2013 GMC Yukon Review
The 2013 GMC Yukon delivers excellent towing capacity, a smooth ride and a long list of standard interior features, but for those who don’t need to tow heavy items, critics say that a crossover may be a better buy.
The GMC Yukon has three powerful V8 engines to choose from, and reviewers say that all provide great acceleration off the line and make merging and passing on the highway easy. Engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and either two- or four-wheel drive. Compared to other large SUVs, the 2013 Yukon has a small turning radius, making it easier to pilot in crowded parking lots or cities. The Yukon is able to tow a maximum of 9,600 pounds. Fuel economy is good for the class, at 15/21 mpg city/highway for both two- and four-wheel drive models with a 5.3-liter V8.
The 2013 GMC Yukon can seat up to nine in three rows. Its interior options range from functional with the base model to luxurious with the Denali trim. Automotive critics find that the audio and climate controls are well-placed and easy to use and that the Yukon is spacious in the first two rows. Like most large SUVs, reviewers say that the third row should be reserved for children only. The base model comes with features like a nine-speaker Bose sound system, Bluetooth, a USB port and tri-zone automatic climate control standard. Available features include heated and cooled leather front seats, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a touch-screen navigation system. Cargo space is good for the class and opting for the larger Yukon XL gives you even more storage than you’ll get with the regular Yukon.
- "Yukon slots above the Chevrolet Tahoe but beneath the Cadillac Escalade. While most Yukon buyers seem to prefer the top-line Denali, we don't. The primary reason is its engine: It's louder, less refined, and uses more fuel (Hybrid not withstanding). The base Yukon SLE is our pick because of its smooth engine and terrific ride." -- Consumer Guide
- "The 2012 GMC Yukon is a leading choice for a traditional large SUV thanks to its comfortable cabin and strong towing and hauling capabilities. But for many people, a large crossover SUV might work out better." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "GMC's full-size 2012 Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs represent the biggest, boldest SUVs around." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)
Other SUVs to Consider
The Ford Expedition is a good alternative to the Yukon because of its versatile cargo space and adult-sized third row. In addition, the Expedition has a strong reliability rating, and reviewers say its interior is well-made. Unlike the Yukon, which requires you to remove the bulky third-row seats for maximum storage space, the Expedition’s third row simply folds flat into the floor. Still, the Yukon offers slightly better fuel economy from more powerful engines and the Yukon XL offers more cargo space than the similarly-sized Expedition EL.
For those seeking a more family-friendly large SUV, consider the Toyota Sequoia. Reviewers say the Sequoia has a smooth ride and a roomy interior. The Sequoia’s third row also folds flat and is adult-friendly, which reviewers generally do not say about the Yukon's. However, the Yukon has significantly more towing capacity and slightly better fuel economy.
Details: 2013 GMC Yukon
The 2013 GMC Yukon is offered in three trims: SLE, SLT and Denali, which also come in half- and three-quarter-ton XL models, which are larger than the regular Yukon. The Yukon is also available as a hybrid, which is reviewed separately. For 2013, the Yukon gets a transmission feature that uses engine torque to slow the vehicle on descents, reducing brake wear. Since the Yukon carries over mostly unchanged, this review uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 model years.