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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 New for 2011

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 457 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 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

Smooth solid ride on the highway

By on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "OK gas mileage for a big SUV"

Cons: "lag in the 6 speed trans during hard acceleration"

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

"looks great, rides nice, seats and instrument layout fit me very well, heated and cooled seats are great for wife and I with different temp preferences"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent SUV, Outstanding Price/Value, No Damage

By on Monday, April 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,650

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: "Excellent SUV, Excellent Price"

Cons: "none"

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

"Very Low Millage 54K, Fully Loaded Denali, no damage history, complete maintenance records available, Video system with stereo headsets, Moon Roof, premium wheels, am/fm/XM premium stereo/cd with Bose speakers, Heated Leather seats (Front and Back) heated steering wheel, third row seating. Luggage rack, running boards, and towing package."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great vehicle

By on Monday, April 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have loved owning this SUV because I can see over traffic, it has good gas mileage for the size of car. it is very comfortable on long trips, it has great passing speed, I love the remote start in the winter, and it is a nice looking car. The only reason I am changing is I am 72 years old and that step up is getting hard to do."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Nice car for 2007

By on Monday, January 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 158,000

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
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfort, Power, Towing"

Cons: "Wheel finish, door squeak, legroom, air suspension"

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

"I bought this car used, around 3 years ago. I paid about $22K for it, here in Washington. I am about to get something newer due to it's aging status. It is a big comfortable car. Things that I like a lot are the 6.2 liter engine with 6 speed transmission, and the full time 4WD. This car is quiet on the freeway and cruises effortlessly. Heated seats, heated steering wheel, remote start, and lots of great comfort features. The 2nd row seats do not have a lot of legroom for a vehicle this size, the 3rd row is worse but we rarely use them. The exhaust note on startup is awesome. I added an aftermarket Bluestar bluetooth module to the stock OnStar system for cell phone integration, it works well. Navigation is weak and looks like an old Atari game, but this is an old system now. Problem areas I have seen are: power running boards don't always work; the air suspension in the rear seems problematic and the compressor or shocks fail at a high rate triggering suspension warnings on the dash (expensive repairs); the chrome on the chrome wheels flake off, resulting cosmetic disrepair and in air leaks, we have to add air weekly to some tires since the bead won't hold air; the front door mechanisms bind up and require lots of lubing to avoid squeaks and groans when opening and closing the doors. There was a recall on the heated windshield washer module, apparently it can catch fire. They just deactivate it and give you $100, which is not a fair trade for the value of the feature. We get about 13mpg on average with mixed city/highway driving. I can get 17mpg or more on long trips, but this is not our normal driving mode. The tank seems to hold about 22 gallons of regular fuel."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Great Rig!!

By on Thursday, December 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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

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

"This is my second Yukon Denali. I wore the first one out. It is the most comfortable, best handling SUV I have ever driven, especially in snow. It is a great long distance road car. I am never fatigued or sore at the end of a 5-7 hour drive. I traded my BMW X-5 for my first 2008 Denali and never missed the beemer. The 2012 version is just fantastic. My only wish is that it got better mileage (13 in town 19 on the highway)but moving a 6000 pound rig takes petrol. It seats four very comfortably, has cargo space, can handle 6 passengers, uses regular gas, can tow anything and looks awesome."

16 people out of 26 found this review helpful

looking for something smaller

By on Thursday, November 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have really enjoyed this truck with all the bells and whisles. Unfortumately as my familey has gotten smaller due to geting older and drivimg themselves, I am looking at getting something smaller."

10 people out of 23 found this review helpful

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