2016 gmc yukon-xl Model Overview
New for 2016
The 2016 GMC Yukon’s upgraded IntelliLink infotainment system comes with Apple CarPlay capability. The Driver Alert package now comes with lane keeping assist and IntelliBeam headlights with automatic high-beam control. SLT variants now come standard with a hands-free liftgate while the Enhanced Security package now has a liftgate shield. Two new exterior colors have been added, Crimson Red Tintcoat and White Frost Tricoat (SLT and Denali trims only).
In the SLE and SLT trims of the 2016 Yukon, the only engine available is a 5.3-liter V-8 rated at 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque that’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The range-topping Yukon XL Denali comes standard with a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 with 460 lb-ft and mated to a six- or eight-speed automatic. Fuel economy is class competitive with the 5.3-liter at 16/23 mpg city/highway in rear-drive guise and 16/22 mpg with four-wheel drive. The 6.2-liter V-8 equipped with the six-speed automatic achieves 15/21 mpg in rear-drive configuration and 14/21 mpg for four-wheel-drive variants. Selecting the eight-speed automatic with the 6.2-liter V-8 increases fuel economy to 15/22 mpg in the rear-drive Yukon XL Denali and 15/21 mpg with four-wheel drive.
The Yukon XL has significantly more space for cargo compared to the standard Yukon at has 39.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 76.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 121 cubic feet behind the front seats. Towing capacity, however, is less than the standard Yukon at 8,300 pounds for rear-drive variants and 8,000 pounds for four-wheel-drive models. The Yukon XL Denali is the least capable when it comes to towing at 8,100 pounds in rear-drive guise and 7,900 pounds when equipped with four-wheel drive.
In addition to the standard dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags, the 2016 Yukon XL comes with an exclusive front center airbag. Additional safety and driver assistance features are available as part of the Enhanced Driver Alert package, including forward collision warning, the safety alert seat, lane keeping assist, and IntelliBeam headlights.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
In the base SLE grade standard features include the IntelliLink infotainment system featuring an eight-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, front and rear parking sensors, tri-zone climate control, remote start, a rearview camera, and 60/40 split-folding second and third-row seats. Stepping up to the SLE trim adds lighting in the door handles, passenger footwell and door storage areas, heated and cooled front seats, heated second row seating, perforated leather upholstery, a power-folding third row, wireless phone charging, a sunroof, and heated power-folding and adjustable mirrors. The range-topping Denali trim, additional features include the more powerful 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8, Magnetic Ride Control, active noise cancellation, a customizable eight-inch TFT display, HID headlights, a 10-speaker Bose surround sound system, and push-button start.
What We Think
In a 2015 First Test review of the Yukon XL Denali and its sibling, the Chevrolet Suburban, we noted that the more powerful 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 provides more accessible power than the smaller 5.3-liter V-8, giving it superior acceleration. The 5.3-liter V-8, on the other hand, provides adequate power but it requires more revving since it doesn’t make much low-end torque. Ride comfort suffers when the SUV is equipped with larger wheels even when it’s equipped with GM’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension setup. We also noted in a 2015 First Drive review of the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Suburban that their cabins were well –insulated, making it easy to carry a conversation for passengers regardless of where they’re seated. Additionally, a well-calibrated electric power steering system that provides good feedback makes it easy for the driver to maneuver such a large vehicle.
- Good acceleration with the optional 6.2-liter V-8
- Cavernous and quiet interior
- Well-tuned steering
You Won’t Like:
- Larger wheel options hurt ride comfort
- Suburban offers most of the same features for less
- 3-liter V-8 doesn’t have much low-end torque
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