2006 GMC Yukon XL SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 GMC Yukon XL SUV

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GMC Yukon XL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.3 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 295 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 GMC Yukon XL

  • The 2006 GMC Yukon XL is one of our favorite big SUVs, thanks to its strong engines, smooth ride and massive cabin. Competitors may offer more conveniences and refinement, but along with its Chevy Suburban twin, the Yukon is the only SUV in its class offered in light- and heavy-duty versions.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Huge interior with class-leading cargo space, strong lineup of V8 engines, extensive list of optional features, seats up to nine.

  • Cons

    Cheap interior materials, bulky size makes it unwieldy for daily use, vague steering, can't get side airbags on base model.

  • What's New for 2006

    The GMC Yukon XL has a few additional features for 2006. OnStar, a tire-pressure monitor and stability control are now standard on all trim levels. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are new this year, and the optional towing/camping exterior mirrors have been revised. Lastly, the interesting but expensive Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system has been dropped for 2006.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (51 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2005 denali yukon xl

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Yukon XL

I purchased this vehicle with 209,254 miles on it for $7,783 + Tax/Title. The interior looks new but the exterior has a few dings and a little rust starting here and there. It Runs & Drives like NEW! Everything works! I burn no oil between oil changes but the rear seal leaks a bit. I purchased this for towing and know a few people who are also driving these GM's with over 200,000 clicks/no problems. These vehicles get driven hard and simply keep going. We tow Ice Houses, Campers, etc. Getting stuck is a regular occurrence. Forward, Reverse, Forward... Stomp it. These things keep going! Add gas & change fluids regularly. Simply AMAZING machines..........

I wish i had came

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Yukon XL

I bought my vehicle used with a clean vehicle history report. Over 4 months I get ...1) sunroof tracks out. 2)FL tire monitor malfunction, 3)transmission is failing, 4)starter went out, 5) driving lamps work intermittently, 6) check engine light on and computer says its an o2 sensor. Hmmmm which one of several? 7) One of rear seat warmers quit working. I think this earns GM a huge 0 in my book of quality.

Great suv...if you like large

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Yukon XL

I bought my Denali when it had 92,000 on it. It now has about 102,000 on it and I have had it for about 5 months. I haven't had to do anything to it except a fuel pump and have some interior plastic touched up. No complaints here!! The only downside is 13.4 mpg, but what do you expect when you have a SUV of this size. All in all I think it is a great truck and it can do everything i want it to do, I can take me and 6 people around, pull boats and trailers, go on long trips and not even feel like it was very long. Im very happy with my Denali!

Stability problems

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Yukon XL

Recently, I went to get my vehicle service for an oil change and brake service. I told the service adviser about my stability sensor often comes on and my vehicle is riding off balance, so they check, but didn't find a problem with my vehicle. What can I do? My vehicle was purchased new in 2005 and has 58,000 miles and I didn't have a problem until this situation happen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Rattle trap

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Yukon XL

Bought this truck with 28,000 miles. Was great until 40,000. The rear Air spring compressor went out, the factory CD player jammed and had to be replaced, Needed new A/c O-rings, the airbag needed to be serviced, there's a popping noise in the front end now, and the interior is flimsy and cheap. There are tons of wind noise and it seems like there's a new squeak or rattle every month. The fact that i can remove pieces of the interior with my bare hands is downright pathetic.

3/4 ton yukon xl -

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Vehicle: 2005 GMC Yukon XL

I've owned this vehicle for about 5 yrs, putting all 96000 miles on it. Only repair items have been to reprogram the transmission (in warranty) and to replace a burned out seat motor. I tow a 7000 lb trailer with it about 10 times a year. When Katrina hit, my wife and I evacuated in only this vehicle with two grown boys, 3 cats, a dog, cat litter boxes, dog pillow, suitcases, computers, game boxes - everything they held dear and drove for 8 hrs on a single tank of gas. Yes, it gets 13mpg, but if you are shopping for a reliable SUV - you won't find any better. I haven't even had to change the brakes!

