Trim packages can be confusing. A lot of the time, it seems like they’re a jumble of letter combinations with differences so small that it’s not even worth researching. Should you get the ZX, the TRBX, the AGFKLX, or the REZBJYF? And which one has the heated steering wheel, again? GMC makes it easy. While their vehicles do have their own lineup of trims, there’s some uniformity in classics like the SLE, SLT, Denali, and AT4, which can be found on several different models. Each has its own distinct purpose, with the SLE and SLT offering the practicality of two different base-level trims, the Denali offering a luxury vehicle with premium sporty features, and the AT4 offering off-road performance.
While all of these trims have their time and place, if you’re struggling to decide which one is best for you, there is a strong argument to be made that the Denali offers the overall best driving experience. This is especially true for the 2023 model year since GMC is taking the Denali to a new level. In fact, GMC is taking it to the ultimate level with the new 2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate. This is a very special Denali that brings its best features to the forefront in order to craft a truly special SUV. So, let’s see why and how the Yukon Denali Ultimate is able to provide the ultimate driving experience.
What’s in a Drive?
The experience of driving entails more than it used to. It’s no longer about the mere utilitarianism of transportation; it’s about the balance of performance, design, and technology. Some vehicles lean into one of these more than the other two, putting them in the realm of specialty, but the best ones find the successful integration of all three components, making for a seamless, easy, and enjoyable drive, whether it’s a daily commute or a cross-country road trip. With an SUV like the Yukon, this is especially important.
It’s easy to be good at one thing, like a sports car with incredible performance or a truck with heavy-duty towing capabilities, but being good in one niche area isn’t the best thing for most people. SUVs fill an interesting hole in the market, often trying to cross the comfortable and luxurious feel of a sedan with the power and performance of a truck. The Yukon Denali trim has done all of this and more, and the Denali Ultimate is taking it all to the next level. The Denali Ultimate combines all the things you might love about a luxury sports car and mixes it with the rugged capabilities of a truck.
An SUV Needs to Be Able to Do It All
Sports cars, and I mean true sports cars, not sporty sedans, make their way in the industry by promising both cutting-edge design and road-ripping performance. The idea of this combination is not a new one, but sports cars and SUVs have very different audiences. So how does this combination translate into an SUV?
Well, SUVs need to be powerful because they are larger, and they tend to have tuned performance specs to compensate for the larger amount of bulk. The Denali Ultimate, for example, has a powerful 6.2L V8 engine that produces 420 horsepower. It may not feel quite as peppy as your typical sports car due to its size, but it sure can keep up once it gets going.
However, performance isn’t the only thing SUV owners are worried about. An SUV is likely to be purchased by families or those who need workhorse capability, not road-ripping performance. With SUV seats folded, you are going to get enough space to rival a pickup bed, and you can also tow along extra cargo if you need to; nobody’s towing 8,000 pounds behind a Mustang. But SUVs and pickups don’t attract the same drivers.
An SUV is less likely to show up at a worksite than a pickup, meaning that an SUV is likely to be used more domestically than a truck. So, an SUV needs to cater to the workhorse in the domestic vehicle user. With domestic use comes commutes, date nights, family outings, road trips, and time with friends. So, while you may utilize the SUV architecture to its fullest by loading up the back of the car, you’ll want to have those nice sporty features for the day-to-day, the romantic, and the road trips.
The Denali Ultimate Performance
Crafting this combination of workhorse performance and premium design is not necessarily easy. Many SUVs set out to do it, but few achieve it as the 2023 Yukon Denali Ultimate does. Since we’re looking at performance and design, let’s take them one by one, starting with performance.
It all begins with the engine. You can have the biggest, boldest SUV build, but if you don’t have the right engine, that build won’t be capable of much. Thankfully, the GM engineers know this and decided to equip the Yukon Denali with a standard 6.2-liter V8 engine. Let’s pause there.
The fact that this is the standard engine is a big deal! This engine is one of GM’s top dogs, if not the top dog. It is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission and produces 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. That truly is pickup-level performance (seriously, that’s the same as the Sierra at the top level). Standardization of top-level performance is the Yukon Denali Ultimate’s big gift to drivers, along with standard Magnetic Ride Control, Air Ride Adaptive Suspension, and Active Response 4WD.
Can’t Forget About Comfort and Style
Driving (and riding) means a lot of sitting. Sometimes this is great, but I think we all agree that this can get old after a while. The Yukon Denali Ultimate, though, works to keep you comfortable for the whole ride with front seats that are power-adjustable 16 ways and include built-in massage settings. I don’t know about you, but if I was getting a massage for my whole drive, I’d probably want it to last a little longer.
If you’re a music person, then you’ll probably also be a Yukon Denali Ultimate person because this SUV is introducing an advanced 18-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system. You won’t miss a beat with a system like that, and whatever your open-road jam may be, you’ll be jamming even harder with premium sound. But 18 speakers is a lot, even for an SUV, so the Denali Ultimate works them into the vehicle’s stylish design. Your front-row seats are not only 16-way power-adjustable with built-in massage capability but also include head restraint-based speakers, so you’ll be fully immersed in the sound. The etched metal speaker grilles make these built-in speakers fit right into the design concept, nicely complementing the beautiful Alpine Amber interior.
Even the color scheme helps the Yukon Denali Ultimate provide a heightened driving experience. The warm textures and colors give the vehicle a comforting, welcoming, and rustic appearance that makes you want to stay in the car for long periods of time. That’s how you know you’ve struck something special with a vehicle: when you want to keep driving even longer than your destination allows. There’s no doubt the 2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate is something special.
The Ultimate Denali Trim
The Denali is a great trim, but in classic GM fashion, GMC saw an opportunity for improvement, so they took things to the next level. Now, we have the Yukon Denali Ultimate. It’s hard to find a trim package that offers the best of all worlds, but the Denali Ultimate seems to do just that. Reaching the vehicle’s top performance specs while offering the most premium design features in the Yukon lineup, the Denali Ultimate is not comparable to any of the other trims. This is an ideal SUV for those seeking both a workhorse and a refined luxury vehicle. You’ll never want to stop driving when you’re behind the wheel of this premium SUV.