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2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali  AWD Bookmark

The Good :)  Big and bold exterior looks.  Great leather quality inside.  Lots of room.  Easy to use with lots of available features.  Great amount of engine power.

The Bad :(  Needs better fuel economy.  Make it a diesel engine.  Seats are very heavy when folding.  Less body sway would be desirable. 

Engine                         V8, 6.2 Liters
Output                          380 hp / 415 lb-ft
Weight                         6235 lbs
Cargo Volume 137 cu. ft.
Price As Tested $58,020

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            The GMC Yukon Denali is the ultimate expression of GM's engineering capabilities and levels of amenities offered. For GMC vehicles, the Denali name tag means you get a version that is fully pimped out.  Want to take your Yukon to Unique Autosport?  Well GM may have done most of the work for them if you want to retain the usefulness of the entire vehicle.  Made in Janesville, Wisconsin the Yukon aims at the Ford Expedition, Toyota Sequoia, Lincoln Navigator, and Nissan Armada.  This new Yukon will likely steal the show from other competitors. 

            The supersized Yukon XL Denali is bold and glittering on the outside with its black paint job and chrome accents.  A Denali specific honeycomb chrome grill sets the stage up front.  This looks more like an aftermarket part sold on autosupermart.com than something you usually find on a stock vehicle.  Headlamps have GMC logos etched on their bezels.  The side profile is equally as dazzling with large 20-inch chrome wheels, large chrome door handles, a chrome side step and roof rack as well as chrome badging.  In back the bumper wraps around nicely with everything covered, even the tow hook area.  Small parking sensors on the lower bumper as well as a backup camera are some high end features found on the Yukon Denali.  Step back and admire the 202 inches of overall length and 79 inches of width with a tall 77 inches in overall height of the Yukon XL Denali.

            The interior is large and comfortable as you may expect.  Interior passengers have plenty of room to stretch out and cargo also has about 137 cubic feet of space to tackle.  This is enough to fit an 83 inch long door from Home Depot.  There is no need to ask for home delivery when you have Yukon XL Denali.  Towing capacity of 7900 pounds is enough to take your boat to the dock on weekends. 

            In the drivers seat, it's more like sitting at home in a lounge chair than in a car.  You are seated very high, up above everyone else.  Almost every gadget imaginable in packed inside the Yukon making for a very comfortable driving experience.  The overall cabin style is modern with large pieces of high quality wood grain trim mixed with leather covered areas offering a tasteful interior.  Materials are actually the same grade which you would find in most German makes and this is a great direction for GM.  High quality wood trim and leather should be expected on a vehicle this expensive.  Controls are flush with the dash for a modern style rather than the usual GM fitted look.  Some panels are still the good old smooth plastic and we think GM should change this as well to capture more of the market.  The Yukon Denali also features door entry sill plates which add to the overall high end appearance. 

            The seating surfaces are fully adjustable in both front seats therefore we were able to get comfortable quite easily.  The large bucket seats offer good comfort on long journeys as well.  The second row of seats are two individual seats with arm rests towards the inside which fold and tumble at the push of a button making way for the third row of seats in back.  The second row seating is plush and large with nicely padded leather making you feel as if you are someone special.  The third row is also quite nice with large wide seats which fold and can be removed.  Everything is XL in this Yukon.  Fold down the second row and stretch your legs out while seated in the third row.  Watch a DVD or do some work; it is quite comfortable back there. 

            The Yukon offers a host of comfort features for the driver to aid in driving ability.  The power windows move quickly and because they are so large it is useful to have this quick movement.  The seats up front are heated, you can heat just the seatback or both the bottom and the back, and they offer three levels of heat.  There is also two driver seat memory buttons as well as a easy exit feature which moves the seat back for you makes everything that much easier.  Automatic headlights and built in fog lamps are a great feature.  The headlamps were a bit weak at night and we suggest Xenon lighting for truly lighting up the road ahead of this monster.  Rain sensing wipers make driving much easier and heated washer fluid helps keep you going in the winter.  The control stalks are easy to reach and built in turn signals in the rear view mirrors are necessary for such a large vehicle.  The shift lever is rather large for the transmission but is wrapped in leather and finished with a touch of chrome.  It offers the driver manual shifting by way of a plus/minus button should that be needed.  The steering wheel is leather wrapped with wood trim all around.  It felt quite nice and was loaded with cruise control buttons and stereo control buttons both of which get used very much while driving.  A host of personalization features such as if you would like all the doors to lock as you drive off can be programmed in the instrument cluster. 

