If your motto is “bigger is better,” then the 2013 GMC Yukon XL is one that you will want to explore. Despite its large size, it manages to be incredibly poised on the road, offering a smooth and quiet ride. However, there is no way getting around the size, and you will know how big it is behind the wheel, especially when you are trying to park. Most trims will come with a reliable 5.3-liter V8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission that produces 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in a respectable 9 seconds while fuel-economy is at 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. This engine boasts more than enough power to tow most loads, as it can handle 8,100 pounds. There is also a 2500 model that will have a 6.0-liter V8 engine. This four-wheel drive unit is more than capable of towing 9,600 pounds, but fuel-economy becomes even worse, returning only 10 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway.
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• Rear Seat Entertainment - If you have children, you will likely want to add on the rear seat DVD system. It includes dual 8-inch diagonal LCD screens and wireless headphones.
• Navigation - The hard drive navigation system gets a touchscreen to give you 3D maps, alternate routes and Time Shift technology, which lets you pause a live radio station up to 20 minutes.
• Bluetooth - Never take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. Yukon XL features steering wheel controls that allow you to listen to your calls right through the audio system.
• Audio - The sound system includes CD player, MP3 playback, USB port, satellite radio, one subwoofer and nine BOSE speakers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not performed crash tests on the 2013 GMC Yukon XL yet. However, it is expected to score the same as the 2012 model, which only received a “Marginal” rating in rollover protection, but was awarded a “Good” rating on side and frontal protection. If braking capabilities fall in line with last year’s model, you can prepare to be disappointed at a long 145 feet to stop from 60 mph. Just a few of the many safety features include:
• StabiliTrak with traction control
• Four-wheel ABS
• Engine immobilizer
• Child seat anchors
• Post-collision safety system
• Daytime running lights
• Rear door safety locks
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Dusk sensing headlamps
There is no way getting around the fact that the 2013 GMC Yukon Xl is the long rectangular box on wheels. Smoother lines could go a long way in improving the bus-like appearance of the vehicle. The SLT chrome package does help a little, adding polished aluminum wheels, polished exhaust tips, a chrome grille and other chrome accents.
Seating for up to nine people is what really makes the 2013 GMC Yukon XL attractive to many people. Whether you have a large family or you coach a little league team and you need to drive kids to games, this vehicle offers more than enough room. Unfortunately, the third row seat does pose a problem. Not only does it not provide enough legroom for adults, it doesn’t fold flat either. This means it needs to be removed completely to use all of the cargo capacity, and this is one heavy seat. Aside from the seating, there is really nothing exciting about the interior. It is a bit outdated and the touchscreen is too small. Other than that, controls and gauges are easy to identify but could be bigger.
There is an enormous amount of cargo space in the Yukon XL. Behind the front seat, you will enjoy 137.4 cubic feet. Even with all seats occupied, you have 45.8 cubic feet to work with, which is more than most sedans offer.