Max torque

Friday - - Motoring -

Sankey sofa. It even has new power fold­ing rear seats that cre­ate a cav­ernous 2,681 litres and although the sec­ond row is no­tice­ably roomier, the same can’t be said about the third. You need the Yukon XL for the ul­ti­mate in space.

The dash and cen­tre con­sole has been fresh­ened up, too, but it’s still rather chunky and though out­ward vis­i­bil­ity isn’t ex­actly com­pro­mised, it could be bet­ter. What is dis­ap­point­ing are the huge C pil­lars – they cause ter­ri­ble blind spots and you won’t just be re­liant but to­tally de­pen­dent on your side view mir­rors with side blind-zone alert. With­out them, chang­ing lanes would be a dan­ger­ous af­fair.

The ris­ing cen­tre dis­play screen finds its way here as it does with most new GM mod­els and it hides a cubby space with a USB port. The LCD in­stru­ment panel re­lays ev­ery­thing from tyre pres­sure to how many hours the en­gine has been run­ning since it left the pro­duc­tion line. Too much in­for­ma­tion for some, maybe, but bril­liant for those look­ing for an over­load of triv­ial data.

How­ever, it isn’t all smooth sail­ing . The lad­der frame con­struc­tion means that the Yukon suf­fers from a rather choppy ride even though it has GM’s third-gen­er­a­tion Mag­netic Ride Con­trol sus­pen­sion. For a lux­ury SUV, this is a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing. You could eas­ily con­fuse it for the Sierra with the way it bounces along and you’d be look­ing back to check if you’re not ac­tu­ally lug­ging a cargo bed around.

That said, it’s blessed with a fab­u­lous 6.2-litre. The pushrod V8 is tech­ni­cally old-school, but it feels thor­oughly mod­ern and has 420bhp at 5,600rpm and 624Nm of torque at 4,100rpm. It’s mated to a slick six-speed auto that sends the grunt to ei­ther the rear or all four wheels with the twist of a knob.

Even though it tips the scales at 2,623kg, it pulls from rest very strongly, but more im­pres­sive is its lack of thirst; the cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion sys­tem turns the big V8 into a four-pot when you’re cruis­ing along and gets 13 litres per 100km.

The LCD in­stru­ment panel is bril­liant for those look­ing for an over­load of triv­ial data

The elec­tric power-as­sisted rack-and­pin­ion steer­ing is another plus; it’s easy to ma­noeu­vre us­ing just a fin­ger and its turn­ing cir­cle will leave you wide-eyed. Park­ing is a breeze thanks to the rev­ers­ing cam­era and sen­sors.

Our test car packed lots more good­ies such as re­tractable steps, key­less en­try, push-but­ton start, rearseat en­ter­tain­ment with Blu-Ray and a height-pro­gram­mable pow­ered rear lift gate.

It’s loaded with fancy fea­tures, has a very com­fort­able in­te­rior, is solidly put to­gether and is rather at­trac­tive too. It’s un­der­stand­able then why the GMC Yukon is wear­ing that great big grin.

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xxxx xxx Yukon De­nali En­gine 6.2-litre V8 Trans­mis­sion Six-speed auto, 4WD Max power 420bhp @ 5,600rpm 624Nm @ 4,100rpm Top speed NA 0-100kph NA Price Dh270,000 Highs Loads of space, smooth en­gine Lows Ride qual­ity, cramped third row of seats On a high­way cruise the Yukon is sur­pris­ingly fru­gal for a car of its heft

The cabin has acres of room, with high-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als all round

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