2008 GMC Yukon Review

Pros & Cons

  • Handsome cabin with fine fit and finish, comfortable ride, smooth powertrains, can accommodate up to nine passengers.
  • Third-row seat doesn't fold flat and must be removed, overly soft suspension tuning makes for less than precise handling.
List Price Range
$11,977 - $18,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although it may give up a few points in third-row seat convenience and handling acuity, the 2008 GMC Yukon still remains a favorite choice for a large SUV thanks to its handsome, comfortable cabin and strong towing ability.

Vehicle overview

For families who need a spacious, comfortable and rugged full-size SUV, GMC's entries have long been the go-to vehicles. With their stout, truck-based underpinnings, these sport-utilities are ideal for towing and off-roading duties. But until recently their interiors were seriously lacking in terms of build and materials quality compared to most rivals. That all changed with last year's redesign, which brought rave reviews thanks chiefly to the handsome, well-tailored new cabin design that was more in line with the GMC Yukon's price tag, particularly in high-end Denali form. For 2008, the well-respected Yukon sees only a few detail changes.

This SUV should meet just about any full-size SUV buyer's needs. It can seat up to nine passengers, can tow about 8,000 pounds and offers enough features to keep the most demanding families happy. And although it's not exactly nimble, the Yukon is a couple of feet shorter than its otherwise similar Yukon XL big brother, and hence easier to handle in the cities and suburbs.

Arguably, the Yukon's closest rival is the Ford Expedition. Certainly, both are capable and spacious and each offers a few advantages over the other. The GMC has a nicer interior, for instance, but the Ford features a fold-flat third seat while the Yukon's must be muscled out and stored in the garage. One could also consider the Nissan Armada, which has been updated this year, or even GMC's new large crossover SUV, the Acadia, if seating flexibility and fuel economy are bigger priorities than towing and off-road capability. Meanwhile, the ritzy and powerful Yukon Denali arguably surpasses the more expensive Lincoln Navigator and Infiniti QX56 for out-and-out luxury and performance. Obviously it's important to assess your priorities carefully. Thanks to its long list of attributes, though, the 2008 GMC Yukon (and its Chevy twin, the Tahoe) is a strong candidate if you require, or simply crave, the abilities of a traditional full-size SUV.

2008 GMC Yukon models

The 2008 GMC Yukon is a full-size SUV that's available in two main trim levels: base SLE and ultra-plush Denali. Seating configurations range from five to nine passengers. The SLE is far from bare-bones, as it comes with 17-inch alloy wheels; foglamps; full power accessories; front bucket seats with a console; OnStar telematics; keyless entry; a six-way power driver seat; dual-zone air-conditioning; a trip computer; and an eight-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio, an auxiliary input jack and rear-seat controls. If you prefer a 40/20/40-split front bench seat (with built-in storage compartments) and can do without a few features such as foglamps and rear audio controls, the de-contented SLE with the 3SA package will save you some green versus the standard SLE.

If you want more luxury, however, consider either of the SLT option packages: SLT1 and SLT2. Choose SLT1 and the following are added: leather seating, triple-zone automatic climate control, a six-disc CD changer, power-adjustable pedals, remote vehicle start, rear parking assist and the "Turn-by-Turn" navigation feature for the OnStar system. The SLT2 adds a premium Bose sound system, 12-way (versus six-way) power/heated front seats, power-folding mirrors with turn signals, and a 50/50-split third-row seat. The high-line Yukon Denali features all of the above plus a unique grille, 18-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive suspension (with a rear load-leveling feature), a power liftgate and heated second-row captain's chairs.

Many of the Denali's extra features are optional on the Yukon SLE. Options for both trims include a navigation system, power-folding second-row seats, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a rearview camera and 20-inch wheels. A heated steering wheel is an exclusive option for the Yukon Denali.

2008 Highlights

After last year's redesign, the 2008 GMC Yukon sees minimal changes. The 40/20/40-split front bench seat gets built-in storage compartments, side-curtain airbags are made standard across the board and OnStar turn-by-turn navigation becomes standard on the SLT trim.

Performance & mpg

Three V8s are employed in the Yukon line. Two-wheel-drive Yukon SLEs with the 3SA package get a 4.8-liter V8 with 295 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. All other Yukon SLE models pack a 5.3-liter V8 (320 hp and 340 lb-ft); it's optional on the 2WD SLE 3SA. (A flexible-fuel version of the 5.3 capable of running on E85 fuel is also available.) With either of those engines, the transmission is a four-speed automatic. Buyers have a choice of two-wheel drive and four-wheel-drive, and the 4WD system includes low-range gearing. Equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 and 4WD, the Yukon is fairly quick, getting to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds.

The GMC Yukon Denali boasts a 6.2-liter V8 (380 hp and 415 lb-ft) matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. All Denalis are equipped with all-wheel drive and do not have low-range gearing.

