2009 GMC Yukon XL, Yukon XFE and Yukon Denali
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Built with GMC’s legendary capability and renowned refinement, the Yukon and Yukon XL family of full-size SUVs continues to deliver more power and better fuel economy than the competition. For 2009, a host of new features is designed to deliver segment-leading fuel economy and give customers more choices of helpful safety and convenience equipment.
The new features include a fuel-saving six-speed automatic transmission on models equipped with the 5.3L and 6.0L engines, Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity, XM Satellite Radio with new NavTraffic feature and more. The new content adds to an already comprehensive package of performance, safety and comfort features that gives customers unparalleled choices in the segment.
“For customers who need a full-size SUV for their passenger or trailering needs, the Yukon family exceeds expectations with uncompromising capability and good efficiency,” said Susan Docherty, Buick-Pontiac-GMC vice president. “Customers will realize real fuel savings with the new six-speed automatic, making the Yukon and Yukon XL smart choices for those who seek true truck utility.”
The new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic enhances fuel economy on the highway via reduced engine speed. The engine requires less fuel to operate at a lower “cruising” speed. Also, quietness in the interior is enhanced with the lower-rpm cruising.
Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali are also back for 2009, packing the same helpful technologies as the Yukon models, as well as an enhanced 6.2L V-8 that is more powerful and E85-capable. Denali models also receive additional comfort and convenience features.
New for 2009
In addition to the new six-speed automatic transmission paired with 5.3L and 6.0L engines, a host of new safety and convenience features across the lineup gives customers more choices to equip their Yukon or Yukon XL. The changes for ’09 include the following:
* New 20-inch chrome-clad wheel – This new, chrome-clad aluminum wheel design is added to the Yukon lineup’s roster of stylish wheel options
* New exterior colors – Dark Crimson Metallic is offered on Yukon and Yukon XL; and Carbon Black Metallic replaces Dark Slate Metallic on the Denali
* OnStar 8.0– The latest-generation OnStar system offers advanced features, including Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, Turn-by-Turn Navigation and new, Destination Download that automatically downloads requested directions to the Yukon’s navigation system
* Bluetooth connectivity – Available with OnStar 8.0, it enables safer, hands-free calling with controls on the steering wheel
* XM Satellite Radio with NavTraffic – Available with the standard XM Satellite Radio service, the new NavTraffic feature delivers real-time traffic advisements and route suggestions on the navigation system
* Side Blind Zone Alert system – Available on Denali models, this safety system uses radar sensors behind the rear fascia on both sides of the vehicle that signal an audible and visual alert if objects are detected in “blind zones”
* Rearview camera system – Customers can select this safety device that can be ordered without the navigation system; it provides a remote view directly behind the vehicle via a 3.5-inch screen inside the rearview mirror ( Yukon and Yukon XL models only)
* Power-adjustable steering wheel – Offered exclusively on Denali models, this convenient feature delivers steering wheel position adjustability with an easy entry/exit feature
* Third-row DVD entertainment system – A flip-down screen and system controls are added for third-row passengers (Yukon XL and Yukon XL Denali only)
* Heated/cooled seats – Available on Denali models, these leather-trimmed front seats incorporate both heating and cooling features that increase comfort in all climates
* Integrated brake controller – Integrated with the ABS system, it provides immediate and measured brake force signaling to electric-controlled trailer brake systems; there is no requirement for external and/or aftermarket brake control systems ( Yukon and Yukon XL models only)
* Heavy-duty trailering package – Available on models equipped with the new six-speed automatic transmission, it provides enhanced cooling capacity and a heavy-duty, 3.42 rear axle to deliver maximum towing capability
* Fuel-saving 3.08 axle ratio – New for Yukon models equipped with the 5.3L V-8 is a standard 3.08 axle ratio that delivers a real-world fuel economy improvement (a 3.42 axle is optional)
* More powerful 6.2L V-8 with E85 capability – The Denali models’ 6.2L engine receives a power increase to 403 horsepower (301 kW) and is FlexFuel-enabled for ’09
* New body-side molding for Denali models
Yukon and Yukon XL lineup
The Yukon and Yukon XL are based on GM’s acclaimed full-size SUV platform and feature distinctive styling, spacious and refined interiors, exceptional driving characteristics and segment-leading safety features – including standard head curtain side air bags for all seating rows on all models.
