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2012 GMC Yukon

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2012 GMC Yukon Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

GMC's full-size 2012 Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs represent the biggest, boldest SUVs around. Sharing their platform and interior layout with the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, the Yukon twins add a bit more upscale feeling to the design, with the Denali trim treading close to Cadillac Escalade territory. Beyond the styling differences, what really sets the 2012 GMC Yukon XL apart from the Ford Expedition EL and Toyota Sequoia is its available 2500 3/4-ton model that provides more towing and hauling capacity than anything in its class (outside of GM, that is). The 2012 GMC Yukon (twin to the Chevy Tahoe) is slightly shorter and doesn't offer the 2500 model, but it can be had with a hybrid powertrain that's EPA-rated at 20 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're not one who feels comfortable being pushed into a smaller crossover SUV just for the sake of fuel efficiency, the 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid might be your savior. Those who need 9-passenger seating and the ability to tow up to 9,600 pounds will find a friend in the 2012 GMC Yukon XL 2500.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're seeking better fuel economy plus a smaller, more easily-maneuverable 8-passenger SUV-and towing capability isn't a high priority-then the 2012 GMC Acadia SUV is probably a better choice.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL receive some minor upgrades and equipment. A heated steering wheel is now available on SLT trims (except for 2500 models), and heated front seats are made standard on all SLTs. A third-row screen is added to Yukon XL models with the rear-seat DVD entertainment package, and trailer sway control and hill start assist are added to the StabiliTrak stability control system. The Denali trims gain side blind zone alert as standard equipment.

Driving the Yukon
Driving Impressions

Unlike the truck based full-size GM SUVs of the past, the 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL deliver a rather confident and civilized ride, with handling aided by numerous sophisticated...

... electronic and mechanical suspension components, such as the StabiliTrak stability control system. The driving experience is made all the more confident thanks to a range of powerful V8 engines (5.3-liter on Yukon, 6.0-liter on Yukon XL and 6.2-liter on Denali) teamed with a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic. 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.

2012 GMC Yukon Details
Interior

Although the basic dash design, seat layout and colors are the same for the base 2012 GMC Yukon as they are for the top-of-the-line 2012 GMC Yukon XL Denali, there are variations on features and trim. All Yukons feature 3-row seating that can accommodate up to nine people. The 2012 GMC Yukon XL SUV's additional length means it provides a far larger cargo bay behind the third-row seat than does the standard Yukon. Front- and second-row passengers will find comfortable seats and decent legroom, although we think the Yukon's molded headliner is a bit low for really tall passengers to be comfortable. The 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL's third-row seat is outdated, requiring it to be removed and stored to obtain a level load floor (the Ford Expedition's third-row seat folds flush into the floor). The third-row seat's design is also bulky, resulting in limited leg and foot room even with the sliding second-row seats moved forward. When the time comes to exit the rear-most seat, however, the second-row seats can fold and tumble forward, clearing a wide path.

Exterior

If you think the 2012 GMC Yukon SUV looks big, park it next to a 2012 GMC Yukon XL and watch how quickly it disappears. At 222.4 inches in length, the Yukon XL rivals the lengths of the great 1970s land barges like the Cadillac Fleetwood and Lincoln Continental sedan. But, unlike their old Detroit-iron relatives, the 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are far more efficiently packaged and feature far more sophisticated (and safe) suspension setups. The build quality is quite good, with tight tolerances between body panels and body lines that align perfectly with the corresponding sheetmetal. Denali models take the styling treatment one step further, offering a chrome honeycomb grille, clear-lens headlamps, unique tail lamps and 20-inch polished alloy wheels. Hybrid models have a different front fascia with larger air inlets (to help cool the hybrid system) and squared-off D-pillar edges for improved aerodynamics. The 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid also features a single-piece tailgate with fixed glass, as opposed to the standard Yukon's 2-piece hatch.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 GMC Yukon and 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 6-speed automatic transmission. The mid-level Yukon XL SLT dresses things up a bit more with a rearview camera, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, heated front seats 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 liftgate, a 6.2-liter V8 and much more. The 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid includes much of the SLT's equipment plus a 6.0-liter V8 teamed to a 2-mode electric motor/generator transmission.

Optional Equipment

Many of the top-of-the-line 2012 GMC 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 seats, power tilt-and-tumble second-row seats, the power liftgate and exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Depending upon the model selected, buyers can also opt to have the 2012 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL fitted with a rear DVD entertainment package, a blind-spot warning system, a power moonroof and power-retractable running boards.

Under the Hood

GMC offers its light-duty 2012 Yukon and 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 gasoline. Output measures 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque with gasoline, or 326 horsepower and 348 lb-ft 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 lb-ft of torque. Heavy-duty Yukon XL 2500 models are fitted with a 6.0-liter V8 that delivers 352 horsepower and 382 lb-ft of torque. The Yukon Hybrid is fitted with a 6.0-liter V8 paired to a 2-mode system that employs two 60-kilowatt electric motors, three planetary gears sets and four hydraulic wet clutches providing continually-variable operation with four fixed gear ratios.


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 (gasoline), 11/16 (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 (2WD), 10/15 (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 (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 (2WD, E85), 13/18 (4WD, gasoline), 10/14 (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

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2012 GMC Yukon Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 457 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
    9.2/10

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"

3 people out of 3 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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