2018 GMC Yukon XL Review
Which Yukon XL does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Seats up to nine passengers
- Plenty of cargo capacity, even with all the seats deployed
- Can tackle rough terrain when fitted with four-wheel drive
- High towing ratings
- Size, weight and length make it unwieldy around town
- Slow gas pedal response makes engine feel weaker than rated
- Cargo space utility is limited by high load floor
Overall rating7.5 / 10
The 2018 GMC Yukon XL's nine-passenger capacity and strong towing power make it ideal for big families and recreational activities. But the Yukon's imposing mass and traditional SUV design take a toll on maneuverability, fuel economy and ride comfort.
You expect as much in an SUV of this size. The utility is undeniable. Even with the third-row seats deployed, it has 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space available. Fold down the second and third rows, and you've got a whopping 121 cubic feet of maximum cargo space at your disposal. If towing is your thing, the Yukon XL can lug up to 8,300 pounds.
All of this makes the Yukon XL a fairly mission-specific vehicle. Sure, for a big SUV, we've found it easy to drive — as long as you're going straight. But navigating tight parking lots and city streets requires caution, calculation and some amount of faith in the space around the vehicle.
There's also no escaping the Yukon XL's roots. The truck-based suspension can't deliver the carlike ride comfort of a crossover. Nor is the Yukon a picture of efficiency with an EPA-rated 18 mpg combined for a base four-wheel-drive version. Finally, the price premium attached to GMC vehicles is a little hard to justify given that the related Suburban has nearly all of the same features at a lower price.
That said, the Yukon XL's size, power and style will undoubtedly hit the mark for a very specific buyer.
2018 GMC Yukon XL models
The 2018 GMC Yukon XL is a full-size SUV offered in SLE, SLT and Denali trim levels. The smaller Yukon is covered in a separate review.
The SLE base trim starts with a 5.3-liter V8 engine (355 horsepower, 383 pound-feet of torque) paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard; four-wheel drive is optional.
Standard SLE features include 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, side steps, roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers and a trailer hitch receiver with a wiring harness. Standard interior features include tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, and 60/40-split folding second- and third-row seats.
Also included is a 110-volt power outlet, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, OnStar communications (with a 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with CD player, satellite and HD radio and a USB input. GM's Teen Driver monitoring system, which limits certain vehicle settings for young drivers, also comes standard.
The optional Enhanced Driver Alert package adds forward collision alert with automatic low-speed emergency braking, a vibrating safety-alert driver seat, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning and intervention. The Convenience package adds a power-operated liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals and a universal garage door opener.
The SLE also offers an optional front bench seat that increases capacity to nine passengers.
The SLT trim includes all of the features listed above and adds a hands-free liftgate, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, power-folding second- and third-row seats, and driver-seat memory functions.
The top-of-the-line Denali trim adds a more powerful 6.2-liter V8 engine (420 hp, 460 lb-ft of torque), a 10-speed automatic transmission, 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, adaptive suspension dampers, a trailer brake controller, a head-up instrument display, active noise cancellation, second-row bucket seats, a navigation system, a wireless smartphone charging pad and a 10-speaker surround-sound audio system.
The new-for-2018 Denali Ultimate package bundles 22-inch wheels, a sunroof, power side steps, adaptive cruise control, a rear seat entertainment system with DVD player, and an extended satellite radio and traffic information subscription, among other items.
Many of the Denali's features are offered as options on SLT trims, while options for SLE and SLT trims include 22-inch wheels and a heavy-duty trailering package (unique axle ratio, trailer brake controller and a self-leveling suspension).
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali (6.2L V8 | 6-speed automatic | 4WD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Yukon XL has received some revisions, including a new 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018 Denali trims. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Yukon XL.
|Overall||7.5 / 10|
Noise & vibration9.0
Ease of use8.5
Getting in/getting out8.5
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Yukon XL models:
- Forward Collision Alert
- Issues an alert if a potential collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian seems imminent, and can initiate braking if necessary.
- Safety Alert Seat
- Generates vibrating pulse patterns in the seat cushion to alert the driver to potential collisions on the left or right side of car.
- Vehicle Interior Movement Sensor
- Part of the optional Enhanced Security Package, alerts the driver before opening the doors if movement has been detected in the vehicle.
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover21.2%
Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL Overview
The Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL is offered in the following submodels: Yukon XL SUV. Available styles include Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A), SLT Standard Edition 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 6A), and SLT Standard Edition 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned GMC Yukon XL models are available with a 6.2 L-liter gas engine or a 5.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 420 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 10-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL trim styles:
- The Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL Denali is priced between $55,990 and$67,500 with odometer readings between 22607 and73765 miles.
- The Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL SLT is priced between $38,998 and$55,000 with odometer readings between 32921 and98955 miles.
- The Used 2018 GMC Yukon XL SLT Standard Edition is priced between $45,499 and$45,499 with odometer readings between 50405 and50405 miles.
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Which used 2018 GMC Yukon XLS 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) 2018 GMC Yukon XL for sale near. There are currently 23 used and CPO 2018 Yukon XLS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $38,998 and mileage as low as 22607 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 2018 GMC Yukon XL.
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.