2010 GMC Yukon XL SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 GMC Yukon XL SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
GMC Yukon XL Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 352 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 0/0 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 GMC Yukon XL

  • It's massive and its third-row seats don't fold flat, but the 2010 GMC Yukon XL is an excellent choice for large families who need a full-size SUV with maximum seating, towing and cargo capacities.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Seating for up to nine passengers, massive interior space, smooth road manners, attractive interior with quality materials, powerful 6.2-liter V8 in the Denali.

  • Cons

    Third-row seat doesn't fold flat, portly curb weight dulls handling and performance (with smaller V8).

  • What's New for 2010

    For 2010, the GMC Yukon XL sees a simplified trim level lineup as well as a few equipment changes; highlights include new audio systems (with a standard USB port) and the adoption of front side airbags.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Unexplained sudden acceleration

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL

Purchased our vehicle new in 2009. Generally satisfied with the SUV. In December 2012 the vehicle unexpectedly accelerated without explanation. The car was towed to dealer - who could not re-create the defect. The vehicle has a bulletin out on a throttle defect but claim that it is due to a loss of power rather than a sudden acceleration. The manufacturer declined to pay for the cost of analysis of the defect, in spite of the throttle bulletin indicating they will pay the cost of the repair. Have 75K mi. on car but now wrestling with keeping it due to the concern. Expected another 2 years out of the vehicle, especially at this price for car - but now may have to find another option.

Great size and power

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL

We bought this vehicle purely for the size and passenger capacity. From that aspect, the vehicle is great - love all the room, the overall design, and general looks of the vehicle. Also love the power and "go anywhere" feel of the vehicle. We have, however, had this car in the shop more than any vehicle we've owned. Constant accessory / electrical issues (power seats, vented seats, heated seats, power door locks, driver air, power mirror). It still looks great and we still enjoy taking it on long trips when it's working, but if there was another good option with this much space and power, we'd take it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

An okay suv

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL

Bought the 09 to replace my 05. My biggest complaints relate to interior space use usability. There are no storage spaces for things like sunglasses. The 05 wasn't great, but it has thee good storage spaces in the dash. For some reason GMC decided to go with tiny buttons to control climate and radio. It has taken me a while to get used to the new layout, but the buttons are just bad, especially if you have gloves on. I am looking forward to towing my 30' camper. The 05 did well, I hope the 09 does better.

Fun to drive

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL

Bought our Yukon in Sept. to have another towing vehicle and for family trips. Its been great. We are enjoying the cylinder shut down feature (v8 to v4) as it gets mileage around 17 when warmed up. Comfort and ride are great (go for the autoride). Enjoying the dual row heated seats and the autostart. Would like to see more details for the money (blind spot monitoring or mirrors, pin lights for night time cabin lighting, more cubbies for storage). I too would suggest moving the compass/temp back to the center. The overall fit and finish has been very good with only one problem with a plate cover in the inside the door handle. Vehicle has met our needs for volume, handling and comfort.

Great driving vehicle

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL

The handling is great. Great improvement with the Nav-- gives great definition to detail. The heated seats work great. Backup camera gives excellent details to items behind your vehicle and is a great help to hooking up to the boat trailer. Vehicle is a whole lot more than I expected.

Love it

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Yukon XL

Wife drives an '07 Suburban, and I traded my '08 MDX in on this Denali XL when we had baby #4 (too hard to use the 3rd row). Love the Denali, but have to say the '07 Suburban is faster off the line by a considerable amount, even after giving up about 90 HP. Must be the AWD and 20" wheels on the Denali. And as much as I love the exhaust note on the Denali, some folks may not appreciate that and go for the relatively quiet 5.3L engine in the Suburban or Yukon XL.

Full 2010 GMC Yukon XL Review

What's New for 2010

For 2010, the GMC Yukon XL sees a simplified trim level lineup as well as a few equipment changes; highlights include new audio systems (with a standard USB port) and the adoption of front side airbags.


In today's social and economic climate, cruising around in a virtually empty, full-size heavy-duty SUV is about as politically correct as wearing a rabbit fur coat to a PETA convention. Volatile fuel prices and the big appetite of supersized SUVs mean that folks considering the 2010 GMC Yukon XL will likely really need its amazing passenger-, cargo- and trailer-hauling capabilities. Hollywood types who previously employed 6,000-pound utes for little more than dropping off Precious to day care and Fifi to the dog groomer no longer need apply.

Introduced more than seven decades ago under the Suburban name (which its Chevrolet cousin still uses), GMC's brute of a ute stays true to it roots. It still uses a rugged, body-on-frame truck chassis with a solid rear axle and is propelled by a big V8 engine. Yet despite its initially intimidating size, the Yukon XL has amenable road manners, thanks to its easy steering, compliant ride and quiet cabin on long freeway cruises. This year, GMC streamlines things a bit by dropping the sublevels (e.g., SLE1) of the SLE and SLT trims, essentially retaining them as option packages. Other changes include new audio systems (which all have a standard USB port) as well as standard front side airbags.

