Used 2008 GMC Yukon XL 1500 SUV Used 2008
GMC Yukon XL 1500 SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

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.


You'll Like This SUV If...

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.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

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.

What's New for 2008

Head-curtain airbags are standard on all models, while 2500 models receive StabiliTrak stability control.

Driving It

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.

Favorite Features

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.

Autoride Suspension
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.

Vehicle Details


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.


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.

Notable Standard Equipment

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.

Notable Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

5.3-liter V8
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)

6.0-liter V8
366 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
380 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 (2WD); 12/17 (4WD)

6.0-liter V8
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
383 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 (2WD), 12/17 (4WD)

6.2-liter V8
380 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
417 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18


Pricing Notes

In base SLE trim with two-wheel drive the Yukon XL 1500 starts around $39,000, while the midrange SLT with two-wheel drive stickers for around $42,500. A fully loaded Denali with all-wheel drive has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) close to $60,000. Four-wheel drive adds about $2,800 to the SLE and SLT prices. The heavy-duty Yukon XL 2500 models have stickers ranging from the low- to mid-$40,000 range. The Fair Purchase Price, which represents what consumers are actually paying, will be somewhat lower. Be sure to click on Fair Purchase Prices to check what the Yukon XL is currently selling for in your area. In terms of resale value, the Yukon XL 1500 with two-wheel drive is expected to retain only average values over time; four-wheel-drive models do slightly better. Resale figures fall below Toyota's Sequoia and are on par with Nissan's Armada and Ford's Expedition. GMC's Yukon XL Denali has a higher expected retail value than the standard XL.

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