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2012 GMC Yukon XL 1500

Overview
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2012 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

GMC's full-size 2012 Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs represent the biggest, boldest SUVs around. Sharing their platform and interior layout with the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, the Yukon twins add a bit more upscale feeling to the design, with the Denali trim treading close to Cadillac Escalade territory. Beyond the styling differences, what really sets the 2012 GMC Yukon XL apart from the Ford Expedition EL and Toyota Sequoia is its available 2500 3/4-ton model that provides more towing and hauling capacity than anything in its class (outside of GM, that is). The 2012 GMC Yukon (twin to the Chevy Tahoe) is slightly shorter and doesn't offer the 2500 model, but it can be had with a hybrid powertrain that's EPA-rated at 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're not one who feels comfortable being pushed into a smaller crossover SUV just for the sake of fuel efficiency, the 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid might be your savior. Those who need 9-passenger seating and the ability to tow up to 9,600 pounds will find a friend in the 2012 GMC Yukon XL 2500.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're seeking better fuel economy plus a smaller, more easily-maneuverable 8-passenger SUV-and towing capability isn't a high priority-then the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV is probably a better choice.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL receive some minor upgrades and equipment. A heated steering wheel is now available on SLT trims (except for 2500 models), and heated front seats are made standard on all SLTs. A third-row screen is added to Yukon XL models with the rear-seat DVD entertainment package, and trailer sway control and hill start assist are added to the StabiliTrak stability control system. The Denali trims gain side blind zone alert as standard equipment.

Driving the Yukon XL 1500

Driving Impressions 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...

electronic and mechanical suspension components, such as the StabiliTrak stability control system. The driving experience is made all the more confident thanks to a range of powerful V8 engines (5.3-liter on Yukon, 6.0-liter on Yukon XL and 6.2-liter on Denali) teamed with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic. Passing power is decent for such a large and substantial vehicle, and the comfortable, compliant ride is sure to surprise many test drivers.

Active Fuel Management Technology
To date, engineers have yet to figure out how to make a massive SUV operate as efficiently as a compact sedan. However, by deactivating four of eight cylinders when less power is needed, the Active Fuel Management system helps drivers save gas whenever possible.

Autoride Suspension
Optional on the Yukon XL SLT and standard on the Denali, this auto-leveling rear suspension system delivers a level of ride comfort that just may cause occupants to forget they're traveling in what is essentially a truck.

2012 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Details
Interior

Although the basic dash design, seat layout and colors are the same for the base 2012 GMC Yukon as they are for the top-of-the-line 2012 GMC Yukon XL Denali, there are variations on features and trim. All Yukons feature 3-row seating that can accommodate up to nine people. The 2012 GMC Yukon XL SUV's additional length means it provides a far larger cargo bay behind the third-row seat than does the standard Yukon. Front- and second-row passengers will find comfortable seats and decent legroom, although we think the Yukon's molded headliner is a bit low for really tall passengers to be comfortable. The 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL's third-row seat is outdated, requiring it to be removed and stored to obtain a level load floor (the Ford Expedition's third-row seat folds flush into the floor). The third-row seat's design is also bulky, resulting in limited leg and foot room even with the sliding second-row seats moved forward. When the time comes to exit the rear-most seat, however, the second-row seats can fold and tumble forward, clearing a wide path.

Exterior

If you think the 2012 GMC Yukon SUV looks big, park it next to a 2012 GMC Yukon XL and watch how quickly it disappears. At 222.4 inches in length, the Yukon XL rivals the lengths of the great 1970s land barges like the Cadillac Fleetwood and Lincoln Continental sedan. But, unlike their old Detroit-iron relatives, the 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are far more efficiently packaged and feature far more sophisticated (and safe) suspension setups. The build quality is quite good, with tight tolerances between body panels and body lines that align perfectly with the corresponding sheetmetal. Denali models take the styling treatment one step further, offering a chrome honeycomb grille, clear-lens headlamps, unique tail lamps and 20-inch polished alloy wheels. Hybrid models have a different front fascia with larger air inlets (to help cool the hybrid system) and squared-off D-pillar edges for improved aerodynamics. The 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid also features a single-piece tailgate with fixed glass, as opposed to the standard Yukon's 2-piece hatch.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL models address safety with ABS, StabiliTrak and front-side and side-curtain airbags. Additionally, the base SLE version boasts triple-zone climate control, a Bose audio system with a USB port, a power driver's seat and a 5.3-liter V8 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The mid-level Yukon XL SLT dresses things up a bit more with a rearview camera, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated front seats and remote start. Finally, the decked-out Denali stands apart with its navigation system featuring XM's real-time NavTraffic service, heated and cooled front seats, a power liftgate, a 6.2-liter V8 and much more. The 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid includes much of the SLT's equipment plus a 6.0-liter V8 teamed to a 2-mode electric motor/generator transmission.

Optional Equipment

Many of the top-of-the-line 2012 GMC Yukon XL Denali's standard features can be added to the SLE and SLT as optional equipment. These include the navigation system, heated and cooled front seats, power tilt-and-tumble second-row seats, the power liftgate and exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Depending upon the model selected, buyers can also opt to have the 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL fitted with a rear DVD entertainment package, a blind-spot warning system, a power moonroof and power-retractable running boards.

Under the Hood

GMC offers its light-duty 2012 Yukon and Yukon XL SLE and SLT models with a 5.3-liter V8 capable of operating on regular gasoline or E85, a mixture of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline. Output measures 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque with gasoline, or 326 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque with E85. The Denali's 6.2-liter V8 is also a flex-fuel engine, though there's no variation in its ratings of 403 horsepower and 417 lb-ft of torque. Heavy-duty Yukon XL 2500 models are fitted with a 6.0-liter V8 that delivers 352 horsepower and 382 lb-ft of torque. The Yukon Hybrid is fitted with a 6.0-liter V8 paired to a 2-mode system that employs two 60-kilowatt electric motors, three planetary gears sets and four hydraulic wet clutches providing continually-variable operation with four fixed gear ratios.


