If power is what you are after, the 2013 GMC Yukon Denali has plenty of it. A six-speed shiftable automatic complements a fierce 6.2-liter V8 to scream 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. Few people will find themselves needing much more power than this. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in a super quick 7.5 seconds, and the vehicle can safely tow 8,400 pounds. What more could you want? Are you after four-wheel drive capabilities? Well, Yukon Denali has a single and two-speed case available. About the only thing it doesn’t have is good gas mileage, returning only 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. A coil-over-shock front suspension and a real-time dampening system ensures that passengers in all three rows enjoy a smooth ride, regardless of terrain. Those concerned with the environment will appreciate that although fuel-economy is poor, Denali is capable of operating on E85, gasoline or a combination of the two.
• Audio - A BOSE Centerpoint 10-speaker surround sound includes a center console subwoofer for an exceptional listening experience.
• Navigation - This is a hard drive based touchscreen navigation system with multiple map views, pause and play features and SiriusXM traffic and weather.
• DVD System - Optional on the 2013 Yukon Denali is a rear seat DVD system that features an 8-inch diagonal LCD screen and wireless headphones.
• Rear Vision Camera - While reversing at slow speeds, this system displays a clear view of everything behind you.
The 2013 Yukon Denali is expected to score the same as the 2012 model, which received a “Good” rating in front and side-impact, but only a “Marginal” rating in rollover protection, when tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Braking was also average, taking 134 feet to stop from 60 mph. All 2013 models will receive a six-month subscription to OnStar Directions and Connections plan. Other safety features include:
• StabiliTrak with proactive roll avoidance
• Standard side blind zone alert
• Four-wheel ABS
• Post-collision safety system
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Turn signal mirrors
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Child seat anchors
• Dusk sensing headlamps
• Rear door safety locks
• Engine immobilizer
From its standard 20-inch chrome wheels to its signature honeycomb grille and thoughtfully placed chrome accents, Denali is easily recognized from its other Yukon relatives. One extraordinary feature worth mentioning are the power retractable assist steps that extend automatically when you open the door and then retract when it is closed.
From high-quality materials to advanced interior acoustics, Yukon Denali echoes of luxury. Seating for eight is possible, but most will trade in the second row split bench for a pair of captain’s chairs, just like the ones in the front. Speaking of seats, the front two rows are heated and cooled. As for the third row, it is best reserved for small children. Nuance leather, wood grain tones, chrome details and low gloss give the interior a rich appeal. The dash may seem a little too simple for some and the touchscreen is a little small, but controls are thoughtfully placed and easily accessible.
If you use all the rows, you will likely be disappointed with only 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space. However, behind the front seat, there is 108.9 cubic feet. Unfortunately, while the second row easily folds flat, the third row does not and will need to be removed for tall cargo.