2008 GMC Yukon XL 1500

  • 2008 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Base Sport Utility

    Base Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
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      5.3L V8
    • MSRP
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2008 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Review

A serious SUV for moving anything that needs to be moved, while doing it in style and comfort.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The Yukon XL 1500 has a sturdy and stable design that did not see much change from 2007 to 2008. A few cosmetic differences and standard side curtain airbags were added to improve safety of the vehicle. This is an excellent vehicle for families with lots of friends, sports activities, and road trips. It seats at least eight with an option of holding nine passengers. It maintains its impressive street presence in size and handles towing and cargo well.

The Yukon’s 5.3-liter engines come with the option of using flexible fuel, allowing it to utilize E85, an ethanol-based fuel. These engines also come with a fuel management system. This feature detects if only a light load is present and will deactivate four of the eight cylinders in order to save fuel. Rear-drive is standard with all the models, but the SLE and SLT can be upgraded to four-wheel drive while the Denali can be fitted with all-wheel drive.

The Range

Body styles: four-door SUV
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8, 6.2-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed automatic or auto-manual
Models: GMC Yukon XL 1500 SLE, GMC Yukon XL 1500 SLT, GMC Yukon XL 1500 Denali

What's New

Side curtain airbags now come standard on all the Yukon XL models. Turn-by-turn navigation is added to OnStar for the SLT and Denali trim levels.


In 2007, the Yukon was completely revamped and redesigned. GMC did such a thorough job that there was not much room for change in the 2008 model. For the 2008 Yukon, Ford tweaked the front and made the headlamps larger. This vehicle is definitely an extra-large SUV. With a large and solid body, the Yukon looks imposing yet still manages to pull off a sleek look with a continuous body.


This SUV comes with the space to seat up to nine passengers. That makes the Yukon XL an excellent SUV for a large family. It has all the room to haul cargo and passengers while retaining the ability to tow objects. The base SLE comes with a slew of standard features. Features include power accessories, remote keyless entry, running boards, and a dual zone air-conditioning system or climate control. It comes with a cloth interior to keep everyone comfy and an eight speaker audio system to keep everyone entertained. The SLT model takes it a step further adding leather seating and upgrading to a six-CD player. In addition, it has tri-zone automatic climate control, rear parking assist, and remote vehicle starting.

Finally, the Denali lets the passengers ride in true style with a premium audio system, heated seats for the first and second rows, and rain sensing windshield wipers. All versions of the Yukon XL can also be equipped with a rear seat DVD player for extra-long trips.

Performance & Handling

Three different engine options are available for the different trims of the GMC Yukon XL. The 5.3-liter V-8 engine is available for both the SLE and SLT models with options of using flexible fuel. This engine can generate 320 horsepower and up to 340 lb-ft of torque. The SLT also has the option of using a six-liter V-8 engine. The six-liter engine can generate 366 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the Denali shows off its superiority with its 6.2-liter V-8 generating 380 horsepower with 415 lb-ft of torque. The SLE and SLT both come with four-speed automatic transmission while the Denali is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission featuring a manual-shift mode.

The Yukon XL is a heavy SUV, so it does not feature crisp turning but it still handles and changes lanes smoothly. It may lose acceleration or gas mileage when fully loaded with passengers or cargo. However, it does have a towing capacity between 7000 and 8100 pounds depending on the engines or equipment used.


Standard on all the Yukon XL 1500’s is the StabiliTrak, which is a stability control system designed to sense and act when the vehicle is likely to tip. Rollover sensors, anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, and side curtain air bags are also standard safety features. In government crash tests, the 2008 GMC Yukon XL was awarded a five-star rating for protecting the driver and passenger in a frontal collision.

EPA Fuel Economy

GMC Yukon XL 1500 SLE: 14/20 mpg city/highway
GMC Yukon XL 1500 SLT: 14/20 mpg city/highway
GMC Yukon XL 1500 Denali: 12/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • An impressive nine passenger capacity
  • Comfortable interior with plenty of luxury options
  • Quality style and construction

You Won't Like

  • A little sluggish on the handling
  • Third row seats won’t fold flat

Sum Up

A serious SUV for moving anything that needs to be moved, while doing it in style and comfort.

If You Like This Vehicle

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  • Ford Expedition