While many sports utility vehicles offer the option of third-row seats, none do it so well as a full-size SUV. The 2024 GMC Yukon relies on this to be one of its greatest selling points, and it is available in an extended XL guise so that you don't have to sacrifice cargo to fit more people. Naturally, you need a lot of power to move such a big car, and the Yukon gets this from one of three engines, including a 420-horsepower V8 gas engine or a turbo-diesel inline-six with 460 lb-ft of torque. This is almost on par with the Ford Expedition but lacking compared to the Toyota Sequoia. However, it is still a relatively premium SUV at a more reasonable price than the Chevrolet Escalade, but with so many similar options in the USA, does it do enough to stand out?
Despite having been on the market for four years in its current guise, the new GMC Yukon SUV receives only very minor updates. These include some deleted exterior colors and new ones to replace them, along with OnStar Remote Access being removed from the optional packages and added as standard. In the case of the Denali trims, this refers to OnStar's Premium Plan. A refreshed model is ostensibly in the pipeline.
The price of the GMC Yukon starts at $58,200 MSRP, but it'll cost you $995 more if you want the Duramax diesel engine. The same is true of the SLT, which starts at $64,900. Unlike the rest of the range, the AT4 doesn't let you pick the diesel powertrain. Instead, it starts at $71,505 and will cost you $74,125 if you want the larger V8 engine. At the top of the lineup are the Denali and Denali Ultimate, which get the Duramax as standard for $74,805 and $95,500, respectively. Switching to the 6.2L V8 adds $1,500 for the regular Denali or $1,055 for the Denali Ultimate.
A new GMC Yukon XL SUV will cost you $3,000 more than its standard-length variant, which is also what you'd need to spend to switch from RWD to 4WD on every model but the AT4 and Denali Ultimate. On top of all this, you'll also need to budget for the $1,995 destination charge.
The mid-tier AT4 is a smart choice, especially since it comes with 4WD as standard, but also has loads of features, such as heated and ventilated front seats and the nine-speaker Bose sound system. It also boasts slightly improved off-road capabilities thanks to a performance front skid plate. Sadly, it doesn't give you the option of the diesel powertrain, but you can upgrade to the larger V8 gas unit. That's already a hefty expense, but we'd still consider the Technology Package for the advanced driver assists.
The Yukon has a near-premium interior, especially in the higher trims, but it's not as luxurious as the money spent would suggest.
One of the greatest strengths of the Yukon is the quality of its interior, where premium materials abound. The dashboard looks particularly dashing, forgive the pun, with a smartly integrated touchscreen display framed by air vents and a few physical controls. Behind the steering wheel, the digital instrument cluster looks clean and modern. On the higher trim levels, you get a high-tech head-up display and a truly impressive sound system. As for space, there is loads to go around, and if you buy the Yukon XL, you get even more. The seats are comfortable, and accessing the third row is quite easy.
Even the largest of SUVs can find it tricky to balance passenger space across three rows of seating, but the GMC Yukon does a decent job of it. The rear-most row has to make do with around 35 inches of legroom with a little more for the XL, but you get in the area of 40 inches of headroom across the board. Passengers in the first two rows will have nothing to complain about in either regard. Accessing the third-row seats is made easier thanks to an available power-release function for the second-row buckets on upper trims.
You often have to sacrifice cargo space in the name of passenger space when it comes to three-row SUVs, but the Yukon is large enough that you get 25.5 cubic feet in the trunk, even with all the seats upright. Meanwhile, a new GMC Yukon XL SUV will supply a whopping 41.5 cu-ft. Folding down the back seats will expand this to 72.6 cubes in the regular model or 93.8 cubes with the extended body. Maximum capacity is 122.9 and 144.7 cu-ft, respectively, when you fold down all but the front seats.
