• Car Review

2020 GMC Yukon XL Review

By Autolist Editorial | September 12, 2020

Quick Facts:


  • Handsome styling.
  • Smooth, graceful handling.
  • Powerful engines.


  • Expensive Denali trim.
  • Mediocre cargo space.
  • Tight legroom.

Would we buy one? Yes.

Vehicle Type: Four-door, seven-seat full-size SUV.

Price Range: From $50,600 to $73,500, before options.

Powertrain: The base engine comes with a 5.3-liter V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, as well as a six-speed automatic transmission.

An optional 6.2-liter V8 engine gets 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, and it comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

All trims come standard with rear-wheel-drive, but you can add all-wheel-drive for $3,000.

Competitors: Toyota Sequoia, Dodge Durango, Nissan Armada, Chevy Tahoe, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Ford Expedition.

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Overall Score: 7.4/10

Safety Features: 7/10


All trim levels of the 2020 GMC Yukon XL come with front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and a Teen Driver system that lets parents lock in the vehicle's radio volume and driving speed.

Higher trims of the Yukon come with adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, safety alert seat, and low-speed automated emergency braking. Higher trims boast lane departure warning, keyless entry, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, satellite radio, a head-up display, and automatic high beams.

Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't crash-tested this full-size SUV, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it four stars out of five for overall safety. The side-crash test received five stars, while the rollover and front-crash tests received three and four stars, respectively.

Value: 7/10


With an MSRP of $50,600 to $73,500, this large SUV comes in four trim levels: SLE, SLT Standard Edition, SLT, and Denali.

The SLE costs $50,600, the SLT Standard costs $54,800, the SLT costs $57,800, and the Denali costs $73,500.

Some of the new GMC SUV's rivals include the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Cadillac Escalade. Compared to other SUVs in this market, most reviewers consider the Yukon XL's lower trims a good deal while lamenting the GMC Yukon XL Denali's high pricing.

GMC offers two standard warranties for the 2020 Yukon XL: a powertrain warranty good for five years or 60,000 miles and a limited warranty good for three years or 36,000 miles. Also, owners are entitled to one free scheduled maintenance visit during their first year of ownership. That's less than many other manufacturers offer.

Tech Features: 8/10


An 8-inch GMC IntelliLink touchscreen infotainment system with Color Touch radio comes standard with this vehicle. This system gives drivers access to entertainment, a navigation system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and hands-free texting.

Higher trims come with many more features, including a USB port, remote vehicle start, SD card slot, wireless headphones, power-adjustable pedals, and push-button start. Other features in higher trims include wireless charging, a power-operated sunroof, and five auxiliary power outlets.

Practicality: 6/10


While the base Yukon's storage space leaves something to be desired, the Yukon XL has plenty of space, thanks to its extended-wheelbase and a larger cabin. The Yukon XL has 39.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row. With the third-row seats folded down, the SUV enjoys 76.7 cubic feet of space. With both third and second rows folded, there are 121.7 cubic feet.

Several optional perks provide extra utility, such as a power liftgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals, and power-folding 60/40-split bench third-row seat.

The GMC Yukon XL enjoys a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds, higher than most competitors.

Styling & Design: 9/10


This large SUV looks almost identical to the previous model year, with handsome and aerodynamic styling. The cabin's styling looks just as sharp, and reviewers praise the interior for minimal noise and high-quality materials.

The 2020 GMC Yukon XL's cabin is comfortable thanks to tri-zone automatic climate control, a Bose nine-speaker audio system, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat, and optional front bucket seats.

In the SLT and Denali trims, all seats are heated, ventilated, perforated, and leather-trimmed for maximum comfort. These trims also have leather-wrapped and heated steering wheels.

You can also get a Bose CenterPoint Surround Sound 10-speaker audio system for the Yukon XL Denali.

Driving Experience: 8/10


Two powertrains are available. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the standard engine is a 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 engine capable of 383 lb-ft of torque. An optional 6.2-liter V8 engine boasting a 10-speed automatic transmission pulls 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive comes standard, but all-wheel-drive is on offer.

This SUV handles well, according to several reviewers who took it for a test drive. Acceleration is smooth, and the brakes are responsive. A Magnetic Ride Control suspension system keeps the ride steady despite bumps in the road. The Yukon also handles corners well despite its bulk.

Fuel Efficiency: 7/10


According to the EPA, the 2020 GMC Yukon gets 15 mpg on city roads with rear-wheel-drive and the standard powertrain and 22 mpg on highways for a combined 18 mpg.

By comparison, XL models with four-wheel drive and a longer wheelbase get 14 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined. With the 6.2-liter engine equipped, the Yukon XL gets 14 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 18 combined.

EcoTec3 engine technology keeps the Yukon XL's fuel economy reasonable, but the vehicle is still a gas-guzzler.

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