            The central console offers you the large navigation screen which also allows you to control the stereo as well as auxiliary input for an iPod.  A 6-disc CD changer built into the center unit would have been great but the Yukon lacks this feature.  The DVD system for rear audio also lets you watch DVD's in front when you are stopped.  This was particularly cool to have even though it did not work while driving.  It is probably time to let cars do the driving themselves, especially during rush hour traffic when no one really wants to drive.  The stereo system is driven by 10 Bose speakers which are high quality and also includes audio pilot noise reduction.  The system offers surround sound for a more enveloping feeling.  The navigation system is simple to use with its touch screen operation.  It is quite fast but lacking is direction display in the instrument cluster or in a heads up display. 

            The climate control system is easy to operate and quick at cooling the vehicle even with its large interior volume.  Up front both persons can choose their own temperature and in back you can also choose fan speed, air direction, temperature as well as an automatic setting.

            The Yukon allows you to adjust the gas pedal for maximum comfort.  You can also turn off the parking control signals as well as traction control if you like when you are stuck in snow or in a parking garage.  Heating the windshield washer fluid is also as easy as pushing a button.

            The central console between the two front seats has two cupholders and a small tray for pens and other small items you may have.  The large armrest can fit a lot of items inside such as the rear entertainment system headphones and remote control.  These parts could feel a bit nicer and stronger in future versions of the vehicle. 

            Overhead you have OnStar built into the rear view mirror should you need driving help or any help from a live person.  Garage openers and sunroof controls are also located here.  The switch for folding of the 2nd row of seats is also located here for easy use.  The sunroof is quick to operate however a single button system would be more intuitive.  The sunroof itself is of good quality and relatively quiet while driving.

            We liked the deep tinted windows in the second and third rows which helped greatly in reducing sunburn and penetration of UV light.  UV rays are very strong now and dark tinted windows or UV filtering glass is becoming a necessity in all cars now. 

         The 6.2 Liter V8 engine is powered by a six speed automatic transmission with 380 horsepower and 417 lbs.-ft. of torque available at 4400 rpm.  The engine gave about 14 miles per gallon on our mixed driving tests.  A new six-speed Hydra-Matic 6L80 RWD electronically controlled automatic transmissions backs the 6.2L engine.

            On the road the smooth transmission makes engine gear shift virtually un-noticeable.  Most of the time you feel as if you are idling.  Engine power is great and the growl that the exhaust makes when the pedal is pushed to the metal just gives the Yukon a manly appeal.  Although torque comes in at a high 4400 rpm, getting up to speed is easy with so much horsepower on hand.  Most drivers will not need this much power and perhaps lowering it will increase fuel economy to more respectable numbers. 

         The Yukon is relatively quiet inside with little wind or road noise even at fast highway speeds.  We found that it does take getting used to when driving such a large vehicle on the road.  The width of the Yukon is enormous and so you have to learn to keep your distance from other vehicles. 

         The Yukon's suspension is quite stable and up front you hardly notice any body dive or squat.  The coil over shock front suspension provides a lighter design and gives a good ride over bumpy roads.  Enhanced driving control and ride smoothness are offered with the standard Autoride real-time damping system, which uses electronically controlled shock absorbers to make nearly instant damping adjustments.  The system 'reads' the road and anticipates the best damping rates.  This may be a great vehicle to have in New York City.  Body lean could be more controlled so that your passengers and cargo do not move around so much inside this large vehicle.  Steering response is much improved over previous GM vehicles.  The steering is much more precise and accurate.  Braking power is quite good because the Denali is fitted with larger rotors.  Pedal feel is still a bit soft and not as in touch with the road as we would like. 

            We think that anything less than 30 mpg is quite low in the year 2007 and so automobile manufacturers really need to work on hybrid systems to increase MPG or totally remove the use of oil from our transportation.  Transportation needs to move away from using fossil fuels as the earth just cannot take all this oil being burned into the air.  We all need to think of the future of our planet and our air and climate.  While driving we did get many stares and could tell that people were angry that someone was driving such a gas guzzling vehicle.  Perhaps this type of backlash will be the ultimate cure to our oil addiction.  It is time for a change.

            The Yukon Denali is a very safe vehicle.  Obviously it is very large and there is not much on the road that you could crash into that would be larger.  It has earned 5-stars in the governments crash tests as well.  OnStar is offered as standard equipment so help can be called without you doing the calling.  Dual stage front air bags and tire pressure monitoring all help keep you out of trouble.  Head curtain side impact air bags are also standard. 

