2019 GMC Yukon vs. 2019 Lexus GX460

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Yukon and GX460 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 GX460’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 GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Yukon and the GX460 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 7 times as many GMC dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Yukon’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshaft in the Yukon’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the GX460’s camshafts. If the GX460’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Yukon has a standard 150-amp alternator (170-amp - Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali). The GX460’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yukon second among large suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The GX460 isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The Yukon’s standard 5.3 V8 produces 54 more horsepower (355 vs. 301) and 54 lbs.-ft. more torque (383 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8. The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 119 more horsepower (420 vs. 301) and 131 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 329) than the GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Yukon 5.3 V8 is faster than the Lexus GX460:

 

Yukon

GX460

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.7 MPH

89.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Yukon 4x4 with its standard engine gets better highway fuel mileage than the GX460 (15 city/21 hwy vs. 15 city/18 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Yukon’s fuel efficiency. The GX460 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Yukon uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali for maximum performance). The GX460 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Yukon has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the GX460 (26 vs. 23 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 GX460 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 a six-speed automatic is available for the GX460.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Yukon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GX460 (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 GX460’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Yukon offers optional 22-inch wheels. The GX460’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Yukon’s wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the GX460 (116 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon is 6.3 inches wider in the front and 6.3 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Yukon SLT 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GX460 (27.5 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Yukon’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the GX460’s (39 feet vs. 41.1 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 GX460 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 GX460 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Yukon offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the GX460 can only carry 7.

The Yukon has 4.8 inches more front headroom, 3.6 inches more front legroom, 4.3 inches more front hip room, 9.4 inches more front shoulder room, 4.9 inches more rear legroom, 5.1 inches more rear hip room, 7.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.9 inches more third row headroom, 6.2 inches more third row hip room and 8.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the GX460.

Cargo Capacity

The Yukon’s cargo area provides more volume than the GX460.

 

Yukon

GX460

Behind Third Seat

15.3 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

51.7 cubic feet

46.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

94.7 cubic feet

64.7 cubic feet

The Yukon’s cargo area is larger than the GX460’s in almost every dimension:

 

Yukon

GX460

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

9.8”/39”/75”

Min Width

49.3”

43.4”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Yukon SLT/Denali’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The GX460 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The Yukon’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Yukon offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Yukon SLT/Denali, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Payload and Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus GX460 is limited to 6500 pounds. The Yukon offers up to a 8500 lbs. towing capacity.

The Yukon has a much higher standard payload capacity than the GX460 (1650 vs. 1295 lbs.).

The Yukon has a much higher maximum payload capacity than the GX460 (1690 vs. 1295 lbs.).

Ergonomics

The Yukon’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The GX460 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 GX460 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 GX460’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Yukon’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Model Availability

The Yukon is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GX460 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Yukon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Yukon will cost $585 to $1175 less than the GX460 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yukon second among large suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The GX460 isn’t in the top three in its category.

The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Lexus GX460 by over three to one during 2018.

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

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