GMC Yukon Versus Yukon XL: Which Full-Size SUV Suits You Best?


GMC offers two different sizes for its full-size SUV. The differences appear in the name, with the regular model the Yukon and the longer version the Yukon XL.

Unlike its GM sibling brand, Chevrolet, GMC uses the same name for both full-size SUVs. Chevy has the Tahoe and Suburban, but GMC applies XL to the longer version of the Yukon to provide a distinction between these two big and bold SUVs. This difference helps consumers find the right truck-like SUV for the massive hauling and work functions.

Which of these two SUVs is right for you? Let’s explore the differences and similarities.

What’s the main difference between these two GMC SUVs?

When positioned side-by-side, its easy to see the major difference between these two SUVs. The Yukon rides on a 120.9-inch wheelbase and measures 210 inches long, making it the shorter of the two GMC SUVs. Turning to the Yukon XL, you find a wheelbase that’s 134 inches long and an overall length of 225.2 inches. This makes the larger model more than a foot longer in both measurements, giving owners a lot of extra room.

The longer body of the Yukon XL translates into more legroom for third-row passengers and a much larger cargo area. These rear passengers enjoy 36.7 inches of legroom in the XL model compared to 34.9 inches in the regular version.

The cargo area gives the Yukon XL 41.5 cubic feet of storage space with all seats in the upright position compared to 25.5 cubic feet behind the third row of the regular Yukon. As you would expect, this added length increases the cargo space of the GMC Yukon XL when compared to the standard GMC Yukon. When the third row is folded, the Yukon XL has 93.8 cubic feet of cargo room compared to 72.6 cubic feet for the regular Yukon. When the second and third rows are folded, the standard Yukon offers 122.9 cubic feet of storage space compared to 144.7 cubic feet for the Yukon XL.

Does the tow rating change?

If you need to maximize the tow rating offered in this SUV, you’ll want to choose the standard GMC Yukon, which offers a tow rating that ranges from 7,700 pounds to 8,400 pounds, depending on the engine used. The Yukon XL tow rating range is 7,500 to 8,300 pounds. Although the difference is negligible, some drivers may need that extra bit of tow rating in their full-size SUV.

What powers these GMC SUVs?

The GMC Yukon and Yukon XL use the same powertrains to provide owners with ample power for a great drive. The base powertrain has a 5.3-liter V8 engine that delivers 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Move up to the more powerful gas engine, and you’ve got a 6.2-liter V8 rated at 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Finally, there’s a 3.0-liter turbocharged Duramax diesel 6-cylinder engine that produces 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. All three engines mate to a 10-speed automatic transmission set up in RWD with AWD as an option.

The fuel mileage rating depends on the engine powering the ride for both models. The base powertrain returns 16 city/20 hwy mpg, with the larger V8 delivering 14 city/20 hwy mpg. If you choose the diesel engine, the fuel mileage is maximized at 21 city/27 hwy mpg.

Enjoy the premium ride of the GMC Yukon

When it comes to interior quality and smooth driving, you won’t need to choose between these two GMC SUVs. The cabin quality is impressive, with premium materials that make the Yukon SUVs attractive and impressive on the road. The Denali trim, as it has always been, is the luxury-laden version of these SUVs. This model includes leather-clad seats and upscale wood details that provide the look and feel desired by GMC owners.

GMC provides impressive infotainment and tech features in the Yukon SUVs. You’ll find a 10.2-inch infotainment display and a 12-inch digital gauge cluster in either size of this SUV. Each model starts with six USB ports, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a six-speaker audio system. Upgrades for this system include a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Big SUVs with lots of great qualities

The most significant difference between the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL can be found in the added length of the Yukon XL. Otherwise, you’ll find two big SUVs that come with a full slate of impressive safety and tech features to make it easy to experience a high-quality drive.

Which of these GMC SUVs will you choose, the Yukon or Yukon XL?

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