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Big and Luxurious

Mitsubishi adds minor tweaks to its 2015 Outlander.

General Motor’s full-size Yukon sport utility vehicle and its twin sister, the Chevrolet Tahoe, dominate the large SUV market. Both vehicles are new for 2015 with fuel-saving traits that don’t diminish performance.

Tundra

The new Yukon Denali has ample interior space for seven passengers, as well as a cargo area. GM photo

Our test drive was the base Yukon Denali, the flagship Yukon; other available models include the Yukon and Yukon XL trims. GMC claims that Denali’s improved 6.2-liter, V8, EcoTec3 engine with 420 horsepower is the most powerful engine in its segment.

The two-wheel drive Denali still got excellent gas mileage, achieving 21.6 mpg while averaging 66 mph on a 350-mile interstate trip that included mountain climbs. We used premium gasoline, which is recommended but not required by GMC.

Other changes include freshening the profile but still maintaining the boxy, muscular look that rests on a truck platform. There’s ample space for seven passengers and room for luggage in the cargo area.

Second- and third-row seats fold flat to create a truck-like cargo area. Knick-knack storage spaces abound throughout the vehicle. Headlamps, signature honeycomb chrome grill, inlaid doors, and standard rear spoiler are either new or have been tweaked for 2015.

Our Denali had several options, including illuminated retractable running boards ($1,745); adaptive cruise control ($1,695); and a touring package ($4,110) that included 20–inch chrome wheels, heads-up display, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Total price was $72,215, which was softened by upscale interior features, such as quilted heated/cooled leather seats; soft-touch dashboard, doors and center spine areas; Bluetooth; and an accessible, easy-to-use Intellilink eight-inch information dashboard screen with text alerts.

However, while the navigation system’s voice directions provided ample notices of upcoming turns, it was frightening to be told an interstate exit was on the left when it actually was four lanes to the right. We had to continue to the next exit to be rerouted.

There are, however, many safety features, including forward collision alert; rear camera with cross-traffic alert; a lane departure warning; and a vibrating seat if you cross a lane marker. Handling is responsive and the large wheels help keep the ride compliant. A conversation mirror helps monitor rear seat activity among children, and the noise level is very well-muted. •

Likes: Mileage, ride, quiet and comfortable interior, versatility, and handling

Dislikes: Navigational GPS

Bottom line: If you like size in your ride, you have to like the Yukon and its luxury.

Tom Crosby is a contributor from Charlotte, N.C.

March/April 2015 Issue


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