Although they're based on the same architecture and share styling elements, the all-new 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL – and Yukon Denali / Yukon XL Denali – are engineered for the different needs of different SUV customers. All models deliver more expressive designs, ergonomically enhanced interiors and greater infotainment options.
Yukon offers great roominess, capability and maneuverability for customers on the go, while Yukon XL delivers maximum passenger and cargo-hauling capability for those more likely to transport passengers in the third-row seat. Yukon XL owners are also more likely to use their vehicle for trailering.
Denali models are distinguished with unique exterior and interior elements, as well as exclusive features not shared with other Yukon models, including active noise cancellation.
Dimensionally, the Yukon XL's 130-inch (3,302 mm) wheelbase is 14 inches longer than Yukon, and its 224.3-inch (5,697 mm) overall length is about 20 inches longer than Yukon. Inside, that means slightly more second-row legroom for Yukon XL passengers, but nearly 10 inches more legroom for the third-row passengers – a primary purchase decision for many Yukon XL customers.
Yukon and Yukon XL offer ample cargo room, but Yukon XL's larger cargo area enables it to haul more. Its maximum cargo volume of 121.1 cubic feet (3,429 liters) is 28 percent greater than Yukon's 94.7-cubic-foot (2,681 liters) maximum volume; and behind the third-row seats, there is 15.3 cubic feet (433 liters) of cargo room in the Yukon and 39.3 cubic feet (1,113 liters) in the Yukon XL.
When it comes to trailering capability, Yukon and Yukon XL are engineered to make it easier, with features including a tow/haul mode, trailer sway control, auto grade braking and hill-start assist. The ratings between them are similar, but because of the gross vehicle weight rating differences between the vehicles, the lighter Yukon carries a slightly higher maximum capacity: 8,500 pounds (2,855 kg) vs. the Yukon XL's 8,300-pound (3,765 kg) rating (2WD models compared).
The face of GMC
The 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL share design elements that make them more refined and precisely sculpted, including all-new headlamps and grille designs. SLE and SLT models feature chrome grille surrounds and standard projector-beam headlamps complemented by GMC's signature LED daytime running lamps within the headlamp housings (and LED turn signals).
Yukon and Yukon Denali models share a familial look of rugged refinement that is seen across the brand's lineup, from the Sierra to the Acadia and all-new Canyon midsize truck.
Denali models have a chrome grille that's a traditional Denali styling cue and body-color fascias. Standard HID headlamps are a Denali-exclusive feature, along with available power-retractable chrome side-assist steps that incorporate LED light pipes. Denali models also feature a unique 20-inch wheel design, with 22-inch wheels available.
On all models, new inlaid doors fit into the body side openings instead of over the top of the body, significantly improving the quietness of the interior cabin and contributing to improved aerodynamics – an attribute that helps the vehicles slip through the air on the highway with less drag for greater efficiency. Lightweight aluminum hood and aluminum liftgate panels also enhance efficiency through reduced overall mass.
A standard rear spoiler on the liftgate houses a relocated rear window wiper that is hidden when not in use. The liftgate also features new worm screw-style arms that take up less interior space than the previous gooseneck arms.
Additional exterior features include:
- The windshield angle is raked forward more than before and is flattened at the corners, for better wiper performance
- Laminated windshield and front door glass that contributes to a quieter ride
- To accommodate radar-based safety technology, the lower front fascia no longer includes exposed tow hooks, delivering a more refined appearance
- The B-pillar is moved forward slightly and the C-pillar is a little straighter, making it easier to get in and out of the vehicles – especially when climbing into the third row
- On Yukon, posts have been added to the rear windows, allowing them to drop fully into the door
- Standard 18-inch wheels, with 20- and 22-inch wheels available.
Nine exterior color choices are available, including Bronze Alloy Metallic (late availability), Champagne Silver Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Iridium Metallic, Midnight Amethyst Metallic, Onyx Black, Quicksilver Metallic, Summit White and White Diamond.
More-comfortable and more-refined cabins
The interiors of the new Yukon and Yukon XL have been refined to enhance functionality and comfort, while delivering the technologies that are more important in the daily routines of increasingly connected customers. Premium materials and enhanced ergonomics demonstrate the SUVs' blend of sophistication, craftsmanship and function.
Aluminum decorative trim is used on Yukon / Yukon XL models, while Denali models feature aluminum trim with a unique, burnished and tinted appearance, along with authentic Java Burl Poplar wood accents.
The instrument panel design for all models has a straightforward design featuring a large, easy-to-view cluster. For Yukon SLE and SLT, it includes a 4.2-inch color driver information center display in the center of the cluster, for vehicle and infotainment and other data. Denali models feature an eight-inch, reconfigurable cluster display.
