- 2015 Yukon Denali 2WD Test Drive and Review
- Jay Leno Celebrates 1 Million YouTube Subscribers on Garage Channel with 2015 Mustang GT Donuts: Video
- 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Real-World Quick Spin
Posted: 27 Nov 2014 06:00 AM PST
Last month I spent some time with GMC Marketing Manager, Stu Pierce, talking about the brand's purposeful upscale approach to building the new Yukon, Yukon Denali and the longer wheelbase XL versions. Pierce explained that the concept of building capable work vehicles that offered a high level of comfort and luxury drove the design and execution of the entire 2015 GMC line-up. My week with the all-new 2015 Yukon Denali 2WD convinced me that GMC succeeded, even exceeded, expectations.
First glance at the new exterior gave the impression of a muscle-bound brute wearing a tuxedo. Although it is apparent that the Yukon has spent some time in etiquette school, the proportions and dimensions of the full-size SUV left little to the imagination. The giant chrome grill, wide hulky stance, boxy lines, and massive optional 22-inch wheels, declare that GMC's new Yukon means business.
The interior of the new Yukon, especially in the Denali trim, offers an elevated level of functional luxury. The leather upholstery, complemented by real wood and aluminum trim, creates a pampered level of comfort that belies the exterior's aggressive styling. Once you step up into the Denali's cavernous interior and close the doors, you immediately forget that you are sitting inside a body-on-frame bruiser that is capable of towing 8,400 lbs.
GMC has gone to great lengths to provide a quiet cabin. The Denali's standard active noise cancellation, combined with exterior tweaks designed to reduce wind buffeting, keep the outside noise out. Even having a conversation with my daughter in the third row is a real possibility, of course the iPhone earbuds present another obstacle, but you can hardly blame that on the SUV.
The driver and front passenger have plenty of room; the heated and ventilated seats are comfortable and forgiving, even on longer road trips. The center console is gigantic, I was able to fit my entire camera bag inside and close the lid. Considering that I couldn't fit the same bag in the trunk of the Jaguar F-Type convertible, the irony here made me smile.
Second row passengers will enjoy the 2015's increased legroom and better access due to the increased door opening size. Unfortunately, the third row is more of a plus three than an actual usable third row for adults. The shallow rise of the seat is the biggest problem; legroom is minimal at best. The longer wheelbase XL model remedies this issue to an extent and if you have a large family, I would encourage the bigger vehicle. Considering the additional rear cargo space when all seating is in use – 38.9 versus 15.3 cubic feet – the XL would make an excellent road trip vehicle for seven to nine, with optional first row bench seat, adults.
Powering the 2015 Yukon and Yukon Denali are a duo of powerful and efficient V8 EcoTec3 engines. The Yukon and Yukon XL come standard with GM’s new 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque 5.3-liter V-8. Gas mileage, thanks in part to direct injection and cylinder deactivation, comes in at an inspiring 16-mpg city and 23-mpg highway. Yukon Denali models, like the vehicle I reviewed, are equipped with a beefy 6.2-liter V-8 that creates a segment-leading 420-horsepower and 460-pound-feet of torque. Gas mileage, thanks again to GM's technology, remains high, at a respectable 15-mpg city and 22 on the highway. Although my review vehicle was an early 2015 model equipped with a 6-speed, all Yukon Denali models built after October 5, 2014, thanks to a midyear cycle refresh, receive an 8-speed automatic. All Yukon's are available in either rear or four-wheel drive configurations.
Handling in the Yukon is excellent. The new electric power steering is precise and confidence building. The Yukon continues with a rear live-axle leaf spring design, but the 2015 enhancements include a wider rear track and now standard fully automatic locking rear differential.
The Denali models come equipped with GM's magnetic ride control system. The next generation of the manufacturer's lauded system, magnetic ride control constantly adjusts the Yukon's suspension in an effort to provide precise control and a consistently smooth ride over uneven terrain. The difference is tangible; the "truck" quality that previous Yukon owners had complained about is all but absent.
The Yukon Denali comes standard with a bevy of active safety control features including forward collision alert and blind spot monitoring. GMC has a fun way of letting you know when you are wandering around the roadway, the safety alert seat wiggles your bottom when you cross a painted lane marker or you are about to side-swipe an unsuspecting driver in a sub-compact.
