2014 GMC Yukon Denali Review

Yukon Denali

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2014 GMC Yukon Denali Overview

Need something big, beautiful, bountiful and burden-toting? Check out the 2014 GMC Yukon Denali. With seating for up to 8 in 3 rows, as well as 108.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the third-row seating removed (ooph!), this full-size SUV also flaunts nearly as many luxury appointments as its Cadillac Escalade cousin.

Available in a single trim, the self-titled Denali, this big ute comes with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), but can be delivered with available all-wheel drive as the Denali AWD sub-trim. By the way, look for no significant changes in this high-end Jimmy for 2014, but a complete redesign is scheduled for the 2015 model year, so stay tuned.

Anyhow, powering this handsome brute is a variable-valve-timed (VVT) 6.2-liter V8 engine that again flaunts ethanol-capable Flex-Fuel capability (FFV). Mated with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this voluminous V8 puts out 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque, but gas mileage, despite cylinder shutdown at cruising speeds, is a disappointing 14 mpg city/18 highway with this beast’s standard RWD configuration and 13/18 in AWD garb. Meantime, towing is maxed out at 8,300 pounds in RWD editions, with the standard tow hitch and wiring, while the AWD Yukon Denali can tow up to 8,100 pounds.

The available AWD system allows cruising in RWD in normal conditions, while standing by to automatically and instantaneously transfer torque from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip when roads turn slippery. Additionally, GM’s load-leveling Autoride suspension system helps keep this land yacht steady as she goes.

Again, standard appearance bling for the 2014 Yukon Denali includes 20-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, power liftgate, trailer hitch and wiring, side steps and heated, power folding and power-adjustable mirrors. Meantime, the classy cabin boasts heated, leather-trimmed and power-adjustable front seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs and full power accessories, including power-adjustable pedals. All of this is complemented, of course, by oodles of leather, simulated wood and simulated alloy interior trim, not to mention a heated steering wheel and memory for driver's settings, while tri-zone auto climate control keeps everything cool.

Convenience-wise, look for this high-end sport ute to feature cruise control, tilt-wheel steering, a remote garage door opener, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, remote engine start and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Oh, and OnStar/Bluetooth handles voice directions and hands-free communications chores.

What about entertainment, you ask? Check out this latest Denali’s Bose-heavy audio system with single-CD player, 10 premium speakers, satellite radio and 7-inch touchscreen display. Also included in this high-tech bundle of tune-trilling is a standard hard-drive-based navigation suite that boasts frustration-taming NavTraffic routing.

Optional equipment is headlined by the Sun Entertainment and Destinations Package, which adds a power sunroof and rear-seat DVD entertainment to the techno-goodies, while upgraded 22-inch wheels, second-row bench seats (for 8-passenger capacity), power-retractable side-steps and an integrated trailer brake controller are all standalone options.

Safety, needless to say, is mostly assured with this rig’s size. Nevertheless, the 2014 Yukon Denali still sports standard 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and 3-row head airbags. Then there are such standard safety extras as daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and a blind-spot warning system, with OnStar emergency assistance services complemented by a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm.

Updated

Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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2014 GMC Yukon Denali, Front-quarter view. Copyright General Motors, manufacturer, exterior
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