The redesigned Yukon XL is an extremely functional, comfortable, and quiet large three-row SUV. This American icon is the answer for those who need seven- or eight-passenger capacity, cavernous space, and the ability to tow a boat or camper.
The standard 5.3-liter V8 engine delivers ample power at any time, along with a satisfyingly muted burble. The smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission is well-matched to the engine, providing downshifts in a timely manner when the driver is looking for more power. This big rig manages to romp from 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds, which isn’t bad considering its size and weight. The engine stop/start system, intended to save fuel at stoplights, fires back up quickly and unobtrusively. Fuel economy, though, is only 16 mpg overall, which isn’t any better than the previous generation.
The new independent rear suspension pays dividends by giving the Yukon XL improved ride and handling, and even greater interior room. The standard suspension absorbs bumps and rough pavement effectively, but we prefer the adaptive suspension that comes on the Denali trim, which ensures a steadier ride while also giving more responsive handling. Still, there is no escaping that this massive vehicle can be a handful to drive and park in tight urban areas.