The 10-speaker Bose surround sound infotainment system fills the cabin with crystal-clear audio and enough bass to make neighboring vehicles take notice. The 8-inch touch screen and navigation are easy to use and intuitive, never requiring me to dig out the owner's manual during my weeklong review. I have grown fond of GM's center console and dash clusters; to me they just make sense. Everything is where I expect it to be and controls are immediately responsive. While it may not be the flashiest system out there, it is one of the most powerful and friendliest.
In many ways, GMC's all-new Denali is an absolute homerun. For GM to be able to build a vehicle that is equal parts luxurious beauty and performance beast, yet is capable of up to 23 miles per gallon on regular gas is incredible.
The standard 2015 Yukon SLE starts at a reasonable $46,990. However, GMC's new Yukon Denali, and all of its luxury, begins at a pricier $63,770 and my loaded-up early 2015 review vehicle tips the scales at a hefty $71,720.
Posted: 26 Nov 2014 06:57 AM PST
Jay Leno's Garage has been, in a literal sense, a nice ride with the famous late-night talk show host and down-to-earth automotive enthusiast. Many of his Garage videos have brought to light several sports and exotic cars that we would otherwise never get to chance to see such a fascinating side of – roaring down the streets of southern California where Leno calls home. As a tribute and celebration to his 1 million YouTube subscribers on the Jay Leno's Garage channel, Jay inscribes "1,000,000" on pavement in the form of rubber laid down by a new 2015 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 6-speed manual. Check it out.
Posted: 26 Nov 2014 06:51 AM PST
The advancements of technology have virtually paved the way for hybrid vehicles to fit in with the mainstream of automobiles, matching performance and excelling in fuel economy. The new Honda Accord Hybrid, after spending a week with it once again, has sparked my interest and newfound love for hybrid vehicles.
I had the opportunity to check out the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, remaining unchanged from its introduction 2014 model year. Walking away from the Accord Hybrid I can honestly say I am intrigued and basically shocked by the astonishing gas mileage I was able to conjure out of this hybrid sedan.
Going over my initial conceptions of the new Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, as noted in my 2014 review and test drive post, I can attest to the Accord Hybrid truly meeting its EPA mpg estimates and exceeding them on several occasions. My drives of the Accord Hybrid consisted of back-road adventures, 40-mile-long trips on mostly interstates and some mixed city driving with heavy traffic. In all of those conditions I walked way meeting and frequently beating the stated fuel consumption numbers.
The 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, retaining all redesigned aspects from its 2014 model year intro, is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine along with two electric motors. The power is directed to what Honda claims to be an E-CVT (continuously variable transmission), but is, however, a set of planetary gears and clutch sets that vary ratios to power the front wheels. The system, working in sync with the engine much like a traditional CVT unit, proves to be quite the performer reacting quickly to your throttle inputs to propel the vehicle without any unexpected drama or hesitation. The initial acceleration is always handled by the robust electric motor to get things in motion from the ample torque of the electric motors. After getting moving around 15 mph or so the gas engine seamlessly fires to aid in acceleration. At times the system will run solely on electric power, even at highway speeds. Together, Honda has created a highly advanced system that does what it needs to in the background to yield astonishing fuel consumption numbers.
As an example of an astonishing real-world mpg figure, I was able to walk away with a solid 53.4 mpg when driving on the highway with a little city driving mixed in. I purposely avoided any conscious hypermilling or eco-driving, I basically drove like I would to keep up with the flow of traffic, and still, 53 mpg captured my attention when arriving at my driveway from a trip of just under 40 miles.
There is no doubt that the new Honda Accord Hybrid is a marvel. It does as advertised and sometimes even better in the aspect of fuel economy. Moreover, the Accord Hybrid Touring offers a seamless experience where the vehicle hardly ever deviates from giving you a drivetrain any different from the normal Accord 4-cylinder or even V6-powered trim levels. I welcome you to check out the test drive review from a few months ago when I first had the opportunity to experience the new Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, which carries over for the 2015 model year virtually unchanged.
Be sure to check out the full review on the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring.
Copyright: 2014 AutomotiveAddicts.com
|You are subscribed to email updates from Automotive Addicts |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, United States|