Car of the week: July 4th – GMC Yukon

Joy Chakravarty 15:59 04/07/2014
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Big and beautiful: The GMC Yukon is a treat to drive.

    Come July 20, GMC will undertake their most ambitious launch in the Middle East with the all-new 2015 GMC Yukon range.

    The objective of the American car giant is to become the market leaders in the E-SUV segment this year, and having experienced what the magnificent Yukon Denali has to offer, I have a feeling that their competitors are in for a lot of heat.

    Often called an American Monster, the new Yukon Denali is a beast all right, but it is a very beautiful one.

    Apart from its size, the only thing monstrous about it is its performance.

    Inside, it is a technological marvel – combining the efficiency of a new EcoTec3 engine that responds brilliantly to everything you ask from it, superb safety features, stylish interiors with advanced gizmos and a very intimidating exterior.

    In a region where size matters, the Yukon is also offering the XL and Denali XL models, which willhave a 14-inch longer wheelbase than the standard vehicle.

    The first feeling you enjoy the moment you get inside a Yukon is that of being invincible.

    Obviously, that comes naturally given the sheer size of the vehicle, but it is multiplied several-fold because of all the safety features packed in.

    Apart from the forward radar system and the additional centremounted air bag in the front, our Denali had forward collision alert, front park assist, lane departure warning, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear automatic braking. 

    GM’s new Safety Alert Seat also nudges you in case of lane departure or if you are too close to the vehicle in front.

    But before all that, what hits you the moment the ignition is turned on is the lack of noise inside the cabin.

    Even when you step on the gas and try to extract the maximum out of the Denali’s 6.2L V-8 engine, the quietness inside is striking.

    The reduced wind and engine noise is a result of improved aerodynamics, inlaid doors which snugly pack into the body and the use of a new engine compartment barrier and damping materials in the floor sheet metal.

    The interiors – all in exquisite aluminium, polished wood and high-quality leather – radiates opulence and comfort.

    The seating is spacious, with an additional two inches of leg space for the second row compared to the earlier model, and with the touch of a single button, the second and third row seats fold flat, making the Yukon Denali cavernous and cargo-ready in less than five seconds.

    The array of electronics in the car is mind-boggling.

    Apart from the customisable and retractable 8” diagonal colour touch screen radio with enhanced IntelliLink and navigation, the Denali also has a very efficient four-colour head-up display.

    It has multiple USB ports, SD slots and accessory power outlets – including a 220-volt three-prong outlet.

    The Bose surround sound system, to put it simply, is terrific.

    Outside, the Yukon features bold looks, thanks to its chrome grill and fender and its exclusive highintensity discharge headlamps.

    A new feature is the rear spoiler, which increases the aerodynamics effectiveness as well as conceals the rear window wiper.

    The illuminated, power-retractable assist steps make it easy to get into or alight from the car.

    Which brings us to the crux of the matter – how does the YukonDenali drive?

    In the time we were behind the wheel, it never disappointed.

    The Denali is a pleasure to drive, and not just because how well it responds to your commands, but also because of how smooth the ride is.

    The Denali has magnetic ride control, a real-time damping system that senses changes in the road surface every millisecond, instantly adjusting the shock absorbers for maximum comfort and control.

    GMC also claims the Yukon has the best fuel efficiency in its class, thanks to the improved aerodynamics and the new EcoTec3 engine, which features state-of-the- art technologies like direct injection, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system.

    The Yukon Denali is one of those cars which makes you feel like you own the road which is just one of the reasons why you should buy it.

    Why Buy It
    Superb safety features  
    Affordable price point
    Excellent engine, with a good fuel economy to go with power

    Why Not
    Rear window slightly smaller than usual
    Third row still a bit cramped

    2015 Yukon Denali – Specifications
    Manufacturer: GMC
    Production: 2015
    Class: SUV
    Body style: Seven-seater
    Layout: 4-wheel drive
    Engine: EcoTec3 6.2L V-8
    Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L80, six-speed automatic
    Output: 420bhp
    Torque: 624nm 0-100km N/A
    Kerb weight: 2,623kg
    Top speed: 225kmph
    Price: Dh270,000

    Rating out of 10: 8.5