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A black 2022 GMC Yukon XL is shown from the side parked on a of a mountain trail.

The Yukon XL: What’s New for 2022

If you’re shopping for a large SUV, then the GMC Yukon XL is one of the best options you’ll find, delivering fantastic performance, robust size, and a gorgeous interior. Although last year launched an all-new, updated model, the 2022 GMC Yukon XL has its fair share of highlights and improvements that make this impressive vehicle even better. With roomy seating for up to nine people, a choice of three different powerful engines, and some of the most impressive technology features on the road, this is one of my favorite suggestions whenever I talk to a friend who’s looking for an SUV their entire family can pile into.

Before going any further, it’s worth noting that the Yukon XL and the slightly smaller Yukon are both excellent full-size SUVs. The major difference between them is their overall size: the Yukon has an overall length of 210 inches with just over 25 cu.ft. of rear cargo volume and nearly 35 inches of legroom in the third row, while the Yukon XL is 225 inches long, with more than 41 cu.ft. of rear cargo volume and nearly 37 inches of legroom in the back. Beyond these size differences, however, they’re both quite comparable, and you can get an amazing family SUV with either of them.

The 2021 Yukon XL Update

Before jumping into the new features and options for the 2022 GMC Yukon XL, it’s worth taking a moment to look at what last year brought to the table because it was the launch of a new generation for this SUV, and much of this carried over unchanged into this year. There are three different engines available for you to choose from on the Yukon XL, though the trim you pick will impact which ones are available. The starting option is a 5.3L V8 engine with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, though there is also an available 6.2L V8 engine that delivers 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. If you prefer a diesel engine, then you can get a 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel that provides 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. No matter which engine you choose, however, it comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Driving the Yukon XL has never been more of a pleasure, thanks to an available four-corner air ride adaptive suspension that makes even the roughest roads incredibly comfortable. With this first-in-class suspension, you can raise the Yukon XL by up to two inches in order to increase your ground clearance, and it adjusts dynamically while driving to provide you with the smoothest, most aerodynamic ride possible. If you’re interested in going off-road, then the impressive AT4 trim features a trail-focused front-end with up to a 34.5-degree approach angle, standard Four-Wheel Drive (4WD), and a front skid plate to protect the underside.

Inside the 2022 Yukon XL, you’ll find one of the most luxurious and impressive interiors of any vehicle on the road, with plenty of space for all of your passengers. You can choose a model with seats for seven, eight, or even nine passengers, depending on what you need, and the newly-designed independent rear suspension allows for a lower floor to give third-row passengers more legroom. With its massive size, the Yukon XL offers more than 144 cu.ft. of total cargo volume behind the front row of seats; by comparison, the somewhat smaller Yukon tops out at about 123 cu.ft. of total cargo volume.

A close up of the infotainment screen in a 2022 GMC Yukon XL is shown.

New for 2022: Updated Technology

Not known for resting on their laurels, the folks at GMC weren’t happy to just roll all of the impressive improvements of the 2021 update forward into this year and call it a day. The 2022 model doesn’t have many massive changes, as you’d expect since they just launched a new generation, but there are some significant improvements. In terms of technology, last year’s model was already excellent, and yet the 2022 Yukon XL is somehow even better.

I’d argue that the single most-impressive update for the 2022 model year is that every GMC Yukon XL now comes with a standard 12-inch driver information center display. That’s standard across the lineup, so even a starting model in the SLE trim features this massive screen for you to utilize as the driver. The driver display is paired with a 10.2-inch reconfigurable infotainment display, and the two screens give you a tremendous amount of display area to easily keep an eye on without pulling your attention from the road for too long. When you combine this with an updated infotainment system that includes Google Built-In and excellent voice controls, along with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Wireless Android Auto compatibility standard, you get a high-tech experience no matter which trim you choose.

New for 2022: Greater Engine Options

Although the three available engines for the 2022 Yukon XL are the same as last year, they are now more available across a wider selection of trims. The biggest update here is especially appealing if you’re interested in taking your full-size SUV off-road, as the AT4 trim, which comes with the 5.3L V8 standard, can now come with the available 6.2L V8 engine for the best overall power and performance. This makes for an incredibly capable off-road SUV that will let you easily dominate any trail you throw it at.

A black 2022 GMC Yukon XL Denali is shown from the rear driving on a road.

New for 2022: Improved Denali Trim

If you’re someone who’s already interested in getting the most from your vehicle, then you’d probably have your eye on the legendary Denali trim for the 2022 GMC Yukon XL regardless of any updates. This is the pinnacle Yukon XL experience, and it delivers one of the most luxurious and impressive interiors on the road. Standard features inside the Denali include a Bose 14-speaker Surround with CenterPoint audio system, perforated leather-appointed seats, and heated and ventilated front seats with heated second-row seats.

You get a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel inside the Denali, along with a 15-inch multicolor head-up display that joins the 10.2-inch infotainment screen and 12-inch driver display to give you a terrific level of technological support. The Yukon XL Denali also includes a wireless charging pad, numerous USB ports for charging and data, as well as tri-zone automatic climate control to ensure that you and all of your passengers are as comfortable as possible. You can take all of this even further with available features that include a panoramic power sunroof, power-retractable assist steps to help you get in and out, and a rear-seat media system to ensure any kids in the back stay entertained.

GMC has added to these fantastic features this year, however, as the power-sliding center console that was available last year is now standard on the Denali trim. This console between the front seats features an overhead power switch that you can hit to slide the top of the console back 10 inches from where it normally sits. This opens up a hidden storage drawer you can use to hold large items that would not normally fit into the console. You can also stash smaller items in this storage area, then slide the console forward to cover them and keep them hidden and secure.

The Best Yukon XL Yet!

As you can see, the updates for 2022 take the fantastic Yukon XL even further than what we already had last year. If you’re interested in the Denali or AT4 trims, then the addition of better standard features and a more powerful engine for going off-road should definitely catch your eye. Plus, the improved standard driver display means that every Yukon XL is now more functional and driver-friendly than ever before.