Passengers, cargo, towing: 2019 GMC Yukon XL can handle it

Passengers, cargo, towing: 2019 GMC Yukon XL can handle it

Large and long, the full-size sport utility vehicle offers rare option of a first-row bench seat.

Noncommercial vehicle choices are limited for people who want seating for nine passengers, but the GMC Yukon fits the bill, and without being a van. Its base SLE model is available with that rare commodity, a first row bench seat.

Those who can live with eight-passenger seating can opt for front bucket seats and 60/40 split second and third row benches.

If a mere seven seats can be endured, second-row buckets are available on the Yukon SLT model. Passengers in those seats will appreciate the extra comfort.

Anyone looking only for the most posh Yukon can turn their attention to the Denali trim, which is treated by GMC as a separate model. A heads-up to those potential buyers: A Yukon Denali with four-wheel drive tops 70 grand as its starting point. The Yukon SLT itself is designed to impress and is loaded with standard features.

So, what if you have a lot of people to deal with but also need a lot of room for things like luggage? That’s where the Yukon XL comes into play. At 224.4 inches, this extended-length version is 20.5 inches longer than the regular Yukon, and those extra 20 inches are dedicated to cargo space. Behind the third row seat, the Yukon XL provides 39.3 cubic feet of space as opposed to the Yukon’s 15.3 cubic feet.

And what about towing? No worries.

Passengers, cargo, towing: 2019 GMC Yukon XL can handle it

My tester was the Yukon XL SLT model with four-wheel drive and equipped with two packages new for 2019: Graphite Edition and Graphite Performance Edition. The former is an appearance collection of gorgeous black accents. The latter includes a strapping 6.2-liter V8 engine (420 horsepower, 460 pound-feet of torque), silky 10-speed automatic transmission, 22-inch black spoke wheels, two-speed active transfer case, magnetic ride control, Bose active noise canceling, 170-amp generator and more.

Given the Yukon XL’s enormity and the tester’s Onyx Black exterior and Jet Black interior, nervous observers during my test week no doubt thought “FBI” until they got a look at the driver. I was told Tacoma’s law enforcement fleet includes black-on-black Yukons, and am sorry I didn’t get a chance to drive back and forth along I-5 there during the test week.

In an ironic twist, I used the 14/20/16 mpg-rated 2019 GMC Yukon XL to bring home a tall stack of pallets needed to begin construction on an elaborate, environmentally beneficial bug hotel.

The Yukon XL was hugely helpful.

Passengers, cargo, towing: 2019 GMC Yukon XL can handle it


Base price, including destination charge: $64,495

Price as driven: $74,630

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

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