With General Motors having proven with its other full-size SUVs that there's a market for speed in large utilities, the GMC Yukon is expanding the availability of its 6.2L V8 for 2019 with the addition of a Graphite Performance Package that bundles the big motor with a 10-speed automatic transmission and GM's magnetic ride control suspension.
That's essentially the same suite of performance and handling bits Chevrolet introduced last year in the Tahoe and this year added to the larger Suburban's option list.
In the Yukon, the Graphite Performance package also brings 22-inch black wheels, 8.0-inch driver information centre, head-up display, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation, trailer brake controller and an active transfer case for 4WD models.
Available in the SLT trim, the Graphite package becomes the only non-Denali trim to get the 6.2L engine and its 420-hp/460 lb-ft power output and the 10-speed. SLE and non-Graphite SLT models stick with a 5.3L V8 making 355 hp and 383 lb-ft and mated to a six-speed automatic.
If you want the look of the Graphite Performance pack but don't care for the extra power, SLT models can be fitted with a simpler Graphite Edition package that brings a different style of 22-inch wheel and a variety of exterior trim enhancements.
This is the same big, comfortable eight-seater SUV it was before. Its primary competition is from Ford's Expedition, but it also curiously goes up against GM sister brand Chevrolet's Tahoe, which differs only in styling and small trim distinctions. With the Denali, GMC seeks to compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Audi Q7 and Land Rover Range Rover.
Trims start with the SLE trim, with a locking rear differential, 18-inch wheels, trailer hitch and trailer wiring, fog lights, rain-sensing front wipers, heated side mirrors, 4.2-inch driver information centre, 8.0-inch IntelliLink infotainment screen, leather-trimmed steering wheel with manual tilt steering column, 110-volt power outlet, remote engine start, cloth seats, satellite radio, three-zone automatic climate control, front and rear park assist, Bose premium stereo and a backup camera.
Move up to SLT trim to add passive keyless entry with push-button engine start, forward collision alert, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, safety alert driver's seat, wireless smartphone charging, power liftgate, power-folding side mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, front bucket seats, heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, heated and cooled front seats, power release second-row seats, power-folding third row, garage door opener, power tilt-and-telescopic steering and rear cross traffic alert.
Finally, Denali trim brings a heavy-duty trailering package, integrated trailer brake controller, transmission oil cooler, magnetic ride control suspension, 20-inch wheels, HID headlights, eight-inch customizable driver information display and active noise cancellation.
Fuel consumption ratings are 15.1/10.4 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 5.3L engine and RWD, and 15.2/10.8 with 4WD. The 6.2L and its 10-speed bring fuel consumption estimates of 16.4/10.7 L/100 km.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed