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2011 GMC Yukon XL 2500

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2011 GMC Yukon XL 2500 Review

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Despite the ever-rising cost of gasoline, many car shoppers either can't or don't want to jump on the small-and-efficient bandwagon. Whether accommodating a large and active family or delivering pickup truck-like capability, the full-size SUV continues to serve very real needs. One of the better current options is the 2011 GMC Yukon XL, available in light-duty 1500 and heavy-duty 2500 guises; two-, four- and all-wheel-drive configurations; and trim levels covering the expanse from well-equipped to stuffed-to-the-gills. Three V8 engines are included in the lineup, all working with a standard six-speed automatic transmission.

You'll Like This Car If...

Despite rising fuel costs and a general shift toward smaller vehicles, there remains a need for large SUVs capable of carrying three rows of passengers and a generous amount of cargo, either in the trunk or a towed trailer. One of the few options is the impressive GMC Yukon XL.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you like fuel efficiency, firm handling, commendable maneuverability, and pricing on par with a minivan, the 2011 GMC Yukon XL (and its competitors) is guaranteed to disappoint.

What's Significant About This Car?

The latest edition of the GMC Yukon XL arrives with an updated version of OnStar, including six months of complimentary enrollment in the Directions and Connections plan.

Driving the Yukon XL 2500

Driving Impressions Unlike previous iterations, the current-generation Yukon XL 1500 is marked by a polished, refined driving character. The overall experience is enhanced by a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission mated to one...

of two capable V8s, though the Denali's larger engine provides noticeably better off-the-line acceleration as well as a throatier exhaust note. 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.

2011 GMC Yukon XL 2500 Details
Interior

Housed within the 2011 GMC Yukon XL's sleek (for a full-size SUV) exterior are three rows of seats that accommodate up to nine passengers. Front- and second-row occupants are granted plenty of overall room and comfort, with wide-opening doors adding the bonus of easy entry and exit. The third-row bench is a dated design, meaning the cumbersome sections don't fold into the floor and must be removed to maximize cargo space. This approach also results in limited leg and foot room, though the second-row seats do slide forward and can be equipped with a handy power fold-and-tumble feature.

Exterior

Compared to nearly every other new car, truck or SUV, the GMC Yukon XL is a behemoth. With 222.4 inches of bumper-to-bumper length stretched over a 130-inch wheelbase, it's easy to understand how this luxed-up work vehicle qualifies as full-size. But, as is the case with some people, the Yukon XL carries its weight well. Behind the rather nondescript headlights is a body with clean and smooth styling, a look that owes some credit to tight panel gaps. The Yukon XL Denali is distinguished by a chrome honeycomb grille, unique headlights and taillights, and 20-inch polished alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2011 GMC 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 six-speed automatic transmission. The mid-level Yukon XL SLT dresses things up a bit more with a rearview camera, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, 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 lift gate, a 6.2-liter V8, and much more.

Optional Equipment

Many of the top-of-the-line 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 buckets, power tilt-and-tumble second-row seats, the power lift gate, and exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Depending on the model selected, buyers can also opt to have their 2011 Yukon XL fitted with a rear DVD entertainment package, a blind-spot warning system, a power moonroof, or power-retractable running boards.

Under the Hood

GMC offers its light-duty 2011 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 gas. Output measures 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque with gasoline, or 326 horsepower and 348 pound-feet 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 pound-feet of torque. Heavy-duty Yukon XL 2500 models are fitted with a 6.0-liter V8 that delivers 352 horsepower and 382 pound-feet of torque.

5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
320 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5300 rpm (E85)
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
348 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (gasoline), 11/16 (E85)

6.0-liter V8 FlexFuel
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
382 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/16 (2WD), 10/15 (4WD)

6.2-liter V8 FlexFuel
403 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 (2WD, E85), 13/18 (4WD, gasoline), 9/13 (4WD, E85)

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2011 GMC Yukon XL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 447 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Nothing but problems

By on Saturday, August 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 188,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfortable great for big families great in snow"

Cons: "Unreliable so many problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"We travel a lot. As you can tell from our mileage. But Will never buy a gmc again after this. Every sensor goes bad.....and there's a sensor on everything. So many issues.....and not cheap ones either. Have put so much money in this car. Love the comfort but hate the unreliability ( I'm driving 4 kids around). No more!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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!"

20 people out of 35 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."

6 people out of 13 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."

43 people out of 71 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."

10 people out of 25 found this review helpful

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