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2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500

Overview
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2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

Whether you want an SUV that's big and powerful, flashy and full-featured, or is a relatively fuel-efficient hybrid, the 2013 GMC Yukon has a good chance of fitting your needs and style. Variety is aplenty in this full-size SUV that is a sibling to the Tahoe and Suburban from GM stablemate Chevrolet. This 3-row SUV comes in regular and extended lengths, with rear- (2WD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD), and with a variety of engine options, including a hybrid setup that enables this rig to achieve up to 23 mpg. In high-end Denali form, it can give a Cadillac Escalade a run for its money. If your needs are more pragmatic and involve towing up to 9,600 pounds, that can be accomplished with the three-quarter-ton 2500 model.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you regularly need to carry eight or nine people and their gear – and don't want to be seen in a minivan – the GMC easily accommodates passengers and cargo. Those who need serious towing ability will find plenty of it even in lower-trim models of the 2013 Yukon.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't need to tow heavy loads and would like an SUV that's more fuel-efficient and easier to maneuver, a vehicle such as the 2013 GMC Acadia or 2013 Honda Pilot would make a more sensible choice.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.5
  • 6.9
  • 7.3
  • 6.9
  • 7.5
  • 7.9
How It Ranks

#38

out of 48

Fuel Economy

#17

out of 48

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

The 2013 GMC Yukon carries over unchanged except for a new exterior color (Champagne Silver Metallic) and the ability to use powertrain grade braking in normal transmission mode to reduce brake wear when going downhill.

Driving the Yukon XL 1500
2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Though their size can make these vehicles unwieldy to maneuver in tight spots, the 2013 GMC Yukon has a confident and civilized ride once on the road. The three V8...

engines offered (5.3-liter in the Yukon, 6.0-liter in the Yukon XL and 6.2-liter in the Denali) offer decent-to-good passing power for such a large vehicle. In hybrid form, these SUVs team the 6.0-liter V8 engine with a pair of battery-powered electric motors to attain better fuel economy, something for which the other versions are not known. Even with the increased fuel economy, hybrid versions can still tow at least 6,000 pounds. Overall, the Yukon has a surprisingly comfortable, compliant ride. Gasoline models shift smoothly with their 6-speed automatic transmission, while hybrid versions use an electrically variable version and automatic start/stop function to conserve fuel.
Favorite Features

ACTIVE FUEL MANAGEMENT
While SUVs and hyper-miling don't exactly go hand in hand, the Yukon does what it can to eke out a few more miles per gallon with GM's Active Fuel Management. The 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter engines use this technology to essentially turn their 8-cylinder engines into 4-cylinder engines when less power is needed. Fewer running cylinders means less fuel consumed.

BLIND SPOT MONITORING
With the proliferation of smaller cars on the road, drivers of big vehicles such as the Yukon can only benefit from extra safety features. This one – standard on Denali and optional on SLT models – uses radar beams to keep high-tech eyes focused on the spots that yours may miss.

2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Details
2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Technically, the 2013 GMC Yukon can carry up to nine people across three rows of seats. But buyers who opt for this setup will likely be in the minority, as customers often choose the more comfortable setup of twin bucket seats up front. This also leaves room for a big center console between those seats to store items large and small. Indeed, this big vehicle's exterior dimensions and boxy shape give it the kind of space that could command rent in New York City. Even standard-length models have a good amount of cargo space behind their third-row seats. If you regularly need to carry adults in the third row, the XL is the better choice.

Exterior
2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 photo

The 2013 GMC Yukon definitely appears imposing. Park it next to a Yukon XL model, though, and watch how quickly the regular-length version disappears. At 222.4 inches long, the XL adds 20 inches and, from bow to stern, rivals 1970s' land barges like the Cadillac Fleetwood and Lincoln Continental. Denali versions add bling to the Yukon's outer box with features like a honeycomb grille, power-retractable side steps and 20-inch wheels. Hybrid models are slightly altered with a lowered front, and aluminum hood and liftgate for better aerodynamics and less weight. Denali versions of the hybrid ride on massive, 22-inch chrome wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Yukon SLE comes with power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and AM/FM/CD stereo system with USB port and nine Bose speakers. SLT models add leather seats, power-adjustable pedals, rearview camera and rear-parking sensor. Denali models up the ante with a larger and more powerful V8 engine, AutoRide suspension for a more comfortable ride, heated and cooled front seats, 10-speaker sound system, and blind-zone monitoring. Hybrid versions, like Denali models, have navigation standard along with other features found in higher-trim Yukon SLT models.

