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Both the Discovery and Yukon XL have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery 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 Yukon XL’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.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery. But it costs extra on the Yukon XL.
The Discovery’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Yukon XL doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Discovery uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Yukon XL uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.
Both the Discovery and the Yukon XL have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.
The Discovery comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Yukon XL’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Discovery’s 6 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Yukon XL runs out after 100,000 miles.
For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the Discovery has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Yukon XL.
The Discovery’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 383) than the Yukon XL’s standard 5.3 V8.
For better traction, the Discovery’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Yukon XL (285/40R22 vs. 275/65R20).
The Discovery’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Yukon XL’s optional 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Yukon XL.
For better maneuverability, the Discovery’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the Yukon XL’s (40.6 feet vs. 43.3 feet).
The Discovery is 2 feet, 6.1 inches shorter than the Yukon XL, making the Discovery easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Unibody construction lowers the Discovery’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Yukon XL uses body-on-frame design instead.
Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Discovery when its optional tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The Yukon XL doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Yukon XL SLT/AT4/Denali, the Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.
The Discovery’s front and rear power windows all open or close 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 Yukon XL’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the Discovery the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. The driver of the Yukon XL can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Discovery to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Yukon XL doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Yukon XL doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Yukon XL doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Discovery offers optional heated front, second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. GMC doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Yukon XL.
Optional air conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Discovery’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Yukon XL doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.
The Discovery HSE Luxury offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Yukon XL.
The Discovery’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Yukon XL doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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