Keeping the all-new GMC Terrain company on the GM stand at the New York Auto Show this week will be the 2009 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid, a dressed-down version of eco-luxury Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.
"The eight-passenger GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid goes just as far on a gallon of gas in the city as a much smaller, V-6 Toyota Camry sedan," said Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC for GM. "And in terms of fuel savings, the GMC Yukon Denali saves about 250 gallons of fuel a year over the Lexus GX 470."
Specifically, the Yukon Denali Hybrid in 2WD configuration will return 21 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, a considerable improvement over non-hybrid Yukons, which offer as little as 12 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. To pull that off, GM fitted the Yukon Denali Hybrid with its 2-Mode Hybrid drivetrain, which packs an electric motor into the transmission that helps reduce the load on the engine and provide regenerative braking, charging a 300-volt battery pack. Other fuel-saving tricks include shutting off the engine at stop lights and shutting down half of the 6.0L V-8's cylinders under light load.
With that V-8 remaining under the hood, the Yukon Denali Hybrid's performance isn't diluted. It will still pull 5,800 lbs with its 332 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque, all while getting the gas mileage of a much smaller vehicle.
To distinguish the hybrid from the standard Yukon, GM tapped the innovation well dry and came up with new 22-in., eight-spoke wheels and a few "Hybrid" badges. Inside, the hybrid gets loaded with heated and cooled leather seats in the first two rows. The only options available are a sunroof, a blind-zone alert system in the side mirrors and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
If all of this sounds familiar, it may be because you've read the spec sheet for the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. Beneath the sheet metal, they're the same vehicle, though passing on the Cadillac upgrade will save you a nice chunk of change. The 2WD Yukon Denali Hybrid will start at $59,185 including $950 destination charge, while the 4WD will start at $62,030. That's a healthy saving over the $74,085 starting price for the Escalade Hybrid. Both the Escalade and the Yukon Denali Hybrid also qualifies for a $2,200 tax credit, saving you a little extra green.