2019 GMC Yukon XL vs. 2019 Ford Expedition Max

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Yukon XL 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 Ford Expedition Max doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.

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 XL are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Yukon XL 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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Yukon XL and the Expedition Max have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, 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.

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 XL is safer than the Ford Expedition Max:


Yukon XL

Expedition Max


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

25 G’s

27 G’s

Hip Force

399 lbs.

434 lbs.

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


The Yukon XL’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Expedition Max’s (6 vs. 5 years).

GMC pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Yukon XL. GMC will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Expedition Max.


The Yukon XL Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 20 more horsepower (420 vs. 400) than the Expedition Max Platinum’s standard 3.5 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Yukon XL has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Expedition Max (31 vs. 28.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


The Yukon XL has a true four-wheel drive system, which uses a four-wheel traction control system to redirect engine power to the axle and wheel that still has traction to keep the Yukon XL moving if even only one wheel still has traction. The Expedition Max doesn’t offer a true four-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Brakes and Stopping

The Yukon XL stops much shorter than the Expedition Max:


Yukon XL

Expedition Max


70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Yukon XL 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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon XL is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Expedition Max.


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

The Yukon XL 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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Yukon XL offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Expedition Max can only carry 8.

The Yukon XL has .8 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more rear shoulder room and 1.1 inches more third row headroom than the Expedition Max.

Cargo Capacity

The Yukon XL’s cargo area provides more volume than the Expedition Max.


Yukon XL

Expedition Max

Behind Third Seat

39.3 cubic feet

34.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

76.7 cubic feet

73.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

121.7 cubic feet

121.5 cubic feet


The Yukon XL 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 Expedition Max doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Yukon XL’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its front windows also automatically close, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Expedition Max’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Yukon XL’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 Expedition Max’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Yukon XL has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning costs extra on the Expedition Max.


The GMC Yukon/Yukon XL outsold the Ford Expedition/Expedition Max by 48% during 2018.

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

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