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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A white 2020 GMC Yukon is parked in front of Fall foliage.

What do You Really Want Out of Your SUV?

Sport utility vehicles are everywhere these days. You’ve got the subcompacts, the compacts, the crossovers, the mid-size, the full-size and some interesting combinations of more than one of the above. Virtually every driver on this planet can find the right SUV for them. Even on Mars, the Mars Rover is technically a sport utility vehicle since it has yet to go on-road anywhere on that planet. There are some SUVs that do one or two things exceptionally well and there are some that do pretty much everything adequately. There are even some that should have packed it in a long time ago. So, the question is, where does a vehicle like the 2020 GMC Yukon fit in?

The GMC Yukon has been around long enough that it has carved out quite a little niche for itself by now. Sadly, it tends to get lost in a big family of General Motors vehicles but not because it isn’t an amazing ride. It’s cousin, the Cadillac Escalade is still more luxurious. It’s not yet as powerful as the Chevrolet Suburban (but things change). However, we are on the verge of a newer generation of the Yukon that could blow its GM family out of the water. As of right now, it sits somewhere in the middle, like a second cousin at Thanksgiving. It is just kind of there, but with a lot to offer and way more potential than many expect.

In a market where you are expected to stand out in some way, the 2020 GMC Yukon throws some great punches. It has the traits other comparable SUVs: a large cargo space and an interior fit for families. It has some amazing selling points, namely the Denali trim level and incredible towing power. For the most part, though, the 2020 GMC Yukon is rather unchanged from previous years. While unchanged, it’s still one great SUV and we think you’re going to love it.


A grey 2020 GMC Yukon is driving through leaves on the road.

The 2020 GMC Yukon has two available engines, the same two from the 2019 year model. The base engine is a 5.3L V8 with 383 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque. GMC saved the bigger engine for the impressive Denali trim level.

Available only on the Denali trim level is the much more powerful 6.2L V8 with 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Anyone familiar with General Motors will recognize this engine and knows how powerful it is. It is more than capable of towing and hauling most anything you can expect an SUV to tow or haul, and then some. In fact, this is one of the most impressive facets of the 2020 GMC Yukon. This engine on the Yukon Denali can tow up to 8,500 pounds and haul around 1,618 pounds worth of your stuff. Not bad for an SUV.

For a vehicle like the 2020 GMC Yukon that needed something to really stand out against its GM family, this is a great feature to claim. The Yukon can be used for off-roading due to its size and build. It can be great for certain weekend getaways or even as a work vehicle. Having the capacity to tow and haul as much as it can, will certainly tip the scales.


There is a reason that GMC created the Yukon XL in the 1990s and why they continue to produce it to this day. The Yukon XL extends the rear end by a couple of feet, thereby dramatically increasing cargo space.

As for what the 2020 Yukon does have in the way of interior space, it offers pretty good passenger space, at least for the first two rows of seats. The first row has 42.8 inches of headroom and 45.3 inches of legroom. The second row drops down to 38.7 inches of headroom and 39 inches of legroom. The third row, however, will feel pretty cramped for an adult, with 38.1 inches of headroom but only 24.8 inches of legroom but it’s perfect for kids. If you plan on having multiple adult passengers, you will want to have the taller ones sit in either the front or second row, the third row is better for children.

The cargo space behind the third row of seats is 15.3 cubic feet of space, average for a vehicle with a third row. This is about what you will find in the trunk of a large sedan.

Fortunately, the second and third rows can be folded down to drastically improve upon the paltry 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space. With the third row down, the cargo space more than triples to 51.7 cubic feet. With the second row down, that number balloons to 94.7 cubic feet, which is among the best in class. However, if you really need that cargo space, the Yukon XL offers 121.7 cubic feet with all rows down, which is the most cargo space offered in any SUV on the market.

If your day to day cargo needs, like groceries, book bags, work projects and the like need a lot of space, the 2020 GMC Yukon will be more than enough. You’ll be free to tow around people, luggage, and your kids class project with ease.

The interior of a 2020 GMC Yukon is shown.

Tech Features

The GMC Yukon gets an expected, but sometimes unfair comparison to the Chevy Tahoe. On a mechanical level, they are twins, but the Tahoe is much more popular. Still, the Yukon has a few ways to set itself apart. The interior is made of nicer quality materials, and the standard tech features include an 8” touchscreen infotainment display, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The real difference is on the Denali trim level which blows the Tahoe out of the water completely.

Standard on the 2020 GMC Yukon Denali is keyless ignition, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors. These have all become popular convenience and safety features in the last few years, and they are only a small sample of such available features. As for infotainment, the Denali has a 10-speaker Bose stereo system with a subwoofer and surround sound, USB ports, and a rear-seat entertainment system with DVD/BluRay capability. That rear-seat entertainment system will come in very handy on long trips with entertainment-starved children.

The 2020 GMC Yukon is not a fantastic SUV. It does quite a few things well, while providing luxury that almost matches the Cadillac Escalade. It is much like any number of other SUVs out there but with more space and comfort features available. With the breadth of choices in the SUV market, the Yukon is a top contender.

Perhaps your perfect vehicle is the 2020 GMC Yukon. Everyone has unique and particular needs out of their sport utility vehicle and this offering should match (and even exceed) your needs quite well. However, this SUV can only go up from here as we’re expecting some amazing things in the near future.

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