By KBB.com Editors
Essentially mechanically identical to Chevrolet's Suburban, the 2008 GMC Yukon XL rides on General Motors' full-size SUV platform. Half-ton 1500 and heavy-duty 2500-series models are available, with rear- or four-wheel drive. The standard engine size is a 5.3-liter V8, available in either gasoline or flex-fuel versions (the latter so it can operate on E85), with 6.0-liter V8s optional. Or, buyers may step all the way up to an extravagant Yukon Denali with its class-leading 380-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, six-speed automatic transmission and upgraded level of features and luxury appointments.
If you frequently need to carry plenty of cargo along with a sizable group of passengers, the full-size 2008 GMC Yukon XL is one of the few available choices. Yukon XLs are loaded with equipment, but the sticker price rises rapidly if you select a few options -- or move all the way up to the plush, top-of-the-line Denali.
If you like to breeze past gas stations without worrying about what it's costing you to get down the road, a Yukon XL won't bring smiles -- despite the new multi-displacement system that improves fuel economy.
Head-curtain airbags are standard on all models, while 2500 models receive StabiliTrak stability control.
Driving Impressions The Yukon XL -- especially in Denali form -- is a refined, if flamboyantly oversized, family and cargo hauler. With the six-speed automatic of the Denali, transmission responses are less...harsh than in four-speed models, with less-noticeable delays, and a richer exhaust note emanates from the 6.2-liter V8. Despite energetic start-off acceleration, it's not quite as vibrant when passing. Ride quality in the Denali is hardly truck-like at all, and it feels secure in curves. Expressways are the Denali's forte, where an appealing ride blends with excellent stability and easy control.
Active Fuel Management Technology
Don't expect gas-mileage miracles from the new cylinder-deactivation system, but, when dealing with heavy vehicles, even a modest fuel-economy improvement is worth the effort.
Available real-time damping lets a Yukon XL cross the line from acceptable ride comfort into a tempting -- perhaps even delightful -- road experience. You won't forget you're in a truck, but an Autoride-equipped Yukon XL promises more pleasant hours on long hauls.
With space for up to nine occupants, depending upon the seating configurations for the individual rows, the 2008 GMC Yukon XL delivers great passenger comfort in a spacious interior. A lower-positioned instrument panel helps add leg space, front seats gain fore-and-aft and recline travel and second-row seats recline further, too. There is ample second-row leg and knee room, third-row headroom and second- and third-row shoulder room. The third-row seats fold flat, tumble forward and are removable. The Yukon's gloveboxes are huge, and available power fold-and-tumble second-row seats ease third-row access.Exterior
The new Yukon XL boasts wraparound front and rear fascias and integrated running boards. GMC claims this is the most aerodynamic Yukon to date, helped by a sleek 57-degree windshield angle. The XL's 130.0-inch wheelbase and 222.4-inch overall length compare to 116.0 and 202.0 inches, respectively, for regular-size Yukons. Wider tracks (three inches greater in front) enhance stability. Doors extend over the rocker panels and larger headlamps deliver improved lighting spread. The XL Denali gets chrome accents, a distinctive honeycomb grille, unique headlamps with etched GMC logos, clear-lens tail lamps and 18-inch polished wheels.
The SLE includes Stabilitrak, head-curtain airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear air conditioning, XM Satellite Radio, heated power mirrors, roof rails, side steps and rear privacy glass. SLT versions have leather appointments and front bucket seats, remote engine start and a cargo cover. The XL Denali includes Autoride suspension, the 6.2-liter V8, six-speed automatic transmission, a power liftgate, power release second-row fold-and-tumble bucket seats, power-adjustable pedals, heated windshield washers, an auto-dimming inside mirror, RainSense wipers, remote start, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, a six-CD changer, Bose 10-speaker Centerpoint Surround Sound audio, "Nuance" leather-covered seats, heated first- and second-row captain's chairs and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with genuine wood accents. All Yukon XL models have GM's OnStar emergency and communications system.
Some tempting extras are available for the Yukon XL, including a power liftgate, sunroof, remote starting system, navigation system, DVD entertainment and heated steering wheel. Heated seats are offered for the first and second rows. Other options include power-retractable articulating assist steps (running boards), 20-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, a rearview camera system and Autoride, GM's real-time damping suspension.
