The GMC Yukon has always been offered as a full-size sport utility truck, but it has grown in size over the years. Once a two-door 4x4 seating six people, the current four-door SUV Yukon can now accommodate up to nine passengers. It is available as a two- or four-wheel drive vehicle in several different trim models. The SLE, SLT and Denali versions have different trim variations, but all are an upper-class vehicle, with many excellent standard features. This large truck weighs 4,500 to 5,500 pounds, which is reflected in mileage ability. Expect to get around 15/21 city/highway mpg when driving the Yukon and to pay at least the base price of $38,945 for the 2011 GMC Yukon.
The Yukon has much in common with Chevrolet Blazer and Cadillac Escalade models. Essentials on Yukon SLE models include tri-zone air conditioning, AM/FM/XM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback and full power accessories. For leather upholstery and climate control features, move up to the SLT Yukon. The standard engine today is a 320 hp, 5.30-liter V8. Upgrades for the luxury Denali model equal the engine on the Cadillac Escalade a big 6.2-liter V8 that can harness a 403 hp.
The Yukon entered the SUV class in 1992 as a replacement for the GMC Jimmy full-size model. From 1992 through 1997, the Yukon was offered as a two-door, four-wheel drive truck only, fitted with a 290 hp, 4.8-liter, V8 engine and four-speed automatic transmission. In 1995, choices expanded to include a four-door body with two- or 4-wheel drive system. The first 1999 Denali models were made in four-wheel drive only, with a 395 CID, 5.7-liter, LO5 small-block, V8 engine. A turbo-charged 305 CID, 6.5-liter, Detroit Diesel V8 was offered starting in 1994. The Yukon was assembled in Arlington, TX, and Janesville, WI, in the U.S., as well as in Mexico and Argentina.
The Yukon interior is roomy, but the third-row seat does not fold flat and can be hard to remove. The ride is pleasant and handling is good, despite the high curb weight. Stability control is available on the 2003 and later, while front-seat side air bags became optional in 2000. Seats are cloth or leather, with optional leather-appointed reclining bucket seats in the front. The Yukon Denali is the most luxurious model, offering deluxe features.
Additional features for the Yukon include options for 20-inch chrome wheels in several styles or 20-inch polished aluminum wheels for a flashy look. It has a 5/100,000 powertrain warranty, OnStar service, tire pressure monitoring system, bluetooth and keyless entry. In 2009, the Yukon had a standard six-speed transmission with the 5.3-liter, V8 engine. The GMC Yukon has been a good seller and is popular with many wealthy families as their vehicle of choice. Yukon earned Edmund's honor as an Editor's Most Wanted vehicle.
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