2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUV

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GMC Yukon Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 332 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid

  • Combining 21-mpg fuel economy with the towing capacity of a traditional SUV, the 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid is an amazing piece of machinery. However, most folks would be better served by any of GM's full-size crossovers that are nearly as efficient and much less expensive.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Amazing fuel economy for a full-size SUV, handsome cabin with solid build quality, comfortable ride, seats eight passengers.

  • Cons

    Heavy third-row seats must be removed to open up cargo hold, fuel economy still not much better than some crossovers, hefty price premium.

  • What's New for 2009

    Other than the adoption of Bluetooth connectivity and real-time traffic for the XM Satellite Radio, the 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid sees no significant changes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (17 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

No buyer's remorse here!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

After the Hybrid stickers were removed, my family and I stand back and admire the beauty of this automobile. We had been persuaded away from American-made cars several years ago and went the way of the foreign minivan. We were leery of Government Motors, but are extremely happy with the quality of this vehicle. The ride is smooth, the gas mileage is really 20 mpg, and the cargo room is expansive with the last row of seats out. All our stuff can fit and when the grandparents come to town, everyone has ample room. GM did a great job without sacrificing anything. It's solid and the quality is on par with any Toyota/Honda/Nissan minivan out there!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Tremendous vehicle!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

I have had my Yukon Hybrid for a year and a half and in that time I have discovered a whole new level of sophistication. Previously I have had Range Rovers which are very nice but just don't offer the same level of performance. I have had one recall for a minor issue but other than that in 19,000 miles it has never missed a beat. Fuel mileage seems to average around 20 mpg mostly city driving, but the carbon foot print of this vehicle is far lower than my last few which is the reason I bought it. At stop lights with the engine off the other hybrids are usually running...enough said. You do have to learn to change your driving style to get the most out of this vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great truck & mileage after

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

Love this truck for it can idling when parked and no carbon foot print. The truck was receiving poor gas mileage, but after the transmission recall it is getting what is estimated. I love the fact it gets around 20 miles per gallon and I have a lead foot. Wondering if GM will credit me the fuel cost from their error?

My yukon is always in

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

The actuators that move the door locks keep burning out, one after the other. I am on my fifth replacement. I will be contacting a lawyer when the next one burns out.

Nice truck, but has some

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

Bought this truck new on New Year's Eve 2008. After 7 months and 12k miles, I'm a bit disappointed with the mileage. We're only getting around 17 MPG. I have a lead foot, but my wife doesn't and she is the primary driver. Don't see how other reviewers are getting 20+. Have also had to take it to the dealer twice for brake issues. Covered under warranty, but still a hassle. Interior is laid out nicely, but materials seem really cheap. Driver's seat has great leg and head room, but comfort of seat is lacking on long trips. Overall, pretty happy with it. Has a very good ride even at 75-85 MPH. With 3rd row seats out, cargo area is spacious. Can't use NAV without radio on.

Great vehicle!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

This is a very well engineered vehicle. In 9 months I have driven over 27,000 miles in both city and highway driving, as well as a short 300 mile trip towing a medium size Uhaul. Very comfortable on the road and around town. For a 5,600 lb. SUV with 4WD I can't complain getting 18.5 MPG pulling a trailer at 80 MPH and 19.5 MPG on the open road at 85 MPH. Around town I average 20 MPG and I don't drive like a little old lady.

Full 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid Review

What's New for 2009

Other than the adoption of Bluetooth connectivity and real-time traffic for the XM Satellite Radio, the 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid sees no significant changes.


A few years ago, the idea of a full-size traditional truck-based SUV averaging 21 mpg seemed about as likely as a Chevy Aveo blowing away a Corvette in the quarter-mile. Normally, you'd be hard-pressed to get 14 mpg in one of these over-5,000-pound beasts. Getting an amazing 50 percent better fuel economy without giving up a powerful V8, eight-passenger capacity and the ability to tow 6,000 pounds might qualify that rig as the eighth wonder of the world. That rig is the 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid.

It was last year that General Motors achieved that feat, with the debut of hybrid versions of its popular Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon twins. Developed in concert by BMW and DaimlerChrysler and General Motors, the Yukon Hybrid's "two-mode" technology starts with a 6.0-liter V8 with cylinder-deactivation technology -- it essentially turns that V8 into a V4 when full power isn't needed. The V8 is coupled to a pair of 60-kilowatt motors packaged within the transmission for electric motivation.

