GMC Yukon - A Historical Performer
History of Yukon
The first generation Yukon (model years 1992-1999) was introduced as a two door, full size SUV to replace the GMC Jimmy. It was built on a GMT400 truck chassis, and remained the same 2 door through 1994. In an effort to appeal to family oriented buyers, GMC introduced a 4 door Yukon the following year.
The second generation Yukon (model years 2000-2007) found two new engine options available to take the place of the old 5.7L (350) V8. Both engines were smaller, but produced more power and an "E85", "flex fuel" option was also available. This generation of full size SUV's were built on the GMT800 truck platform. "StabiliTrak" stability control was first offered in 2003 along with XM satellite radio.
The third generation Yukon, or GMT900, were built in model years 2008 to present. After a complete redesign a year before, the 2008 GMC Yukon received minimal changes other than the introduction of the new Yukon Hybrid. It was the first full size SUV hybrid that used GM's all new Electronically Variable Transmission (EVT). This new system combined the use of an electric motor/generator with a 6.0L,Vortec V8 gas engine. The SUV could run on the electric motor alone, the gas engine alone, or a combination of both.
Yukon Models and Amenities
There are 5 different trim levels for Yukon; SLE, SLT, Denali, Hybrid, and Denali Hybrid. All models are available as a 4 door with 2WD, and can accommodate up to 9 passengers (SLE). All, excluding Denali, are available in 4WD and the Denali offers an optional AWD system. The SLE comes standard with:
- all the power equipment, including power front bucket seats
- tri zone climate control
- SiriusXM Satellite radio with USB port
- OnStar and Bluetooth wireless technology
- nine speaker Bose sound system
- first and second row leather seating
- automatic climate control
- remote starter
- locking rear differential
- power adjustable pedals
- rear vision camera system
- home Link remote control
- ultrasonic rear parking assist
- 12-way power adjustable front bucket seats
- heated and cooled front seats
- heated second row seats with power release
- Bose 10-speaker surround sound
- power remote liftgate
- 20" polished aluminum wheels
- auto ride suspension with level control
- touch screen NAV with rear vision camera
- heated steering wheel and side blind zone alert
What's New in 2015
GMC's Yukon received several updates for 2015. StabiliTrak will now include electronic trailer sway control and Satellite radio is standard on all trim levels as well as recovery hooks. Besides the addition of 2 new exterior color choices, Crystal Red Tintcoat and Quicksilver Metallic, the Luxury Denali and Denali Hybrid now come with blind zone alert and a new color "touch screen" navigation radio with USB port, hard drive storage and Time Shift Recording capability.
Yukon Power, Performance, & Economy
The SLE and SLT come standard with the "E85" capable 5.3L V8 that produces 320 hp and is coupled with a 6 speed automatic transmission. The Denali comes standard with the 6.2L V8 that creates 403 hp and is also "E85" capable. Both the 5.3 and 6.2 engines are enhanced with "active fuel management". This is, when at cruising speed and when extra power isn't needed, active fuel management shuts down 4 of the 8 cylinders to conserve gas. If a hill is encountered, or if you need to increase your speed, simply press on the accelerator and the other 4 cylinders kick back in to give you full torque and power. Properly equipped, Yukon's 5.3 V8 enables a Towing capacity of up to 8500 lbs (8200 lbs on 4WD) The 5.3 V8 is EPA rated 15/21, city/highway and the 6.2 V8 Denali is EPA rated 14/18, city/highway on the 2WD model and 13/18, city/highway on the 4WD model.
The Yukon Hybrid
The Hybrid is available in both 2WD, or 4WD and uses a 6.0L V8 gas engine and two 60kw electric motors that constantly charge a 300 volt, nickel-metal hydride battery. The system can operate in two modes. In the first mode, the vehicle can run on either gasoline, electricity, or a combination of both. This system can yield a 30% increase in combined city/highway mileage estimates and up to a 60% increase in city fuel economy. Similar to other hybrids, the two mode system shuts the gasoline engine off at stoplights. The Yukon is considered to be a full hybrid because it can run entirely on the battery for a limited distance up to 30 mph. When the vehicle reaches 30 mph and with the accelerator pedal pressed, the V8 engine kicks in to full operation. The second mode centers on the 332 hp V8 engine as the primary source of power. On the freeway, under light loads, the Active Fuel Management system can shut down 4 of the 8 cylinders and switch it to a 4 cylinder for better economy. The Hybrid is EPA rated at 20/23 city/highway and has the ability to tow up to 6000 lbs. With the standard 31 gallon fuel tank, that equates to a cruising range of over 700 miles. That's a long way without having to stop for gas! Not too bad for a full size luxury SUV!