24 hours in a GMC Yukon: GM’s latest answer to a Full Size SUV

24 hours in a GMC Yukon

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Imthishan Giado

 Yukon 24H

Like all good hare-brained ideas, it all began with an offhand remark made towards the full size SUV. “This thing is so comfortable, so spacious you could live in it!” exclaimed a GMC exec at the launch of the new Yukon.

Another man lost to hyperbole, I thought, absentmindedly scribbling down my notes for the session. Everyone says that, but who’d actually want to live in a car? Sure, modern automobiles are comfortable and well equipped, but they’re about transport, not accommodation. After all, there’s a reason hotels exist.

But after actually driving the GMC Yukon on the launch and experiencing its abundance of space and technology, this preposterous idea started to make sense. And given that we’re all about hare-brained ideas at MME (remember this one?) that involve spending in as much time as possible in the cars that we love, I decided to call GMC out: give me a new Yukon, and I’ll spend a day in it. Start to finish. No cheating, no exiting for 24 hours straight.

To their credit, the boys from GMC didn’t back down. And so, a few scant months later, this brilliant grey Yukon, in top spec Denali trim, turned up on my doorstep. Challenge accepted. Gulp.

Only then did the true enormity of my task finally alight upon my now-furrowed brow. How would I eat? Where would I sleep? Where was the umm, toilet? And what would I do for all that time? No time to wonder now. At 9pm, my journey would begin, come hell or high water.

Yukon 24H

8:45PM: Last shot of an empty GMC Yukon! A mad dash begins to collect everything I need to survive over the next day. Books, DVDs, snacks, water and most importantly of all, bedding for the night to come. First things first: I have to fold down all the seats. No huffing and puffing here: I simply press one button to open the powered tailgate, then another two to electrically drop the second and third rows flat.

Yukon 24H

Plenty of room to sleep in….

8:55PM: There’s only a quarter of a tank left, but I don’t bother on filling up. With its standard cylinder deactivation, the Yukon’s V8 can seamlessly ditch half its swept capacity to become a thrifty four cylinder. I won’t come close to emptying it in a day unless I decided to drive to Muscat on a whim. Which I won’t.

Yukon 24h

Look, I know it’s not tasteful, but it’s a bed. OK?


9:00PM: A race to the start line, which I only narrowly win, making my ‘bed’ for the night. I climb in just as the clock chimes nine and shut the tailgate to test out my new sleeping quarters. Surprisingly, it’s not that different from an actual place of rest, and there’s plenty of space for me to stretch out in every direction. This could go better than I thought! I was lucky I chose to do this challenge in a full size SUV.

9:30PM: OK, I can’t just sit outside my house all night with the engine running. Time for some dinner. Time to hit the road and explore the night, a 6.2-liter V8 at my beck and call.

Yukon 24H

Don’t judge me.

10:00PM: Being unable to exit the vehicle, I find my dining options drastically limited. It’s drive-thrus or bust, and even those are in short supply these days. Finally, I spot a KFC on beach road, though the line for their deliciously unhealthy fried chicken stretches out in the street!

Yukon 24H

carbs…delicious carbs…


10:30PM: Patience is eventually rewarded with enough carbs to last a couple of weeks and fingers so greasy I had no choice but to wipe them on the lovely leather seats. (Sorry, GMC). The front half of the cabin is more than spacious enough to function as a makeshift dining room for two – not that I’m expecting any company.

Yukon 24H

Home for the night.

11:30PM: Back home to Mirdif and it’s time to settle in for bed, the Yukon parked safely (and legally, because you can’t sleep in your car) in my private garage. Music is courtesy my laptop, reading material courtesy the excellent Motor Trend Classic, perfectly measured rear air conditioning courtesy GMC. This may all seem ridiculous, but after a while, you really do start to forget that you’re in a SUV and not your own bedroom.


12:30AM: Not sleepy at all! Time to bring out the big guns. My copy of Transformers slots in the rear mounted Bluray player, midnight movie set to lull me off dreamland.
Yukon 24H

Thank you, Michael Bay.

1:30AM: That’s enough robots for now. Lights off, engine off – thankfully, it’s a cool night – and I retire for the night.

Yukon 24H

Bathroom, dining table, there’s tons of room still…


10:00AM: I really, really overslept! Surprisingly, no cricks or pain in my back at all, and there’s even enough room to do a full set of morning stretches. No time for breakfast; I’ve got meetings to go to, so it’s a quick change (under the covers, before you object) and I’m on my way. No sign of a need for the loo yet…

11:30AM: I pick up Shahzad – who’s genuinely surprised that I lasted this long – and set off for our meeting. And as it turns out, as our first problem: how do you have a meeting when you can’t get out of the car? The answer is unfortunately simple: he goes for the meeting, I don’t.


Yukon 24H

In case you’re wondering, it’s hot chocolate.

12:30PM: This meeting is dragging on forever. I’m bored. So I set off down beach road to find something to drink. There’s plenty to drink, except I can’t get out of the car to get any of it! Finally, I find a friendly cafeteria, and the waiter comes out after a gentle honk. God bless Middle Eastern service…

 1:30PM: Back on the road to drop Shahzad home. If I were a limo driver, this would be the best limousine in the world – adaptive cruise control makes it a piece of cake to keep up with traffic without getting stressed, both feet off the pedals, air conditioned seats keeping me comfortable. And of course, there’s all that effortless V8 torque…

Yukon 24H

Is it still takeaway if you come to the food?

3:00PM: Being Dubai, the traffic was horrendous and took me an age to get back home, just in time to feel absolutely starved. Luckily, my favourite local Chinese joint, Chin Chin in Mirdif will deliver a box of scrumptious fresh fried rice to my driver’s side window. Although I’m sure he was expecting to deliver it to a house!

Yukon 24H


6:00PM: Long post-rice coma-nap, it’s time to get changed for the final time and wander round town, waiting for my 9PM escape deadline. Where to go though? The vast majority of shopping experiences rely on you, umm, getting out of the car…

: OK, so if you can’t go to the mall what can you do? Drive around, and that’s not the sentence for boredom you might imagine. One of the great things about Dubai is that there’s so many different moods throughout this great city, so many different kinds of architecture, you’ll never run out of things to see. I wandered from the desert borders of Awir to the throbbing urban centre of Downtown, to the leafy suburbs of Jumeirah, all safe with the comforting cocoon of my Yukon, all within a few hours. It’s truly amazing, and like no place on earth.


Yukon 24H


9:00PM: Final stop, Dubai Mall for some well deserved dinner. And yet, as I leave the Yukon Denali having proved that yes, you can live in a car for 24 hours, I’m not beat up, I’m not tired, I’m not bored. I feel like I could do another 24 hours, easily.

Maybe GMC won’t notice if I don’t give it back!

3 responses to “24 hours in a GMC Yukon: GM’s latest answer to a Full Size SUV”

  1. syed fazlu says:

    i wonder how you managed 24 hours without use of a toilet..

  2. Dano Cherison says:

    I think I found my next car!

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