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2017 GMC Yukon Denali Overview
Pull up to the manse in a 2017 GMC Yukon Denali and the neighbors might ask: why not a Mercedes GLS? Pull up to the office and chances are you run the place. This full-size 7/8-passenger SUV looks good and comes loaded with luxury, while still packing enough ruggedness and versatility to get the family out for a close-up view of its Alaskan namesake.
The flagship trim of GMC’s Yukon lineup, often spotted tooling celebrities from arena to party in its tinted-window, Onyx Black version, is slated to benefit from a number of upgrades for 2017, including a new Mineral Metallic exterior paint color and new 22-inch aluminum wheels painted Midnight Silver. Hidden active aero shutters, mounted low behind the Denali’s unique mesh grille, are also expected to come standard next year. These new shutters improve aerodynamics by automatically closing at high speeds and opening when additional engine cooling is needed.
Inside, the current heated and cooled front seats are slated to be replaced by heated and ventilated seats, while the interior backlighting is changed from Red to Blue Ice. Upgraded technology, including a voice-over feature for the visually and hearing impaired, will come with the optional rear-seat DVD/Blu-ray entertainment system, as will a new HDMI/MHL connector that combines with the standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi to allow hand-held devices to project data onto the rear-seat screen(s). A second USB port is also added to the rear-seat entertainment feature.
Exclusive to the Yukon Denali is a 6.2-liter V8 powerplant that’s managed by the standard 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission to put out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Look for a maximum towing capacity of 8,400 pounds, with mileage estimates expected to mirror the current 15 mpg city/22 highway/17 combined for standard rear-wheel-drive (RWD) trims and 15/21/17 for those trims equipped with the optional part-time 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system. The 4WD configuration is suitable for off-road adventures via a 2-speed transfer case and low-range gearing, while both RWD and AWD versions are delivered with an electronic locking rear differential.
Another exclusive to the Yukon Denali is the Magnetic Ride Control suspension system, featuring magnetically charged shock absorbers that damp down rough roads and rocky trails for a noticeably improved ride over non-Denali Yukon versions. But don’t expect any noticeable improvement to the ponderous handling inherent in a vehicle this large.
Outside, the Yukon Denali offers impressive and unique bright body-side moldings and distinctive exterior colors, while interior appointments include standard leather-trimmed front bucket seats with memory for driver's settings, tri-zone climate control, genuine wood accents, and an 8-inch touchscreen display for infotainment and telematics, including standard GPS navigation.
The impressive sound insulation materials, backed by inlaid doors and windows, combine with the laminated windshield and front side windows to keep the 2017 Yukon Denali’s cabin all but silent, even at highway speeds. Standard entertainment includes a 10-speaker Bose Premium Surround Sound audio system, and other standard features include GPS navigation, a trailer brake controller, a reconfigurable digital instrument panel, and heated power-folding second-row captain’s chairs. And look for returning options like a power sunroof, a heated second-row bench seat (8 passengers), and retractable side steps.
Standard safety equipment aboard the Yukon Denali includes antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, 3-row head curtain airbags, a post-collision safety system, high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and OnStar emergency telematics. A rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors are also standard. Available safety technology includes adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, as well as a head-up display and an Enhanced Security package boasting a theft-deterrent alarm, a vehicle incline sensor, and a vehicle interior sensor.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives 2016 versions of this full-size luxury ute 4 out of 5 stars for overall safety, including 5 stars for front- and side-impact protection, but a mere 3 stars for rollover protection. There is no crashworthiness data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety due to the Yukon Denali’s size.
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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