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2018 GMC Yukon KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.8 / 10
This Car - 2018 GMC Yukon
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Consumer Rating 6.8 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

Built in Texas and now in its fourth generation, the 2018 GMC Yukon and its longer sibling, the Yukon XL, are great choices for large active families and those who need to tow a boat or RV. The new Yukon is a full-size SUV with seating for as many as eight passengers and offers a plethora of tech-based active safety systems. The SLE and SLT trim levels are powered by a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8, while the more luxurious Denali models are equipped with a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 and a 10-speed automatic transmission from Cadillac’s Escalade. That’s the most horsepower in the full-size segment where the Yukon competes with the Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia and its mechanical twins, the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban.

You'll Like This Car If...

If size does matter you’ll like the 2018 GMC Yukon. It’s big. And the Yukon XL is even bigger, providing interior volume and cargo space that make the Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia look like little hatchbacks. It’s also handsome, luxurious and its features list reads like a luxury car’s.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you just need a people-mover with seating for seven or eight passengers, there are more fuel-efficient and less gargantuan SUV options out there like the popular Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9 and GMC’s own Acadia. The Yukon also costs more than the very similar Chevy Tahoe and Suburban.

What's New for 2018

GMC has turned up the dial on the top-line 2018 Yukon Denali. There’s a sculpted new chrome grille with active aero shutters that close off airflow on the highway to increase fuel economy. Also, HID headlights with cool LED daytime running lights and a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

Driving It Driving Impressions

On the road the new 2018 GMC Yukon wonderfully combines the attributes of a full-size luxury sedan, a muscle car and a Peterbilt. It’s smooth, comfortable and quiet on the highway, maneuverable, powerful and easy to drive in the city, and like a big rig it scares off pesky other drivers looking down at their phones. The mechanical twin of the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the new 2018 Yukon SLE and SLT trims offer the same 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8. Move up to the Denali, however, and you’ll get a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower on tap and a slick 10-speed automatic transmission. Visibility is excellent, the Yukon’s steering is light and it rides admirably, despite its antiquated solid-axle rear suspension. Denali trims also employ Magnetic Ride Control, a system that features self-adjusting shock absorbers that continually adapt to changing road conditions for a uniform and luxurious ride over any surface.

Favorite Features

GM’s clever Safety Alert Seat, which is standard on the Yukon SLT and Denali, provides haptic vibration pulses in the driver’s seat-bottom instead of audible crash-avoidance alerts. The patented system works with the SUV’s other safety systems like Forward Collision Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

GMC’s Autotrac 2-speed active transfer case remains in 2-wheel drive (2WD) until the system detects wheel slippage, then it automatically engages 4-wheel drive (4WD) until traction is regained. It also allows you to manually engage 4WD at any speed, and it has a low range for off-roading fun and adventure.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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