Commodious interior, dual airbags, standard ABS, powerful V-8 engine, perfect size for people who really need a minivan
Rather crude interior design, dated design, can't match refinement of Ford Expedition
Dual airbags, speed-sensitive steering and a tighter turning circle for 4WD models. A power lock switch is added to the cargo compartment, and SLT models have a standard CD/cassette combo stereo. Remote keyless entry is standard on four-door models, and on SLE and SLT two-door models. Optional on four-door models is a rear air conditioning unit.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 1997 GMC Yukon SLE 2dr SUV and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Until this year, General Motors had a lock on the midsize sport-utility market, but couldn't build enough to meet demand because of a serious lack of production capacity. The result? Inflated prices as dealers struggled to keep the Yukon and Tahoe in stock. This year, GM is refurbishing a plant in Arlington, Texas, which used to produce full-size Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac sedans, and Yukon/Tahoe production will begin in the Lone Star State sometime this spring.
Unfortunately for GM, the additional plant capacity may be coming a bit too late. Ford released the midsized Expedition last fall, and this F-150 pickup-based SUV is more refined but less powerful than the GM twins. Next year, Dodge releases the Durango, based on the fresh Dakota platform and sure to be slightly smaller and easier to maneuver than the GM and Ford behemoths. Jeep, too, is expected to get into the game by the end of the millenium, introducing a midsized sport-ute called the Grand Wagoneer.
In the size race, the Yukon fits squarely between the Jimmy compact and the big-bruiser Suburban wagons. Squint your eyes, in fact, and the difference between a Yukon and Suburban begins to evaporate, despite the latter's extra 20 inches of steel. Ford's Expedition is a bit larger, and offers eight-passenger seating, which is not available on the Yukon.
Yukon's interior has been borrowed from the full-size Sierra pickup, including new-for-1997 dual airbags. The cargo bay receives a power door lock switch -- a sensible addition, and one not available from Ford. Rear passengers can be made more comfortable with the addition of a rear air conditioning unit. Remote keyless entry is made standard on four-door models, and two-door Yukons with SLE or SLT trim. Order the SLT trim on either Yukon, and a stereo featuring both cassette and CD players is part of the package. Speed-sensitive steering makes low-speed parking easier and provides better road feel on the interstate, while 4WD models have a tighter turning circle than last year which should improve off-road maneuverability.
How does the Yukon stack up against the Expedition? The Ford is more refined and comfortable, but we prefer Yukon's dated exterior styling. The Ford is powered by smooth overhead-cam engines, but we prefer the torque and roar of GMC's Vortec 5700 V8 engine. Neither is easy to climb into, particularly without running boards, but the Expedition has larger rear door openings which make entry/exit to the back seat much easier. The Ford also boasts optional eight-passenger seating. As drivers, however, we believe we'd prefer the Yukon's power over the Expedition's refinement. Naturally, though, you can still expect truck-style ride and handling, but reasonable comfort on the road.
With new competitors arriving annually and increased production capacity, GMC dealers have little reason to gouge customers on Yukon pricing. Just threaten to go down the street and pick up a new Expedition, and the dealer will be eager to play ball.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 GMC Yukon.
When it comes to going through the deep snow, this vehicle performs with the best of them(providing your tires aren't bald). Out on the winter lakes in Wisconsin, your mind is put at ease that your in a Yukon!(see You Tube and search for an Eaton G80) It's comfortable, solid, has sufficient power. Drives like the first day it was purchased. I pull a boat and supply trailer with no … problems. I have replaced the fuel pump, repaired the intake gasket @ 60K miles(costly), replaced drivers side door internal linkage, and air conditioner components (condenser, compressor, misc.). The gas mileage isn't great (12/17), but when your out driving in the wicked weather, you realize its money well spent.
3.75 out of 5 stars
It is OK but sometimes you will hate it.
1997 GMC Yukon SLT 4dr SUV
I really wanted one of these when they
came out. I got mine in March 1997.
I did not have any problems at all
until July 1999. The transmission
went out on a road trip. Since then
it has 3 more transmission. Other
than one little fact, this really has
been a good vehicle to have. I am
about to buy another vehicle but this
time it will be a Tahoe insted of a …
4.63 out of 5 stars
Very good SUV
1997 GMC Yukon SLT 4dr SUV 4WD
I have found that after owning this SUV that I am very impressed. Yes it is huge but I bought it to do a big job. I have 3 children and a wife that love to travel so therefore we have a 30 foot Jayco. It pulls great, it works great. If I had to buy another SUV I would get a GMC Yukon. Just love it
4.63 out of 5 stars
1997 GMC Yukon SLT 4dr SUV 4WD
I have owned this truck for over 6 years and love it. It drives and rides great, holds necessary equipment I need for my job, have had some mechanical issues but were easy to repair (I do a majority of the work myself). Would purchase another once this one completely falls apart.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 1997 GMC Yukon, so we've included reviews for other years of the Yukon since its last redesign.