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A Beast of Burden: The 2019 GMC Yukon

Silver 2019 GMC Yukon and Black Yukon Denali in front of glass building

Most SUVs aim to balance comfort with capability, offering cushy interiors along with formidable strength. In recent years they’ve become an even more viable option, thanks to significant advancements in fuel efficiency and technology. If you’re looking for a vehicle that’s reliable on dirt roads and capable of hauling almost twice its own weight, but also comfortable and spacious on the inside, then you’re looking for an SUV. Of course, not all models are alike, and some are certainly better than others. GMC SUVs are consistently top-notch, excelling beyond standards set by many other brands. The biggest and the baddest of this year’s GMC SUV lineup is the 2019 GMC Yukon, and while not much has changed since the 2018, it’s still a worthy contender for anyone considering a solid SUV.

 

Performance & Capability

The standard engine in the 2019 GMC Yukon is a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8, and a 6.2-liter version is available for the highest trim level, the Denali. The base engine delivers 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, while the engine in the Denali offers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. With more power behind it, the Denali trim is a bit more responsive and has better acceleration, and while this would often mean a reduced overall fuel economy, with the 2019 Yukon that isn’t the case. Braking is also strong with the Yukon, and that aspect is doubly important when driving a vehicle as large and heavy as most full-size SUVs. The suspension is adept at absorbing large bumps in the road, helping to provide the most comfortable ride possible.

One of the key advantages of an SUV as powerful as the Yukon is its trailering capabilities. Whether it be a boat, a pair of snowmobiles, or even a camping trailer, the ability to haul thousands of pounds behind you is guaranteed to supplement any adventures you might hope to have. Surprisingly enough, the maximum towing capacity for the 2019 Yukon is achieved by the base engine, at a substantial 8,500 lbs. The other engine isn’t far behind at 8,400 lbs, and for most people this difference is negligible. Young or old, anyone with a need for power in their next vehicle would do well to consider SUVs like the 2019 GMC Yukon.

 

Interior & Storage

Anyone interested in a full-size SUV is most likely thinking primarily about interior space, whether it be for passengers or storage. Luckily, the 2019 Yukon has both in abundance. Even despite its size, getting in and out of the vehicle is a cinch, thanks to its large doors and side steps. Seating is comfortable enough to easily spend a few hours in, and room for back row passengers is surprisingly adequate too, even for taller people. The cabin is extremely quiet, and if you’re not the one driving you might find yourself snug and relaxed enough to sleep through an entire journey!

Behind the third row of seating is over 15 cubic feet of cargo space, and with the rear passenger rows folded down that number is increased to an impressive 94.7 cubic feet. The seats have a power folding option too, allowing you to boost your storage area with just the push of a button. Small item storage is also excellent in the Yukon, with plenty of small bins around the cabin as well as a center console that is nothing short of vast. Behind the standard infotainment system is a lockable, hidden storage compartment with a USB charging port, perfect for storing valuables and leaving devices in the car to charge. As far as storage and comfort are concerned, the 2019 GMC Yukon is one of the top options in its class, especially when looking at its higher trim levels.

 

Entertainment & Technology

If you own a full-size SUV, it’s likely that driving with passengers is a fairly regular occurrence for you. Long car rides with kids can be a nightmare, and sometimes giving them a solid distraction is your best bet at finding a little peace. Even if your usual passengers don’t embody the abstract concept of chaos, though, it’s nice to give them the ability to tune out for a while. The 2019 GMC Yukon accommodates this possible desire by offering an entertainment system for each rear passenger row, complete with DVD/Blu-ray player and wireless headphones. An SD card reader, USB port, and audio/video inputs also give you the ability to project media from a number of other sources as well. Some clever GMC owners have even hooked up smart TV devices like the Apple TV by utilizing the available built-in wireless hotspot and 110-volt outlet (conveniently located right next to the AV inputs).

Of course, the entertainment of others shouldn’t be your only concern, especially not when you’re the one doing all the driving! An 8” infotainment display comes standard for all trims, and with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility all your songs, podcasts, audiobooks, and contacts are easily accessible, without ever taking your hands off the wheel. Charging devices is never an issue; there are seven USB ports spread throughout the cabin, five 12-volt outlets, and a fully capable 110-volt outlet. A wireless charging mat for newer phones is also available for the Denali trim, bringing the number of possible charging locations up to fourteen. With screens for rear passengers, a voice-activated infotainment system for the driver, and the ability to keep devices charged and connected, it’s easy to tell why the 2019 GMC Yukon is the perfect vehicle to keep you entertained on long rides.

 

Safety & Driver Assistance

When you’re driving with the people you care about, there’s no argument that safety is the most important thing. Thankfully modern manufacturers are aware of this, and so the 2019 GMC Yukon has a host of available driver assistive features that work to prevent accidents wherever they can. A rear vision camera comes standard, as well as front and rear park assist. These features allow for more confident parking and reversing by providing a visual aid and warnings in case of unseen obstacles or tight spaces. Rear cross traffic alert is also available on higher trims, which provides similar warnings if there are any vehicles approaching from the sides as you back up.

The available lane keep assist gently adjusts steering if you ever start to drift into another lane without actively steering into it, and the lane change alert system uses indicators in the side-view mirrors to warn you of any vehicles in your blind spots while you merge. Forward collision alert also helps to increase situational awareness by detecting potential collisions and alerting the driver, such as if a driver were to follow a vehicle too closely for the speed they’re driving at.

 

Black 2019 GMC Yukon Denali with cityscape in back at dusk

In Closing…

The 2019 GMC Yukon is a great pick from top to bottom, armed to the teeth with available features and extremely comfortable. There aren’t a lot of vehicles that really feel like you could spend the day in them without getting restless, but the Yukon is one of them. Whether you’re looking for your next family transport or a vehicle to help you haul, this year’s Yukon has a solid balance of comfort and power that’s sure to satisfy.

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