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The GMC Yukon is a vehicle that is frequently spotted on the road. This massive body-on-frame SUV has a lot of good things going for it but does suffer from a few of the drawbacks that are common for its class. The 2019 GMC Yukon has limited cargo space and can, of course, be difficult to maneuver through tight spaces. However, the Yukon can be equipped with a powerful 6.2-L V8 engine that provides a spunkier ride than what drivers might expect from a huge third-row SUV.
What's New for 2019?
Not a whole lot is new on the 2019 GMC Yukon. The biggest change that has been made for the model year is the addition of the Graphite and Graphite Performance Edition packages, which are available exclusively on the SLT trim. The Graphite Edition adds three new paint options, a redesigned grille, glossy black trim, and 22-inch wheels that are specifically detailed. The Graphite Performance Edition boasts glossy black six-spoke 22-inch wheels, a strong 6.2-L V8 engine, and a finely-tuned suspension. Otherwise, only minor alterations have been made.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 GMC Yukon – The Pros
1. A Superb Towing Capacity
Anyone who is in the market for an SUV with a great towing capacity should be impressed by what the 2019 GMC Yukon is capable of towing. When the Yukon is fully equipped, it can get a maximum towing capacity of 8,400 pounds. 4- and 7-pin wiring connectors and a 2-inch receiver hitch are standard on the Yukon, and you can add a rear leveling suspension and integrated electric brake controller to enhance the Yukon's performance while towing loads. Finding another third-row SUV with the towing capabilities of the GMC Yukon will be tough to do.
2. It Seats Up to Nine People
Up to nine people can be seated in the GMC Yukon, whereas most of its third-row competitors limit the number to eight. With the option of adding a front row bench seat, you get one extra seat in addition to the standard eight. For those who have large families or who just prefer to have a bench seat up front, this can be a helpful option that is limited to a small number of vehicles in this class.
3. A Chic Interior Design
The 2019 GMC Yukon has a surprisingly upscale design that catches and pleases the eye. While the Yukon does come off as looking a bit like a truck on the inside, the quality of the materials does not disappoint. The higher up in trim levels you go, the more refinement you will find. The line-topping Denali trim has a rather luxurious feel to it with its standard heated steering wheel and perforated leather seats up front.
4. A Quiet and Calm Ride In the Cabin
Even if you do not opt for the Denali trim and its standard active noise cancellation, you will still get a quiet ride inside of the cabin. GMC has designed the Yukon to be virtually noise-free. The only noise you will hear is the humming of the engine, and that itself is not intrusive. As far as ride comfort goes, the standard suspension does well with smoothing over bigger bumps in the road, and the adaptive suspension on the Denali is able to iron out any kind of rut or bump you encounter on a paved road surface.
5. A Strong Performance From the 6.2-L V8 Engine
While the standard 6.0-L engine provides a decent enough ride (with a few minor setbacks), the 6.2-L V8 is really worth the money for the upgrade. This engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive (although four-wheel drive is optional) and is capable of generating a massive 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The 6.2-L gets swift acceleration and detracts from the truck-like feel the Yukon otherwise takes on.
6. Comfortable Bucket Seats
The bucket seats that come on the 2019 GMC Yukon feel extremely well-padded and certainly offer enough width for drivers and passengers to feel comfortable. These seats are standard up front and second rows. The optional bench seats feel a little bit less comfortable, but, for being bench seats, are not that bad.
7. Climate Control Works Quickly
Despite the fact that the climate control function can get a bit noisy if you have left the vehicle sitting out in the extreme heat or cold, it takes very little time to get the system to heat or cool the Yukon. In other words, no one will freeze or swelter for long thanks to the even and persistent distribution of air flow throughout the GMC Yukon. Those who live in more extreme climates will appreciate how hard the climate control works throughout the GMC Yukon.
8. Easy-to-use Controls
Occupants sitting up front in the 2019 GMC Yukon will have no problem finding and utilizing the controls. All of the knobs, buttons, and digital controls are large, well-labeled, and easy for everyone to use. Some drivers will be pleased to know that GMC has not placed a push button shifter on the Yukon and has stuck with the column mounted shifter instead.
9. Plenty of Visibility Around the Vehicle
Even though the GMC Yukon is a massive vehicle, the driver has good visibility around the sides and in the rear and front. Finding just the right driving position is simple since the driver's seat has many different ways that it can be adjusted. All around the vehicle, there are wide windows and thin roof pillars that maximize the view. Even though the mirrors are slightly limiting, having standard front and rear parking sensors and a backup camera can help get the Yukon through the tightest situation.
10. Many Standard Safety and Infotainment Features
Adding to the fact that parking sensors and a rearview camera come standard on the 2019 GMC Yukon are a number of other helpful safety and infotainment features. On the base SLE trim, you get cruise control, heated mirrors, OnStar communications (which features a WiFi hot spot function and 4G LTE), smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and five USB ports. Other vehicles in this segment do not offer all of these features as standard, giving the Yukon a high-tech edge.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 GMC Yukon – The Cons
1. Doesn't Move Easily Through Tight Spaces
The biggest drawback is the most obvious. The 2019 GMC Yukon is a large vehicle, so it won't move as fluidly through packed spaces as a smaller vehicle would. Drivers will have to rely on the rearview camera and parking sensors but do have enough front and rear visibility to feel comfortable while on the open road. It's just those narrow city streets and parking lots that drivers will have to worry about.
2. The Base Engine is Slow
The base 6.0-L V8 is sluggish to accelerate despite the fact that it generates a sufficient amount of power. It also is not very fuel efficient. When engaging in everyday driving techniques, the driver will find that they have to push their foot down hard on the gas to amp the vehicle up. The 6.2-L V8 is clearly the better (albeit pricier) option here.
3. Minimal Cargo Space
If you want to max out cargo space, you're going to have to go for the 2019 GMC Yukon XL as opposed to the regular Yukon. The regular Yukon only has 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in place, but the Yukon XL gets you 39.3 cubic feet. A lot of the Yukon's competitors offer bigger amounts of cargo space as well as load floors that are lower and, therefore, far more accessible.
4. Some Difficulty Getting In and Out
Some occupants will have trouble entering and exiting the Yukon. Due to its size, parking and opening the doors wide can be an issue. Also, the vehicle sits high off of the ground, which might make getting in and out something of a challenge for shorter people or those with limited mobility.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 GMC Yukon vs. 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe
A top rival for the 2019 GMC Yukon is the 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe. The Tahoe prices at several thousand dollars below the Yukon's starting MSRP but is similarly equipped. It can seat up to nine people, has a strong 6.2-L V8 engine option, and has an incredibly quiet cabin. Its downsides are also similar to the Yukon's in that the base engine is sluggish and that the vehicle is difficult to maneuver.
2019 GMC Yukon vs. 2019 Ford Expedition
The 2019 Ford Expedition is another top competitor for the Yukon. Its V6 engine is extremely powerful and quick to accelerate. Also, the interior feels almost cavernous, as does the cargo area. However, the brakes feel fairly soft, and the ride can get a bit noisy while going highway speeds.
There isn't much that the 2019 GMC Yukon cannot do. It is a capable tower with a lengthy list of standard features that are sure to attract a lot of buyers. Opting to spend more on the 6.2-L V8 engine will yield a better driving performance, but you cannot get as much cargo space on this vehicle as you can from its competitors. Essentially, what you get is based upon how much you can spend.
• Why buy a 2018 GMC Yukon? w/ pros vs cons