All functions for the Denali cluster are controlled via the steering wheel and are integrated with the vehicle's center stack so drivers can access audio, phone and navigation functions in the cluster. The unique cluster also includes tow/haul mode information, such as brake settings, gain/output and connection data – a first for Denali.
On all Yukon and Denali models, there is also an eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen radio in the center of the instrument panel, which incorporates a secured storage bin behind the motorized screen.
The floor-mounted console has map pockets along the side, multiple USB ports and a new 110-volt outlet. Plus, there's a spot designed specifically for cell phone storage. There is also a new overhead console sunglasses holder that features a conversation mirror, and the rear-seat cupholders have been relocated from the back of the floor console to the rear doors, creating a new storage area for rear-seat passengers.
Ambient lighting highlights all functional areas, including footwells and door handles. Another lit area is the center floor console (on vehicles with bucket seats), which features two bins that provide combined storage of more than 1.2 cubic feet (35 liters), including provisions for hanging files or a laptop.
Designers also worked with ergonomics experts on the placement and size of controls, resulting in more intuitive locations for many features. The available integrated trailer brake controller, for example, has been moved higher on the left side of the steering column, where drivers will more naturally reach for it.
Additional interior features include:
- Keyless entry and push-button start is standard on Yukon SLT and Denali models
- Electric telescoping/tilting steering column is standard on SLT and Denali; a manual-adjustable column is standard on SLE
- Heated steering wheel is standard on SLT and Denali
- Sliding cover on the console cupholders
- Fold-flat second- and third-row seats.
Yukon and Yukon XL interiors are available in Jet Black or Cocoa/Dune color combinations. Denali models are offered in Jet Black, Cocoa/Dark Atmosphere and Cocoa/Shale combinations.
All of the Yukon and Yukon XL's seats are designed for greater durability, with a new seat structure that incorporates more durable foam. It not only contributes to greater comfort, but also helps the seats hold their shape better over time.
A new high-wear cloth seat material is standard on SLE, and the second-row bench seat now reclines. Additional seating features include:
- SLE – Standard front cloth seats, 10-way power-adjustable front bucket driver seat, including two-way lumbar; and six-way power-adjustable front bucket passenger seat, including two-way lumber; or optional cloth bench seat; available Safety Alert Seat; manual folding second- and third-row seats.
- SLT – Standard heated and cooled, perforated leather-appointed, 12-way power-adjustable front bucket seats, including four-way lumbar, Safety Alert Seat; heated, power release second-row bench seat and power-folding third-row bench seats standard. Heated, power-folding second-row bucket seats available.
- Denali – Standard heated/cooled, perforated leather-appointed, 12-way power bucket front seats, including four-way lumbar, Safety Alert Seat, heated, power-release folding second-row bucket seats and power-folding third-row bench seat. Heated, power-folding second-row bench seat available.
To give owners the added functionality of going from passenger space to cargo usage, the third-row seat now folds flat to the floor. For easy access to the third row, there are power-release second-row switches on the pillar behind the rear door. And to make loading long and bulky items easy, there are power switches for both the second- and third-row seats just inside the rear cargo area on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Infotainment and connectivity
The 2015 GMC Yukon's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system is better connected and offers passengers more choices. It provides easy, intuitive operation of basic functions, yet it is also highly customizable and capable of linking up to 10 devices such as smartphones, tablets and MP3 players, giving customers more ways of staying connected – all controlled via a standard eight-inch color touch screen.
Additional standard and available features include:
- Eight-inch-diagonal color touch screen and multiple USB ports
- OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (late availability)
- OnStar and IntelliLink with gesture recognition and natural language voice recognition
- Available navigation.
Yukon models are offered with radio systems that deliver comprehensive connectivity options. Standard on SLE and SLT is a system featuring:
- AM/FM/HD/XM (with three-month trial)
- Eight-inch color touch screen with audible feedback
- Five USB ports (with front bucket seats), SD card slot, auxiliary jack for MP3 devices
- Voice recognition for mobile device and music, Pandora internet radio connectivity
- Full Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio streaming
- Gestures capability with tablet-style functionality
- Time Shift, which allows pausing and rewind of the radio.
Standard on Denali models and available on SLT is a navigation radio that includes all of the features above, plus embedded navigation, flash memory navigation map capability and map updates via USB drive.
A rear-seat entertainment system is available across the lineup and features an integrated nine-inch-diagonal screen, Blu-ray/DVD player and two wireless headsets. Yukon and Yukon Denali systems feature a single fold-down screen and Yukon XL / Yukon XL Denali have dual screens.
Please see the separate Yukon Infotainment and Connectivity release for more details on IntelliLink, OnStar 4G LTE and Text-to-Voice features.