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2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 Review
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Reviewed by Automotive on
The GMC Yukon XL 2500 debuted in 2000 with a new name. Before then, it was known as the Suburban. Basing itself from an already adequate and worthy SUV like the Suburban was beneficial. Since the name change, it continued success in the U.S. as one of the top sellers in the competitive SUV segment.
The 2002 Yukon XL 2500 is one of the best full-size SUVs on the market, and with two weight classes, there is an SUV for any purpose. The three-quarter ton Yukon XL is the 2500, and the slightly lighter-weight half-ton brother is the 1500. Both SUVs seat up to nine passengers with a choice of seating configurations, and towing capacity when properly equipped is 12,000 pounds.
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8, 8.1-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: GMC Yukon XL 2500 SLE, GMC Yukon XL 2500 Denali
The 2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 is equipped with an 8100 V-8 and gets a new transmission, the 4L85. The earlier 4L80 gets an upgrade on internal parts. All gasoline engines receive starters that are more efficient.
The 2002 Yukon XL 2500 comes in two trim levels: the SLE and the Denali. Both are four-door SUVs that have a commanding appearance, and the bold exterior design enhances with standard features that include variable intermittent wipers, one rear wiper, rear defogger, roof rack, privacy glass, chrome finish bumpers, rear liftgate door, trailer hitch, engine hour meter, trailer wiring, and matching full-size spare tire. The SLE has 16-inch alloy wheels, and the Denali has bigger 17-inch alloys. The Denali also adds a transmission fluid cooler to the list of exterior features.
The 2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 includes standard features, such as cruise control, dual-zone air-conditioning, front door pockets, retained accessory power, leather steering wheel, premium cloth seats, power mirrors, power steering, power locks, rear ventilation ducts, air-conditioning, center storage console, tilt steering, and height-adjustable seats for both passenger and driver. Also included are heated mirrors, remote door locks, and lumbar support for the passenger and driver’s seat. The Denali adds leather seats, a trip computer, and wood trim for the doors, dash, and center console. The stereo in the Denali is an eleven-speaker Bose premium system with AM/FM radio and a six-disc in-dash CD player. The lower-level SLE only has nine speakers and a single CD player.
Performance & Handling
The 2002 GMC Yukon XL 2500 has a choice of engines, whereas the 1500 model simply has one standard power plant. The choice between an 8.1-liter V-8 producing 340 horsepower with 455 lb-ft torque and a six-liter V-8 making 320 hp is available. The smaller half-ton model has the 5.3-liter V-8, which generates 285 hp with 325 lb-ft torque. Transmissions are new, and a stronger 4L85 four-speed is standard with 8.1-liter engines. Meanwhile, the 4L80 four-speed comes with the six-liter variations. The suspension setup is excellent with an independent front torsion bar and five-link rear setup with coil springs for creating a very fulfilling ride quality. Heavier-loads require an addition of Smooth Ride two-stage leaf springs placed in three-quarter-ton models. An optional trailer package will add higher-rate springs with retuned shocks made especially for hauling heavy loads.
The GMC Yukon XL 2500 has many safety features coming standard such as an anti-lock brake system, rear child safety door locks, dual side airbags, anti-theft system, engine immobilizer, child seat anchors, and fog lights. The NHTSA gave the XL four stars for front and side-impact crash testing and for passenger and driver safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
GMC Yukon XL 2500 Denali: 10/14 mpg city/highway
- V-8 engine power
- Unmatched interior room
- Feature list is extensive
You Won't Like
- Interior finish concerns
- Resemblance to the old Suburban
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