there. Still, tri-zone climate control means those who are back there won’t be basting in their own juices while you’re enjoying air-conditioned comfort.
And there’s a comprehensive set of warranties. In case the recent spate of GM recalls gives you pause, they’re there for your deeper consideration.
Yukon XL Denali 4WD Base Price: $76,530
Destination charge and A/C tax: $1,750
As Driven: $88,720
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.
Photo courtesy of the author.