2004 Yukon XL 1500 New Car Test Drive
The Yukon XL is GMC's version of the Chevy Suburban. It's a well-equipped vehicle and a good choice for families of six or more. The Yukon XL offers comfortable seating for six people and can be equipped to seat up to nine. It's a good choice for families who find themselves needing three rows of seats on a daily basis. Even when fully loaded with people, there's space left over for large amounts of gear.
Where the Yukon XL really comes into its own, however, is when heavy-duty towing is needed. A standard Yukon XL 2WD 1500 model is rated to tow trailers of up to 8,400 pounds. A Yukon XL 2500, the heavy-duty model, is rated to pull a 12,000-pound trailer. This makes the Yukon XL an excellent choice for families with boats or horses.
Though identical in many respects, there are differences between the Suburban and the Yukon XL. The GMC is generally more upscale in its appointments than the Chevrolet; the Yukon XL offers a higher level of comfort and convenience features than the Suburban. The Yukon XL Denali is an upscale model that combines a big 6.0-liter V8 with an all-wheel-drive system, a combination not available at your Chevy dealer. Styling cues distinguish the GMC from the Chevrolet.
Revisions for 2003 brought improved brakes, smarter airbags, a modernized electrical system, and improved interior features. For 2004, the Yukon XL is better and safer still. It comes with a tire-pressure monitor and a seatbelt reminder for the driver and front-seat passenger. New Hydroboost brakes promise improved stopping power, even if the engine stalls.
GMC Yukon XL is available with two-wheel drive ($37,960) or four-wheel drive ($40,660) or, in the case of the Denali, all-wheel drive.
Yukon XL comes in two load ratings: Most popular is the 1500, the standard light-duty model, rated to tow trailers up to 8400 pounds. The heavy-duty 2500 2WD ($39,460) and 2500 4WD ($42,160) are rated to pull trailers up to 12,000 pounds. Unless you plan to pull that much trailer, however, we recommend the 1500 model for its lower cost, better fuel economy, and smoother ride quality.
A 5.3-liter V8 powers Yukon XL 1500 models (SLE, SLT, and SLT Plus trim). A 6.0-liter V8 comes standard on Denali and 2500 models. An 8.1-liter V8 ($850) is optional for 2500 models, and delivers 440 pounds-feet of torque for maximum towing capability. All Yukon XLs come with an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
Both the 1500 and 2500 models are available in basic SLE or more deluxe SLT or SLT Plus trim. The top of the line is the Yukon XL Denali, which is a 1500.
The base SLE model is a well-equipped vehicle. It comes with cloth upholstery, manual dual-zone air conditioning, anti-lock brakes (ABS), self-leveling suspension, CD stereo with eight speakers, power windows, power door locks, fog lights, tinted glass, heated outside mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and alarm. Three rows of seats are standard. The front seat is a 40/20/40 split bench with six-way power adjustments for the driver.
SLT is technically a package ($3,290) that adds bucket seats with leather inserts, tri-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose premium stereo, rear-seat audio controls, and assist steps (running boards).
SLT Plus ($5,415) adds to that Ultrasoft leather seating surfaces; full-function power (including power lumbar support) for the front bucket seats with seat heaters and a two-position memory function; outside mirrors with turn indicators and ground illumination (puddle lamps); auto-dimming for the driver's side outside mirror; Driver Information Center (including a trip computer); power-adjustable pedals; OnStar; a Homelink universal transmitter (for garage doors); six-disc in-dash CD changer; XM Satellite Radio; steering wheel controls for the audio system; and the Cargo Package with cargo shade, cargo net, cargo mat, luggage rack center rails.
Yukon XL Denali ($50,960) is loaded with luxury features, along with the bigger engine, a sophisticated full-time all-wheel-drive system, StabiliTrak stability control, and AutoRide suspension with self-leveling and two-position dampening. Denali is distinguished by unique exterior design cues.