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2011 GMC Yukon XL 2500

Overview
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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 420 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

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

Great vehicle

By on Monday, October 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Very comfortable vehicle. Lots of power, but I still am able to get 14 mpg in town and up to 18 mpg on the road."

8 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best SUV I have ever owned

By on Monday, October 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfort, reliability, safety, luxury,easy to drive"

Cons: "gas mileage and premium unleaded"

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

"This is the most comfortable and reliable vehicle I have ever owned. I was the second owner and bought it with just under 50,000 miles on it. We took it to Colorado for a family vacation and couldn't slide on the ice, even when we wanted to. It is so safe and comfortable for our whole family of 5. We pulled our 26 foot boat with it and have had it packed to the top and it still has plenty of power. It handles and turns like a smaller vehicle and was a great learner car for my Daughter, since she just got her license. The only downside is the gas mileage and that is takes premium unleaded fuel."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Rides the smoothest of any SUV

By on Friday, October 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth ride and design"

Cons: "my 3rd row seats weren't power folded"

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

"I have owned 3 Yukon Denali's. I owned a Ford Expedition and a Lincoln Navigator before the three Denali's and they don't hold a candle to it. The ride is so smooth and I am getting a fourth Denali except this one will be the XL."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great truck for large families on the go!

By on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Big, comfortable, loaded with extras, looks great."

Cons: "looks like you're part of a Secret Service detail"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Enjoy driving your family around in style!

"2008 Yukón XL with all the bells & whistles. This is a phenomenal car for large families that are always on the go. It comes complete with 4 buckets seats, and a 3rd row that comfortably seats 3 more, DVD, Navigation, Black on Black with chrome grill, alloy wheels, looks and drives great."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Enjoy driving your family around in style!

Best Vehicle I've Ever Owned

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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: "comfortable, luxurious, peppy, fun 2 drive,reliabl"

Cons: "gas mileage, lack of functional cup holders"

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

"I want every car that I own from now on to be a GMC Yukon Denali. It has been the most reliable car I've owned. It handles great and I feel extremely safe driving in it. It is also incredibly comfortable. I'm a heated seat junkie and love how there are separate options for just back heaters and for back and seat heaters. The car also has a lot of power and tows my boat easily. The only thing Im not crazy about is that gas mileage, but it only does marginally worse than my Acadia did for so much extra power and room. The trunk is very small with the 3rd row seats in, but the seats are easy to remove and put back in."

21 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Very best vehicle ever!

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, room inside, dependability,"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

"I adore this vehicle. It is so comfortable to travel in . I like all the room it has. I love the way it handles on the road. I love the power - not so crazy about the MPGs, but if I want the power it's the price I pay."

4 people out of 8 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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