Naturally, a car designed for large families needs plenty of smart storage solutions around the cabin, and the Yukon boasts cupholders in every row of seats, large door pockets, a standard glove compartment, and a large power-sliding center console. The second-row seats have map pockets on the back, and there is a removable organizer tray in the center console.
|GMC Yukon||Ford Expedition||Toyota Sequoia|
|8 Seater||5 Seater||8 Seater|
|42.3 in. front|
38.9 in. rear
|42 in. front|
40 in. rear
|39.2 in. front |
38.4 in. rear
|44.5 in. front|
42 in. rear
|43.9 in. front|
41.5 in. rear
|41.2 in. front |
39.2 in. rear
|25.5 - 122.9 ft³ - Yukon|
41.5 - 144.7 ft³ - Yukon XL
|19.3 - 104.6 ft³ - Expedition|
34.3 - 124.5 ft³ - Expedition Max
Only the base-level SLE gets plain cloth as standard, but it offers a pair of interior colors: Jet Black and Dark Walnut/Slate. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather even at this point, but once you get to the SLT, the seats get the same treatment. With a slightly bolder overall design, the AT4 only comes in Jet Black perforated leather. The Denali expands the palette to include Very Dark Ash/Gray and Light Shale, with Walnut and Teak interior trim, respectively. At the top of the lineup, the Denali Ultimate is available with Alpine Umber full grain leather only. This all sounds good, and GMC does market the Yukon as a premium SUV, but the quality of the materials doesn't feel that much better than you'd find in cheaper products under the GM umbrella.
With ten-way power driver's seats, tri-zone climate control, a wireless charging pad, and a 12-inch digital gauge cluster, the SLE is far from barebones and does feel almost worth the high price tag. It also gets keyless entry, a 10.2-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and six speakers. This is upgraded to nine Bose speakers in the SLT, which also gets heated and ventilated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a universal home remote.
While it keeps the same infotainment suite, the AT4 adds a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, and driver-seat memory. Starting with the Denali, a 15-inch color head-up display is installed alongside power-release second-row bucket seats and an 18-speaker Bose sound system. The only model to get a power sunroof, 16-way front seats, adaptive cruise control, and a rear-seat entertainment system is the Denali Ultimate, though many of these can be optioned to the upper trims.
|Tri-zone climate control|
|Heated and ventilated front seats|
|15-inch color head-up display|
|18-speaker Bose sound system|
While the 6.2-liter V8 offers the most power, it is actually the 5.3-liter unit that boasts the best towing capacity, and the diesel gets the best fuel economy.
While many automakers are shying away from V6 and V8 engines, the GMC Yukon still makes use of these powerful and thirsty units. The base powertrain is a 5.3-liter V8 block that makes 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, though this can be swapped out for a 6.2-liter V8 that develops 420 hp and 460 lb-ft in the AT4 or Denali trims. The latter use a 3.0-liter Duramax six-cylinder engine as their base engine, and it is also available for the SLE and SLT. This more efficient powertrain supplies just 277 hp but the same 460 lb-ft as the huge V8. Every model and engine comes with a ten-speed automatic transmission, and aside from the AT4 and Denali Ultimate, you get a choice between a rear- or four-wheel drivetrain.
Maximum towing capacity is 8,400 pounds with the base 5.3L V8, but the 6.3L V8 is where top performance is found. This allows the GMC Yukon to go from 0-60 mph in around six seconds and reach a top speed of 112 mph. Naturally, the large SUV is extremely confident off-road when equipped with 4x4 drive, but it is more than capable and comfortable on the road, too. The upper trims offer Magnetic Ride Control for a particularly plush ride, and the light steering helps to keep the heavy cruiser under control, but body roll will always be an issue around the bends.
With so many engines and drivetrain configurations, gas mileage can vary wildly. The most basic setup is the 5.3L with RWD, which sees the GMC Yukon achieve 15/20/17 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. The larger 6.2L V8 drops to 14/20/16 mpg. Unsurprisingly, the 3.0L turbo-diesel is the most efficient at 21/27/23 mpg. With the four-wheel drivetrain, the 5.3L V8 manages the same figures, but the 6.2L only achieves 14/18/16 mpg, and the diesel unit gets 20/26/22 mpg.
