2019 GMC Yukon XL Review
2019 GMC Yukon XL Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Dan spent many years covering the go-fast, look-good, get-loud corners of the automotive universe. First, he served as editor of enthusiast magazines AutoSound and Honda Tuning, then as executive editor at SEMA News, the publishing arm of the trade group that produces the annual SEMA Show (yes, that show). As a contributor to Edmunds, he now likes to keep the volume low and the speed limit legal, providing expert car-shopping advice to drivers looking for the perfect match.
- Seats up to nine passengers
- Plenty of cargo capacity, even with all the seats deployed
- High towing ratings
- Size, weight and length make it unwieldy around town
- Slow gas pedal response makes base engine feel weaker than it's rated
- Cargo space utility is limited by high load floor
- A 6.2-liter V8 engine now optional for the midlevel SLT trim
- New Graphite Edition package for SLT
- Part of the third Yukon XL generation introduced for 2015
Nine-passenger capacity combined with strong towing power is hard to come by, and it's what makes the 2019 GMC Yukon XL a great choice for big families with big toys. Aside from a few other truck-based large SUVs, there isn't anything else available that can match the Yukon XL's skill set. The trade-off is that the Yukon's imposing mass and traditional SUV design compromise maneuverability, fuel economy and ride comfort.
2019 Yukon XL Highlights
- Combined MPG
- 18 MPG
- Cost to Drive
- 8 seats
- rear wheel drive
- Engine Type
- 3 years / 36,000 miles
But you expect as much in an SUV of this size, and the Yukon XL's utility is undeniable. Even with the third-row seats deployed, it has 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space available. Fold down the second and third rows, and you've got a whopping 121.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space at your disposal. If towing is your thing, the Yukon XL can lug up to 8,300 pounds.
All of this makes the Yukon XL a fairly mission-specific vehicle. Sure, for a big SUV, we've found it easy to drive, as long as you're going straight. But there's no escaping the Yukon XL's roots. Navigating tight parking lots and city streets requires caution, calculation, and some amount of faith in the space around the vehicle. The truck-based suspension can't deliver the carlike ride comfort of a crossover, nor is the Yukon a picture of fuel efficiency.
You might want to check out the Ford Expedition Max. It has just as much capability as the Yukon, if not more, but is a more refined and upscale vehicle overall. But overall the Yukon XL's size, power and style will undoubtedly hit the mark for a very specific buyer.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.4 / 10
The 2019 GMC Yukon XL can seat nine passengers, tow heavy loads and carry plenty of cargo. It's an ideal pick for large families with outdoor toys. But its imposing mass and truck-based SUV design compromise maneuverability, fuel economy and ride comfort.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the GMC Yukon XL Denali (6.2L V8 | 6-speed automatic | 4WD).
|Overall||7.4 / 10|
The Yukon XL is easy to drive, though its sheer size makes it unwieldy. The standard 5.3-liter V8 is sufficient, but the available 6.2-liter V8 responds quickly to demands for power thanks to the smart 10-speed automatic. In fact, its acceleration will surprise you if you're not careful with the throttle, and its 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds is close to the times of its quickest competitors.
Light steering keeps the SUV maneuverable, although there's a numb spot near center that demands extra driver attention when cruising the freeway. The big Yukon stays relatively flat in corners, and it gets around turns without feeling floaty. The braking performance is good for the segment, though there's a lot of pedal travel.
Our tester felt much too stiff and busy on the road. It doesn't float or bounce, but the trade-off is that bumps jar the entire vehicle, a distinct weakness compared to many competitors. Beyond that, the Yukon XL has a comfortable cabin. There's very little noise, whether from the road or wind, and the engine fades into the background when cruising. The industrial-strength air conditioning can easily handle the big cabin, and the climate control layout is straightforward.
You also get wide, flat seats with a good amount of cushioning, even in the third row. While they're comfortable, the flat second-row captain's chairs mean passengers may need to brace themselves when going around corners.
