2011 GMC Yukon XL SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 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 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 320 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 GMC Yukon XL

  • It's massive and its third-row seats don't fold flat, but the 2011 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 is bulky and doesn't fold into the floor; portly curb weight hampers handling.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 GMC Yukon receives only minor feature updates.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (3 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Oustanding purchase 2010 yukon xl

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Vehicle: 2010 GMC Yukon XL

Bought my 2010 Yukon XL after much research and investigation. Had a bad experience years ago with a GM product and was nervous to purchase another even with access to GM employee discount. After several test drives and reading good press regarding much improved quality and design I decided to take a chance on my silver 2010 SLE with the exact features I was looking for: SLE-2, cloth buckets, ext appearance pkg, conv pkg, tow pkg, and integrated trailer brake. So far the truck is perfect and drives like a dream. Plenty of power and tons of utility. I have owned full size pickups for years so the mileage with this XL is phenomenal compared to them. The family and I could not be happier.




Traded 2006 760li

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Vehicle: 2010 GMC Yukon XL

Rock solid SUV - Paid $59k for loaded vehicle with AWD. While its not a 760LI, it is very comfortable, loaded with many features that you would find in the BMW, plus a few more that I like much more - the USB, the room, the ride - everything but the mileage is perfect. Its $10-30k less than comparable vehicles without aas much room. Denali badge comes with nice features, interior quality could be nicer, still less fancy materials than Cadillac or foreign car, but it's an elegant beast none the less and great for my bull mastiff.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Initial review

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Vehicle: 2010 GMC Yukon XL

We ordered the Yukon XL the way we wanted it and are quite pleased with the ride handling low noise level. We got the SLT, SLT 2, Z71 plus the Red Tintcoat with Ebony interior. We have two large German Shepherds we travel with so buying a Yukon was no brainer. Used the USAA Buying Service and got a excellent deal. Compared Suburban LT to Yukon XL SLT and prefer the Yukon to Suburban based on the options available. Did not buy DVD or GPS system as they are way overpriced. We also opted to purchase the GMPP but shopped around to find the best price. No regrets about buying the Yukon XL it definitely satisfies our needs quite well.



Full 2011 GMC Yukon XL Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 GMC Yukon receives only minor feature updates.

Introduction

That time-honored American notion that "bigger is better" has been shot full of holes over the past few years. Especially when it comes to the vehicles we drive. And yet we have to admit there's still a place in this world for full-size sport-utility vehicles like the 2011 GMC Yukon XL.

While most folks would have a hard time justifying owning this shiny three-ton SUV, there are some situations where the Yukon XL -- and its Chevrolet Suburban sibling -- actually makes sense. If you need one vehicle that combines seating for nine passengers, cavernous cargo capacity and enough muscle to tow big trailers, the Yukon is pretty much your only choice.

Given the Yukon XL's enormous dimensions and powerful V8 engines, its ability to handle all these schlepping tasks isn't all that surprising. What is rather unexpected is the big truck's level of refinement, including its relatively smooth ride and quiet interior. You can also get some rather luxurious accommodations offered in the top-of-the-line Denali model, which includes quite a few standard features that would seem right at home in a high-end sedan. 

Of course, there are downsides to driving an 18-foot-long SUV like the Yukon XL, not the least of which are maneuvering in tight quarters and abysmal fuel economy. The Yukon XL also loses points in the practicality column for the outdated design of the 50/50-split third-row seat, which has to be removed and stashed somewhere to take advantage of the interior's full cargo capacity.

Other than the aforementioned 2011 Chevy Suburban and its uptown cousin, the 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV, the Yukon XL has few peers. The 2011 Ford Expedition EL offers the distinct advantage of a fold-flat third-row, but seats only eight passengers and is a little down on power compared to the GMC's three different V8 offerings. The 2011 Toyota Sequoia has power to spare, but also seats only eight passengers and offers significantly less cargo room.

While we're thankful that most people no longer consider driving a humongous SUV to be a status symbol, we're equally glad the 2011 GMC Yukon XL is still there for those few buyers who really need all the versatility it has to offer.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 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 nine speakers, 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, a navigation system and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio 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, power-retractable running boards, a sunroof and an additional third-row screen for the rear-seat entertainment system.

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. This larger V8 is also mated 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 XL with the 5.3-liter V8/2WD powertrain down to 12/19/14 for the Denali. Properly equipped, a Yukon XL 2500 can tow up to 9,600 pounds.

Safety

Stability control is standard, as are antilock disc brakes, side curtain airbags, front side airbags and an updated version of OnStar. A blind-spot alert system is optional on the upper trims.

The 2011 GMC Yukon hasn't been tested using the government's new, more rigorous procedures. But in prior testing, it earned a top five-star rating for its protection of occupants in frontal and side-impact collisions.

Interior Design and Special Features

Arguably the strongest selling point for the 2011 GMC Yukon XL is an interior that offers seating for up to nine passengers, a number bested only by full-size vans. Seating arrangements include a choice of a 40/20/40-split bench or buckets up front, with a 60/40-split bench or a pair of captain's chairs in the second-row. The three-person third-row seat is standard.

The Yukon XL's cavernous cabin also offers plenty of cargo room, with nearly 49 cubic feet of room behind the third-row and a whopping 137.4 cubic feet with the third-row seats removed and the second-row seats folded. Unfortunately you'll need to yank out and store both halves of that third-row seat in order to make use of all that space, a process that requires no small amount of muscle.

On the upside, the design, materials and fit-and-finish of the Yukon XL's interior are all noticeably nicer than those found in previous generations. Gauges and controls are laid out in a straightforward and intuitive manner that makes them simple to use.

Driving Impressions

With its big V8, the 2011 GMC Yukon XL models feel fairly quick for such a big vehicle. That's especially true for the top-of-the-line Denali with the 403-hp 6.2-liter engine under its hood. The tradeoff, of course, is poor fuel economy that just barely breaks into the double digits.

The Yukon XL's suspension also offers a comfortable ride quality that, combined with the relatively quiet interior, makes the Yukon XL a fine roadtrip machine. Unless, of course, you'll be driving a lot of twisting mountain roads, as handling suffers from its massive curb weight.

Talk About The 2011 Yukon XL

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs