2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate Kicks Luxury up a New Notch

GMC, looking to outdo its own top-spec luxury Denali trim, introduced the 2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate as the new king of its large SUV lineup on Tuesday. It's the first Yukon to be offered with the Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance system, which can now change lanes automatically or tow hands-free on compatible roads.

The Denali badge has been used to mark the chrome-appointed, leather-wrapped, top-of-the-line vehicles for the General Motors marque since 1998. Currently, every one of its vehicles (besides the Hummer EV) offers a Denali trim, including the pickups.

The exterior of the new Yukon gets a few tweaks to match the highest-level luxury feel that GMC is aiming towards. At the front, the GMC badge on the Vader Chrome grille is featured in a singular dark chrome along with extra Galvano (silver) accents.

Along the sides, Vader chrome fender vents and finish accents are also unique to the Yukon Denali Ultimate. The 22-inch wheels feature a seven-spoke, ultra-bright design with chrome accents.

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Like the regular 2022 GMC Yukon Denali, the Ultimate will get its power from a standard 6.2-liter V8 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission that puts out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

An optional turbo-diesel 3.0-liter Duramax engine, also with a 10-speed automatic, makes 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

For comfort, the Yukon Denali Ultimate affords the front row with 16-way power seats with massage capabilities. The interior is lined in Alpine Umber brown, with full-grain leather seats for all three rows.

Also new to the Denali Ultimate is the plaited cross-stitching along those seats and interior trims. That open-pore Paldao wood trim is laser-etched with a topographical depiction of Mount Denali, the SUVs namesake. Aluminum decor trim completes the look.

2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate
A view of the front row of the 2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate. General Motors

A new 18-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system is also standard, appearing on the Yukon Denali for the first time. As part of the system, head restraint-based speakers are included for front-row passengers.

A 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen display with built-in Google functionality sits at the center of the dashboard. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

Amazon Alexa and a Wi-Fi hotspot are optional.

Air Ride adaptive suspension, Magnetic Ride Control and a four-wheel drive system with an electronic limited-slip differential and a two-speed transfer case are all standard on the Yukon Denali Ultimate.

GM's Super Cruise now works on more than 200,000 approved North American roads. It can perform some driving functions like staying centered in a lane, changing lanes and following the car ahead with adaptive cruise control. The driver must be paying attention and be ready to take over when prompted.

The Yukon Denali Ultimate will join the 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate, also with Super Cruise. That premium pickup, introduced in February, will be at the top of its respective lineup as well.

Pricing details have yet to be released for the 2023 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate. The company says that it will be available for purchase in the fall.

A base 2022 GMC Yukon Denali starts at $70,600. The XL version, which stretches the SUVs length by 15.2 inches, begins at $73,300.

The top spec Yukon Denali Ultimate will compete with the 2022 Ford Expedition Platinum, which begins at $78,805, and the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which has a starting MSRP of $88,640.