2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Impressive fuel economy in city operation
  • handsome cabin with solid build quality
  • comfortable ride
  • seats eight passengers.
  • Expensive
  • non-foldaway third-row seats must be removed and stored
  • not as user-friendly as many fuel-efficient crossover alternatives.
Other years
GMC Yukon Hybrid for Sale
List Price
$25,450

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid offers compelling efficiency and decent tow capacity, but a regular large crossover will likely be a better choice for most consumers.

Vehicle overview

If you have owned a full-size SUV, chances are pretty good that fuel mileage of 15 mpg or less was a way of life. But that's not so with the 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid (or its Chevy Tahoe Hybrid twin), as it's rated at 21 mpg in combined city/highway driving. Apart from its powertrain, the Yukon Hybrid is functionally little different from a standard Yukon, meaning you still get a powerful V8, the ability to transport up to eight people and a towing capacity of 6,200 pounds.

To achieve this level of fuel efficiency in a 5,600-pound, truck-based SUV, the Yukon's 6.0-liter V8 engine works in concert with a hybrid system that features two 60-kilowatt electric motors packaged within the transmission. The latter is rather complex, as it is essentially like having two transmissions inside one -- a continuously variable drive unit for light load conditions and a standard four-speed fixed-gear type for high load conditions.

As such, the Yukon Hybrid can (under low-load conditions) move solely under electric power up to speeds of around 25 mph, hence its impressive city fuel economy rating of 20 mpg. For comparison, a standard Yukon 2WD with the 6.2-liter V8 rates just 14 mpg in the city. To minimize the weight gain associated with all that hybrid hardware, several body panels are made of aluminum and even the seats have been slimmed down. Sadly, the heavy and awkward-to-remove third-row seats didn't take part in the diet.

Though the 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid cuts down on fuel expense and the consumption of a finite resource, it's still going to cost you. With pricing in the low-$50,000 range when new, you're looking at a considerable premium over a non-hybrid Yukon. More to the point, you're looking at a huge premium over a lighter and better-handling crossover SUV that offers similar or greater passenger/cargo room and fuel efficiency. And then there's the Yukon Hybrid's heavy and complex powertrain to consider.

So, unless the 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid's significant towing capabilities are beneficial to you, full-size crossovers like the Ford Flex, GMC Acadia or Mazda CX-9 are likely better choices. You should also take a look at the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (it's not as brawny, but it's cheaper and more fuel efficient) or smaller but similarly priced diesel-powered three-row crossovers like the Audi Q7 TDI and BMW X5 xDrive 35d that provide greater fuel efficiency and a superior driving experience.

2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid models

The 2012 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, OnStar, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote engine start, 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, a USB port and satellite radio with real-time traffic reporting.

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

2012 Highlights

For 2012, the GMC Yukon Hybrid gets standard front-seat side airbags, along with a new audio system and hard-drive-based navigation (replaces the old DVD-based unit).

Performance & mpg

The 2012 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. On its own, the V8 is rated at 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. GM engineers say that combined output with the electric motors is 379 hp.

Under light throttle/load conditions, the Yukon can accelerate up to speeds of approximately 25 mph solely on electric power, thus optimizing fuel efficiency in low-speed, stop-and-go driving conditions, while the V8's cylinder-deactivation system helps reduce fuel consumption at higher speeds. Regenerative braking replenishes the batteries by capturing energy normally lost while slowing down.

Fuel economy ratings stand at 20 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. Maximum towing capacity for a properly equipped 4WD model is 6,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes, traction control, OnStar and a rearview camera.

In government crash testing, the 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid earned an overall rating of four stars (out of a possible five), with five stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. Its three-star rollover rating was the cause for the lower overall score.

Driving

It's not a stretch to say that driving the 2012 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 the Hybrid is the most powerful Yukon available, it's also the heaviest, so don't expect particularly brisk acceleration. Also, the transmission can hesitate when you ask for full power. Handling is about what you'd expect: safe but ponderous. Most crossovers are notably more carlike from behind the wheel.

Interior

Aside from instrumentation, there's nothing to distinguish the Yukon Hybrid from a traditional Yukon. It boasts attractive, high-quality materials and tight panel gaps while maintaining a simple control layout. Even the standard navigation system is easy to use.

The Yukon's standard third row enables it to accommodate up to eight passengers. The 50/50-split third-row seats don't fold flat into the floor, however; they're heavy and must be removed manually to free up maximum cargo space. With the third-row seats out of the picture and the second-row seatbacks folded, cargo capacity expands to 109 cubic feet, making the Yukon the roomiest hybrid on the market.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best truck ever owned, great off road but no hummer
mattharrisa,11/19/2011
Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A)
I love this vehicle .I got 13 city mpg in my previous all wheel drive 2005 denali and consistently get 19 city mpg in my Denali hybrid 4 wheel drive. I get about 20 mpg highway now vs 17 mpg in previous non hybrid Denali . I frequently go off road and had my doubts about the 22" wheels but hasn't presented a problem, although I'm not pushing it off road. I do frequently ford a wide river that I need to cross to Get to my cabin up to about 18" water depth in 4 wheel drive, but won't attempt it at higher water depths. I usually ford about a foot of water with absolutely no problems. I have 22,000 miles with no problems except having heated seat replaced under warranty.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover24.6%

More about the 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid

Used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid Overview

The Used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Yukon Hybrid SUV. Available styles include Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), Denali 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A), and 4dr SUV 4WD (6.0L 8cyl gas/electric hybrid 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid Denali is priced between $25,450 and$25,450 with odometer readings between 91523 and91523 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2012 Yukon Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $25,450 and mileage as low as 91523 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Yukon Hybrid for sale - 8 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $16,550.

Find a used GMC for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $11,817.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Yukon Hybrid for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $13,126.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $8,178.

Should I lease or buy a 2012 GMC Yukon Hybrid?

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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