2019 GMC Yukon

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2019 GMC Yukon Review: You Can't Miss It

GMC's luxury-car aspirations have always been the defining characteristic that sets its offerings apart from similar vehicles within General Motor's other product ranges. The Yukon is no different, bringing a more premium offering to the large SUV segment, where it competes with parent-company siblings like the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, and Ford's Expedition. With plenty of choices in the range, there is a Yukon for a variety of tastes, but with compromised third-row seating and a hefty price tag, the GMC bling-mobile is more of a status symbol than an economically-motivated buy. Buyers have a choice of either a 5.3-liter 355-horsepower V8 with 383 lb-ft of torque or a Corvette-derived 6.2-liter V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft is available. The smaller motor is paired with a six-speed auto to moderate success, but the bigger engine with its 10-speed auto is more versatile. Either option sends power to the rear wheels, with all-wheel-drive optional.

Read in this review:

7.5
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2019 GMC Yukon Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 Yukon?

Not much has been altered from 2018's offerings, besides the addition of three new paint colors and two new SLT Standard and SLT-specific packages. The Graphite Edition package throws massive 22-inch wheels on the SUV and adds black accents to the exterior styling while also updating the suspension, while the Graphite Performance Edition package specs the model with upgraded transmission, engine, and suspension components from the top-tier Denali trim, also adding a head-up display, navigation, and an eight-inch driver info display.

Pros and Cons

  • Maximum seating configuration can squeeze nine people in
  • Quiet interior
  • Roomy interior
  • Decent infotainment
  • Characterful V8
  • Identical interior layout to cheaper Chevy Tahoe
  • Cramped third row
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Sluggish standard engine and gearbox
  • Safety features almost entirely optional, and expensive

Best Deals on 2019 GMC Yukon

2019 GMC Yukon Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SLE
5.3L V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$49,600
SLT Standard Edition
5.3L V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$54,800
SLT
5.3L V8 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$57,600
Denali
6.2L V8 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$66,700
See All 2019 GMC Yukon Trims and Specs

2019 Yukon Exterior

2019 GMC Yukon Front View GMC
2019 GMC Yukon Rear View GMC
2019 GMC Yukon Front View 1 GMC
See All 2019 GMC Yukon Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 203.9 in
  • Wheelbase 116.0 in
  • Height 74.4 in
  • Max Width 80.5 in

2019 Yukon Performance

2019 GMC Yukon Front View 2 GMC
2019 GMC Yukon In Motion GMC
2019 GMC Yukon Wheel GMC

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    5.3L V8 Gas, 6.2L EcoTec3 V8, 6.2L V8 Gas
  • Transmissions
    10-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Thanks to its massive curb weight, the Yukon stays relatively well planted around corners and never feels like too much of a bus. Bumps big and small are barely a blip on the bulky SUV's radar, and despite slow steering, the chassis responds relatively well to sudden direction changes, remaining composed at all times. Cruising in a straight line is similarly relaxing, with elevation changes and expansion joints not upsetting the ride in the least. The top trim in the range, the Denali, is fitted with Magnetic Ride Control, an adaptive suspension damping system that can firm the ride for better handling and response. However, rather than improving the overall capabilities of the large SUV, this feature takes away from the single most important thing in a luxury vehicle: comfort. The system stiffens the ride too much and makes bumps a little more crashy, something that should be near impossible in a vehicle this heavy. The standard chassis and suspension combo are better to live with by far. When it comes to braking, things are similarly average, with a neither reassuring nor alarming rate of deceleration. Pedal feel is okay, with a fraction more travel than we'd like, but overall, not bad enough to concern most drivers. An optional and switchable 4x4 to 4x2 all-wheel-drive system is available for more difficult terrain. On the base model, this comes with either a single-speed or a two-speed transfer case, although 6.2-liter V8 models get the two-speed and its low-range gearing as standard. The system is capable, slowly hauling the Yukon up icy roads and muddy trails, but not especially impressive. Unless a necessity, we'd stick with the lighter rear-wheel-drive option.

