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2018 GMC Yukon Denali updated with new look, 10-speed automatic

To update its 2018 Yukon Denali, GMC has fitted the big SUV with a high-tech new transmission and the automaker has revised its exterior styling.

The 10-speed automatic replaces last year’s 8-speed unit and it remains bolted to the only engine available in the Denali, a 6.2-liter V-8 rated at 420 horsepower. GMC has promised “greater efficiency,” but it has not specified fuel economy yet for the 2018 Yukon Denali. 

MORE: Don’t miss our 2017 GMC Yukon review

Last year’s model, with the 8-speed automatic, was rated as low as 14 mpg city, 16 highway, 20 combined for the long-wheelbase model with optional four-wheel drive.

The transmission was designed in partnership with Ford Motor Company. That might seem like an odd pairing since GMC parent General Motors and Ford have been arch rivals for nearly a century, but the cooperation has proven fruitful so far. The 10-speed is now available in the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Corvette, as well as the Ford F-150. This is its first fitment into a GM SUV. 

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To go along with the extra cogs, GMC has seen fit to update the Yukon Denali’s signature chrome grille outside, a move designed to improve both styling and airflow to the 6.2-liter V-8. HID headlights and LED fogs flank the new look. Inside, the Yukon Denali now features Mastique Ash real wood trim.

The 2018 GMC Yukon Denali will remain available in regular- and long-wheelbase Yukon XL variants when it hits dealers this fall. GMC has not yet announced pricing for the mildly updated SUV.

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