This week we’re reviewing the 2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate. This takes the already gorgeous Denali and raises the bar even higher for features and luxury.
Starting with the exterior, the 2023 Yukon Denali Ultimate has the familiar squared GMC Professional Grade look. It has unique Ultimate 22” wheels that really set it off, the big GMC grill, and the use of a lot of dark chrome. A spoiler and dual exhaust complete the rear view.
GMC also offers an extended version called the XL, which is the same size as Chevy Suburban.
You have two engine choices including the big 6.2 which comes in the Denali, and there is also a diesel. The one I have is the 6.2 V8 that is putting on 420-horses and a strong 460-pound feet of torque. It is bolted to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
While there are so many things to love about this SUV, the interior is spectacular. The seats are comfortable, they are heated and cooled, and they will massage you. There are speakers in the headrest, and a map of Mount Denali etched in the back of the seats. Mount Denali is the highest peak in North America.
From the driver’s seat, you see a large speedometer and tachometer and gauges across the top that are easy to see. There is a highly configurable driver info center that you scroll through from the steering wheel.
The Yukon has a 10.2-inch touchscreen that sits on the dash, which makes it easy to reach. It operates the sound system, climate control, Bluetooth, navigation, Wi-Fi, settings, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and even Alexa.
A swipe to the left gives you the trailer towing settings, apps, OnStar, camera settings, and you can control the rear media from there and more. This system is simple and reacts incredibly fast.
Under that are A/C controls, a couple of USB ports, a wireless phone charger, and cupholders.
To the left of the touchscreen are your gear shift buttons, which I think not only look good and preserve space, they are easy to operate.
Let’s talk about the center console, one of the coolest features of this SUV. There is a switch to electronically slide the console back to get the rear cupholders closer to the 2nd row occupants. For front occupants, there is a slide-out drawer for valuables that cannot be accessed when the console is positioned forward.
Moving to the second row of seating, this one has heated captain’s chairs with armrests that are super comfortable and they slide and recline. Rear passengers can control their own temperature, have USB and USB-C ports, and a 110-volt power outlet.
Rear occupants can enjoy the ride with the rear seat media system with two vibrant 12.6” screens in the rear that will display their own content. You can share the navigation screen from the front, use your wireless device, or digitally watch a movie. It is an amazing system.
Entry to the third-row seat is easy with a power button just inside both rear doors that double flip the seats out of the way, but it is still easier to walk through the second-row captain chairs.
The third-row seat will accommodate two full-sized adults who will be very comfortable.
Cargo area is terrific. Power buttons will allow you to fold the 3rd and 2nd row seats down to a completely flat load floor and have an amazing amount of cargo area. You can pop the rear glass open OR open the entire power lift gate from the front OR from the key fob. Having the ability to just pop the rear glass for easy storage is a nice feature.
This Yukon Denali has all the popular comfort and safety features you want including power tilt and heated steering wheel, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, remote start, rear seat reminder, a terrific 19-speaker Bose stereo, Panoramic moon roof, rear camera mirror, a head-up display, deployable running boards, and trailer towing package.
Ride and Drive
Like the other large GM SUVs, Denali has an independent rear suspension system that gives you a better ride and drive, and add to that the GMC magnetic ride control and adaptive suspension and you get fantastic ride quality, even with the 4-wheel drive system like this one.
Although large, this SUV is very nimble and yet capable. Ground clearance is good if you raise it with a button, and it will tow 8000-pounds. It is also extremely quiet inside.
Fuel economy is 14 in town 18 on the highway, and 16 overall. MSRP on this one is $94,140 with every feature available.
It is easy to see why sales of all the new, large GM SUVs have been so brisk for so long.
- What I liked most: Ride quality and the fantastic interior.
- What I would change: Give me HD radio, I missed that badly!
- MSRP: Base price $91,850/as equipped: $94,140.
- Fuel Economy: 14 city/18 highway/16combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 2,200 miles.
- Weight: 5,544 Pounds/7,400 pound GVWR.
- Spare Tire: Full-sized.
- Length-Width-Height: 210” long/81” wide/76.5” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 24 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
- Official Color: Titanium Rush Metallic.
- Towing Capacity: 8,000 pounds with max trailer towing package.
- 2023 Denali Ultimate in a few words: A comfortable and luxurious SUV that rides and drives great.
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, and 5-year/60,000 mile power train warranty with courtesy transportation and free first maintenance visit.
- Final Assembly Location: Arlington, TX.
- Manufacturer's website: GMC
Feature Photo Credit: GMC.