2019 Yukon Interior

2019 GMC Yukon Steering Wheel Controls GMC
2019 GMC Yukon Central Console GMC
2019 GMC Yukon Infotainment System GMC
See All 2019 GMC Yukon Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    8-seater
  • Front Leg Room 45.3 in
  • Front Head Room 42.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.7 in

2019 Yukon Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 GMC Yukon Maximum Cargo Space GMC
2019 GMC Yukon Interior Overview GMC
2019 GMC Yukon Armrest Storage GMC

2019 Yukon Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance Note:
    Qualified Fleet Purchases: 5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2019 GMC Yukon a good SUV?

If you are hell-bent on convincing your neighbors that you have no idea what you're doing when it comes to buying a family car, the GMC Yukon is worth your time. The gas-guzzling barebones luxury wannabe will do wonders for your image as an incompetent brand-loyalist who can't be bothered to spend his or her money on a capable vehicle. If you don't need a huge amount of space, a different class of SUV - or at least the cheaper and almost identical Chevrolet Tahoe that starts below $50,000 - makes far more sense. The interior is laid out the same, and the same engines are available. If you do want to seat more than five people without having the rearmost occupants impersonate sardines in a tin can, the Ford Expedition is a far better option and gets better gas mileage, with figures as good as 17/24/20 mpg. Maximum towing capacity in the Ford is also 9,000 lbs versus the GMCs best, at 8,500 lbs. Ultimately, the abundantly average Yukon has some admirable qualities, but we just can't think of any of them right now. We doubt that we will tomorrow either.

Check out other GMC Yukon Styles

2019 GMC Yukon Comparisons

Chevrolet Tahoe Chevrolet
Ford Expedition Ford
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
GMC Yukon355 hp15/20 mpg$57,400
Chevrolet Tahoe 355 hp15/20 mpg$50,400
Ford Expedition 380 hpTBC$52,905

2019 GMC Yukon vs Chevrolet Tahoe

The same vehicle in a different outfit, the Tahoe shares the Yukon's high and low points, but interestingly, despite identical powertrains and basic architecture, the Chevrolet has a better reliability rating than the GMC. In terms of interiors, the Yukon scores a point back for its higher-end materials and richer interior color options, as well as the standard Bose sound system that has three more speakers than the six found in the Tahoe - but this comes at a premium, with the GMC SUV starting at almost $2,000 more than the Chevy. The Chevy can also tow 100 pounds more, at 8,600 lbs, which is more of a bonus than an outright reason to buy the Tahoe. In terms of storage, available safety equipment, gas mileage, power, and cabin space and features, both SUVs are closely matched. The top-spec Tahoe Premier 4WD is just as good as the Yukon Denali, offering the same sound system, adaptive suspension, ventilated front seats, and navigation, but for four grand less, starting at $65,700. The Tahoe's badge just doesn't justify the extra cash.

See Chevrolet Tahoe Review

2019 GMC Yukon vs Ford Expedition

If a large SUV is what you need, the Ford Expedition is worth considering. A more efficient vehicle, the Expedition scores two mpg more in 3.5-liter turbo V6 base form than the Yukon, which manages 15 mpg in the city and 22 on the freeway - this despite a 20 hp deficit to the base Explorer's 375 hp. In top trim, the Yukon makes 420 hp, 20 more than the Ford, but the Expedition one-ups it in with 20 lb-ft more at 480. Cargo volume is also greater in the Ford, where 20.9 cubes are available behind the third row compared to the GMC's 15.3. Ford's idea of a top-trim interior also looks arguably better, with quilted leather on the door cards and a generally more polished appearance over the Yukon's parts-bin special. Rear-seat occupants in the Expedition also have more space, allowing adults to be accommodated comfortably while the Yukon is confining. In base spec, the Ford also starts over $1,000 cheaper. The Expedition just seems to be thought out and executed far better in every way.

See Ford Expedition Review
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