2018 GMC Yukon Denali Ultra-Luxury Full Size 7-Seat SUV
**Black with Ebony Luxury Perforated Leather Seating – ETA MAY**
New 2018 Interior upgrade:
Inside, a new wood trim treatment features real Mastique Ash wood with a satin finish. The new finish replaces a gloss finish from past years, and allows the grain of the wood to show through. There’s an effort to display authenticity in the cabin of the Denali. If something looks like metal, it probably is metal or aluminum, not coated plastic. If it looks like stitched leather, it is stitched leather. And leather surfaces have a new, more durable finish that will keep them looking good longer. For buyers who connote luxury with quality, that’s a happy convergence.
Yukon Denali continues to come with one of GM’s best engines, a 6.2-liter V8 with variable valve timing, direct gasoline injection and Active Fuel Management. The big engine is tuned to produce 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque and has more than enough power to provide excellent overall performance.
New for 2018, Denali gets a 10-speed automatic transmission, a variant of the quick-shifting unit that debuted in the latest Camaro ZL1.. It has a tow/haul mode and maintains Denali’s maximum tow rating of 8,400 lbs.
Suspension and Handling:
Yukon is a body-on-frame SUV, a style of construction that is truck-based, as opposed to car-based crossover vehicles that are built as a unibody, without a frame. Luxury buyers don’t seek out a trucklike ride, though, so GMC’s engineers work hard to give Denali a smooth ride with independent coil-over front suspension and a solid rear axle with 5-link location and coil springs. Magnetic Ride Control, a technology that debuted on the Corvette, provides continuous damping adjustment through magic. Seems like magic to me. The result is a smooth ride, reduced body roll and a very serene ride.
Technology and Convenience:
The Denali comes with all of the expected premium infotainment and telematics options, including navigation, premium Bose surround sound, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, four USB outlets and more. Wireless phone charging is standard, with a convenient slot in the top of the front centre armrest. Active noise cancellation helps to isolate the cabin from traffic, road and engine noise. A hands-free programmable power liftgate is standard, as are power fold and lift third-row seats — a great feature for cargo management. Second-row seats fold and flip manually, making easy access to the third row possible, even for limber adults. Power-retractable assist steps aid all passengers and drivers climbing up into the tall seats, supplemented by robust, well-placed grab handles. Attention has been paid to all three rows, so each seating position feels like a luxury perch.
Whether or not it’s a fact, many buyers state that their reason for buying a big SUV is safety. They hold to the belief that their 3-ton vehicle will come out better in a crash with a smaller vehicle. Behind the wheel, it certainly feels that way, as the commanding view from the Denali driver’s seat is empowering. GMC does its best to back up the impression with active and passive safety features. Available advanced cruise control helps to maintain speed and following distance with radar and includes forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The Safety Alert Driver’s Seat gives haptic feedback in the seat in conjunction with rear cross-traffic alert and side blind spot monitoring with lane-change alert. A standard rear-vision camera (a must in such a big vehicle) operates through the 8-in touchscreen at the top of the centre stack.
The 6.2-liter engine had no problem motivating the 3-ton (nearly) Denali up and down hills and mountain roads, always with power in reserve. The 10-speed transmission was smooth as silk and kept the engine in a good power band, so it was easy to see why so many families choose a Denali for their big vacation vehicle. Not only is there plenty of space and great amenities for all, but the SUV also eats up the road in total serenity. Though it has no autonomous driving ability (yet), the Denali practically drives