2018 GMC Yukon Denali: The Ultimate Family Wagon

GMC Yukon Denali
Let’s take a look at the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali first. This is the model for those who want a slightly more compact vehicle. Granted, the Denali is full-size SUV no matter how you look at it, so compact is a relative term. The Yukon Denali is 80.5″ wide and 74.4″ tall; its wheelbase is 116″ long, and the vehicle is 203.9″ (almost 17′) long.

The interior offers 42.8″ headroom and 45.3″ legroom in the front; the second row has 38.7″ headroom and 39″ legroom, while the third-row seats offer 38.1″ headroom and 24.8″ legroom. If you have the middle and third-row seats folded down, you can get as much as 94.7 cubic feet of cargo space; if just the third-row seats are down, you’ll have 51.7″ cubic feet of space. With all the seats raised, you’ll have 15.3 cubic feet of space in the back.

You’ll need to prepare yourself for the sticker shock if you are looking at the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali; the standard vehicle price is $69,165, and a fully loaded Denali like the one we tested — one that includes the Denali Ultimate package with the power retractable running boards, 22″ wheels, sunroof, enhanced security package, and the adaptive cruise control with forward automatic braking will set you back $77,390 (including the $1295 destination charge).

The GMC Yukon Denali is rated at 14 in town and 22 on the highway, with a combined mpg of 17.

GMC Yukon XL Denali

If you need a little more space, the 2018 GMC Yukon XL Denali is definitely MOAR. It’s 80.5″ wide and 74.4″ tall; its wheelbase is 130″ long, and the vehicle is 224.4″ (about 18.7′) long.

The interior offers 42.8″ headroom and 45.3″ legroom in the front; the second row has 39.1″ headroom and 39.7″ legroom, while the third-row seats offer 38.5″ headroom and 34.5″ legroom. If you have the middle and third-row seats folded down, you can get as much as 121.7 cubic feet of cargo space; if just the third-row seats are down, you’ll have 76.7″ cubic feet of space. With all the seats raised, you’ll have 39.3 cubic feet of space in the back.

I’m used to driving the XL, but I really didn’t notice that much of a difference when driving the Yukon Denali versus the Yukon XL Denali. Both have a wide turning radius that you need to take into consideration for those times when you’ve got to work yourself out of the wrong spot; in parking lots, you’ll need a little extra maneuvering room for either. I’m super proficient at driving such a large vehicle, but I’ve been driving large pick-up trucks since I had a driver’s license. It’s just a matter of whether you want the extra legroom in the back as well as the extra cargo space that will drive your purchase.

Once again, prepare for sticker shock if you are looking at the 2018 GMC Yukon XL Denali; the standard vehicle price is $71,865, and a fully loaded Denali like the one we tested — one that includes the Denali Ultimate package with the power retractable running boards, 22″ wheels, sunroof, enhanced security package, and the adaptive cruise control with forward automatic braking will set you back $80,190 (including the $1295 destination charge).

The GMC Yukon XL Denali is rated at 14 in town and 21 on the highway, with a combined mpg of 16.

You can learn more about the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali here.

Disclosure: GMC paid for my room and meals; there were no conditions or expectations made regarding what I chose to write about regarding my experience.


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.