By Jennifer Newman on July 16, 2012
The 2012 GMC Yukon XL lives up to its name. With an extra 20 inches in length on the regular GMC Yukon, the XL is made for hauling a lot of people and cargo. The XL can hold up to nine people on three rows of seats. It also can fit three child-safety seats across its second row.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.
The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the convertible seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.
Here's how the 2012 Yukon XL did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:
Latch system: In the Yukon XL, there are only two sets of lower Latch anchors. They're found in the second row's middle seat and passenger-side seat. The anchors are visible, making them easy to use. As for tether anchors, the Yukon XL has three in the second row and one in the third row. All four are located on the seatbacks near the floor and are easy to use.
Booster seat: Our high-back booster seat fit well in the second row. In the third row (photo above), the booster seat also fit well, but the seat belt buckles could be difficult for kids to use because they're recessed into pockets in the seat cushion.
Convertible seat: Both the rear- (photo above) and forward-facing convertible fit well in the second row. In the third row, we used the seat belt to install the forward-facing convertible (photo below). The seat belt buckle was a little difficult to use because it was recessed, but the car seat fit well.
Infant-safety seat: This rear-facing car seat fit well in the Yukon XL's second row. We initially installed it in the center seating position using the Latch anchors. This isn't an acceptable spot for a rear-facing seat because of the folding armrest that could come down and injure a rear-facing child in an accident. We reinstalled the seat behind the front passenger seat and found that it also fit well.
How many car seats fit in third row? Two because the third row is split 50/50, making it difficult for a child-safety seat to sit flat in the middle position. A passenger could sit there, though how comfortable it is would be questionable.
Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Newman is a certified car-seat technician. A mom of two, she owns a 2013 Subaru Outback crammed with sports gear. Email Jennifer