The upright driving position is commanding, while the high dash keeps the gauges in easy view. The primary controls are easy to find, but many secondary controls are grouped oddly and distract you from the road. Thankfully, everything is clearly labeled. The thick roof pillars and sheer size cause visibility issues, but big mirrors, parking sensors and a backup camera help.
There's plenty of room in all three rows, although the fixed second-row thrones mean legroom isn't adjustable. The trade-off is the seats fold out of the way, allowing easy third-row access. The very long doors make access easy, provided they can be opened all the way, but tight parking spaces can be tough.
The Yukon XL excels with almost 40 cubic feet of trunk space behind the third row, and about triple that if you fold all the seats down. However, the load floor is very high, so loading and unloading can be a chore. There's a lot of space for small items in the cabin, especially in the massive center-console box, but some competitors offer more options for separating and organizing items. The top anchors for car seats are placed awkwardly, and installed car seats hamper access to the third row.
The max towing capacity of 8,100 pounds is above average but still short of class leaders. You can get all the features and connectors you need for towing but not the advanced towing aids of newer competitors.
GMC's tech falls in the middle for the large SUV class. The touchscreen is relatively small, but it responds quickly and is straightforward to navigate. The Yukon XL has standard smartphone integration and OnStar, which includes a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. There are also tons of charge points around the cabin, especially in higher trims. The optional roof-mounted flip-down screen supports Blu-ray.
Unfortunately, basic active safety technology is an optional extra rather than standard. To get a full set of driver aids, you'll have to go for high trim levels and add options. And even then features such as adaptive cruise control feel unsophisticated by current standards. And you can't get certain useful features such as a surround-view camera.
Which Yukon XL does Edmunds recommend?
The base SLE trim can carry nine passengers with its available front-row middle seat, but it's limited in the features and options it offers. You'll get a better allotment with the midlevel SLT. It strikes a good balance of comfort, convenience and safety. You can also get the optional big V8 engine on it, without going all-in on a Denali trim.
2019 GMC Yukon XL models
The 2019 GMC Yukon XL is a full-size SUV offered in SLE, SLT and Denali trim levels. The smaller Yukon is covered in a separate review. Most Yukon XLs seat eight passengers, but an optional front bench seat on the SLE trim increases the capacity to nine. Second-row bucket seats are available on the SLT trim and standard on the Denali; they reduce passenger capacity to seven.
The SLE base trim starts with a 5.3-liter V8 engine (355 horsepower, 383 lb-ft of torque) paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional.
Standard SLE features include 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, side steps, roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, and a trailer hitch receiver with a wiring harness. Standard interior features include tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, and 60/40-split folding second- and third-row seats.
Also included is a 110-volt power outlet, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, OnStar communications (with a 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with CD player, satellite and HD radio and five USB inputs.
The optional Enhanced Driver Alert package adds forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking, a vibrating safety-alert driver's seat, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning and intervention. The Convenience package adds a power-operated liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals and a universal garage door opener.
The SLT trim is broken down into SLT Standard Edition and SLT subtrims. The Standard Edition includes all of the above, along with leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and driver-seat memory functions. The SLT further gets you hands-free operation for the rear liftgate, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry and ignition, a heated and power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and power-folding second- and third-row seats.
For 2019, the SLT also gets two new packages. The optional Graphite Edition package for SLT includes 22-inch wheels and blacked-out exterior trim (side steps, grille), while the Graphite Performance Edition boosts performance and comfort with a 6.2-liter V8 engine (420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque), a 10-speed transmission, a heavy-duty alternator, Magnetic Ride Control adaptive dampers, a head-up display, a customizable gauge cluster, active noise cancellation system, and upgraded cabin air filtration.
The top-of-the-line Denali trim builds on the features listed above, including those from the Graphite Performance Edition, and adds 20-inch wheels, a two-speed transfer case (4WD models), xenon headlights, a trailer brake controller, power-folding second-row bucket seats, a navigation system, a wireless smartphone charging pad and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system.
