Car Buyer Labs

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A black 2022 GMC Yukon XL is shown from the front during a 2022 GMC Yukon XL vs 2022 Ford Expedition Max comparison.

The Big Choice: Yukon XL vs Expedition MAX

SUVs often go underutilized, as popular as they may be. A vehicle that has the potential to tear up both the road and the trail with some of the most impressive performance specs you will find, fantastic luxury features, and leading technology often ends up being a commuter vehicle used for mere errands and daily commutes. Perhaps this is because most people are unaware of what their SUVs are truly capable of. Well, I want to make sure that you are not an uneducated buyer, and that you consider the full range of capabilities from your prospective vehicle. I’ll start with a little comparison: the 2022 GMC Yukon XL vs 2022 Ford Expedition Max.

The Reputation Behind the Brand

If you’re buying a vehicle, especially a large vehicle like an SUV, you want a brand with a strong reputation and a long history of experience and success. The good news is that both of these brands have that. Ford has firmly written in history as one of the United States’ true pioneers of automotive production, and GMC is an award-winning brand that focuses on large vehicle production, mainly SUVs and pickup trucks. Furthermore, GMC is a brand of General Motors, which has been a leader in the automotive industry since it was founded over a century ago.

So, can you go wrong with either brand? No. But does that mean that you should blindly choose one vehicle or the other? No.

A black 2022 Ford Expedition Max is shown from the side driving on a suburban road.

What’s Important?

It’s easy to be swayed in one direction or the other by flashy and exciting features, especially if you don’t consider yourself a car enthusiast. Sometimes the big infotainment screen can be more of a lure than you ever realized. If those tech features are important to you, then certainly consider them. But, those features may not seem as appealing if your vehicle consistently can’t perform as you need it to, if it doesn’t have enough space when the family is heading off for vacation, or if you need to take it into the shop with great frequency. Heck, those features may not be as appealing once you start seeing the gas bills pile up from a lack of fuel efficiency.

I can’t tell you what is important to you personally, so you have to consider that for yourself. But, when considering an SUV, three areas to pay close attention to are performance, design (including layout and spacing), and technology. While one of these three areas may jump out to you as more important than the others, these three factors work together to, essentially, craft the whole of your driving experience. So, regardless of which one of the three jumps out to you the most, you may be surprised at how the other two come into play as you spend more and more time in your vehicle. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at these three sectors of both the 2022 GMC Yukon XL and the 2022 Ford Expedition Max.

A black 2022 Ford Expedition Max is shown from the side driving on a suburban road.


If you’re seeking the thrills of high performance specs, then you’ve come to the right place, as both of these vehicles will provide plenty of capability. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and you don’t even know what the words “horsepower” or “torque” mean, then consider what kind of driving you are looking to do. If you do a lot of freeway driving, or if your drives tend to traverse more dynamic and intense terrain, then these performance specs make a bigger difference than you may realize.

The 2022 Expedition Max is available in the XLT, Limited, Platinum, and King Ranch trims. The XLT Max trim sees a maximum horsepower capability of 380 and a maximum torque capability of 470 lb-ft. Moving up a trim level, you’ll be able to reach 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. That is a significant difference, so if performance specs are important to you, you’ll want to go above the XLT.

If towing is important to you, the Expedition will have you well set up, as the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package allows towing up to 9,300 lbs. That’s a healthy amount of trailering weight for an SUV, and combined with the aforementioned performance specs, you won’t be lacking in capability. But we haven’t even gotten to the Yukon XL yet.

The 2022 GMC Yukon XL really excels in the performance sector. When equipped with the 6.2-L V8 engine, the SUV tops out at 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. While the two SUVs are just about on the same stage in terms of torque, the Yukon XL offers a significantly greater horsepower capability. The Yukon XL offers a generous trailering capacity of 8,300 lbs as well. While this is a little bit less than the Expedition, the Yukon XL makes up for whatever is lost by far exceeding the Expedition Max in terms of interior space.


Even if you are not seeking first-rate luxury features, the design really does matter because the layout of the vehicle affects both the experience of you and your passengers during each drive. It also determines your ability to store cargo. The Expedition Max provides a maximum cargo capacity of 121.5 cu.ft. This sounds like a generous number (and it is), until you consider the fact that the Yukon XL provides 144.7 cu.ft. of cargo space.

Consider the reality of the situation: 8,300 lbs is a very good maximum towing capacity, and if you are using the vehicle for family-oriented purposes, then the significantly heightened cargo capacity will be of greater benefit, giving the Yukon XL the upper hand. On top of that, the Yukon XL is offered in GMC’s acclaimed Denali trim, which transforms this spacious and highly-performing vehicle into a luxury limousine-style SUV. So, if you’re looking for ample space and elegant design features, a Yukon XL Denali may just be your golden ticket.

The black interior of a 2022 GMC Yukon XL shows the infotainment screens in the back seats.


Technology is closely related to vehicle performance in terms of practical driving assists and closely related to design in entertainment and connectivity. The 2022 Expedition Max comes standard with SYNC 4 and offers available SYNC 4A technology. You also get some exciting safety technology features, including Road Edge Detection and Intersection Assist. These will all come in handy, and you will certainly be well connected with Ford’s SYNC technology.

The truth of the matter, though, is that GM is really excelling in the technology department right now. With a 15” diagonal head-up display (which is both convenient and awesome), up to 13 camera views making sure that you are always well-aware of your surroundings, dual 12.6” LCD touchscreens on the driver and passenger seatbacks, and Safety Assist (which is one of the most profound safety packages on the market right now), the Yukon XL makes every drive easy and enjoyable—for both the driver and passengers.

Making the Choice

Can you go wrong with either one of these vehicles? No. That doesn’t mean, however, that one won’t serve you better than the other. While you have to decide what is important to you, the 2022 Yukon XL is likely to give you a better overall experience. GM simply excels in automotive production, and the proof is in GMC’s vehicles.

While the 2022 Expedition Max may have a few extra units of capability here or there, those are well compensated for in a stellar driving experience in the Yukon XL. You may want to give both a try, but I think you’ll find that the Yukon XL resonates more with drivers and passengers alike.