Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
Go

2011 GMC Yukon XL 2500

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

2011 GMC Yukon XL 2500 Review

By

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)

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

Buying this car?

2011 GMC Yukon XL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 432 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
    9.1/10

Has been an excellent performer.

By on Monday, January 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 108,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good performer"

Cons: "cracked dash, poor quality brake rotors"

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

"Used primarily for long trips in business. Much better than Chev. Suburbans owned in the past. Only complaints are poor quality brake rotors that needed turning within first two weeks and cracked dash. Apparently the poor quality vinyl dash is a characteristic of this year model. The seats were always less comfortable than the Ford counterparts as well as other non-GM vehicles. We will not replace it with another GMC or Chev because of high cost."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Very comfortable

By on Friday, January 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

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
9/10

Pros: "Safe"

Cons: "No area to hook up 2nd set of real fog lights"

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

"Design needs improvement with additional front grill area to place real fog lights after market product such as PIA LIGHTS"

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 141,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"This is my 3rd Yukon in a row and my first XL. I have had it for 4 years and have replaced 1 sensor ($300), battery, and 2 sets of tires in $140,000 miles! Beautiful vehicle - carries everything - and is reliable as can be."

7 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Comfort and quality

By on Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Value, family comfort. No complaints from family"

Cons: "MPG, single disc changer."

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

"This is my second Yukon. Love the way it preforms. I also pull a 19' boat with it and 7 passengers and you never know the boat is there. Very comfortable and roomy. Has some great luxuries like the heated second row seats. Wish they all came with 6 disc changers though. My only complaint other than gas mileage is consistent at 16.5 mpg highway and city. The Tahoe does not come close to the quality or looks of the Yukon."

27 people out of 46 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Thursday, December 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I've owned this vehicle for 5 months now and I have to say that I truly appreciate the roominess, power and peace of mind this monster of an SUV has to offer."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Learning technology transmion is terrible. Erratic

By on Thursday, December 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great dealer service, and follow up."

Cons: "not a smooth ride."

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

"Not enough storage or headroom. Not a smooth ride, always has little annoying jerks even on smooth rodes and an at low speeds."

12 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?