Full 2006 GMC Yukon XL Review

What's New for 2006

The GMC Yukon XL has a few additional features for 2006. OnStar, a tire-pressure monitor and stability control are now standard on all trim levels. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are new this year, and the optional towing/camping exterior mirrors have been revised. Lastly, the interesting but expensive Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system has been dropped for 2006.


The Yukon XL is GMC's largest SUV. Able to seat up to nine people, this is a very versatile hauler and should more than adequately serve families that have heavy-duty towing and hauling needs. Its roots can be traced back to 1936. Known as the GMC Suburban back then, this vehicle was merely a standard panel van with a few extra seats and windows. It earned a reputation as a sturdy people mover, however, and now, 10 generations later, the tradition continues with the GMC Yukon XL.

Along with the name change in 2000, the Yukon XL received a modern chassis that gave a more comfortable ride and improved overall performance. A luxurious and powerful Denali version was added a year later to give the Yukon XL more traction against a growing number of full-size luxury sport-utilities. A lineup of three V8 engines is available depending on your needs, and a laundry list of interior options allows you to add as much or as little luxury as you might want. Modern advancements like a stability control system make the Yukon XL safer than ever before. Although there are a few capable competitors out there, the 2006 GMC Yukon XL remains one of the most popular vehicles for those looking for maximum passenger capacity in a comfortable, easy-to-drive package.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The standard GMC Yukon XL is offered in half-ton (1500) and three-quarter-ton (2500) configurations. The 1500 models come in SL, SLE and Denali trim, while the 2500 is available in SLE trim only. Standard equipment for SL models includes tri-zone manual air conditioning, cruise control, a driver message center, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and a CD player. The SLE is similar but grants access to additional features such as automatic climate control, leather seating, a floor console with integrated rear-passenger stereo and climate controls and an upgraded audio system via an SLT option package. Top-of-the-line Denali models come standard with just about every feature available, although items like a DVD-based entertainment system and a sunroof are still optional.

Powertrains and Performance

SL and SLE 1500 models feature a 5.3-liter V8 rated at 295 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The Denali and SLE 2500 models come standard with a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 335 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. Optional on the 2500 is an 8.1-liter V8 that cranks out 325 hp and 447 lb-ft of torque. The bigger V8s get a heavy-duty four-speed automatic. Both two- and four-wheel drive are available on all models, except the Denali, which is all-wheel drive only. The GMC Yukon XL 1500 can tow up to 8,500 pounds (8,100 on the Denali). The 2500 models equipped with the 6.0-liter engine can tow up to 9,900 pounds. With the 8.1-liter engine, capacity jumps to 12,000 pounds.


The Yukon XL comes with front airbags that deploy based on crash severity, a tire-pressure monitoring system, four-wheel antilock disc brakes and the StabiliTrak stability control system. Front-seat side airbags are standard on the Denali, optional on the SLE and not available on the SL. In crash tests conducted by the NHTSA, the 2006 GMC Yukon XL received four stars (out of five) for protection of the driver and front passenger in front-impact crashes.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the GMC Yukon XL is spacious with solid ergonomics and plenty of creature comforts. There's room for nine if you stick with bench seats, but ordering the optional captain's chairs drops capacity to seven passengers. Like many GMC trucks there's a little more plastic than we would like and the build quality could be better, but overall it's still a pleasant environment for a family vehicle. The Yukon XL leads the class in cargo capacity (132 cubic feet) but doesn't offer fold-flat seats unlike a few competitors.

Driving Impressions

We're impressed with the Yukon XL's smooth, comfortable ride quality and easy-to-drive nature. Thanks to a stiff frame and a well-insulated cabin, this big SUV is generally quiet and rattle-free, making it a great long-distance cruiser. The ride of the heavy-duty three-quarter-ton models is a little less forgiving for rear-seat passengers, but they're still comfortable enough to be daily drivers.

Talk About The 2006 Yukon XL

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs