GMC's Yukon XL is the brand's flagship sport utility vehicle that's available in base half-ton (1500) and three-quarter-ton (2500) versions and a top-of-the-line Denali trim. The Yukon XL is available with a choice of V-8 engines, some of which feature fuel-management systems that deactivate four cylinders during low-load situations. The Yukon XL is closely related to its GM cousin the Chevrolet Suburban; the only other extra-long full-size SUV is the Ford Expedition EL.
New for 2009
The GMC Yukon XL now has a standard six-speed automatic transmission, an integrated brake controller and heavy-duty trailering options.
The Yukon XL has integrated running boards, and Denali models have a number of features that distinguish them from other models, including a chrome grille and 20-inch wheels.
The Yukon XL measures about 20 inches longer than the regular Yukon, at 222.4 inches long, with a width of 79.1 inches. Its dimensions are nearly identical to the Expedition EL.
Exterior features include:
- Standard power and heated side mirrors
- Standard 16-inch wheels (2500), 17-inch wheels (1500), 20-inch wheels (Denali)
- Chrome honeycomb grille (Denali)
- Optional power liftgate (standard on Denali)
- Available power-operated, retractable running boards
High-quality fixtures include flush-mounted controls, low-gloss materials and chrome instrument surrounds. For maximum seating capacity, the Yukon XL can have three rows of seats to accommodate up to nine occupants. Cargo volume measures 45.8 cubic feet behind the third row. With the third row removed and the second row folded — made easier by an available power-folding feature — cargo volume is 137.4 cubic feet; that's compared to the Expedition EL's 130.8 cubic feet.
Interior options include:
- Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant controls
- Standard XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic and route advisements
- Available cloth, vinyl or leather-appointed seats
- Newly available integrated rear camera in rearview mirror
- Newly available heated/cooled seats (Denali models)
- Newly available third-row DVD system
Under the Hood
The Yukon XL is available with rear- or four-wheel drive. The Yukon Denali can have a permanent all-wheel-drive system that's distinct from the available part-time four-wheel drive on the regular Yukon.
For 2009, there is an integrated brake controller option, which provides proper brake force signaling to a trailer's brake systems, and a heavy-duty trailering package. Yukon XL 2500 models replace the five-link coil-spring suspension for heavy-duty multileaf springs. 2500 models also come with a hydraulic brake booster that supplements the braking system with additional pressure. When properly equipped, the 2500 model can tow up to 9,600 pounds; 1500 models can tow a maximum of 8,100 pounds.
Powertrain features include:
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- Power rack-and-pinion steering
- Flex-fuel 310-horsepower, 5.3-liter aluminum-block V-8 with 335 pounds-feet of torque and cylinder deactivation (1500)
- Flex-fuel 310-hp, 5.3-liter iron-block V-8 with 335 pounds-feet of torque and available cylinder deactivation (1500)
- 352-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with 382 pounds-feet of torque and variable-valve timing (2500)
- 366-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 with 367 pounds-feet of torque, variable-valve timing and cylinder deactivation (1500)
- Flex-fuel 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with 417 pounds-feet of torque
- Optional variable load-leveling suspension
- Available fuel-saving 3.08:1 axel ratio
New safety options include a blind-zone alert system, a rearview camera system that's integrated into the rearview mirror, rear parking assist and rain-sensing wipers.
Standard safety features include:
- Front dual-stage airbags with passenger-sensing system
- Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
- Seat-mounted thorax airbags
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes (with hydroboost on 2500 models)
- Electronic stability system with traction control
- Tire pressure monitoring system
- OnStar with one year of Directions & Connections plan, which provides voice-guided directions, automatic crash response and Bluetooth hands-free calling
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