Yukon rides on a 116-inch (2,946 mm) wheelbase, with an overall length of 202 inches (5,130 mm). It rides on a wider track that, along with the long wheelbase, provides a smooth, confident and secure driving experience. Yukon XL models have exterior dimensions similar to the regular models, but are about 14 inches longer in wheelbase and 20 inches longer in overall length.
Both Yukon and Yukon XL are available in SLE (cloth trim) and SLT trim (leather appointments), as well as 2WD and 4WD configurations. A third-row seat is standard on all Yukon models.
Yukon and Yukon XL models feature a 5.3L V-8 with GM’s fuel-saving Active Fuel Management technology. A 4.8L V-8 is the standard engine on the Yukon 2WD base model only, and a 6.0L all-aluminum V-8 with variable valve timing is available on Yukon XL. Several available engines are capable of running on E85; in fact, all Yukon 4WD and Yukon XL half-ton models come standard with the E85-capable version of the 5.3L V-8. GM vehicles with E85 capability can run on 100 percent gasoline, E85 or any combination of the two.
Denali models at a glance
The iconic Denali is available in both standard and extended-length models. Standard features include power liftgate, power release second-row fold-and-tumble bucket seat, head curtain side air bags, power-adjustable pedals, heated windshield washer system, electrochromic (auto-dimming) inside mirror, RainSense automatic windshield wipers, remote start system and Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist. From an entertainment standpoint, the vehicles come standard with an AM/FM MP3-capable radio with a six-disc in-dash CD changer, Bose 10-speaker Centerpoint Surround Sound audio system and XM Satellite Radio.
The Denali models also offers several helpful and convenient options, including a navigation radio system, rearview camera system, power sunroof, power-retractable assist steps and a rear-seat, DVD-based entertainment system. A new, third-row DVD entertainment system is offered on the Yukon Denali XL in 2009. For added safety, a side blind zone alert system also is available.
The interiors of the Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali offer style and luxury, including standard Nuance leather-covered seating with heated first- and second-row captain’s seats, as well as leather trim throughout – including a Denali-exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel with a host of auxiliary controls. A new power heated steering wheel with Easy Entry/Exit is standard on all Denali models.
The upscale styling is complemented by soft, low-gloss materials for the instrument panel and other trim pieces. The harmonious color and grain of the materials were carefully selected to provide a premium feel as well as durability. Flush-mounted HVAC controls and radios, with almost imperceptible gaps, convey precision and integration, as do dampened doors for the center console storage and cupholders. Chrome accents are used on instrument surrounds, vents and other trim. Automatic tri-zone climate control is standard.
Yukon and Yukon XL have a sleek, taut form. Wraparound front and rear fascias, styled mirrors and integrated running boards provide a seamless, contemporary appearance. Craftsmanship is found in elements such as tight tolerances between exterior components and a tuned, wheels-to-the-corners proportion. The toned look on all models is created with a fast windshield angle of 57 degrees, which flows gracefully into the roofline. This improves aerodynamic performance, which bolsters fuel economy and helps reduce wind noise.
Features such as power articulating running boards and a power liftgate enhance accessibility. The liftgate’s easy-to-operate assist feature is designed to help the operator by using the mass of the tailgate to almost open or close itself once the liftgate is past the halfway-open position. A switch inside the vehicle activates the power assist, or it can be activated via the key fob.
The Yukon Denali models have their own look that is instantly identifiable from the distinctive chrome grille – an iconic cue from the very first Yukon Denali. New body-side moldings for ’09 contribute to the models’ sleek look, while standard 20-inch wheels give it a bold street stance.
Interior refinement and capability
The Yukon and Yukon XL are available in two trim levels: SLE and SLT. Interior space has a spacious, refined environment, thanks to a premium tone-on-tone color scheme and a lower-positioned instrument panel. Sculpted seat designs and detailed trim affirm the vehicles’ craftsmanship, which is bolstered by optional amenities, such as heated seats for first- and second-row passengers. Also, the front seats offer plenty of fore/aft and recline travel, and the second-row seats have a comfortable angle for the seatback recline.
The upscale styling is complemented by soft, low-gloss materials for the instrument panel and other trim pieces. The harmonious color and grain of the materials were carefully selected to provide a premium feel as well as durability. Flush-mounted HVAC controls and radios convey precision and integration. Chrome accents are used on instrument surrounds, vents and other trim.
