The two-door model gets the ax this year. Rear-seat passengers are cooled by a newly optional rear air conditioning system. A host of new standard features has been added, including carpeted floor mats. Three new colors spruce up the outside a bit, and second-generation airbags are standard inside.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 1998 GMC Yukon SLT 4dr 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 $3.24 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 its Chevrolet Tahoe twin in stock. Then, GM refurbished a plant in Arlington, Texas, (which used to produce full-size Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac sedans) and Yukon/Tahoe production was effectively doubled.
Unfortunately for GM, the additional plant capacity may have come a bit too late. Ford released the midsized Expedition last year, and this F-150 pickup-based SUV is more refined but less powerful than the GM twins. This 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. And Lincoln is assaulting our eyesight with the overdone Navigator, which is currently selling faster than condoms at a drive-in theater. Since four-door SUVs sell much better than two-door models, the smaller Yukon has been retired from the lineup this year.
In the size race, the remaining Yukon four-door 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 than the Yukon, while the Dodge Durango is slightly smaller. Both of these competitors offer eight-passenger seating, which is not available on the Yukon.
Yukon's interior has been borrowed from the full-size Sierra pickup. This year, the airbags are of the reduced force second generation variety. Carpeted floor mats and a carpeted reversible cargo mat are standard equipment. Also standard for 1998 is a power driver's seat, a theft-deterrent system, an electrochromic rearview mirror, and a new automatic 4WD system on K-series models. Rear air conditioning is newly optional, as is a Luxury Convenience Package that includes heated seats, heated exterior mirrors, a power passenger seat, and a HomeLink transmitter.
How does the Yukon stack up against the Expedition? The Ford is more refined and comfortable, but we prefer Yukon's dated exterior styling and more maneuverable size. Smooth overhead-cam engines power the Ford, but we prefer the torque and roar of GMC's Vortec 5700 V8. Neither is easy to climb into, particularly without running boards, but the Yukon's lower ride height makes access much easier. As drivers, we prefer the Yukon's powerful engine 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 Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, or Dodge Durango; the dealer should be eager to play ball.
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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 1998 GMC Yukon, so we've included reviews for other years of the Yukon since its last redesign.