2015 GMC Yukon XL: Car Seat Check

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When families shop for a three-row SUV, many parents worry that they’ll have to sacrifice cargo-hauling ability for a usable third row. Not so with the 2015 GMC Yukon XL. Both the Yukon XL and the somewhat smaller Yukon were redesigned for 2015 and feature a new exterior look with a more comfortable interior. The Yukon XL measures 224.3 inches long, making it 20.4 inches longer than the Yukon. That extra length translates to a roomier third row: The Yukon XL has 34.5 inches of legroom while the Yukon has 24.8 inches. Our test car had optional captain’s chairs in the second row and could seat seven passengers total. The Yukon XL can haul up to nine people when equipped with bench seats in all three rows.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

What We Like

  • The Yukon XL’s second row is so roomy that we didn’t have to move the front passenger seat forward to fit the rear-facing infant and convertible seats behind it.
  • Our high-back booster seat fit well in both the second and third rows. However, both seating positions have floppy seat belt buckles, which can be difficult for kids to use on their own.
  • There’s a high step-in to the Yukon XL, but power running boards on our test car made the climb easier. The second-row captain’s chairs are spring-loaded and easily tumble forward to create good third-row access.
  • The forward-facing convertible fit well in the third row, where we used a seat belt to install it. In the second row, the forward convertible installed easily until it came time to connect to the tether anchor (details below).

What We Don’t

  • This is an SUV geared toward families, but it only has the minimum number of lower Latch anchors. There are two sets of them in the second row and no lower Latch anchors in the third row. However, the third row has three tether anchors, allowing maximum flexibility when installing a forward-facing convertible, which uses the top tether anchor.
  • In the second row, the tether anchors are found at the captain’s chair base. There’s a large piece of plastic that sits just underneath the tether anchor, making connection difficult. After much trial and error, we managed to connect to the tether anchor after getting the connector lined up perfectly straight. Disconnecting it was difficult, too.
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Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About’s Car Seat Checks

Editor Jennifer Newman is a certified child safety seat installation technician. Editor Jennifer Geiger is working on renewing her certification.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted 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 and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible 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; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself. photos by Evan Sears

Photo of Jennifer Newman
Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Newman is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including 15 years as an automotive journalist at Jennifer leads the Editorial team in its mission of helping car shoppers find the vehicle that best fits their life. A mom of two, she’s graduated from kids in car seats to teens behind the steering wheel. She’s also a certified car-seat technician with more than 12 years of experience, as well as member of the World Car Jury, Automotive Press Association and Midwest Automotive Media Association. LinkedIn: Instagram: @jennilnewman Email Jennifer Newman

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