Craftsmanship also is revealed in unexpected areas, such as distinctive sill plates that greet occupants when the doors are opened, and there are no exposed fasteners or hardware on the pillars, seats or seat tracks. The seats have “close-outs” that surround the seat bottoms and seat tracks, creating a more finished appearance. The undersides of the seats are covered, too, when folded.
The Yukon and Yukon XL also offers an industry-exclusive power fold-and-tumble second-row seat feature that eases access to the third-row seat. The power fold-and-tumble second-row seats feature release buttons accessible by the driver on the overhead console or on the interior C-pillar to provide an easy, immediate release of the seat and an access path to the third-row seat or cargo area
Remote start is available and enables the climate system to heat or cool the vehicle’s interior prior to occupant use. A wide array of audio, infotainment and safety options are available and include an available touch-screen navigation system, as well as a DVD system with a large flip-down screen positioned in front of the second-row seats.
Yukon and Yukon XL interiors are versatile, too. The third-row seats fold flat and are easily tumbled forward or removed for maximum cargo area. Also, the center console storage compartment, at 20.1 liters of capacity, is the segment’s largest. The glove box offers significant storage space, too, and features damped opening operation that bolsters quietness and refinement.
Chassis and suspension
The Yukon and Yukon XL are built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, which incorporates features such as a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. The frame supports wide front and rear tracks that enhance stability and driving confidence through a more secure road feel and a lower center of gravity. The front suspension consists of a coil-over-shock design that delivers linear, solid and unwavering ride and handling characteristics on all road surfaces.
A rack-and-pinion steering system provides precise and responsive control and enhanced on-center feel. Yukon and Yukon XL 1500 models use a highly refined five-link rear suspension that provides superior isolation and ride, with larger, firmer brackets that also contribute to the vehicles’ precise driving manners.
Large, four-wheel disc brakes and a sophisticated ABS system ensure shorter braking distances and segment-leading performance. Larger vented front and rear brake rotors, stiff dual-piston calipers and long-life brake pads contribute to enhanced pedal feel, reduced brake noise and predictable, linear brake response. A Bosch 8.0 next-generation four-channel ABS system is standard. The ABS system works with the standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with traction control. It incorporates rollover mitigation – software algorithm technology that uses sensors to proactively predict vehicle “tip-up” and applies appropriate brake forces to help prevent such events.
Enhanced driving control and ride smoothness is offered with the available Autoride real-time damping system (standard on Denali), which uses electronically controlled shock absorbers to make nearly instantaneous damping adjustments. The system “reads” the road and anticipates the best damping rates. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard on Yukon and Yukon XL; 20-inch wheels are available – including an all-new, 20-inch chrome-clad wheel for ’09. New tires are tailored to the vehicles to provide excellent balance of handling, quietness and safety. Yukon 2500 comes standard with 16-inch wheels and 17-inch wheels are available, while the Yukon Denali lineup comes standard with 20-inch wheels.
The small-block V-8 family powers the Yukon and Yukon XL. An iron-block Vortec 5.3L V-8 with 310 horsepower (231 kW)* and 340 lb.-ft. of torque (461 Nm)* offering Active Fuel Management technology is standard on all models except the base Yukon 2WD; Yukon XL with 4WD (5.3L with aluminum cylinder block) delivers 310 hp (231 kW) and 335 lb.-ft of torque (454 Nm).* Active Fuel Management enables better fuel economy by switching between eight-cylinder and four-cylinder operation in appropriate, lower-demand situations. Operation is automatic and seamless to the driver. The engine uses less fuel when operating in four-cylinder mode.
A Vortec 4.8L V-8 is standard on the Yukon 2WD base model. A FlexFuel E85 version of the 5.3L engine, which is capable of running on E85 ethanol fuel or any mixture of E85 and gasoline, is standard on 4WD models and available on 2WD models. E85 is comprised of 85 percent ethanol, a renewable resource fuel produced in the United States that reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
Available on Yukon XL is an all-aluminum 6.0L V-8 with variable valve timing (VVT). It is rated at 352 horsepower (262 kW).* VVT helps optimize camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower. The system is enabled by a unique cam phaser – the industry’s first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 cam-in-block engine. The unique cam phaser adjusts the camshaft timing at the same rate for both the intake and exhaust valves.