You get the same choices with the larger Yukon XL, with EPA ratings of 15/20/17 mpg with the 5.3L, 14/19/16 mpg with the 6.3L, and 21/27/23 mpg with the diesel when using RWD or 15/18/16 mpg, 14/18/16 mpg, and 20/26/22 mpg, respectively, with 4WD. The regular Yukon has a fuel capacity of 24 gallons, while the Yukon XL boasts a 28-gallon tank.
|5.3L V8 Gas|
|6.2L V8 Gas|
|3.0L Inline-6 Diesel |
|355 hp||420 hp||277 hp|
|112 mph||112 mph||112 mph|
|15/20/17 mpg - Yukon RWD/AWD|
15/18/16 mpg - XL AWD
|14 20/16 mpg - Yukon RWD|
14/19/16 mpg - XL RWD
14/18/16 mpg - Yukon & XL AWD
|21/27/23 mpg - RWD |
20/26/22 mpg - AWD
|7.1 sec||6 sec||8 sec|
For such a large and heavy vehicle, the Yukon's safety ratings are a little disappointing, scoring just four out of five stars with the NHTSA.
For a family-centric SUV, the GMC Yukon's four-star safety rating is a little disappointing, but the big culprit bringing the score down is a three out of five stars in rollover crash tests. This isn't too surprising in such a big and tall vehicle. There are no recent reviews by the IIHS.
Every model in the range comes with ABS, stability and traction control, and seven airbags. However, the advanced driver assists are not as generous as one might expect from such an expensive vehicle. They include forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, front and rear parking sensors, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, hill-start assist, and an HD rearview camera. Blind spot assist with rear cross-traffic alert is added with the SLT. The AT4 gets hill-descent control, and the Denali enhances the suite with an HD surround-view camera and rear pedestrian alert. At the very top end, the Denali rounds out the offering with reverse automatic braking, a smart trailer integration indicator, trailer blind-spot assist, and hitch view.
|Forward collision warning|
|Front and rear parking sensors|
|HD surround-view camera|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
Homegrown brands in the USA don't often score so well in J.D. Power's consumer surveys, but the GMC Yukon's reliability is slightly above average at 80 out of 100. However, there were a couple of recalls in 2023 for reasons including improperly heat-treated suspension bolts, and running lights that may not deactivate.
The 2024 GMC Yukon is covered by a basic warranty for three years/36,000 miles, with a powertrain warranty that is valid for five years/60,000 miles. You also get roadside assistance for the same period, as well as a single scheduled maintenance visit in the first year of ownership.
The Yukon is impossible to miss on the road. Not only is it absolutely enormous, but it has bold styling that can't be ignored. This is largely due to the huge grille that takes up almost the entire front fascia. Beside this is a set of tall, blocky LED headlights surrounded but C-shaped LED daytime running lights. Lower down in the bumper are LED foglights. The Yukon starts off with 18-inch alloy wheels, but these quickly grow to 20- or 22-inch variants as you move up the trim levels. Bright chrome exterior accents are swapped out for Satine chrome on the Denali models, with the Ultimate also getting a panoramic power sunroof. As an off-road-focused trim, the AT4 has black roof rails, a modified front fascia with better approach angles and a performance skid plate, as well as red recovery hooks.
Large three-row SUVs try to do a lot of things well, and while this can make them very appealing, it also means they have more opportunities to mess up. The 2024 Yukon and its XL variant manage to avoid most of the pitfalls in this segment by using powerful engines, capable off-road drivetrains and suspensions, and smart cabin designs. While rivals can match it in performance and beat it in fuel economy with their turbo V6 engines, the GMC supplies more interior space, and it also has a more adventurous personality, not to mention bolder looks. The cabin is also quite premium, but when you look at what you're spending, that's to be expected. So long as you stick with one of the cheaper models, it's a solid choice.
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