2012 GMC Yukon

The 2012 GMC Yukon was liked by reviewers and test drivers and was deemed to be a good choice for a driver who wants a large and affordable SUV. However, reviewers also recommended that those looking at the Yukon should consider a crossover.

For folks who prefer a more truck-like base, the Expedition by Ford could be an option. Even though it doesn’t have the Yukon’s power or fuel economy, it costs less. The Toyota Sequoia is also a good choice. Though it’s not as efficient as the Yukon, it handles well and has a great interior, including third row seats that can be folded all the way down the floor.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Full-Size SUV Base Price: $40,085.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 26 gallons (94l) MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 202 in. (513 cm) Wheel Base: 116 in. (294.6 cm)
Height: 76.9 in. (195.3 cm) Width: 79 in. (200.6 cm)
Curb Weight: 5448 lbs (2471 kg) Ground Clearance: 9.0 in. (22.8 cm)
Cargo Capacity(>2nd seat): 49.4 cu ft Maximum Seating: 7 people
Performance
Engine: Vortec V8 OHV Displacement: 5.3 Liter
Horsepower: 320 HP Max RPM: 5400 RPM
Torque: 335 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 5500 lbs (2494 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:SLE AWD MSRP: $44,095; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:SLT FWD MSRP: $45,570; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:SLT AWD MSRP: $48,425; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:Yukon XL MSRP: $43,555; MPG: 15 city / 21 hwy
Option:Yukon Denali 6.2L 403HP 2WD MSRP: $55,010; MPG: 14 city / 18 hwy

Engine

The 2012 Yukon has three trims: the SLT, the SLE and the Denali. It also comes in hybrid and XL models. The SLE and SLT have a 5.3 liter V8 engine that put out 320 horsepower and 335 lbs-ft of torque. The Denali has a 6.2 liter V8 engine with 403 horsepower and 417 lbs-ft of torque.

All the trims use a six speed automatic transmission. The trims with a 5.3 liter engine delivers 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. The two wheel-drive Denali trims get a bit less, while the all wheel drive models get even less. Fuel economy is considered fair for a big SUV. Reviewers also liked the Yukon’s powertrain, which is serviceable both in the city and on the highway.

Performance

Even though it’s a behemoth, the Yukon handles well, pleasingly powerful, and surprisingly smooth. Surprising for a big SUV is its small turning radius. Reviewers were happy with the Yukon's towing capacity. The SUV can tow over 5,200 pounds and the XL 2500 can handle up to 9,600 pounds. This makes it more capable than other pick-up trucks, including the Nissan Titan.

Exterior

Reviewers found the Yukon’s exterior easy on the eye, even though it’s not nearly as sexy as the Escalade.

Interior

People appreciate the Yukon’s capacity to seat up to nine people, though some may not be as comfortable as they want to be. With the front row bench seating in place, the third row is just big enough for children. The interior trim is of excellent quality, especially the Denali.

Standard features include a Bose audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio and three-zone climate control. Denali features are especially sexy and include remote start and sound insulation. Most reviewers found the features easy to use, but some of the gauges were hard to read.

The Yukon has only 16.9 cubic feet for cargo, though getting rid of the third row gives the owner 60.3 cubic feet of added space, and a folded down second row of seats will increase it to 108.9 cu ft.

Safety

The safety ratings for the GMC Yukon were good. One institute gave them five out of five stars for front and side crash tests, three out of five stars for the rollover test and an overall rating of four out of five stars.

Reliability

J.D. Power gave the Yukon a three and a half out of five reliability score. It comes with a five year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, and the usual three year or 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. The owner can also rely on five years or 100,000 miles of roadside help.

Pros

Reviewers loved the Yukon’s power and unexpectedly smooth ride, its towing ability and its elegant interior.

Cons

Reviewers complained that the third row seats can’t be folded flat to the floor, which decreases cargo capacity and makes stowing large pieces difficult.

Competition

Few luxury size SUVs come to mind, along with the Yukon and its various trims, available are the Ford Expedition (MSRP $39,140; 14 city / 20 hwy) and Toyota Sequoia (MSRP $40,930; 14 city / 20 hwy), to allow you to make comparisons.

Overall Rating
71 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 GMC Yukon–in Hybrid Denali form especially–makes a strong argument that there's still very much a place in today's market for big, capable, and supremely comfortable body-on-frame SUVs.”Car Connection

“Steering has light effort that benefits around-town maneuverability, but it can feel overassisted at highway speeds--a sensation that seems to be exaggerated slightly with the available 20-inch tires. Despite being tall and heavy, Yukons suffer relatively little noseplow and body lean in turns, though you would never mistake these SUVs for sport sedans…”Consumer Guide

“The Yukon's ride is supple and controlled, and towing capacity is impressive. There is room for seven or eight passengers, but there's little space behind the tiny third-row seat.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Unlike the truck based full-size GM SUVs of the past, the 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL deliver a rather confident and civilized ride, with handling aided by numerous sophisticated...”KBB

“The 2012 GMC Yukon is a leading choice for a traditional large SUV thanks to its comfortable cabin and strong towing and hauling capabilities. But for many people, a large crossover SUV might work out better.”Edmunds