2014 GMC Yukon Review

We plug the gap in our reviews by taking out the Denali for a spin

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 GMC Yukon

[So good you could live in it – we did! Read by clicking here]

I’m a sucker for this family of big beasts from the GM stable, especially this new and improved rebodied 2014 generation, now with greater refinement and better equipment.

I drove the cool Cadillac Escalade at launch (read here) and recently tested the more accessible Chevrolet Tahoe (read here). The GMC Yukon is the model that essentially sits in the middle – and this tasty Denali edition is the range-topper.

2014 GMC Yukon

The big thing with the Denali of course is that you get the 6.2-litre V8 instead of the regular 5.3-litre V8 (in the regular Yukons – and standard across the Tahoe). The 6.2 is shared with the Escalade. This means 65 extra horsepower, which is nice, but what really counts is the deep movie soundtrack roar you get every time you plant the throttle and pretend you’re a Black Opps field agent in hot pursuit.

Yukon bridges the gap between its cousins in other ways too, it has the higher quality feel and presentation of the Cadillac with a digital instrument panel (the Tahoe’s is analogue), but derives most of its dashboard architecture from the Tahoe rather than the futuristic Escalade.

2014 GMC Yukon

It is, as you’d expect for this flagship, packed with kit, including a Blu-ray/DVD player for the rear, touch screen interface, ‘hidden compartment’, loads of charging points (including a 220v three-prong plug) electricly operated rear seats that you can fold from the boot, a front centre airbag, active cruise control and, well, the list just goes on and on.

It benefits from the same design and engineering features that have reduced NVH and increased efficiency in its cousins, which we’ve already discussed in those reviews, and offers a family of wheels from 18-inch (our preference) to 20 and even 22s, although standard on the Denali are 20-inch rims.

2014 GMC Yukon

The decent performance means the anchors could do with beefing up for stronger more progressive braking. There’s a six-speed auto and you get selectable two or four-wheel drive and there’s magna-ride suspension for the Denali.

Frankly families love this car. My kids loved the comfort, the automatic side-steps which curl up flush with the sills when not in use, the entertainment system, the vast space and comfort and the sheer feel-good factor inherent in this hauler.

2014 GMC Yukon

You might want to check out the relatively thrifty Tahoe before you sign the dotted line for a Yukon, but If you can’t quite stretch to the Cadillac Escalade then this is the one to go for, and plus it has the most imposing ‘face’ of the trio in my opinion, that massive GMC badge and grille makes a statement that is not to be messed with!

2014 GMC Yukon Review – The Specs

How much? 

Yukon 2WD SLE 5.3-litre AED174,064 ($47,390)
Yukon XL 2WD SLE 5.3-litre AED183,879 ($50,062)
Yukon 2WD SLT 5.3-litre AED203,073 ($55,288)
Yukon XL 2WD SLT 5.3-litre AED212,888 ($57,960)
Yukon 4WD SLE 5.3-litre AED184,861 ($50,329)
Yukon XL 4WD SLE 5.3-litre AED194,676 ($53k)
Yukon 4WD SLT 5.3-litre AED213,867 ($58,227)
Yukon XL 4WD SLT 5.3-litre AED223,681 ($60,899)
Yukon 4WD Denali 6.2-litre AED273,045 ($74,339)
Yukon XL 4WD Denali 6.2-litre AED282,860 ($77,010)

Engine & performance spec for 6.2. Refer to Tahoe review for 5.3 specs.
Engine: 6.2-litre V8, 420hp @5600rpm, 470lb ft @ 4100rpm
Transmission: Six-speed auto all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: (SWB) 14.7L/100km
Performance: (SWB) 0-100kph 6 seconds, Top speed 180kph
Weight: (SWB) 2649kg

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