2000 GMC Yukon Denali Review

Pros & Cons

  • Curb appeal, powerful V8 performance, fancy gadgetry and features.
  • Doesn't hide previous-generation Yukon underpinnings well enough, high price.
List Price Estimate
$2,034 - $3,547

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The added luxury of the Denali is nice, but the redesigned version of the standard model is so good, we can't imagine anybody would want to pay more for less.

Vehicle overview

America seems to have an insatiable appetite for upscale SUVs right now, and big, gussied-up utes derived from a full-size pickup turn out to be the most profitable automotive product on the planet. So what's more logical than taking the old Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon, bolting on a new face, tossing in luxury features and marketing it as a four-wheel-drive limo for the well-heeled?

Enter the GMC Yukon Denali (and its dolled-up sister, the Cadillac Escalade). Exterior styling differs from the donor previous-generation Yukon by the use of more distinct sheetmetal from the hoodline forward, plus a bold rectangular center-port grille. Reflector-optic halogen headlamps and recessed projector-beam foglamps reside in a smoothed-out front fascia. Body-color cladding and integrated running boards spruce up the flanks, with textured body-color door handles, outside rearview mirrors and color-keyed rails on the flush roof rack completing the monotone look. Out back, a functional step bumper conceals a standard trailer hitch.

The Denali's interior boasts upper and lower consoles packed with storage cubbies and features such as reading lamps, cupholders, a rear power point and audio controls. Instrumentation is backlit in blue with white pointers and includes a tachometer. Luxury touches abound, with Zebrano wood trim, leather front and rear heated seats, and a premium Bose sound system. GM's factory-installed OnStar mobile communications system is now standard equipment.

Powering all this opulence is a 5.7-liter pushrod V8 packing 255 horsepower. The Vortec 5700 puts its 330 pound-feet of torque to the ground via a four-speed automatic transmission and the Auto Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system. When activated, the Autotrac transfer case will automatically shift from two-wheel drive to 4WD when it senses wheel slippage. Denali rides on unique six-spoke chromed aluminum wheels wearing Firestone 265/70R-16 touring tires designed especially for sport-utility applications on- and off-road in both wet and dry conditions.

Available in an array of exterior colors, the Denali provides a ''look-at-me'' driving experience around town and a king-of-the-road feel out on the highway. Frankly, you expect a lot from a truck with a $40K-plus price tag. But understand that it is all riding atop a pickup platform that is more than a decade old. That means this truck has all the flaws inherent to its humble underpinnings, such as sloppy steering, numb brakes and unrefined ride. What's worse is the use of GM's previous-generation interior plastics, which simply aren't in keeping with Denali's price.

For our money, the Denali lost much of its luster when Cadillac literally thieved the whole vehicle from GMC to offer the Escalade. Add in its dated mechanicals, and Denali becomes a tough sell.

2000 Highlights

For the 2000 model year, GMC's Yukon Denali gets a new exterior color and adds GM's OnStar communications system.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2000 GMC Yukon Denali.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Awesome SUV
This truck has been up the rocky mountains down some back country trails and in some crazy winter storms and yet it looks and feels brand new. Truck has lots of power considering the it weighs the same as a super duty. Comfort is amazing. Truck is over ten years old and 150K in it and it runs like a beauty. Changed the plugs and wires, normal maintenance and no major issues. Truck has loads of room and even with it packed to the rim it feels empty when loaded. Excellent truck recommend one to anyone.
Heaven on Wheels
It's heaven on wheels. The Vortec 6000 engine, luxurious leather captain seat, and bucket seats are remarkable. The exterior is so well finished and it is just so fun to drive. Its acceleration is out of this world considering it is a full sized SUV. My opinion, if you dont have get one!
2000 Yukon Denali - Excellent Car
Bought this car new in 2000. Have had NO problems. Excelent on road trips/very comfortable. Have drivin car back and forth to tempe Arizona. Would buy another.
Very Poor Denali
This is for a 2004 Denali with nothing but problems. Dealers cannot find and fix the shaking and the wandering on these vehicles and are denying a problem even exists. It appears the frames or the design of these vehicles are in question and appear to drive very unstable down the road. Not all Denali's have this problem but there are a lot that do. I feels like you are driving down a bumpy road when the road is not. read the forums at http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com I can deal with the paint problems on the console and the Speedometer issues and all the cosmetic stuff, but I cannot deal with the real problems like bad welds in the frames and the wobbling down the road. I will never buy GM

Features & Specs

See all Used 2000 GMC Yukon Denali features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2000 GMC Yukon Denali

Used 2000 GMC Yukon Denali Overview

The Used 2000 GMC Yukon Denali is offered in the following submodels: Yukon Denali SUV. Available styles include Denali 4dr SUV 4WD.

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Should I lease or buy a 2000 GMC Yukon Denali?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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