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2019 GMC Yukon XL 4WD SLT

Frank Washington | 10/7/2019, 9:05 p.m.
Talk about more than enough, the GMC Yukon XL 4WD SLT certainly filled the bill. Where to begin? Let’s start ...

Talk about more than enough, the GMC Yukon XL 4WD SLT certainly filled the bill. Where to begin?

Let’s start under the hood. We had the Graphite Performance Edition. That means that the 5.3-liter V8 for a normal Yukon got bumped up to 6.2-liters and 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque with cylinder deactivation. There was a 10-speed automatic transmission, a 3.23 axle ratio and a two-speed active transfer case and magnetic ride control.

This engine moved the Yukon XL, which weighed almost three tons, with ease. We didn’t sense any cylinder deactivation. Gearshifts were silky smooth and the suspension managed to kill most of the truck-like ride on this body on frame three-row sport utility.

It had an independent coil-over shock, magnetic ride control with the graphite performance package front suspension. In the rear was a solid axle with five-link location and coil springs, magnetic ride control and the graphite performance package.

This package included black 22-inch machined wheels with carbon flash metallic pockets, black assist steps with gloss black accents, black chrome grille mesh insert and fog lamp surrounds, body-colored grille surround, gloss black beltline moldings and additional trim, the Z85 suspension package. This was a menacing looking vehicle and we mean that in a good way.

About the only thing that was missing were LED headlights. The halogen lamps seemed like they were from another planet. And there wasn’t a moonroof. Still, this GMC Yukon was well equipped.

It was the XL Yukon. It had a wheelbase that was 14 inches longer than a normal Yukon and it was almost two-feet longer overall with more than twice the cargo space behind the third row seats.

The gear shift was on the column and that took some getting used to. All through the test drive we kept reaching for the gear shift atop the center console. But that was the only aspect of the Yukon XL that was radically different.

It had heated and cooled front seats. And you could select whether to heat the seat back, or the whole seat. It took a few days before we realized that the pedals were adjustable. There was a smart key to lock and unlock the doors, all four could be push buttoned opened or locked. And of course, there was push button start and stop.

The interior was black throughout with light grey stitching. The odometer and speedometer were round, analogue and black with white numerals reversed out. There were four smaller digital gauges between them: the oil pressure gauge, the temperature gauge, the fuel gauge and the volt meter ran across the top of the TFT screen.

There were buttons on the left side of the dash to adjust the height of the heads up display and the information you wanted it to display. The center stack sort of cascaded down to the console with the infotainment touch screen at the top, the audio controls underneath and then two stacked areas of climate controls beneath.

The Yukon had its own Wi-Fi connection. At the base where the center-stack met the center console there were two USB jacks and a 12V plug. The storage bin in the center console had an LED light for illumination, it was that deep. There was also a retractable mirror that let you see the second and third row seats. Think kids.