The transmission -- GM dubs it an EVT, for "electronically variable transmission" -- is essentially like having two transmissions inside one -- continuously variable drive for light load conditions and a standard four-speed fixed-gear type for high-load conditions. Hence the term "two-mode." And like other full hybrids, the Yukon Hybrid can be propelled (up to around 25 mph) solely under electric power, which is why its city fuel economy (21 mpg) is virtually the same as its highway (22 mpg). GM did its best to keep the weight gain to a minimum by using aluminum for several body panels and slimming down the seats. (Though ironically, the oh-so-heavy removable third-row seats escaped the liposuction.)

The gains in fuel economy above a regular Yukon's are pretty impressive from a percentage standpoint -- the Hybrid posts an improvement in city mileage of about 50 percent. However, its mid-$50,000 price tag may make you think twice. Other than its sophisticated running gear, the Yukon Hybrid is essentially a fully loaded Yukon SLT, but costs about $8,000 more. Even factoring in federal tax credits, it could take up to a decade to recoup that price premium based on gas savings alone. We'll let you decide if the environmental benefits are worth the price, but how green can a 5,600-pound SUV ever really be?

So, unless the 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid's significant towing capabilities are important to you, a full-size crossover like the Buick Enclave or GMC Acadia may be a better choice. They provide more usable passenger space, they're friendlier to drive, they get close to the same fuel economy and they're considerably cheaper when fully loaded with options. The new two-mode hybrid system is certainly impressive, but we're not entirely sure if the Yukon is the right vehicle for it.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid is a full-size SUV available in one trim level. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear park assist with rearview camera, tinted windows, power-folding heated side mirrors and tri-zone automatic climate control. A trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote ignition, leather upholstery, power front seats and a removable 50/50-split third-row seat are also standard. In-car entertainment includes a navigation system, a hybrid system display and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with a CD/MP3 player, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio (with real-time traffic reporting).

A sunroof and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system are the lone options.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Both models utilize a 6.0-liter V8 engine coupled to a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors located inside what GM calls an electrically variable transmission. Together, they produce 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. The system can accelerate the Yukon up to speeds of approximately 25 mph using electricity only, while the V8's cylinder-deactivation system helps reduce fuel consumption at higher speeds. Regenerative braking replenishes the batteries by capturing energy normally lost when coming to a stop.

Fuel economy is 21 mpg city/22 mpg highway for rear-wheel-drive Yukon Hybrids and 20/20 for those with 4WD. Maximum towing capacity for a properly equipped 4WD model is 6,000 pounds.


Standard safety equipment includes full-length side curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes, traction control, OnStar and a rearview camera. In government crash testing, the Yukon Hybrid scored a perfect five stars in all frontal and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Aside from instrumentation, there's nothing to distinguish the Yukon Hybrid from a traditional Yukon. Unlike in past generations, that's a very good thing. The newest Yukon boasts attractive, high-quality materials and tight panel gaps while maintaining a simple control layout. Even the standard navigation system is easy to use.

With its standard third row, the Yukon can seat up to eight passengers. Unfortunately, that 50/50-split third row does not fold flat into the floor. Since the two seats weigh slightly less than a Geo, you'd better have Stone Cold Steve Austin on standby to help remove them. Once they're out, though, maximum cargo capacity is a whopping 109 cubic feet with the folding second row down -- much more than any other hybrid offers.

Driving Impressions

It's not a stretch to say that driving the 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid feels like being behind the wheel of a 5,600-pound Prius. There's the same eerie quiet when accelerating and braking, as the gas engine shuts off to let the electric motors do their thing. Although it's a tad strange, the result is a quiet cabin, while transitions between gas and electric modes, and eight- and four-cylinder mode, are either undetectable or easy to ignore.

The regenerative braking system produces a firm braking feel and, according to GM, actually stops the big SUV better than the regular Yukon's conventional brakes do. Although the Hybrid is the most powerful Yukon available, it's also the heaviest, so don't expect particularly brisk acceleration. Still, its abundance of low-end power -- aided by those torque-rich electric motors -- produces plenty of grunt for both around-town chores and trailer towing.

Talk About The 2009 Yukon Hybrid

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs