2016 gmc yukon Model Overview
New for 2016
An enhanced version of GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay capability is now available in the 2016 GMC Yukon. The Driver Alert package gains two additional features, lane keeping assist and IntelliBeam headlights with automatic high-beam control. SL models now come standard with a hands-free liftgate while the Enhanced Security package now includes a liftgate shield and inclination sensor improvements. Two new exterior colors have been added, Crimson Red Tintcoat and White Frost Tricoat (SLT and Denali models only).
The 2016 GMC Yukon is a three-row large SUV available in rear- or four-wheel-drive configurations. A long-wheelbase variant called the Yukon XL is also available.
In the SLE and SLT trim, the 2016 Yukon comes with 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. Opting for the more luxurious Denali grade replaces the 5.3-liter with a more powerful 6.2-liter V-8 producing 420 hp and 460 lb-ft, which is paired to a six- or eight-speed automatic. Fuel economy is respectable for the class when equipped with the smaller 5.3-liter V-8 at 16/23 mpg city/highway in rear-drive models and 16/22 mpg on four-wheel-drive variants. Selecting the larger 6.2-liter V-8 drops fuel economy down to 15/21 mpg in rear-drive configuration and 14/21 mpg with four-wheel drive when paired with the six-speed automatic. Opting for the eight-speed automatic increases the 6.2-liter’s gas mileage to 15/22 mpg in rear-drive guise and 15/21 mpg when equipped with four-wheel drive.
Depending on the configuration, there’s seating for up to nine passengers in the Yukon. Cargo space is on par with the class at 15.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 51.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 94.7 cubic feet behind the front seats. Towing capacity is generous at 8,500 pounds for the rear-drive Yukon and 8,200 pounds when equipped with four-wheel drive. Denali models are able to tow slightly less at 8,400 pounds in rear-drive models and 8,100 pounds in four-wheel-drive variants.
For maximum space, consider the Yukon XL, which has 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 76.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 121 cubic feet behind the front seats. Towing capacity, however, is slightly less at 8,300 pounds for rear-drive Yukon XLs 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 comes with a front center airbag. Additional safety and driver assistance features are available as part of the Enhanced Driver Alert package, which includes forward collision warning, the safety alert seat, lane keeping assist, and the IntelliBeam headlights.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
The base SLE trim comes standard with 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. On 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 driver TFT display, HID headlights, a 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system, and push-button start.
What We Think
In a 2015 First Test review of the Yukon XL Denali and the closely related Chevrolet Suburban, we said that the more powerful 6.2-liter V-8’s power advantage is apparent, allowing it to accelerate quicker than the Suburban. The optional 22-inch chrome wheels, however, detract from the SUV’s ride quality even when it’s equipped with Magnetic Ride Control. In 2015 First Test of the Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe, we noted that cabin material quality is excellent in both SUVs while noise levels are low, making it easy for occupants to carry a conversation. Third-row seating in the standard Yukon, however, is a weak spot because it doesn’t have much in terms of leg room. We also noted in a 2015 First Drive that despite being so large the Yukon and Yukon XL steer well thanks to their well-calibrated electric power steering system that’s easy to turn and provides good feedback to the driver.
The 6.2-liter V-8 in the Denali trim is also shared with the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV.
- Strong acceleration with the 6.2-liter V-8
- Quiet cabin
- Well-tuned power steering system
You Won’t Like:
- Larger wheel options hurt ride comfort
- Cramped third row in the standard Yukon
- Similar Suburban and Tahoe can be had for less
- Toyota Sequoia
- Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
- Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Lincoln Navigator