The current generation of General Motorsâ€™ full-sized SUVs has become the dominant force in the segment. The six nameplates offered up by GM own seventy-five percent of Americaâ€™s full-sized, body-on-frame, truck-based SUV market. The GMC Yukon and GMC Yukon XL are a big part of that dominance. Their high average transaction prices and robust sales have helped build General Motors’ fastest growing brand into a sales powerhouse.
The Yukon has always been a luxurious, yet restrained, step above the Tahoe and Suburban, and the 2015 model boosted the upscale feel with the addition of better materials like real wood. A more powerful engine further differentiated the model from its Chevy sibling. Unfortunately, the 420 horsepower 6.2 liter V8 was only available on the Denali-trimmed Yukons.
That is, until the 2019 GMC Yukon hits dealer lots. But there’s a catch.
The Yukon twins have added around 175,000 units to GMâ€™s sales totals the last two years. While that is significantly less than combined Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban sales, the Yukon and Yukon XL print money from the top of Truck Mountain. Fifty-four percent of Yukon and sixty-three percent of Yukon XL sales are Denali. That means that, in the last two years, General Motors has sold 100,000 or more Yukon and Yukon XL Denalis. The cheapest version of these trucks starts at an MSRP of $66,200.
For 2019, the GMC Yukon continues its recipe for success. There are no major changes to the Yukon Denali or the base trim level. There is, however, an interesting package added to the SLT trim level on both the Yukon and Yukon XL, according to the MY2019 GMC fleet order guide.
Enter the GMC Yukon Graphite Edition.
Following a similar formula to the Chevrolet Tahoe RSTÂ (seen above), the Graphite Edition Yukon strips away most of the chrome trim and replaces it with gloss black accents. The package includes 22-inch bright machined wheels with Carbon Flash Metallic pockets, black assist steps with Gloss Black accents, Black Chrome grille mesh inserts and fog lamp surround, body-color grille surround, Gloss Black beltline moldings, and the Z85 Suspension Package.
For those that demand the goodness that is General Motorsâ€™ 6.2-liter V8, youâ€™ll have to step up to the Graphite Performance Edition. This package includes the aforementioned 6.2L V8 engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission, 22-inch six-spoke Black wheels, LPO, an 8-inch diagonal Driver Information Center, Head-Up Display, 8-inch diagonal Color Touch Screen Navigation with GMC Infotainment System, a trailer brake controller, 170-amp alternator, 3.23 axle ratio, two-speed active transfer case on 4WD models, and Magnetic Ride Control. The Graphite Edition is also a requirement of the Graphite Performance Edition.
Until now, if a Yukon buyer wanted the 6.2L V8, 10-speed automatic, and Magnetic Ride Control, they would have to check the Denali box. Now they have another option. However, without these packages, the MSRP of the 2018 Yukon SLT is $58,495. Pricing hasnâ€™t been announced, but the Graphite and Graphite Performance Edition will surely close the gap between the SLT and Denali in terms of price.
Summed up, the 6.2L V8 and 10-speed transmission powertrain combination is available on a lower trimmed Yukon. It just wonâ€™t cost you much less.
[Images: General Motors, Matthew Guy/TTAC]