The 2003 GMC Yukon XL 2500 is the 3/4 ton, extended wheelbase version of the Yukon XL. The vehicle is based on the full-size Silverado pickup truck. Just like the smaller Yukon model, the XL comes in the SLE and Denali trim lines. The Denali luxury model is geared towards upscale customers, offering excellent luxury items such as leather seats and OnStar communication. Most exciting are all the extra power features, including an aggressive V-8 engine and the Quadrasteer four-wheel-steering system that makes maneuvering in the parking lot and the city a real breeze. Other excellent features include the massive interior space and safety features.
There are a few items that could be changed. There are some cheap plastic materials on the interior that befit a vehicle in a different class–cheap plastic is unbecoming on a luxury SUV. Also, the build quality in some areas is a bit questionable.
Altogether, the GMC Yukon XL 2500 is one of the best SUVs on the market, and definitely deserves a look if you’re on the hunt for a luxury SUV.
Body Styles: full-size SUV
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8 engine, 8.1-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: GMC Yukon SLE, GMC Yukon Denali
The GMC Yukon XL 2500 has several new features for 2003. Most important is the Quadrasteer four-wheel-steering system that gives better maneuverability and steering when hauling a load behind the vehicle–something the GMC Yukon XL 2500 is quite capable of. Buyers also get a choice of two different exterior mirror styles: a multi-function power mirror that includes puddle lamps and integrated turn signals, or power folding camper mirrors. Also included in the interior is tri-zone climate control, a new driver’s information center with several enhancements, and new instrument designs. Also included are steering wheel mounted audio controls, second-row captain’s chairs, and power adjustable gas and brake pedals for greater control. New entertainment equipment includes a Bose sound system, XM Satellite Radio, and a DVD entertainment system.
The GMC Yukon XL 2500 has a massive 130-inch wheelbase and measures 219.3 inches overall. The GMC Yukon XL 2500 has the distinct shield grille with the GMC logo in the middle. Also included is a choice of a liftgate or dual-swing cargo doors.
The interior of the 2003 GMC Yukon XL 2500 receives quite a few improvements. Steering wheel mounted audio controls are included, as well as a tri-zone climate control system, Bose sound system, DVD entertainment and more.
The best thing about the 2500 is its massive size. The SLE model will sit from seven to nine passengers total depending on the configuration of the vehicle. The front seats come in either a three-seat bench or two bucket seats. The second row is also available with a three-seat bench, or this can be replaced with two captain’s chairs. Overall, the interior has a 46 cubic feet cargo capacity behind the back seat, or 131.6 cubic feet of space when the second and third row is removed.
Performance & Handling
The GMC Yukon XL 2500 comes with a standard 6.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 320 horsepower. An optional 8.1-liter V-8 engine is optional. The Denali models also come equipped with the 6.0-liter engine. All of the engines are paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. All models come with rear-wheel drive except the Denali, which boasts a full-time four-wheel-drive system. The GMC Yukon XL 2500 that is equipped with an 8.1-liter V-8 can tow up to 12,000 pounds, quite a feat for an SUV.
Driving the GMC Yukon XL 2500 is what you’d expect. It is a big vehicle, and there are quite a few large blind spots. The ride is comfortable however, and the suspension will handle most things thrown at it.
Yukon XL 2500 comes with a lot of safety features. Standard equipment includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes, child seat anchors, remote anti-theft system, dusk sensing headlamps, rear center three-point seatbelts, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, and more. The NHTSA only gave the GMC Yukon XL 2500 a three out of four star rating for passenger protection, and four out of five stars for the driver.
EPA Fuel Economy
2003 GMC Yukon XL 2500 SLE: 13/17 mpg city/highway
2003 GMC Yukon Xl 2500 Denali: 11/15 mpg city/highway
- Lots of interior space
- V-8 engine lineup
- Quadrasteer system for easy parking and maneuverability
- Huge list of features
You Won't Like
- Poor gas mileage
- Plastic materials
- Poor build quality
The GMC Yukon XL 2500is the biggest and best of the SUVs in its class with its large cabin and huge selection of V-8 engines.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Suburban 2500
- Chevrolet Suburban 1500
- Ford Expedition