At the same time that they announced upgrades for the Silverado full-size pickup range for Australia and New Zealand, General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) also confirmed that the GMC Yukon SUV will be coming to Australia in 2025.
“I’m excited to confirm the new GMC Yukon will be remanufactured here in Melbourne and will be available in Australia and New Zealand,” said Greg Rowe, Director of GMSV. “GMSV has made a real impression in the local market and, thanks to this success, we’ve been able to make a strong business case for additional models.”
The success Rowe refers to includes more than 8,000 sales for the locally remanufactured Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup in three years, as well as interest in the Corvette sports car that is made in right-hand drive in the USA.
“The popularity of GMSV and the vehicles we sell through our network has grown substantially in a few short years and this success was what inspired us to investigate the possibility of adding an all-new model to the line-up,” Rowe added.
While some are seeing the Yukon as a rival to the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series and Nissan’s upcoming Y63 Patrol, the luxury spec and price tag will more likely place the GMC in the same sphere as SUVs from Lexus, Audi, Range Rover, BMW and Mercedes. GMSV’s decision to go for the GMC, instead of the similar but lower-spec Chevrolet Tahoe makes this pitch to the premium market more apparent. Regardless of the reasons behind its selection, the Yukon will be the first full-size General Motors SUV to be sold in Australia since the Chevrolet Suburban was rebadged as a Holden in the late 1990s (the Hummer H3 released here in 2007-2009 was considered mid-size).
The Yukon coming to Australia will be in the Denali grade that’s powered by a 6.2-litre petrol V8 (exclusive to this grade) producing 420hp and 460lb/ft (313kW and 623Nm), with cylinder de-activation and engine stop-start tech. This is matched to a ten-speed auto transmission and four-wheel drive, but whether the Yukon Denali will also be offered in 2WD form, as well as the longer ‘Yukon XL’ that’s available in the USA is unknown.
In 2023, the Yukon Denali Ultimate, a new addition, came with ‘active response’ four-wheel drive, an electronic LSD and two-speed transfer case, but it’s unclear whether this package will be offered locally.
Against the 6.2 V8, a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel six-cylinder engine is standard for the lower spec Yukon SLE and SLT in North America, but this engine almost certainly won’t be offered here. Listed economy from the 6.2 V8 is a thirsty 14.7lt/100km, with the 3.0 TD six only marginally better at 13.8lt/100km. Tank capacity is 90.8 litres, with the ability to run on E15 fuel.
Yukon Denali dimensions include a 3,070mm (120.9-inch) wheelbase, 5,334mm (210.0-inch) length, 2,057mm (81.0-inch) width and 1,943mm (76.5-inch) height. Ground clearance is 203mm (8.0 inches), but no wading depth figure is provided. Listed payload is 758kg (1,671lb) and maximum towing capacity is 3,719kg (8,200lb), while estimated GVM of 3,400kg means the Yukon comes under the 4.5 tonne threshold to be driven on a car licence. Twenty-inch wheels are standard, with up to 22-inch optional, while cargo volume is up to 122.9 cubic feet (3,480 litres) with second- and third-row seats folded.
It should be noted that the Denali grade is a seven-seater, while the SLE and SLT have room for eight. GMSV say the Yukon Denali for the local market will be “highly-equipped,” but specification has yet to be revealed.
Standard Yukon Denali features for the US market include Magnetic Ride Control for the coilover front and multi-link rear suspension (with stabiliser bars front and rear), a mechanical LSD, LED lighting with auto high beam, auto wipers, a hands-free power tailgate, keyless entry, remote starting, three-zone climate control, leather-accented power seats for all three rows, heated and ventilated front seats with memory function, heated outboard second-row seats, a power-adjustable steering column and heated steering wheel and power sliding console. Tech includes a 15-inch head up display, a 12-inch instrument display, 10.2-inch centre touchscreen with GMC Infotainment and Google Built-In compatibility, a 14-speaker Bose sound system, an HD Surround Vision camera offering up to 13 different camera views, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging pad and a WiFi hotspot.
On the Yukon Denali Ultimate, there’s 22-inch wheels, air adaptive suspension (optional on the Yukon Denali), exterior accents in ‘Vader Chrome,’ full leather trim with genuine Paldao timber accents and an 18-speaker Bose sound system. Some of these features might make it onto Australian market Yukons, in the same way specs and option packages were combined for the Silverado 1500.
Safety spec (under the GMC Pro Safety Plus package) includes Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, Hill Start Assist, Hitch Guidance, StabiliTrak ESC, Trailer Sway Control, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Front and Rear Park Assist, tyre pressure monitoring and seven airbags. Curiously, Adaptive Cruise Control appears to be optional only.
With the Yukon and Chevrolet’s Silverado 1500 pickup sharing the same body-on-frame architecture, the remanufacturing process to right-hand drive for the Aust/NZ market undertaken by the Walkinshaw Automotive Group should be easier, as the process has already been refined on the Silverado.
The first examples of the GMC Yukon Denali are expected to arrive in GMSV showrooms by early 2025. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but with the Denali grade starting at US$79,200 (US$76,200 for the 2WD version) in the USA, Australian pricing is likely to be in the region of $150,000 or more.
Specs and pricing won’t be revealed until shortly before local sales commence in early 2025.