The optional Denali Ultimate package bundles 22-inch wheels, a sunroof, power side steps, adaptive cruise control, a rear seat entertainment system with DVD player, and an extended satellite radio and traffic information subscription, among other items.
Several Denali features are offered as options on SLT trims, while options for SLE and SLT trims include 22-inch wheels, navigation, and a heavy-duty trailering package with a unique axle ratio, trailer brake controller and a self-leveling suspension.
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2022 GMC Yukon XL Denali
SLE, SLT, AT4 and Denali
See All Trims
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Dealer sets final price. Click here to see all GMC vehicles’ destination freight charges.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL.
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
XL for empty nesters
Robert Bob, 02/10/2017
2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 8A)
This is a big SUV that doesn't feel big when driving. Easy to park and has a small turning radius. We often have our kids and grandkids with us and routinely haul 7 people in this and love the legroom and cargo room with everyone on board. The ride and quiet cabin are spectacular and the fuel mileage is better than expected. Has tons of torque and pulling our 4,000 lb boat is … effortless. It is easy to back the boat up too with large mirrors and good backup camera. Like the auto leveling rear shocks. My only disappointment in the vehicle is GM's decision to eliminate the ability to pause and rewind live radio that my previous vehicles had. This was available before 2016 but GM eliminated it which is a shame. My 2015 GMC Canyon had this feature but a $70,000 vehicle doesn't. Doesn't make sense! Had trouble with torque converter clutch but dealer was able to resolve with fluid flush and new transmission fluid type. Problem caused shudder or vibration in 8th gear that felt like going over rumble strips. RPM fluctuated between 1600 and 1800 when TCC clutch was not happy. Downshifting into 7th gear would eliminate problem at the expense of poorer gas milage. Problem started at 16,000 miles. Have 17,000 miles on it now and problem is gone after fluid flush and change. Car is very quiet and subsequently any rattles are heard very easily. Chased a problem with a rattling/popping noise that sounded like is was coming from the right side dash area. Disassembled many components inside the glove box/dash area looking for it and finally found the noise was coming from the right front inner fender well! The noise could be duplicated by standing on and off the front part of the running board. The noise was from a loose spot weld on inner fender metal. Placing a section of close cell foam under panel solved the noise! Fixed by owner! Still not happy with GMC 22" wheels that cause harsh and rough ride. 22" wheels should not be an option on this car! Changed to Michelin Defender tires and solved vibration problems with original Bridgestone Dueler tires but this 22" size tire has low profile sidewalls which contributes to tires not absorbing bumps well and transmitting the bumps to the passengers. Car would ride much smoother on 18" or maybe 20" wheels. These wheels were a $2,400 option from GMC and it was a waste of money in my opinion. They are also very hard to keep clean and not very happy with the chrome plastic inserts on the wheels. Just learned the owner can't rotate tires and reset TPMS system without a special tool! This tool should be included with a $70,000 vehicle. Unfortunate that a simple routine simple maintenance task can't be accomplished without the $100 tool or a trip to the dealer or tire shop. If the TPMS system is not updated after wheel rotation, tire positions will not agree with dash display in the event of a tire problem. Have recent issue with powered running boards installed by GMC. They fail to extend when doors are opened occasionally. Both sides are affected. They have been lubricated and problem still exists. Car sits very high on 22” wheels and the running boards are critical for wife or kids to get in. Dealer service visit scheduled to diagnose/repair. Finally got dealer to recognize my intermittent running board problem by taking multiple video captures when they failed to extend or retract. They replaced the motors on both sides and they are now working normally. Torque converter clutch shudder returned at 35,000 miles. Dealer replaced trans fluid with a newer updated fluid that doesn’t absorb moisture. Problem has been resolved for now, again! Noticed leaking left axle seal while rotating tires. Taking back to dealer again to repair! Too bad the dealer didn’t notice this problem while changing trans fluid a week earlier! Still love the car and there is nothing comparable in the marketplace. Average MPG on Hwy is 23 and 19 around town. Added oil "catch can" at 37,000 miles and cleaned intake manifold and valves prior to addition. The catch can captures about 4 oz of breather oil every 4,000 miles. Running Amsoil Signature 0W-20 oil full synthetic with once a year change. Catch can should be installed when new to keep intake valves and manifold clean. GDI engines are prone to carbon buildup on valves due to design.