Few vehicles (apart from its Chevy Suburban twin) can match the Yukon XL's nine-passenger maximum capacity and all-seats-up 46 cubic feet of cargo space. Furthermore, with nearly 10,000 pounds of maximum towing capacity, this big GMC is ready for just about anything you can attach to its hitch. The Ford Expedition EL boasts a fold-flat rear seat and dimensions similar to the Suburban's, but it seats only eight and is shy on horsepower compared to the GMC. There's also the Toyota Sequoia, which has plenty of brawn but not as much room as the Suburban. For those who have massive passenger, hauling and towing requirements, it doesn't get much better than the 2010 GMC Yukon XL.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 GMC Yukon XL full-size SUV is available in 1500 and heavy-duty 2500 models, which are available in three trim levels: SLE, SLT and Denali (1500 only).

The base SLE trim comes well equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, running boards, full power accessories, keyless entry, a 40/20/40-split front bench seat (with six-way power adjustments for the driver), dual-zone manual climate control, rear-seat air-conditioning, a trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker audio system with a USB port, CD player and satellite radio. The SLT adds power front bucket seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bose audio with a six-CD changer, power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror (with a built-in rearview camera) and rear park assist.

The top-shelf Denali gains unique styling touches that include lower body cladding and a unique grille, 20-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats with a power-folding feature, a larger display for the rearview camera and a navigation system.

Some of the standard features found on the upper trim levels can be added to the lower ones as optional equipment. Other options (depending on trim) include 20- and 22-inch wheels, a sunroof, a navigation system, a side blind-zone alert system, second-row captain's chairs and a rear-seat entertainment system. Options for the Denali include a variety of 20- and 22-inch wheel styles, a sunroof, an additional third-row screen for the rear-seat entertainment system and a heated steering wheel.

Powertrains and Performance

Three V8s see duty in the Yukon XL. Most versions come standard with a 5.3-liter V8 that makes 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. All 1500 engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Yukon 2500 models come standard with a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 352 hp and 382 lb-ft of torque. The SLT 2500 can also be had with an available 6.2-liter V8 that's rated at 395 hp and 417 lb-ft. They are also matched to a six-speed automatic, though this one's geared for enhanced towing capability.

The Yukon XL Denali features a more powerful 6.2-liter V8 that's rated at 403 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. Two- and four-wheel-drive versions of the Yukon XL are available, except on the Denali, which is equipped with an all-wheel-drive system that doesn't have low-range gearing.

Fuel-mileage ratings range from 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined for the Yukon with the 5.3 V8/2WD powertrain down to 12/19/14 for the Denali. Properly equipped, a Yukon XL 2500 can tow up to 9,600 pounds.


Stability control with a rollover sensor is standard, as are antilock disc brakes, side curtain airbags, front side airbags and OnStar. A blind-spot alert system is optional on the upper trims.

In government crash tests, the 2010 GMC Yukon was awarded a top five-star rating for its protection of occupants in frontal collisions. Side-impact testing with the new side-impact airbags hadn't been performed as of this writing, but last year's Suburban still earned a top five-star rating for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like the rest of GM's full-size SUVs and trucks, the current Yukon XL's interior is a marked improvement over the previous generation. Materials quality and fit and finish are both solid, and the various controls -- even those for the available luxury features -- are logically placed.

Depending on how you equip the Yukon XL, it can seat anywhere from four to nine people -- a total surpassed only by full-size vans. Cargo capacity is also immense, with a maximum of nearly 138 cubic feet -- a full 40 cubes more than a Nissan Armada and a few more than the Ford Expedition EL. Although the Yukon XL's second row is available with a power-folding feature, the optional third-row seats (which seat three people) must be removed manually to optimize cargo space. Based on our experience, those heavy seats feel like they're constructed of cast iron, and removing them requires not only a strong back but the ability to wrestle them from deep inside the interior.

Driving Impressions

For such a big truck, the 2010 GMC Yukon XL is fairly quick, particularly in Denali guise. However, dipping into the power often will quickly pull mileage down to the low double digits. Its handling is more composed and its ride is smoother than one might suspect, but with its hefty curb weight, the Yukon XL doesn't feel particularly nimble around corners. We found the related Chevy Tahoe to be bested by the Ford Expedition in this regard, and it's a safe bet the Yukon XL would be equally outdone by the Expedition EL. However, when it's on an interstate and aimed for the horizon, there aren't many better cruisers than the 2010 Yukon XL. The cabin is quiet at speed, and the ride is comfortably controlled over bumps.

Talk About The 2010 Yukon XL

Gas Mileage


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