2019 GMC Yukon vs. 2019 Dodge Durango

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Yukon are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Dodge Durango doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

Both the Yukon and Durango have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Yukon has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Durango’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Yukon are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Durango doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Yukon has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Durango doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Yukon and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Yukon is safer than the Dodge Durango:

 

Yukon

Durango

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

33%

34%

Leg Forces (l/r)

167/244 lbs.

427/350 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

285

344

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

74 lbs.

123 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

97/333 lbs.

404/224 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Yukon is safer than the Dodge Durango:

 

Yukon

Durango

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

23

28

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

107 G’s

112 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

26 G’s

33 G’s

Hip Force

208 lbs.

542 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Yukon’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and 40,000 miles longer than the Durango’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/60,000).

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Yukon for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Durango.

Reliability

The Yukon has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Durango doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Yukon’s reliability 31 points higher than the Durango.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yukon second among large suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Durango isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 23rd.

Engine

The Yukon has more powerful engines than the Durango:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Yukon 5.3 V8

355 HP

383 lbs.-ft.

Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali 6.2 V8

420 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

Durango 3.6 DOHC V6

293 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6

295 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Durango 5.7 V8

360 HP

390 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Yukon 5.3 V8 is faster than the Durango Dual Exhaust 3.6 DOHC V6:

 

Yukon

Durango

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.7 MPH

86.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Yukon RWD with its standard V8 gets better city fuel mileage than the Durango RWD V8 (15 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/22 hwy).

The Yukon has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Durango (26 vs. 24.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Yukon has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Durango doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A ten-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Durango.

Brakes and Stopping

The Yukon’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Durango V6 are solid, not vented.

The Yukon stops much shorter than the Durango:

 

Yukon

Durango

 

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Yukon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Durango (285/45R22 vs. 265/60R18).

The Yukon’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Durango’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Yukon offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Durango’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The GMC Yukon’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Dodge Durango only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Yukon has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Durango doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Yukon has a standard full size spare so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare costs extra on the Durango Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

The Yukon offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon is 4.8 inches wider in the front and 4.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the Durango GT 4x4 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Durango GT 4x4 (27.5 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Yukon’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Durango’s (39 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

The front grille of the Yukon uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Durango doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition//Denali uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Durango doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Yukon offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Durango can only carry up to 7.

The Yukon has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 5 inches more front legroom, 3.8 inches more front hip room, 6.3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear legroom, 4.8 inches more rear hip room, 7.4 inches more rear shoulder room, .3 inches more third row headroom, 6.9 inches more third row hip room and 12.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

Cargo Capacity

The Yukon’s cargo area provides more volume than the Durango.

 

Yukon

Durango

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

43.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

85.1 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Yukon SLT/Denali’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Durango doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The Yukon’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Durango’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Yukon SLT/Denali’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Durango doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Payload and Towing

The Yukon’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Durango’s (6300 vs. 6200 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Dodge Durango is only 7400 pounds. The Yukon offers up to a 8500 lbs. towing capacity.

The Yukon has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Durango (1650 vs. 1380 lbs.).

The Yukon has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the Durango (1690 vs. 1460 lbs.).

Ergonomics

The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Durango doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Yukon’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Durango’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

The Yukon’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Durango’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Yukon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Yukon will cost $580 to $2015 less than the Durango over a five-year period.

The Yukon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Yukon will retain 52.03% to 54.5% of its original price after five years, while the Durango only retains 44.54% to 51.14%.

Recommendations

The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Dodge Durango by 22% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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