5 out of 5 stars
Dependable, easy to drive, never a problem.
2018 GMC Yukon XL SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A)
I've owned this car for 4 years and it's been, by far, the most reliable car I've ever had. Not one problem. I bought it specifically for the space. It replaced a Ford Excursion, which was large, but gave me nothing but problems. The Yukon is sightly more difficult for me to park, but aside from that, it's a terrific family car. I highly recommend bucket seats in the second row: … you'll want to keep this car long after the kids get big and they eventually won't like climbing over the seat. Adults fit just fine in the third row (wouldn't be my first choice, but it will do in a pinch). The only down side is that you'll be stuck driving for every out-of-town trip.
3 out of 5 stars
Caleb Rutledge, 11/06/2017
2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A)
We bought this vehicle because we love the yukon Denali's. We replaced a 2009 Denali. Unfortunatly the price does not reflect the quality. We paid just under $85,000 out the door for our loaded Denali XL. We knew going in that there could be transmission problems because of other reviews. What we didn't know is that everything in this vehicle is cheaply made. It shows nice but is only … "skin deep", and it has very thin skin. We are very disappointed in almost ever aspect of this vehicle, when you pay $85k for a vehicle you have certin expectations. It is on it's way back to the dealership for it's 3rd warranty work, on the engine ( same 6.2 from 2007-2014 ) we don't even mention the deterioating leather and low quality of materials to thhe dealer. Oh and the Yukon only has 21,000 miles so far. We are planning on selling it at this point, probably go to Toyota, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz for quality, GMC isn't cutting it for the price tag they want.
3 out of 5 stars
Dumped it after 6 months
rob kowalski, 12/24/2017
2016 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 8A)
Bought this SUV brand new. Loved the ride height, power, and engine sound. We have 4 small kids. The only way to change the rear zone temp is from the rear. My kids were in car seats, and too young to manage the controls anyway. Bad design. Heat was either on or off, couldn't adjust temp. After five weeks the rear view camera stopped working every third time we put it in reverse. … GMC replaced center console 3 times and it never fixed. I told them it must be a wiring issue but they said that is too hard and expensive to try to fix. It was a brand new truck! They told me they were going to charge me $3200. The truck was a few months old at that point, and I had bought it brand new from that dealer with 10 miles on it. After 5 months a plasticky smell started coming from heat. Dealer could not find anything wrong and said it must have been our fault and they were done. Lost a good bit of money but traded it in for another Sienna minivan. So much happier again.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2019 GMC Yukon XL, so we've included reviews for other years of the Yukon XL since its last redesign.
More about the 2019 GMC Yukon XL
Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL Overview
The Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL is offered in the following submodels: Yukon XL SUV. Available styles include Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), SLT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLT Standard Edition 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLT Standard Edition 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A), and SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned GMC Yukon XL models are available with a 6.2 L-liter gas engine or a 5.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 420 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 10-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic.
What's a good price on a Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL?
Price comparisons for Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL trim styles:
- The Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL SLT is priced between $37,590 and$50,590 with odometer readings between 34547 and103043 miles.
- The Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL Denali is priced between $44,998 and$56,589 with odometer readings between 39521 and96896 miles.
- The Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL SLT Standard Edition is priced between $44,998 and$44,998 with odometer readings between 77171 and77171 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2019 GMC Yukon XLS are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 GMC Yukon XL for sale near. There are currently 18 used and CPO 2019 Yukon XLS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $37,590 and mileage as low as 34547 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2019 GMC Yukon XL.
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 GMC Yukon XL?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
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