2016 GMC Yukon XL Review

Car buyers looking for a family-friendly vehicle can consider the new GMC Yukon XL. This large SUV has retained the classic combination of V8 engine power and a body on frame construction. It offers more towing capacity than many other crossovers, while providing a higher level of solidity.

More About the Yukon XL

The 2016 GMC Yukon XL is a large SUV that is available in three trim levels: SLT, SLE, and Denali. The eight-passenger seating capacity comes as standard, but there are two optional arrangements: the second-row captain’s chairs that reduce the headcount to seven, and the 40/20/40 front bench split that raise the capacity to nine (for SLE only).

The SLE version comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers and headlights, front and rear parking sensors, foglights, driver-integrated blind-spot monitor, roof rails, rear privacy glass, side-assist steps, a locking rear differential, a rearview camera, remote ignition, cruise control, keyless entry, automatic climate control, power front seats, leather tilt-only steering wheel, 60/40-split third row seat, and 60/40-split folding second row.

Standard technology features include OnStar for WiFi and 4G LTE connection, audio and Bluetooth connectivity, 110V power outlet, eight-inch touchscreen, nine-speaker Bose sound system with satellite and HD radio, CD player, SD card slot, auxiliary audio jack, and five USB ports. The Enhanced Driver Alert package, which includes all of GMC’s advanced safety and security features, comes as an option.

The SLT model, meanwhile, has both the Convenience and Enhanced Driver Alert packages. It also features blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert system, power-folding mirrors, keyless entry, hands-free power liftgate, heated second row seats, perforated leather upholstery, power-folding third row seats, heated and ventilated front seats, driver memory functions, ambient interior lighting, heated tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and wireless phone charging.

All Yukon XLs are towing-ready, and have a seven-pin wiring harness and a two-inch receiver. The HD Trailering package is offered on SLT and SLE.

The Denali version has all the SLT’s standard features. Additional features include a V8 engine, a unique grille, 20-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a magnetic-powered adaptive suspension, digital instrument panel, 10-speaker Bose sound system, a trailer-brake controller, active noise cancellation, second-row captain’s chairs, and navigation system. Optional features for this version include the power-retractable assist steps, 22-inch wheels, sunroof, head up display, heated second row bench, adaptive cruise control, and the single- or dual-screen rear entertainment systems.


The 2016 GMC Yukon XL is available in two different engines. The SLT and SLE versions come with a 5.3L V8 engine that produces 383lb-ft of torque and 355 horsepower. The Denali, meanwhile, has a 6.2L V8 engine that boasts of 460lb-ft of torque and 420 horsepower. Both of these engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission, as well as a choice of either the rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. There is also a two-speed transfer case that comes with low-range gearing. The locking rear differential is standard on all models.

The maximum tow rating for a four-wheel-drive XL is at 8,000 pounds, while the two-wheel-drive XL is rated at 8,300 pounds. The Denali models max out at 7,900 and 8,100 pounds, respectively. For the 5.3L V8 engine, the EPA has given an 18mpg estimated fuel economy rating, regardless of the drivetrain. The Denali, with its bigger 6.2L V8, gets 17mpg for the two-wheel drive and 16mpg for the four-wheel drive.


The Yukon XL has a nine-passenger seating capacity, and is currently one of the few in its kind with ample cargo space behind the third row. Unlike its competitors, the XL’s third row seat can comfortably accommodate both adults and bigger kids. The 2016 GMC Yukon XL, with its starting MSRP of $68,025, is a perfect choice for confident everyday driving for car buyers with large families.