What do our experts think of the 2022 GMC Yukon XL? We look at powertrain, interior options, trim levels and more. Find out our thoughts here.
Big as ever, the 2022 GMC Yukon XL is just one year into an all-new fifth generation overhaul that brought a fully independent suspension, option for adaptive air suspension and 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen fitted across the board, as we discuss here. New for 2022 is Google Built-In software that can be controlled via voice commands. The all-digital 12-inch instrument panel screen is now standard equipment. AT4 was a new Yukon trim last year and for 2022 it can be optioned with the burly 6.2L V8 motor, while Redwood Metallic is added to the paint palette.
Standard 10-speed automatic transmission
Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity
All the leg room you could ever need
Dismal V8 fuel economy
No heated seats on $57,000 base model
Access to the best features requires Denali
A new high-point for massive luxury SUVs
General Motors’ venerable 5.3L V8 is standard fare on the 2022 GMC Yukon XL, making 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Available on the AT4 and Denali is a 420-horse 6.2L V8 that makes 460 torques but watch out for the roughly $2,000 premium on it. Anyone interested in towing or efficiency should check out the 3.0L Duramax turbodiesel. For about $800, it will bring 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of twist. Regardless of engine, every 2022 Yukon XL features a 10-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels unless you pony up for the 4WD running gear for an extra $3,000.
Fully independent suspension was new last year and a big upgrade over the old pickup truck-style live rear axle setup when it comes to ride comfort. To really dial up that comfort, look for the Adaptive Air Ride System that will have you literally riding on pillows filled with air and the ability to change ground clearance on command. Couple it with the available Magnetic Ride Control, featuring magnetorheological fluid-filled dampers that automatically adjust firmness based on conditions, and you can truly float down the road. At the end of the day, the Yukon XL is still nearly 19-foot-long, 3-ton barge on wheels, so don’t expect to carve up the canyons but at least the bumpy bits can be softened.
The base 2022 GMC Yukon XL can tow 7,800 pounds when fitted with the 5.3L V8, a figure that jumps to a max of 8,300 pounds if the Max Trailering package is optioned. For $465, it brings an integrated trailer brake controller, enhanced cooling radiator and hitch guidance with hitch view tech. That is on top of the standard trailer sway control, 2-inch receiver and 7-pin wiring harness.
Your best bet for “sipping” fuel is the 3.0L turbodiesel, which is rated for 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway on 2WD models. Adding 4WD drops both figures by a single digit. Next up is the 5.3L V8 that is estimated to achieve 15/20 mpg in city/highway driving in RWD-guise, or 14/19 mpg, respectively with 4WD. All that 6.2L power translates to the worst fuel efficiency at 14 mpg in city driving and 19 on the highway, regardless of drivetrain configuration.
Unabashedly massive, the 2022 GMC Yukon XL boasts the largest cargo capacity in the large SUV class as we detail in this article. That is thanks to a max volume of 144.7 cubic feet with both rows folded, 93.8 with the third row flat and still 41.5 cubes of room behind the back row. It also boasts 42-inches of middle-row legroom and more than three feet of legroom the way back. Occupants can be coddled in perforated leather with available climatized front seats and heated second row cushions.
Three rows are standard, but only the SLE offers a front-row bench seat that makes room for nine passengers. The middle row can be configured as a bench or captain’s thrones to seat seven or eight occupants on the other trim levels. With a big vehicle comes a big list of available creature comforts ranging from acoustic laminated glass and power-folding back rows to a power-sliding center console and panoramic sunroof. Exclusive to the Denali is real teak or walnut wood trim, one reason the Yukon makes this list of best full-size SUVs.
Every 2022 Yukon XL features a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple and Android integration baked in, along with Google Built-In managing things. GMC Connected Access enables additional connectivity via Wi-Fi, remote vehicle access and OnStar, while audiophiles will appreciate the available 14-speaker Bose stereo. However, the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer one-ups the Yukon XL – twice – with a 12-inch infotainment screen and 19-speaker audio system as you can read about in our comparison here. An optional $2000 package adds dual 12.6-inch screens to the front seatbacks for passenger entertainment.
GMC outfits every 2022 Yukon XL with automated emergency braking, lane keeping assist with departure warning, forward collision alert and IntelliBeam automatic high beam control. SLT trim and above adds the safety alert seat, rear cross traffic alert and lane change alert with blind spot monitoring. Seven airbags are on hand across the lineup but you’ll need at least the Denali to access adaptive cruise control and reverse automatic braking.
Base Yukon XL SLE trim is nicely outfitted with 18-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, full LED lighting and rain-sensing wipers. Even with cloth fabric, the cabin leans upscale with power-adjustable front seats, triple-zone automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Standard tech includes dual 120-volt power outlets, six USB ports spread throughout, the 10-inch infotainment screen and 12-inch digital instrument panel.
20-inch rims dress up the SLT that also features a hands-free liftgate, fully climatized front seats and perforated leather upholstery in a Jet Black or a Dark Walnut and Slate scheme. Wireless charging and a Bose 9-speaker audio system improve the level of tech, while an integrated trailer brake controller and trailer blind spot monitor making towing less stressful. The $3,130 Premium package adds HD Surround Vision, a heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof and more.
As the off-road focused model, AT4 trim features a unique front end that allows for a 32-degree approach angle with a skid plate. The Yukon XL rides on all-terrain tires with an optional air suspension system and active response 4WD to improve rough road capability. Four-wheel-drive is the only drivetrain on AT4 models that also sport an exclusive Jet Black leather interior with Brandy accents.
Denali packs on the features with Magnetic Ride Control, quad stainless-steel exhaust and a special front grille. The cabin has a power-sliding center console, heated second row, real teak or walnut wood trim and exclusive fractal upholstery stitching. There is a 15-inch color head-up display and 14-speaker Bose stereo included, with an $8,565 Reserve package bringing 22-inch rims, digital rearview mirror, power-operated running boards and a whole lot more.
GMC’s warranty includes the first factory-scheduled service in the first year of ownership and a 5-year/60,000-mile term on the powertrain and roadside assistance. Bumper-to-bumper coverage runs 3 years or 36,000 miles and diesel-powered Yukon XLs receive 5-year/100,000-mile coverage on the powertrain.
For a buyer that needs to carry lots of people in comfort and pull a trailer, it’s hard to beat the 2022 Yukon XL. Even with 8 or 9 passengers, there’s a huge cargo bay and materials are upscale across the board. It is certainly a gas hog, but the diesel option can ease that burden. Denali trim is snazzy but my money would be on the SLT thanks to its high level of amenities at a price tag $10,000 less than the top-spec model.