The 5.3 V8 is the most popular engine in the GMC Yukon line, and it's fitted with GM's cylinder deactivation technology to improve fuel economy. It earns EPA ratings of 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway (4WD) for 2008. These are hardly spectacular numbers, but they're a bit above average for a large, traditional SUV. Properly equipped, a Yukon SLE can tow up to 8,200 pounds. The Denali tops out at 7,900 pounds.


Antilock disc brakes, stability control and full-length side curtain airbags (with a rollover sensor) are standard on all Yukons. Front-seat side airbags are not available. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frontal crash testing, the Yukon scored a perfect five stars for the driver and front passenger.


Aimed for the horizon on an interstate, there aren't many better cruisers. The 2008 GMC Yukon's ride is notably quiet, with a suspension that smothers bumps without feeling sloppy when the turns come up. The price paid is a somewhat rubbery quality to the steering and handling. Although the Yukon doesn't feel particularly nimble around corners, its relatively compact 39-foot turning circle makes it fairly maneuverable in the city. When towing a heavy trailer, the Yukon performs admirably. It's able to maintain speed up long grades, albeit with some gear hunting and rather loud exhaust noise.


In contrast to past GMC trucks, the newest Yukon boasts attractive, high-quality materials and tight build quality. The control layout is simple and even the navigation system is easy to use. Depending on how you equip your Yukon, up to nine passengers can be transported, making it a class leader in that respect.

At 109 cubic feet, the Yukon's maximum cargo capacity bests that of the Nissan Armada and Dodge Durango, and is about the same as a Ford Expedition. Although the Yukon's second row is available with a power folding feature, the third-row seats must still be removed manually. We've tried it, and trust us, those seats are a bear to remove or install.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 GMC Yukon.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

2008 Denali Problems
Sam Samson,07/18/2009
Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
I've had problems with the electrical systems (door locks, wipers, Navigation system,) and now worst of all the brakes. I went metal to metal on the rears after 33,000 miles. the calipers are failing to retract properly - thus Pads wearing out totally prematurely. Normally a car goes thru 3 sets of front pads to 1 set of rears. I've had my car serviced by dealerships only, thus far. When they rotate the tires, I ask them to check the brakes since the wheels are already off. Well At the time of last visit to the dealership, (22,363 miles) All was well-- now 11,000 miles later My right rear roter is shot on the inside only due to a defective caliper. What can I do about it????
Cheap Door Actuators and Handles
Denali 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
This will be the 3rd door actuator that has gone bad in less than 2 years on my 2008 GMC Denali. First the drivers door went bad then it was the passenger rear door and now it is the rear hatch actuator. I have received lies about the price by calling 2 different parts departments. I called one in Gainesville and one in Louisiana and the one in Louisiana quoted me 300.00 less than the Gainesville area.
Original Owner, still like new
Bob in AZ,01/21/2017
Denali 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
This is the most relieable vehicle i've owned. Its getting dated, yet drives so well I just cant part with it. Its been very good to me.
Best Ride EVER
2008 Denali,05/21/2009
Denali 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A)
I traded in my 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab b/c my family needed a more comfortable ride for long trips. We looked at the Avalanche but really no difference from the Sierra with cabin space and comfort. The Denali rides like a dream. My truck had the old 5.3L V8 and felt just a little under- powered. The Denali with the new 6.2L V8 has plenty of power from towing my boat to accelerating for passing on the interstate (or even accelerating on the interstate while pulling the boat!!) Average gas mileage for my driving style is the same as the Sierra but definitely sucks more gas in town. Very comfortable, quiet ride. I do miss having a "truck" but that's what utility trailers are for.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • 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 2008 GMC Yukon

Used 2008 GMC Yukon Overview

The Used 2008 GMC Yukon is offered in the following submodels: Yukon SUV. Available styles include Denali 4dr SUV AWD (6.2L 8cyl 6A), Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 6A), SLE 4dr SUV 4WD w/3SA (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 4A), SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 4A), and SLE 4dr SUV w/3SA (4.8L 8cyl 4A). Pre-owned GMC Yukon models are available with a 6.2 L-liter gas engine or a 5.3 L-liter flex-fuel (FFV) engine, with output up to 380 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 GMC Yukon comes with all wheel drive, rear wheel drive, and four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic, 4-speed automatic. The Used 2008 GMC Yukon comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2008 GMC Yukon?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 GMC Yukon trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 GMC Yukon Denali is priced between $11,977 and$11,977 with odometer readings between 174999 and174999 miles.
  • The Used 2008 GMC Yukon SLE is priced between $18,995 and$18,995 with odometer readings between 96321 and96321 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 GMC Yukons 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) 2008 GMC Yukon for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2008 Yukons listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,977 and mileage as low as 96321 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 2008 GMC Yukon.

Can't find a used 2008 GMC Yukons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Yukon for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $7,901.

Find a used GMC for sale - 1 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $9,318.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Yukon for sale - 6 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $24,358.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 6 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $11,547.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 GMC Yukon?

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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