The GMC Yukon XL is a version of the General Motors (GMC/Chevy) Suburban that has been around since 1935. In fact, several manufacturers offered a “suburban” for years, but GM landed an exclusive trademark on the name in 1988. For the 2007 model year, GMC rolled out the latest, eleventh-generation Yukon XL with modernized styling and retention of its 9-passenger capability.
I recently had the opportunity to test a 2012 Yukon XL Denali, a Summit White model equipped with the 6.2 liter Vortec V8 that produced 403 horsepower, 417 lb. ft. of torque, and FlexFuel capability. Behind it was a six-speed automatic transmission with Driver Shift Control and Tow/Haul mode selector. The transmission, big torque rating, and 3.42 axle ratio can work in concert to allow the Yukon to tow nearly an 8,000 lb. trailer or boat.
My wife, Ruth, and I drove the Yukon to Denver to the Auto Press Association Christmas dinner last week, accompanied by another couple. The spouses relaxed in the heated, leather-appointed rear captain’s chairs and controlled the temperature with an auxiliary rear heating system. Up front, the men enjoyed the Bose Centerpoint surround sound stereo with satellite radio and individual front passenger temperature settings. The driver had the assurance of blind spot monitor, electronic cruise control, and Autoride suspension, eliminating any compromise between a smooth ride and precise control.
While pulling up in front of the Denver Press Club, a lot of eyes landed on the big Yukon XL Denali with its refined good looks, 20” chrome aluminum 8-spoke wheels, and honeycomb grill. Parking was a snap with the rear vision camera and Ultrasonic rear parking assist, and so was egress, courtesy of the chrome-trimmed black assist steps.
The total Denver trip experience was terrific because of the comfort and convenience of the 2012 GMC Yukon XL Denali. I would recommend the vehicle to anyone with lots of people, or gear, or both, to haul around.
Tags: Association, AWD, Bose Centerpoint, Chevy Suburban, Club, control, Denver, Denver Press Club, driver, Driver Shift Control, General Motors, GM, GMC, lot, model, parking, speed, Summit White, vehicle, Vortec V8