            The standard warranty is a 5-years or 100,000 miles.  Road side assistance is also included for this period. 

            Our test car started off at a base price of $50,185.  The DVD navigation system option added $2,250.  The 20-inch aluminum wheels added $1,995.  The rear seat entertainment system costs $1,295.  A power sliding sunroof adds $995.  The rearview camera system is only $250.  A heated steering wheel adds another $150.  With a destination charge of $900, the total vehicle price is $58,020. 

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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$46,029

$50,305

Destination

$900

$900

AM/FM Stereo w/CD/DVD Player and Navigation

$1,868

$2,250

20" Chrome Aluminum Wheels

$1,656

$1,995

Power Sunroof

$826

$995

 

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COMPARISONS 2007 GMC Yukon XL
Denali 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
2007 Lincoln Navigator
Luxury 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
2007 Nissan Armada
LE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.6L 8cyl 5A)
2007 Ford Expedition EL
Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (5.4L 8cyl 6A)
2007 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
GL320 CDI 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
MSRP $50,305 $48,750 $43,050 $42,645 $52,400
Invoice $46,029 $44,985 $39,190 $38,764 $48,732
Destination Charge $900 $900 $745 $900 $775
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 6 yr. / 70000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V8 V8 V8 V8 V6
Base Engine Displacement 6.2 liters 5.4 liters 5.6 liters 5.4 liters 3.0 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
24 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
32 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 380 hp @ 5500 rpm 300 hp @ 5000 rpm 317 hp @ 5200 rpm 300 hp @ 5000 rpm 215 hp @ 3800 rpm
Torque 417 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm 365 ft-lbs. @ 3750 rpm 385 ft-lbs. @ 3400 rpm 365 ft-lbs. @ 3750 rpm 398 ft-lbs. @ 1400 rpm
Active Suspension Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Self Leveling Suspension Standard Optional Standard Optional Standard
Premium Center Console Trim wood leather and wood     leather and wood
Premium Dash Trim Not Available Not Available     leather and wood
Premium Door Trim Not Available wood leather   wood
Xenon Headlights Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Optional
TV Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional
Video DVD player - Optional DVD player - Optional DVD player - Optional DVD player - Optional DVD player - Optional
Satellite Communications System OnStar Not Available Not Available Not Available TeleAid
SPECS
Turning Circle 43 ft. 40.8 ft. 40.8 ft. 43.9 ft. 39.7 ft.
Max. Cargo Capacity 137 cu. ft. 103 cu. ft. 97 cu. ft. 131 cu. ft. 83 cu. ft.
Max. Towing Capacity 7900 lbs. 8800 lbs. 9000 lbs. 8750 lbs. 7500 lbs.
City 14 mpg.   13 mpg.   20 mpg.
Highway 14 mpg.   18 mpg.   25 mpg.
City 403 mi.   364 mi.   528 mi.
Highway 589 mi.   504 mi.   660 mi.
Length 222.4 in. 208.4 in. 206.9 in. 221.3 in. 200.3 in.
Width 79.1 in. 78.8 in. 78.8 in. 78.8 in. 75.6 in.
Height 77.1 in. 78.3 in. 78.7 in. 77.7 in. 72.4 in.
Weight 5838 lbs. 6070 lbs. 5675 lbs. 6053 lbs. 5296 lbs.
Wheel Base 130 in. 119 in. 123.2 in. 131 in. 121.1 in.
Ground Clearance 9.2 in. 9 in. 10.7 in. 8.7 in. 7.9 in.
Interior Yukon XL Navigator Armada Expedition EL GL-Class
Front Headroom 41.1 in. 39.5 in.   39.5 in. 40.1 in.
Rear Headroom 38.5 in. 39.7 in. 40 in. 39.7 in. 40.6 in.
Front Shoulder Room 65.3 in. 63.3 in. 65.1 in. 63.2 in. 58.3 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 65.2 in. 63.7 in. 64.5 in. 63.7 in. 58.9 in.
Front Hip Room 64.4 in. 60.2 in. 61.3 in. 60.2 in. Not Published
Rear Hip Room 61.8 in. 59.9 in. 60.1 in. 59.9 in. Not Published
Front Leg Room 41.3 in. 41.1 in. 41.8 in. 41.2 in. 40.3 in.
Rear Leg Room 39.5 in. 39.1 in. 41.9 in. 39.1 in. 39.5 in.
Luggage Capacity 45.8 cu.ft. 18.1 cu.ft. 20 cu.ft. 42.6 cu.ft. 14.3 cu.ft.

 

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