A traditional SUV with attractive interior and exterior styling is hard to come by, but GMC does it well. Excellent updating of the Yukon, as well as a wide range in trim variety makes the GMC Yukon one of the best on the market.
The Yukon is available in a wide array of body styles. Five and nine-passenger configurations are available. The main trim lines are available: the base SLE, the SLT, and the Denali.
Body Styles: four-door full-size SUV
Engines: 4.8-liter V-8 engine; 5.3-liter V-8 engine; 6.2-liter V-8 engine
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: the base SLE, the SLT, and the Denali
Several updates have greatly improved the quality of the Yukon.
- The XFE version of the vehicle reduces weight of the vehicle and improves fuel economy by adding aluminum features and a more aerodynamic sheet metal design.
- A third-row 50/50 split backseat is available for the first time with aluminum wheels.
- Bluetooth connectivity and a navigation system with live updates are some of the new technological features.
- Mechanical updates include a new six-speed automatic paired to the new 5.3 and 6.2-liter V-8 engines.
The Yukon is a four-door full-size SUV. It has your classic SUV shape, combining the styling of a truck with the spaciousness of a four-door sedan. The extended body provides a lot of room for passengers, while the compact nose keeps the Yukon small enough to park in the city.
The SLE is available as the SLE1 or the SLE2. The SLE model has 17-inch alloy wheels and heated mirrors. The SLE2 version adds fog lamps and a luggage rack.
The Denali has all the features of the SLT2 but has a different, honeycomb grill, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension system, rear load leveling system, heated and cooled seating and steering wheel.
The XFE package adds lightweight materials and an aerodynamic design to keep fuel economy low.
The Yukon, unlike many traditional SUV models, has a very attractive interior. The controls are well designed and within easy reach of the driver. The big, spacious interior will fit several passengers–up to nine– comfortably. The Yukon boasts 109 cubic feet of cargo space, making it one of the biggest on the market. To get the 109 cubic feet, you do need to remove the third-row seating.
The SLE model has a front bench seat that accommodates three passengers and has a 40/20/40 split, three passenger second and third row bench seats, power driver seat, dual-zone climate control, steering wheel controls, OnStar, Bluetooth connectivity, and an eight speaker audio system with satellite radio, and MP3/CD player and an audio jack. The SLE2 version adds bucket seats instead of the bench, power adjustments for said seating, and extra power controls.
The SLT also comes as the SLT1 and SLT2. The SLT1 adds leather seating to the cabin, triple-zone climate control, power-adjusting pedals, remote start, rear park assist, six-disc CD changer and a Bose speaker system. The SLT2 provides a few upgrades including power folding outside mirrors with integrated turn signal, 10 way adjustable seating, and captain’s chairs for the second row.
Performance & Handling
The Yukon is available with three different V-8 engines. The base SLE models equipped with two-wheel drive are fitted with a 4.8-liter V-8 that produces 295 horsepower with 305 pound-feet of torque. The 4.8-liter is controlled by a four-speed automatic transmission. All other SLE and SLT models have a 5.3-liter V-8 engine that produces 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque controlled by a six-speed automatic. All versions are available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive version.
The Denali comes equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 that produces 403 horsepower with 417 pound-feet of torque.
The Yukon really flies on the highway due to the big V-8 engines. Overtaking and acceleration is a breeze. The turning radius is quite tight, making the Yukon nimble in the city. The steering feels a bit loose at times, making it a hassle in traffic, but when towing materials the Yukon really shines.
The Yukon has antilock brakes, stability control, OnStar, front-seat side impact airbags, rollover sensor as standard. A blind spot sensor is also available as an option. The Yukon received a perfect five-star rating for front and side impact.
EPA Fuel Economy
XFE: 15/21 mpg city/highway
Regular: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Denali: 12/19 mpg city/highway
- The powerful engine is a real treat, allowing you to tow while maintaining speed on the highway.
- All of the materials are high quality on the interior and exterior, so you definitely get what you pay for.
- The wide variety of trims and engine selections make the Yukon suitable for a variety of drivers.
You Won't Like
- The third seat is, unfortunately, a bit cumbersome; it doesn’t fold away, requiring you to remove it if you require more space.
- The suspension and speed calibrations are a bit wonky as well, somewhat affecting the ride quality.
The Yukon, even with its few flaws, is one of the best SUVs on the market.
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