The 2001 Yukon XL allowed GMC the first opportunity to expand the Denali premium name beyond the shorter-wheelbase Yukon structure. 219.3 inches in length, the long luxury-trimmed sport utility vehicle maintained a tough truck appearance and capacities. Standard equipped with full-time all-wheel drive, the ride of the 2001 GMC Yukon XL Denali operates on a suspension incorporating Auto Ride Control.
Generating 320 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque, a 6.0 Vortec V-8 engine powering the 2001 Yukon XL Denali included a high-capacity air cleaner. The powerplant was linked to a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and a Tow/Haul mode. An auxiliary transmission oil cooler proved ideal for protecting the gearbox against the work of pulling up to 8,400 pounds. With leather seating for up to eight passengers, the 2001 Yukon XL Denalis interior amenities included an 11-speaker sound system featuring a six-disc in-dash CD changer, power windows and keyless entry. For 2003, the Yukon XL Denali became a recipient of General Motors Stabilitrak electronic stability control in addition to enhancements to braking. For 2005, engine power from the 6.0-liter V-8 engine was elevated to 335 horsepower. Redesigned for the 2007 model year, the GMC Yukon XL Denali received an all-new front end complete with the chrome mesh grille associated with the Denali.
The 2007 GMC Yukon XL Denali received propulsion from an all-new 6.2-liter Vortec V-8 engine matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. The new engine produced 380 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque but boasted improved efficiency thanks to variable valve timing. The 2009 model of the Yukon XL Denali received available Side Blind Zone Alert system, third-row DVD entertainment system and a rear-view camera system.