The upscale version of the GMC Yukon body-on-frame sport utility vehicle – the GMC Yukon Denali – has been refreshed for the 2018 model year. It now sports a new grille for a more expressive front end, a new interior trim for more depth, as well as a new 10-speed transmission for a more refined performance.
Although this is a refresh of the GMC Yukon Denali, it is enticing enough to attract new and even returning customers. First off, the 2018 iteration of the GMC Yukon Denali has a new grille that is flanked by HID headlamps and LED Signature Lighting. This is an evolved version of the iconic Denali grille, featuring a more sculpted and layered appearance.
Matt Noone, director for Global GMC Exterior Design, remarked that the new grille advances the design legacy that was set by original Yukon Denali in 1999. He noted that while the new grille features a more exciting and sophisticated design, it allows the Yukon Denali to be immediately recognizable as a member of the GMC Denali family.
This new grille has been designed to provide greater airflow to the radiator. When travelling on a highway – and with certain conditions met – the active aero shutters behind the grille would close to decrease aerodynamic drag while improving efficiency.
Inside, the new GMC Yukon Denali is provided with new Mastique Ash wood trim, which should add more richness and depth to the interior while justifying the SUV’s high-end luxury price point.
As standard, the new GMC Yukon Denali is powered by a 6.2L V-8 engine with direct injection and Active Fuel Management, delivering 420 hp of output to the wheels through a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission. This new gearbox features a wider, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread, compared to the previous eight-speed automatic transmission. This spread allows for a lower numerical top gear ratio, thereby resulting to higher level of efficiency. Moreover, the 10-speed transmission’s optimized gearing and proprietary controls enable the engine to deliver smooth operation paired with aggressive response.
In addition, the new GMC Yukon Denali features a number of standard and available features like StabiliTrak electronic stability control, auto grade braking, hill start assist and trailer sway control. It rides on 20-inch wheels as standard, although 22-inch rims are also available. An eight-inch diagonal customizable driver display with head-up display is also standard.
According to GMC, the Denali trim accounts for over half of all Yukon sales. For those looking for more interior space and more cargo room, they could avail of the Yukon XL Denali, which comes with a 14-inch-longer wheelbase. GMC will commence sales of the 2018 Yukon Denali this fall.