When most hear of the 2013 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid, they assume it must be an error or a joke. This is a big, heavy vehicle; surely it is not practical as a hybrid, right? Wrong! This SUV is powered by a Vortec 6.0-liter V8 that works in conjunction with a hybrid system, which features two 60-kilowatt electric motors. So, what does this mean to you? Well, it means that you enjoy the same power as a regular Yukon Denali, but you reap the benefits of better fuel-economy as the hybrid returns 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Although this is better, it is really not all that exciting for your pocket book, but it is great for the planet. What is exciting though is despite the fact that this is a hybrid, it can still tow up to 5,600 pounds. Yukon Denali Hybrid cranks out 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque, putting combined output with electric motors at 37 horsepower. The only difference you will notice driving it is that there is an eerie quietness when you accelerate and brake that may take some getting used to. This vehicle does handle well, but it is large and heavy, so don’t expect to feel like you are driving a car.
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• Navigation - The touchscreen navigation system features an integrated hard drive, CD player and USB port. It also features “Time Shift” which lets you pause live radio for as long as 20 minutes.
• DVD Entertainment System - This available system features an 8-inch diagonal LCD screen with wireless headphones.
• Audio - For the ultimate listening experience, the Yukon Denali Hybrid features a BOSE Centerpoint system with 10 premium speakers.
• OnStar - A subscription to OnStar is included, which features roadside assistance, concierge service, destination download, hands-free calling, airbag deployment notification, stolen vehicle tracking and more.
Crash tests have not been performed yet on the 2013 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid, but it is expected to score the same as last year’s model. The 2012 one was rated “Good” in side and front-impact by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but only “Marginal” for rollover protection. This is an SUV built with 360-degrees of protection with an abundance of airbags in all the right places. Other safety features include:
• StabiliTrak with traction control
• Side blind zone warning
• Rearview camera
• Four-wheel ABS
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Post-collision safety system
• Turn signal mirrors
• Child seat anchors
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Engine immobilizer
• Rear door safety locks
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Remote anti-theft alarm
The styling of the 2013 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid is sophisticated to say the least. Gorgeous 22-inch chrome wheels complement the abundance of chrome accents, including the iconic honeycomb grille. Jeweled headlamps, privacy glass and a selection of shimmery metallic colors add to the look.
All eight passengers in the three rows melt into perforated leather. As you look around, you almost don’t notice how simple the dash styling is because you are too busy taking in the attention to detail from wood grain tones and chrome accents. Although seating offers ample legroom in the first two rows, the third row will pretty much only accommodate children. It should also be mentioned that these seats are heavy and a pain to get out. If you intend on using the full cargo capacity, you will need to remove the third row, because it doesn’t fold flat. Aside from the rich materials and tones, there is nothing that stands out in the interior. Both the controls and touchscreen are far too small. There is a nice hybrid power flow display though, which is a thoughtful touch.
There is a lot of cargo space in the Tahoe, if you don’t mind fighting with the seats to access all of it. Maximum capacity behind the front seats is 108.9 cubic feet. However, behind the third seat, there is only 16.9 cubic feet, which is quite tiny.