If you are considering the purchase of a 2015 Yukon XL Denali, read this before you write a check to the dealer.
GM has a customer service department that will document your vehicle issues but don’t expect them to do anything more than look for service bulletins and then tell you that the vehicle is working as designed. Of course, this statement will almost always be true! Don’t expect GM to address any design issues or to enlighten you about fixes that are in progress.
In August of 2014, I purchased a 2015 Yukon XL Denali. My wife and I drove the new Denali across the US to Seattle and back for a total of 8600 miles. This trip gave me an opportunity to assess the 2015 Yukon Denali under real world travel conditions. I am sharing this review with you so that if you do buy this vehicle, you will do so with your eyes wide open.
My wife and I like the ride and handling of the 2015 Denali (this is our 6th Denali/Yukon XL) but I would not purchase this vehicle again now that I have “tried” to use Intellilink and been subjected to constant vibration which GM says is “normal”. GM did release a software update (after refusing to admit that there were any problems) for Intellilink at the beginning of March. The update fixes 31 software bugs that affect your ability to use the radio and navigation systems. The update (#PI1375B) applies to almost every 2015 GM vehicle.
Here is what you will like about the new Denali:
Ride, handling, performance and fuel economy are excellent, I got 20+mpg on my trip across the US.
Blind spot indicators work and will save you from crossing into another lane that has a vehicle in it.
Heads-up display is great but don’t wear polarized sunglasses or it will disappear.
In-cabin air filter keeps out some of the dust but get the dealer to change it because it is hidden behind the glove box.
The cooled front seats will increase your comfort on a hot day but be prepared to listen to the noisy fans.
Rear windshield wiper has been moved to the top of the rear window which is an improvement.
The rear camera has guide lines that move when you turn the steering wheel which is pretty cool and they are accurate.
Heated steering wheel feels good on cold days.
Now for the issues list:
The truck vibrates from 1200-1600 rpm when the engine is in 4cyl mode. The vibration is bad and GM refuses to admit that it is a defect. All of the 2015 Denali’s have this problem, not just mine.
Intellilink is probably one of the worst pieces of software that has ever been written. There are too many issues to list. Some of them may be fixed by the recent software update but I haven’t had a chance to test the fixes. Bottom line is that you can forget about using the navigation system unless the update is applied. Don’t think that GM will notify you when they fix anything that isn’t labeled a “safety problem”. Non-safety fixes don’t even show up in the recall DB. Your only option is to call the dealer every week and ask them if GM has fixed anything related to your vehicle.
The headlights produce great light but the projector lenses cut the light off with a sharp horizontal line that is not far enough down the road for you to see any distance. The problem is compounded if you drive on any roads that are not perfectly level. The dealer adjusted my lights and now I can see a comfortable distance but oncoming cars flash their lights at me. I guess they are a little too high.
The carpet in the cargo is too Velcro friendly. If you let a Velcro strap from you clothing or baggage touch the carpet, you will pull some of the carpet off because it sticks so well.
Don’t look for the automatic lift gate option referred to in the manual or the WiFi hotspot capability because it is not available.
Plan on paying more for OnStar if you want to use the Remote Link application on your mobile phone to interface with you vehicle and even more if you want to download maps to the onboard navigation system.
The 120v AC outlet is a nice feature but it doesn’t provide enough wattage (150 watts) for much of anything other than charging your cell phone.
Don’t let your passenger carry the second key FOB. When both key FOBs are near the vehicle, it gets confused. Memory settings are unpredictable and the alarm sounds if one of you stays in the vehicle.
The sun roof has a net that pops up when you open the roof. The purpose of the net is to reduce wind turbulence when driving at highway speeds which it does. Unfortunately, it makes so much noise that you will be forced to close the roof. It also catches bugs.
The USB ports work but they don’t provide enough amperage to charge a Samsung S4 if you are actively using the phone.
If I haven’t convinced you to wait until these vehicles are worthy of the $75,000 price tag, make sure that you check the paint carefully. Mine has a sliver dollar size defect in the paint on the driver’s side that sticks out like a sore thumb every time I get in the vehicle.
I noticed that these vehicles are not being delivered to dealers at this time (March 9, 2015), probably because they don’t work. If you still have to have this vehicle, take one for a test drive at night and have your passenger give the navigation a try. Or better yet, try to rent one for a trip.
The phone number for GM Executive offices is 855-435-7284. Write it down because you will need it!
Reason of review: Damaged or defective.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
General Motors Pros: Faulkner gmc and buick.
General Motors Cons: Gm executive offices, No customer support.