The Yukon XL 1500 has a standard iron-block 5.3-liter V8 that produces 320 horsepower, and a 6.0-liter V8 is optional. Yukon XL Denali models have a 6.2-liter V8 that generates 380 horsepower. In the heavy-duty 2500 series, an iron-block 6.0-liter V8 makes 352 horsepower. All engines operate with Active Fuel Management technology, and the 5.3-liter V8 is available with E85 compatibility. Except for the Denali's six-speed automatic, the Yukon XL has a four-speed automatic transmission.
320 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
340 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD)
5.3-liter V8 Flex Fuel
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/15 (2WD, E85), 11/14 (4WD, E85), 14/20 (2WD, Gas), 14/19 (4WD, Gas)
366 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 (2WD); 12/17 (4WD)
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
383 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 (2WD), 12/17 (4WD)
380 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18
By Rollo on Friday, August 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Expensive. Love the ride love the size."
Cons: "Gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My only complaint has been the mileage, with that said I knew that going in. Very reliable so far. Plenty of power and a great rumble from the 6.2 liter engine, (takes Me back to muscle car days.) The rig drives great, I put on Michelins this time , what a ride. I won't buy another new Denali due to cost. Possibly a 2 year old lease return ,you can save a bundle."
By JohnM72 on Saturday, August 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great for travel and love the remote start."
Cons: "electgronic issues."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This SUV is great for travel. Only issue was on occasion it would not start. This happened 5 times. A lot of electronics were replaced. Then finally the Starter and solenoid were replaced. This only took 4 years to find. At 114000 miles the #8 rod went... $8300.00 later I had a GMC factory rebuilt 6.2 engine. We were in Southern California (Long Beach). the GMC dealer was great. We still had 2500 miles to go on our trip so that is why I opted for the rebuild instead of junking and buying something else and I did not want a California vehicle. So in 2 years maybe I can get more for an engine with 25K miles."
10 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Jamie on Tuesday, August 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Issues Rear differential replaced under warranty but still should this happen Speedometer and dash cluster replaced Rides like a delivery truck. Very bumpy..My wife and I have back problems..rides in this vehicle are painful Several replacements of wheel bearings..at least three of them ... ...I paid for some under warranty and did not realize it may have been covered. Door handles delaminates and or broke off door. This happened at 36000 miles and at 100000+ miles. Junk interior trims Pros Feel safe on road Engine has some balls Love rear auto life gate"
14 people out of 37 found this review helpful
By happy with GMC on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Trouble free car. Very happy with it. Looking at a smaller GMC due to grandchildren growing up and not spending as much time with us. If you have a need for more passenger room this is the car."
8 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By MySilverBullet on Friday, July 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Easy to drive, 8 passenger, and very comfortable."
Cons: "Some paint coming off the front bumper."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought my 2011 Yukon XLT in April of 2012. The first thing I did was check the mpg. I had traded in a 2006 Dodge Dakota V6. My Dodge got 19.8 MPG on my 1 hour trip to work. This Yukon V8 gets 18.9 MPG on the same trip. I was worried it was going to suck down the gas. But it doesn't. It probably has to do with the engine switching from V8 to V4 when cruising on the highway. 80 percent of my commute is highway. Just went to Florida with 4 people and a weeks worth (and probably more) worth of stuff. Went through the WV mountains and the Yukon still got 17.6 MPG on the trip. It's VERY comfortable especially on a trip. It is a huge vehicle... but even my wife finds it easy to drive and even easy to park. We bought it because our 5 passenger vehicles weren't large enough to carry myself, my wife, and our two children with a friend each. Now we can carry 8 passengers and everyone is comfortable. In the last 75,000 miles, I've only had to do oil changes and a set of tires. I got a great deal on it at only $34K at one year old with 23,000 miles. Very happy with the car and would buy another one if I could get a similar deal."
6 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By jima on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great vehicle. comfort level excellent"
Cons: "large and needs some getting used to. wife loves i"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"10th yukon/suburban. If limited to only 1 vehicle, this would be it due to room, versatility and quality."
14 people out of 27 found this review helpful