2003 GMC Yukon XL Review

Pros & Cons

  • Huge interior space, strong V8-engine lineup, Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system, extensive list of available features.
  • Some cheap interior materials considering the price, questionable build quality.
List Price

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Edmunds' Expert Review

One of our favorite SUVs thanks to strong engines, functionality and features.

2003 Highlights

The Yukon XL gains numerous functional enhancements for 2003. The Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system is now available on 3/4-ton models for increased maneuverability and better stability when towing, while 1/2-ton versions now offer the Stabilitrak stability control system. Also this year, buyers get a choice of two new optional exterior mirrors: a multifunction power fold-away version with puddle lamps and integrated turn signal lights or extended camper mirrors that are also power foldable. The interior gets numerous upgrades that include tri-zone climate control, an enhanced driver-information center and a redesigned center console and instrument panel. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are now optional, as are second-row captain's chairs and power adjustable pedals. A revised lineup of entertainment options offers buyers a Bose audio system as well as XM Satellite Radio and a DVD-based entertainment system. Finally, for increased safety, the Yukon XL now features a standard front-passenger-sensing system, dual-stage airbags and three point seatbelts for all positions in the first and second rows.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 GMC Yukon XL.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

After 7.5 years
Roman Nowwakiwsky,07/24/2010
The practicality of this vehicle is excellent. We tow a 4500 lb boat, live in the mountains with tons of snow, travel a lot in the summer heat, and this truck has served us well. Many drivers, wife, sons, daughter, all enjoy never having to ask "can we take this". GM has been poor on service, replaced costly front hub, speedo stopped working after warranty. Truck has 99k miles and working well with regular maintenance at non-dealer shop. All shops know Chevy engine so they can maintain it. Replaced battery, windshield washer hose, brakes, tires & snow tires, as usual. I believe there is not another utility vehicle out there as a choice for roomy loading and comfort. Leather seats last.
I can't part with it!
I bought my Denali new and do a lot of hard driving with it. I tow trailers, take road trips fully loaded and take trips to the mountains in the snow. All I can say is, Wow! This is a great vehicle! I literally have had no problems with it except one battery and one set of tires at 40k. This mule will jerk my 6,000lb boat out of the water on a wet ramp with authority. (I laugh at other vehicle skidding with much lighter loads). Acceleration, ride, comfort and reliability have been exceptional. What really surprises me is the reliability. No issues. Much more reliable and durable that Japanese makes I have owned. No squeeks or rattles. I would buy another; I just can't part with this one!
Real Happy after 3 years!
I bought my Denali new and I do a lot of towing. At the ramp, it will jerk my 6,500 pound wet boat out of the water with ease. Never any skidding or hesitation. It has also held up much better than expected and has been exceptionally reliable. No problems except one battery in 3-years with 45k miles. Better than Japanese cars I have owned. I added an K&N free-flow air filter and acceleration has noticably improved. When punched, it really moves out. While no econo car, it will take me over 500 miles on one tank while cruising at 80+. I calculated it around 16 MPG. In pure city driving I get around 12 to 13. I would buy another without question; I just don't want to part with my 2003!
Transmission trouble
I have had my 2003 yukon xl 2wd for five and a half years.I bought it used with 22000 miles on it.It now has 103000 miles. At 65000 miles the transmission went out,a $2200 repair. At 77000 miles the instrument cluster lost gauge function one by one,this is a recalled issue up to 75000miles. The dealer wanted $800 to repair it.I purchased a used repaired one on ebay for $150. At 90000 miles the transmission went out again,another $1800 for repair. The power window motor went out on passenger side,drivers side is now moving slowly,so if I do it myself $300 repair. It seats 9,handles mountian roads great,but repair costs has lost my faith in GM. Save up for repair costs,you may need it.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2003 GMC Yukon XL features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 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
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2003 GMC Yukon XL

Used 2003 GMC Yukon XL Overview

The Used 2003 GMC Yukon XL is offered in the following submodels: Yukon XL SUV. Available styles include 1500 SLE 4WD 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A), Denali AWD 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A), 1500 SLE Rwd 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A), 2500 SLE 4WD 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A), and 2500 SLE Rwd 4dr SUV (6.0L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 GMC Yukon XL?

Price comparisons for Used 2003 GMC Yukon XL trim styles:

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    Which used 2003 GMC Yukon XLS are available in my area?

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    Should I lease or buy a 2003 GMC Yukon XL?

    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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