We can tow it, hull it, move it, and do it all in relative quiet and comfort. That should be GM’s tag line for the new Yukon Denali, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban.
Last week GM flew us out to Napa, fed us, and then on the following day, promptly had us transport ourselves to Tahoe, albeit in their just released – yes, they’re now available for purchase – GMC 2015 Yukon and Yukon Denali. Half way through our drive (Sacramento) we jumped ship and climbed into Chevy’s version of the SUV.
In Napa we dined deep in the cellar of Artesa Wines, which included our very own Yukon Denali, the upper echelon of all the trucks, save for the longer, bigger and slightly more expensive XL version. When dinner wrapped we were escorted back to the hotel, enjoyed a light cocktail hour (and some snacks) and then slept. 7am arrived, we chowed down on copious amounts of eggs and bacon, and then set out on the open road.
There we were greeted with hills, twisty turns, highways, and most certainly not-part-of-the-itinerary farm road – I simply couldn’t resist the temptation to take this truck off-road. There the Yukon Denali, costing just shy of $76,000 grand, performed admirably thanks to something called MRC, or magnetic ride control. It’s suspension tech owned by GM, has been used in a wide variety of their cars, and licensed to the likes of Ferrari and others. Yes, it’s that good. MRC is default in all the Denali trucks, optional in the Tahoe and Suburban save for LTZ versions of the Chevy trucks. Just keep in mind you’ll likely be spending closer to the top end to acquire this feature, in either brand, which can easily exceed $70,000.
Powering my Denali XL is same engine found in the new Stingray Corvette C7, a 6.2l V8 beast. Thank to tuning, as well as active noise cancelation, there was no engine drone leaked into the cabin as we chatted during our 3-hour drive. In fact, the cabin in the Denali (and Suburban) is surprisingly well laid out, quite and luxurious – the Denali takes it a step further than the Chevy version, but lets not split hairs.
I’m still blown away how easy it was to drive both versions of the GM trucks. Yes, and much like the marketing material says, it’s like driving a car, albeit a large one. Steering is light, yet still responsive, body roll is heavily mitigated thanks to the MRC, and braking, as well as power, is commensurate with the Yukon Denali’s size.
The feature that blew my socks off..wait for it…was the movable pedals. Yes, much like the Le Ferrari, you can control the position of the pedals, moving them back and forth by a few inches. Why do I love this feature? I’m tall and often end up with my legs still touching the under portion of the dash. While I can’t say this resolved my issue entirely, it’s nice to seem them addressing height concerns beyond the seat and steering wheel, which in this case are likely experience by those that are on the shorter end of the spectrum.
Another notable includes a third and second row of seats that can fold down in seconds with the push of a button at the rear of the truck. There is also an exceptionally top end security system to prevent not only theft of the vehicle, but its contents, and a vast numbers of USB ports as well as an AC plug for an Xbox One or something that requires a 110 connection.
So was I impressed with the Yukon Denali and Suburban? To put it mildly, yes. Oddly our Chevy Suburban, which had slightly less features than the Yukon Denali XL we drove, save for adaptive cruise control, it was only $1,000 less, give or take. Yes, it was the top end Suburban, the LTZ, but why so pricey, I don’t know, especially seeing as the Denali is geared towards a wealthy customer. In any event, both will tow your boat, transport family members to and fro, and all the while do it in quiet, thanks both the active noise cancelation and optional rear entertainment systems (child pacifier).