2003 GMC Yukon

  • 2003 GMC Yukon Base Utility

    Base Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.8L V8
    • MSRP
  • 2003 GMC Yukon Denali Utility

    Denali Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      6.0L V8
    • MSRP
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2003 GMC Yukon Review

Even with its flaws, the GMC Yukon has the hauling capacity and big V-8 power to make it a real contender in the SUV market.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2003 GMC Yukon is closely related to the Chevy Tahoe, and shares many of its features. Both vehicles were redesigned for the 2000 model year. Since that time sales of the Yukon have risen, mainly due to its many handsome features.

For one, the Yukon is a capable of carrying a family plus–up to nine passengers can fit into the Yukon depending on its configuration. There is also a big V-8 engine chugging the Yukon along the road. The strong chassis can also take most bumps a road can throw at the vehicle.

However, it isn’t all wonderfully pleasant with the Yukon. The interior has some cheap plastic materials that do not fit with a vehicle of its class (especially with the high sticker price). Low gas mileage is also a problem, although most SUV owners will care little about such a con. Last, but definitely not least, there are several build quality issues that mar and otherwise great vehicle. Still, the Yukon is one of the best multi-passenger SUVs on the market, and is worth a look.

The Range

Body Styles: full-size SUV
Engines: 4.8-liter V-8 engine, 5.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: GMC Yukon SLE, GMC Yukon Denali

What's New

The Yukon has received multiple upgrades for 2003. The exterior has received optional multifunction mirrors and machined aluminum wheels for the SLT model. The interior now boasts tri-zone climate controls, a new driver’s information center, and a new instrument panel. The steering wheel also has the option of satellite steering wheel controls. New Bose speakers prop up the entertainment system, which includes brand new satellite radio and a DVD entertainment system. There is now a front-sensing parking system, three-point seatbelts for the rear passengers, adjustable pedals, and a StabiliTrak stability system. Also, the Yukon has newly configured brakes for better stopping power, and Autotrac to make the four-wheel-drive system more efficient.


The GMC Yukon differs from the Tahoe because of its large grille bearing the GMC logo. The Yukon is a bridge between the midsize Envoy and the large Yukon XL. The Yukon rides on a 116-inch wheelbase and rides on 16-inch tires, making the vehicle 198.8 inches overall and 73.6 inches tall. This is not a small vehicle.


The interior of the 2003 GMC Yukon has a huge seating capacity. The minimal passenger capacity is for five, while fully equipped Yukon models will fit up to nine passengers comfortably. The front seat has bucket seats standard, but a three-person bench seat is also available. A three-seat middle bench and a three-seat rear bench is also available. These seats do not fully fold down, but can be removed with the help of rolling wheels. When the middle and rear seat is removed the Yukon can hold 105 cubic feet of cargo. Standard features include power accessories, front console with storage, front door pockets, 12V front and cargo outlets, three-zone climate control, leather steering wheel, front and rear floor mats, and dual illuminating vanity mirrors.

Performance & Handling

The GMC Yukon has a 4.8-liter V-8 engine as standard. It produces 275 horsepower. A 5.3-liter V-8 engine that produces 285 horsepower is optional. The Yukon Denali model has its own special engine, a 6.0-liter V-8 that produces 320 horsepower. The Yukon comes with either rear-wheel drive or an automatically engaging four-wheel-drive system. The Denali has a permanently engaged four-wheel-drive system. The Denali also boasts a shock absorption system that changes stiffness quality depending on the road condition.

Driving the Yukon is like driving a boat. There are quite a few blind spots that affect your ability to see other vehicles on the road and inhibit parking. The front sensor helps prevent your front bumper from slamming into other vehicles. Don’t expect the Yukon to be an easy vehicle to drive in cramped city situations.


The GMC Yukon has a slew of safety features. The vehicle comes with side-curtain airbags, dual-stage front airbags, passenger sensor, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, front and rear ventilated brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, and rear three-point seatbelts. The NHTSA gave the Yukon four out of five stars for driver and passenger safety, but only two out of five stars for rollover safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

2003 GMC Yukon SLE: 13/17 mpg city/highway
2003 GMC Yukon Denali: 11/15 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Strong engines to choose from
  • Strong chassis
  • Lots of features

You Won't Like

  • Poor gas mileage
  • Plastic materials
  • Poor build quality

Sum Up

Even with its flaws, the GMC Yukon has the hauling capacity and big V-8 power to make it a real contender in the SUV market.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Suburban 2500
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Dodge Durango

See the New 2018 Yukon.

Front & Driver Side View

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