Optional Equipment

Many of the features found on the top-line 2013 GMC Yukon Denali can also be added to SLE and SLT versions as options. Among them are navigation systems and heated and cooled front seats. Other options include 4-wheel-drive, power moonroof, 20- or 22-inch wheels, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, heavy-duty trailering package, blind-spot monitoring system, chrome grille, and assist steps for easier entry into this tall SUV.

Under the Hood
2013 GMC Yukon XL 1500 Engine photo

The 2013 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL SLE and SLT models are powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine that makes 320 horsepower and that can also run on an ethanol blend. Yukon XL 2500 models are heavy-duty, three-quarter-ton vehicles that use a 6.0-liter V8 engine good for 352 horsepower. Yukon Denali models use an even bigger, 6.2-liter V8 that makes 403 horsepower. Yukon Hybrid models are fitted with a 6.0-liter V8 paired to a 2-mode system that employs two 60-kilowatt electric motors. All models except the hybrid use a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid has an electrically variable transmission (EVT).

5.3-liter V8 FlexFuel
320 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
326 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm (E85)
335 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
348 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm (E85)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg (gasoline), 11/16 mpg (E85)

6.0-liter V8 FlexFuel
352 horsepower @ 5,400 rpm
382 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 10/16 mpg (2WD), 10/15 mpg (4WD)

6.2-liter V8 FlexFuel
403 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
417 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/18 mpg (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 mpg (2WD, E85), 13/18 mpg (4WD, gasoline), 10/14 mpg (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8 hybrid
332 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
367 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/23 mpg

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the Yukon line ranges from about $41,000 for a rear-wheel-drive SLE model to more than $65,000 for a loaded Yukon Denali Hybrid with 4WD. The Yukon's starting price is in line with the other full-size SUVs such as the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia. It is above that of the smaller Dodge Durango. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to determine how much shoppers are paying in your area. In terms of resale value, the Yukon is like others in this category except the Sequoia – just marginal, with hybrid versions faring worse than regular models.

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2013 GMC Yukon XL Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 395 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

I love my Yukon XL and looking for a new one.

By on Saturday, March 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 230,000

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
9/10

Pros: "None"

Cons: "A little more power pulling boats."

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

"I have had only minor problems out of this Yukon XL, and would continue to drive it, but I need to trade it while it has a little value."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

This is a beautiful vehicle. I need a smaller car

By on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

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
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Beautiful car and great to drive."

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

"My 2007 GMC Denali is opal black with chrome 26" wheels and black interior. The engine was rebuilt by the GMC dealer under warranty at 91,000 miles. It is a well-handling car and is beautiful. I get it waxed once a month."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Unbelievable vehicle.

By on Friday, March 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Amazing. This truck has over 113000 miles on it and has been to the dealership one time - to do recommended maintenance at 100000 miles. Other than that I have only done oil changes and replaced the tires. That it!"

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great high end comfort and stability

By on Saturday, March 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Safe and rugged"

Cons: "High cost"

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

"Comfortable vehicle with the ability to hall family to all destinations including unsaved off roads for outdoor excitement"

Love this truck

By on Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

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: "Roomy, reliable, smooth, quiet"

Cons: "Can't think of one"

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

"I've owned this truck since Sept. 2007. Outside of regular maintenance, I've only had to replace the fuel sensor and change the battery twice. This has been an extremely reliable truck. I take it on all road trips and it is a smooth, quiet ride with all the space you need for your luggage and any additional items you need to keep 3 kids busy. I also use it to tow a 20ft boat. It can pull the boat out of the water with ease and without the tires spinning. I can't think of anything that I do not like about my truck."

first car I love

By on Saturday, March 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,500

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "pleasure to drive, carries anything"

Cons: "pricey, some transmission glitches"

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

"I had an Escalade for a month trying to secure financing. When I discovered I had to come up with a significant down payment I reluctantly returned the car. Then I found my Yukon. It came with a premium package - all the features I loved about the Escalade, minus a couple of things of course. And while I thought I liked the Escalade, I love my Yukon. A dream to drive, reliable in all weather conditions (drove through snow storm w/o chains or 4x4), passenger comfort, fits everything I want to carry, and it just looks great. After 30 years of owning a variety of SUV's (mostly Ford), this is the first vehicle I love."

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