Driving the GMC YukonThere's a new engine under the hood in Yukon -- a 5.3 liter iron block V8 that produces 320 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque -- and in Denali -- a 6.2 liter aluminum block V8 that's rated for 380 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are good -- the bigger engine is more fun. The 5.3 is equipped with GMC's Active Fuel Management system, which cuts off fuel to four cylinders in low-demand situations, like cruising on the highway. The 5.3 liter 2WD Yukon is rated to achieve 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway; the 6.2 liter 4WD Yukon Denali is said to get 13 mpg in the city/19 mpg highway. Not great -- but better than 2006. You can also order a FlexFuel E85 version of the Yukon, which will run on either an 85% mix of Ethanol (a corn-based fuel) or on regular pump gas. Yukon has a rack and pinion steering system, which really provides a car-like feel. The truck feels connected to the road -- not that floaty truck-like steering of the past.
Several safety improvements have been implemented. An all new frame that has more high strength steel and compatibility brackets to protect low profile vehicles in crashes also has higher rigidity -- so you feel less flex while driving. Roll-over sensors and roof-mounted curtain airbags help with passenger safety.