If the Yankees have a gap at second base, they're going to lose games. If a bridge has gaps in its span, it's gonna fall down. No matter how great something is, gaps will eventually destroy it if left unfilled.
Sport-utilities are no different. Over the past few years, the SUV's gaps have become painfully obvious. Nowadays, the lumbering sport-ute segment is plagued by worries about high oil prices and bad gas mileage. And it's stymied by uncomfortable handling in tight corners.
With this in mind, the folks at GMC set about filling the SUV gap when developing the 2007 GMC Yukon and its upscale cousin, the Yukon Denali. The revised Yukons attack the most famous weaknesses of the segment by aiming to give drivers of full-size SUVs the comfort, performance and efficiency they need to fill the gaps in their desire.
Not a slug We sampled the 2007 Yukon and Yukon Denali on country roads in rural Georgia, navigating past the ponds, barbecue joints and town squares with surprising amounts of elegance and grace.
Far from the lumbering slug feeling you get from the typical full-size SUV, the new Yukon offers plenty of refined power, a tight 39-foot turning radius and stunningly accurate handling at higher speeds.
Our initial drive led us to believe the new suspension is the star of the show, with electronically adjusting shocks and a stiffer frame providing an impressive amount of control and confidence in the 5,200-plus-pound vehicle as it cruised the two-lane highways of the region. Essentially, the optional electronic-damper system stiffens and loosens the suspension, depending on the vehicle's load and speed, enhancing the ability of the coil-over-shock front and five-link rear system to handle the loads created by a large vehicle at speed. GM created a new fully boxed frame to increase stiffness and improve the ride. And the new Yukon's stance has been widened and lengthened, giving it a lower center of gravity, which improves handling greatly. Body roll on normal highway turns is a thing of the past. Add to this mix a superb rack-and-pinion steering system with comparatively impressive feedback, and this truck even offers a somewhat sporty feeling around town.
Under the hood, GMC offers a 320-horsepower 5.3-liter Vortec V8 as standard on the Yukon. Thanks to a GM system called Active Fuel Management, the engine shuts off four cylinders at cruising speed, pushing fuel efficiency up to 16 in the city and 22 on the highway with the rear-wheel-drive system. The four-wheel-drive Yukon gets ratings of 15 and 21, although we didn't take the system off-road so we can't really judge its performance. The engine provides plenty of acceleration for everyday city and highway driving. There's enough in there for passing, but not quite enough to punch out a sports car.
This engine also comes in an ethanol-compatible version which comes standard on four-wheel-drive versions, allowing the driver to use E85 fuel to reduce emissions. If ethanol isn't available, it'll gladly run on regular gasoline. On the low end, a standard gasoline 4.8-liter V8 is also available with 290 hp, and while we didn't sample it, we doubt that the down-powered V8 is enough for this size of vehicle. For now, the 5.3 liter comes standard on all Yukons, while the 4.8 liter will become standard later in the model year.
In the Yukon Denali, drivers get a 6.2-liter 380-hp V8 with substantially more power, but substantially worse gas mileage as well because it is not equipped with the Active Fuel Management system. This engine offers a noticeable step up from the 5.3-liter, especially in terms of passing. Regular Yukons come with a four-speed electronic automatic transmission with overdrive and a tow mode. The Denali comes with an impressive six-speed automatic with overdrive and tow mode; performance is also enviably quiet and efficient.
Braking was generally impressive and quiet, an improvement over the previous generation. As it turns out, there's a new brake system for all Yukons, with larger four-wheel discs, 50-percent stiffer calipers and next-generation four-channel ABS.
A world-class interior The interior of the previous-generation Yukon left us feeling empty, with its cheap interior materials and generally unattractive design taking away any sense of refinement for the occupants. And with a price tag well over $30,000, we expected more.
This time around, GM focused like a laser beam on the interior, adding upscale design across the board. The result is a cabin that fits the personality of the SUV without appearing too posh for a practical vehicle.
Colors are warm and trendy, with matched tones across the dash, floor and seats. Radio and temperature controls are packaged more logically, eliminating gaps between pieces, and design concepts carry over between components. The instrument panel and other trim pieces feature new softer, low-gloss materials. And LED backlighting for the instruments provides a sophisticated appearance, complemented by brushed-metal-like accents around the gauges and vents.
All Yukons and Yukon Denalis come with a leather-wrapped steering wheel complete with cruise and audio controls. The Denali comes with wood inserts on the wheel and wood-like accents across the dash.
For 2007, GMC redesigned the Yukon seats, with a slimmer design, a greater range of recline angle and stiffer foam providing comfort on long drives, with easy adjustment and access to cupholders and controls. The rear seats are impressively firm, but slightly cramped considering the size of the vehicle. Third-row seats are fairly easy to remove, thanks to new tracks placed on the floor, but only if you're capable of lifting something like a 40-pound suitcase. Cloth upholstery is standard on base Yukons, with leather as an option. The Denali offers leather as standard.
