2021 GMC Yukon Denali

Every year, WardsAuto does the tedious work of ranking and rating new vehicle interiors. This year, GMC took home big honors from Wards, as the publication says that the Yukon Denali XL “takes premium to the next level.”

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Wards says that the GMC Yukon Denali XL features “attention to detail, unique content, and a usable third row.” The Denali XL carries an interior with open-pore teakwood inlays and upscale metal trim throughout.


The publication especially liked the Denali XL’s center console, which offers a power-sliding design for better storage and comfort. In the bottom of the center console space, there’s a lockable storage area, and the console also houses two cupholders and climate controls for second-row passengers.


The Yukon Denali XL is not a small vehicle, but it’s surprising how many large SUVs fail to deliver ample third-row space. Not so with the GMC, where the simple folding third-row seats offer a usable area for most people, even adults. When the seats are folded away, Wards notes that the Yukon Denali XL brings up to 144.7 cubic-feet of cargo space.

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali

Wards also credits the GMC’s new independent rear suspension and standard magnetic ride control for helping improve the smooth, luxury experience. GMC bucked a recent trend in the auto industry by including physical controls for the audio system and climate controls. Many buyers take issue with this setup, as it doesn’t always work as advertised and it can be distracting to use touchscreen controls when on the move.


To be clear, the Yukon Denali XL is not a cheap vehicle – Wards notes that its test unit cost $86,645 – but the publication’s final statement sums up how special it really is: “From steering wheel to liftgate, this is a beautifully executed interior.”