Although GMC is generally associated with commercial cars and labor trucks, the 2023 Yukon is among the most spacious and opulent passenger vehicles ever produced by the company.
This enormous family SUV has room for up to nine passengers across three rows of seating, and an even longer wheelbase (dubbed Yukon XL) is available for those who need even more passenger or cargo room. In this market class, the standard powertrain is a V-8 (either 5.3 or 6.2 liters), but a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter inline-six is also an option. All of the available motors excel in towing capacity and acceleration, but the V-8s aren’t very economical.
While even the entry-level SLE trim comes equipped with numerous comfort and technological options, the higher-end Denali trims spruce things up to compete with luxury SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator. Yukon’s main rivals are Chevrolet’s Tahoe and Suburban SUVs, which are virtually indistinguishable from one another mechanically and in feature sets but can be had for a few thousand less than the Yukon.
What’s New for 2023?
For 2023, the Yukon receives a new top-of-the-line Denali Ultimate trim that comes standard with Alpine Umber leather upholstery, 16-way power-adjustable front seats with massage, open-pore wood trim, and an 18-speaker Bose stereo system. The Denali Ultimate has special 22-inch wheels and a darkened chrome grille and other exterior trim. Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free highway driving mode, is an available extra.
2023 GMC Yukon Pricing
The least expensive 2023 GMC Yukon SLE costs $54,000, while the highest-end Denali Ultimate costs $91,850. Other trim levels cost $60,700, $68,500, $72,100, and $91,850, respectively.
The cost to add 4WD to the SLE, SLT, or Denali trims is $3,000. The price of a long-wheelbase Yukon XL is $2,700 higher than that of a regular Yukon XL of the same trim level.
The Yukon’s price tag is higher than that of the majority of its competitors. More reasonably priced alternatives include the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, Ford Expedition, and Nissan Armada. Price-wise, the Yukon falls short of the Jeep Wagoneer and the brand-new Toyota Sequoia.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Both the 355-horsepower 5.3-liter and the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8s from the previous-generation Yukon are carried over into the current one. GMC also offers a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-six engine, which is the preferred option for those who plan to tow heavy objects, in addition to the gas-powered options.
All trims feature a rear- or all-wheel-drive configuration and a 10-speed automatic transmission controlled by steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. Additional off-road features include a two-speed transfer case, 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tyres, underbody skid plates, and an optional air suspension that can add up to two inches of ground clearance.
We were able to achieve a 0-60 mph time of 6.0 seconds in our Denali loadout testing with the 6.2-liter V-8, and we also observed vastly improved braking performance compared to the previous generation.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Not that the Yukon is particularly fuel efficient, but it is slightly better in the city than its predecessor. The most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered Yukons have been rated at 16 mpg in the city, 20 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg in the combined cycle, and these are the ones with the 5.3-liter V-8.
The turbo-diesel engine, as expected, achieves higher fuel economy ratings, up to 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. We drove a Denali and it got 20 miles per gallon on our highway fuel-economy test at 75 miles per hour. Get all the details on the Yukon’s gas mileage from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Yukon and the long-wheelbase Yukon XL promise seating for up to eight passengers, though if you opt for the increasingly popular second-row captain’s chairs, that number drops to seven. Inside, Denalis have a special look thanks to their hand-stitched leather seats and wood-trimmed dashboard.
The Denali comes standard with an innovative power-sliding center console, but the SLT and AT4 can be equipped with it as an option. This console slides back and forth along a 10-inch track, allowing the driver to make room for larger first-row items like a purse or backpack while concealing smaller items in hidden cubbies.
The largest XL model has a maximum cargo capacity of 145 cubic feet when all seats are folded down. That’s more than the Ford Expedition Max, its main competitor in town (which has 122 cubic feet behind its front row of seats). There was enough room for six suitcases behind the third-row seats of the Yukon, which was a standard-length vehicle. We can seat 35 people with the middle and rearmost rows collapsed.
Infotainment and Connectivity
We found GMC’s latest infotainment interface to be intuitive and user-friendly on the Yukon’s large display, standard on all trim levels. Displays in the SLE, SLT, and AT4 models are freestanding in the center of the dashboard, but the Denali’s is embedded in the dashboard and surrounded by shiny chrome for a more premium appearance. Integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and a Wi-Fi hotspot are included as standard features, with navigation and a Bose sound system available as add-ons.
2021 GMC Yukon Denali 4WD
front-engine, rear-/4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$83,795 (base price: $72,695)
pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block, and heads, direct fuel injection
376 in3, 6162 cm3
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
The suspension (F/R): control arms/trailing arms
Brakes (F/R): vented disc/vented disc
Tires: Bridgestone Alenza A/S 02, 275/50R-22 111H M+S TPC SPEC 3156MS
Wheelbase: 120.9 in
Length: 210.0 in
Width: 81.0 in
Height: 76.5 in
Passenger volume: 178 ft3
Cargo volume: 26 ft3
Curb weight: 6007 lb
60 mph: 6.0 sec
100 mph: 15.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.1 sec
1/4 mile: 14.5 sec @ 97 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 112 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 183 ft
Road holding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.73 g
Standing-start accel times omit a 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.
Observed: 14 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 20 mpg
Highway range: 480 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 16/14/19 mpg
|Trailer Tire Pressure Monitor Sensors||+$50|
|Engine Block Heater||+$100|
|Duramax 3.0L Turbo-Diesel I6||+$995|
|Cat-Back Performance Exhaust||+$1,795|
|Max Trailering Package||+$465|
|Cargo Convenience Package||+$460|
|Interior Protection Package||+$375|
|GMC Pro Safety Plus Package||+$495|
|Cargo Security Shade||+$270|
|Reflective Window Shade||+$135|
|Collapsible Cargo Area Organizer||+$155|
|Sport Pedal Cover Kit||+$185|
|Cloth Front 40/20/40 Split-Bench Seat||-$250|
|Vertical Cargo Net||+$75|
|3 Years of OnStar & Connected Services Plan (Fleet)||+$1,500|
|Floor Liner Package||+$450|
|Rear Fold Flat Cargo Organizer||+$205|
|All-Weather Cargo Mat||+$175|
|22″ Multi-Spoke Gloss Black Wheels||+$2,995|
|22″ Multi-Spoke Chrome Wheels||+$3,695|
|20″ x 9.0″ 6-Spoke Polished Aluminum Wheels||+$1,100|
|22″ x 9.0″ Polished Aluminum Wheels||+$1,795|
|22″ x 9.0″ 6-Spoke Carbon Flash Metallic Aluminum Wheels w/Selective Machining||+$2,295|
|Black Exhaust Tip||+$200|
|Front License Plate Mounting Package||+$0|
|Polished Exhaust Tip||+$155|
|22″ Multi-Spoke Chrome Wheels||+$3,695|
|Black Roof Rack Cross Rails||+$555|
|22″ Bright Chrome Wheels||+$3,695|
|22″ Multi-Split Spoke Chrome Wheels||+$3,695|
|22″ Multi-Spoke Gloss Black Wheels||+$3,295|
|Molded Splash Guards||+$215|
|22″ Black Wheels w/Selective Machining||+$3,295|