It’s a pretty rare occurrence that someone gets into a vehicle and declares nearly immediate they want to purchase it. It is even more rare for this to occur with every passenger that sets foot in your vehicle. But that was the case with the 2016 GMC Yukon Denali that I piloted over the holidays.
No, I am not exaggerating in the least, every single person that stepped inside and took a ride in the Yukon Denali asked me two questions. The first was, how much was it? And this was quickly followed by “I really like this thing, I’m going to seriously consider buying one.” Now there is one slight caveat, and that is that I accidently had quoted everyone $65,000 as the MSRP of the Yukon I was testing; I had looked at the price on my phone and forgot to continue to scroll all the way to the bottom of the price guide. My tester actually came out to $85,000 — a minor rounding error.
That said, the price didn’t really change the desire for these people to buy the vehicle, really it just changed their demeanour; they felt cheated and sad that they couldn’t really afford it (oops, sorry guys). But I suppose, especially after having driven it for over a week, that $65,000 was a pipe dream for a loaded full-size SUV that I would consider to be right up there with the luxury makes in terms of ride, features, comfort and build quality — this was one solid automobile.
As standard equipment the Yukon Denali is equipped with GM’s 6.2L EcoTec3 V8, with Active Fuel Management, direct injection and variable valve timing. The 6.2L EcoTec3 engine also includes aluminum block construction and produces 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque — a beast of an engine. This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission which powers the rear wheels or all four wheels in automatic four-wheel drive mode, also selectable are 4-high and 4-low for real off-roading capabilities.
The list of standard features could go on for pages, but the more notable and interesting ones include: magnetic ride control suspension with rear air suspension for max towing, tow/haul mode, heavy duty rear-locking differential, external transmission cooler and engine cooler as well as a heavy duty trailer hitch setup.
Know who else is a fan? Stars in Cars: Roberto Alomar
The interior features standard items like multiple-zone climate control, navigation, leather seating, heated seats, OnStar with 4G LTE, power-folding second and third row with power-unfolding third row and more. This vehicle did have some packages attached to it as well, but even premium items like rear-cross traffic alert, back-up camera, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and more are included. The Sun, Entertainment and Destinations package adds a rear entertainment system for $3,455; check the boxes for the power-retractable side steps, adaptive cruise control and head-up display and you creep just over that $85,000 mark after destination.