What a drag If you were to drop the stats of the new GMC Yukon into the lap of an auto engineer and ask, "What's cool about this?" he'd likely jump to an oft passed-by stat: drag coefficient. It might seem trivial at first, but the Yukon's class-leading 0.36 coefficient of drag is actually quite profound.
A host of problems with SUVs start with their huge wall-like physiques moving against the wind. Whereas a Toyota Prius glides through the air, the typical SUV fights it tooth and nail, wasting gallon after gallon pushing through the atmosphere like an obese elephant swimming upstream.
To improve the new-generation Yukons, GM increased the slant of the windshield, lowered the vehicle and tightened up all those little gaps between components on the front end. As a result, the new Yukon and Yukon Denali have almost as little drag as some cars. (The current design of the Honda Accord has been measured at 0.3, with its predecessor at 0.33. The VW Beetle has been measured at 0.38. The Hummer H2 has been measured at 0.57.) The Yukon's lower drag translates into savings at the pump as a result.
A job well done Pricing for the base 2007 GMC Yukon begins at $34,690. The 2007 Yukon Denali will be offered with an MSRP of $47,990. The Denali offers a more advanced climate system, an auxiliary transmission oil cooler, more cupholders, adjustable pedals, leather, rain-sensing wipers, parking assist, remote starter, premium Bose speakers and wood accented steering wheel standard.
Given this extraordinarily wide gap in price, our first thought was that it might make more sense to simply cherry-pick what options you like on a regular Yukon rather than just paying for the loaded Denali, given the similar interiors and exteriors. Buying a Denali also keeps you from saving money with the Active Fuel Management engine as well, as the 6.2-liter V8 doesn't have that feature.
GM is making a case that you don't need to apologize or pay dearly for driving a substantial vehicle. The GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali offer hope for the segment's future by improving ride comfort and handling, increasing efficiency and refining a potentially atrocious vehicle into a potentially beautiful one.
So with that out of the way, how about those Yankees?
Is the 2007 GMC Yukon a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2007 GMC Yukon and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2007 Yukon featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2007 GMC Yukon? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2007 GMC Yukon and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2007 Yukon 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2007 Yukon.
Review I love the Denali! It drives more like a Mercedes M, but smoother. The fit and finish is amazing. The sound (or lack of it) is great! The MSRP on it with Nav, rear ent., sunroof and 20" wheels is $54,500. I paid approx $47,900 ($500 under invoice).
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What options are available on the 2007 GMC Yukon?
Available GMC Yukon 2007 Submodel Types: SUV
Available Trims: Denali, SLT, SLE, SLT2, SLT1, SLE1, SLE2
Exterior Colors: Onyx Black, Summit White , White Frost Tricoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Quicksilver Metallic, Iridium Metallic, Silver Birch Metallic, Sport Red Metallic, Crimson Red Tintcoat, Summit White, Stealth Gray Metallic , Steel Gray Metallic, Dark Sapphire Blue Metallic, Gold Mist Metallic, Mineral Metallic, Red Jewel Tintcoat, Carbon Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Mocha Steel Metallic, Pure Silver Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Polo Green Metallic, Sparkling Silver Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic, Indigo Blue Metallic, Storm Gray Metallic, Dark Slate Metallic, Blue-Green Crystal, Midnight Amethyst Metallic, Sandalwood Metallic, Antique Bronze Metallic, Bronze Alloy Metallic, Deep Indigo Metallic, Laser Blue Metallic, Light Steel Gray Metallic, Pewter Metallic, Sand Beige Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, Sonoma Red Metallic
Interior Colors: Jet Black leather, Ebony premium leather, Jet Black premium leather, Cocoa/Shale leather, Ebony leather, Cocoa/Dune leather, Cocoa/Light Cashmere premium leather, Stone Gray, Jet Black premium cloth, Light Titanium premium cloth, Cocoa/Shale premium leather, Sandstone, Cocoa/Dune premium leather, Pewter/Dark Pewter, Cocoa/Dark Atmosphere premium leather, Light Tan premium cloth, Ebony premium cloth, Cocoa/Dark Atmosphere leather, Light Tan leather, Cocoa/Cashmere premium leather, Ebony vinyl, Light Titanium leather, Neutral/Shale, Stone Gray leather, Cocoa/Dune premium cloth, Pewter/Dark Pewter leather, Sandstone leather, Light Tan premium leather, Neutral Tan/Shale, Gray, Medium Dark Pewter, Neutral/Shale cloth
Popular Features: Fold Flat Rear Seats, Power Driver Seat, Rear Bench Seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Trip Computer, Towing Hitch, AWD/4WD, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Post-collision safety system, Auto Climate Control, Third-row seating, Aux Audio Inputs, Leather Seats, Alarm, 8000lb Towing Capacity, Heated seats, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Remote Start, Parking sensors, Back-up camera, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Bluetooth, Navigation, USB Inputs, Sunroof/Moonroof, Cooled Seats, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Entertainment System, Lane Departure Warning, Mobile Internet, Keyless Entry/Start, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Pre-collision safety system, Upgraded Headlights, Heads up display, 6000lb Towing Capacity, Adaptive Cruise Control, Upgraded Stereo, Upgraded Engine