5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
320 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (gasoline), 11/16 (E85)

6.0-liter V8 FlexFuel
352 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
382 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/16 (2WD), 10/15 (4WD)

6.2-liter V8 FlexFuel
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 (2WD, E85), 13/18 (4WD, gasoline), 10/14 (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8 hybrid
332 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/23

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2012 GMC Yukon XL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 444 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

One Awesome Vehicle!

By on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Size, Room, Power, Great in Snow & Mountains"

Cons: "Gas Mileage, Price, Cost Per Fill Up"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought a new 2014 Yukon XL SLE one year ago and have over 20,000 miles on it already. It is truly an awesome vehicle and the best I have ever owned. It has lots of room for my kids and all of their sports gear. I can carry 8 people comfortably for carpooling. The 3rd row can fit 3 small kids, 2 teenagers or 2 adults comfortably with decent leg room. The 5.3L 320HP V8 engine has plenty of power to haul anything (boat, trailer, camper, etc.) and lots of storage behind the 3rd row. The 3rd row folds down (not flat), or the seats can be removed for additional storage space. On road trips, we can easily fit large suitcases, beach gear, and bags with the 3rd row folded down, or haul large boxes, furniture, and appliances when needed. I average about 13-15 MPG city, and about 19-20 MPG highway, which is not too bad considering the size and weight of the vehicle. Gas mileage, expensive fill-ups, and the price are the only negative aspects, but the MPG is better than or similar to other large SUVs (Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon, Expedition & Armada). I feel very safe when driving, due to its size and being higher up off of the road. Parking is sometimes a challenge in tight spaces or on city streets. It is excellent in the snow and heavy rain, and handles mountains with no problem. In the past year I have only needed two oil changes and tire rotations. It is a very reliable SUV and will hold up for a long time, from all of the reviews I've read. Overall, this is a great vehicle for people with large families, those who need to tow something, those who need lots of storage space, and those who live where it snows a lot. It is rather pricey and more expensive to fill up than a car, but worth it if you want one of the largest vehicles you can own. The 2015 & 2016 models have a redesigned exterior and interior, with additional technology and safety features, but if you cannot afford the $50,000+ price tag for the XL or $67,000+ for the Denali, you can can find many used 2014 or older Yukon XLs for under $40,000. I highly recommend this SUV!"

12 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Absolutely love it!!!

By on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Luxury feel. Truck feel in an SUV"

Cons: "Not enough legroom & gas hog--worse than i thought"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had my Yukon Denali for almost 2 years now and still love it just as much as the day I brought it home from the dealership. However, there are some negatives about this vehicle. First of all, my husband is just over 6 feet tall and barely has any leg room in this vehicle. I was a little shocked since it is so much bigger than most other vehicles I figured it had to have more leg room. I am just over 5 feet tall so leg room has never been an issue of mine, and I am the primary driver. Secondly, it uses way more gas than I ever could have imagined. I knew that it would be a gas hog but geez, it almost feels as if it uses gas while we sleep at night. Other than these negatives, we still love it. Oh, and the DVD player gets used at least once a week. The kids love that!!! I love the fact that the 3rd row seats can be removed, however, they are extremely heavy to take out. I feel so safe and protected while driving this vehicle. If you aren't worried about the leg room or the gas issue, I would definitely recommend. This was my dream vehicle and I still love it just as much today. There are tons more positives though. I have Navigation, Backup camera, DVD player, XM radio, Bluetooth, Onstar, leather heated and cooling seats for all seats except the 3rd row, sunroof and privacy glass, automatic running boards that can come down when the doors open or can be shut off entirely, automatic lift gate (press of a button and the trunk closes without having to manually), steering wheel controls for phone, radio, volume, cruise control, etc, and removable 3rd seats, and much much more."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

my favorite vehicle of all time!

By on Saturday, June 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "comfort, space, safety"

Cons: "gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the vehicle used with 93000 miles on it.... still my favorite vehicle of all time. You will not find a truck that drives as nice or as dependable. In 5 years with 143000 miles, I only broke down once when the fuel pump died. I baby the truck because I know I'm coming up to the end of its life and I love it too much! The family fits in it great. Pulls the camper with out a problem ( a 36 foot fiberglass ultralight ). Doesn't leak a drop of anything. Have had some expensive repairs, but nothing out of the ordinary for a vehicle with this many miles."

42 people out of 70 found this review helpful

can't beat this car up enough

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "reliable, very fast, handles well. seats 7 easily"

Cons: "cup holder in bad position in front of the console"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"i have put this luxury vehicle through it's paces. I've been in near miss situations, and it handled like a small sports car. I've hauled hay, lumber, and other equipment in the back. I've also frequently hauled around a large extended family in it. It's luxurious, but will work as a farm vehicle if you want to abuse it like that. But avoid black. it soaks up the sun's heat. too much up here in northern California. The finish is very strong, but the trim articles begin to lose adhesion. I don't know what the new ones are like, but this year model is a luxurious, comfortable, powerful, agile tank."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

100% trouble free

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This vehicle has never had a single issue. Other than price, I cannot find fault with the GMC Yukon Denali XL."

9 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Very reliable vehcle and has good room.

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car and relaxing to drive."

Cons: "Not good om fuelb but exceptable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This vehcile is great and very reliable. Great for long trips and large families. would recommend over any SUV in the market."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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