The Yukon Denali and Yukon XL Denali are powered by a powerful 6.2L V-8. It uses advanced technologies and lightweight materials, including variable valve timing and an aluminum cylinder block, which help the vehicles deliver outstanding, more efficient performance. The 6.2L engine is rated at 403 horsepower (301 kW) and 417 lb.-ft. of torque (565 Nm).* For 2009, the 6.2L is FlexFuel-enabled, meaning it can run on E85 ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two fuels.
The Yukon lineup’s transmissions are matched to the engines to provide a balance between effortless capability and efficiency. They include four-speed and six-speed automatics, including a new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed that is matched with models powered by the 5.3L and 6.0L engines, as well as the Denali’s 6.2L. The six-speed automatic has a wide, 6.04:1 overall ratio – including two overdrive gears – that helps deliver an excellent balance of performance and fuel economy. Also, the 6L80 has a “tap up/tap down” capability that allows the driver to manually select upshifts and downshifts with a button on the column shifter.
Safety and security
The Yukon and Yukon XL are designed to be among the industry's safest and most secure vehicles, with a 360-degree perimeter safety system of occupant protection and crash avoidance technologies. Standard features include head curtain side air bags for all seating rows and front-seat safety belt pretensioners that are linked to the vehicle's sensing system to provide segment-exclusive deployment in rear-end crashes. These features are integrated into a stronger vehicle structure that is also designed for improved compatibility with other vehicles.
The head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment. Sensors located at the front of the vehicle, in the side doors, and within the occupant compartment provide increased and more immediate crash detection. The vehicle's sensing system provides segment-exclusive capability to deploy front seat safety belt pretensioners during certain rear-end collisions, enhancing the belt system's ability to hold the occupants firmly in place.
The head curtain side air bag system incorporates one of the segment's first rollover indication sensors, which is located on the vehicle's center tunnel in the occupant compartment. The sensor monitors the vehicle's acceleration and roll rate. If these signals indicate an impending rollover, the roof-mounted head curtain side air bags deploy to provide an extra measure of occupant protection and containment. These head curtain side air bags stay inflated longer than airbags developed only for side impacts because rollover incidents can last longer. The deployment duration and other design features of the head curtain air bags combine to provide increased occupant protection and the ability to help keep occupants inside the vehicle.
Enhanced design and driver control dynamics bolster crash avoidance. They include wider front and rear tracks, as well as more responsive suspensions – including a new coil-over-shock front suspension design and new rack-and-pinion steering. The vehicles are built on a stronger and stiffer, fully boxed frame that contributes to enhanced crash energy management. The front frame section has been designed to optimize crush progression, resulting in improved energy absorption efficiency. The improved crush performance, enabled by hydroformed frame rails and efficient chassis component packaging, also comprehends design provisions for improved vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility in the event of a frontal impact with a smaller vehicle.
Here’s a rundown of Yukon and Yukon XL’s safety features:
* Standard StabiliTrak stability control system with traction control and rollover mitigation technology
* Standard dual-stage driver front air bag
* Standard dual-stage outboard-front passenger air bag with passenger sensing system
* Standard head curtain side air bags for all seating rows
* Standard front seat safety belt pretensioners with rear-impact deployment capability
* Standard tire pressure monitoring system
* Available rain-sensing wiper system
* Available Ultrasonic rear parking assist that can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send an audible warning sound (standard on SLT and Denali models)
* Available rearview camera system designed to provide the driver with a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
* Standard pull-up/push-down power window switches
* Available voice-assisted navigation system
* Available Side Blind Zone Alert system
All models come standard with the OnStar 8.0 system. SLE models come standard with a one-year Safe & Sound plan; SLT and Denali models include one-year of Directions & Connections service with Turn-by-Turn Navigation. New for ’09 is Destination Download, which downloads requested directions directly to the navigation system.
Yukon ’s OnStar plans also include General Motors Advanced Crash Response System, making crash data available to emergency services to potentially dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. If the vehicle is in a crash that activates an air bag, the OnStar system automatically notifies an OnStar Advisor, who will check on the occupants or summon emergency help if necessary. OnStar also can assist authorities in locating a vehicle if it is reported stolen (ability to locate stolen vehicles varies with conditions).
Additional images from the 2009 GMC Yukon Photo Gallery:
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