GMC Yukon Performance
With powerful engines and a comfortable ride, reviewers say the 2014 GMC Yukon will have no trouble hauling you and your cargo down the highway in comfort. While the Yukon can tow much larger loads than three-row crossover SUVs like the Buick Enclave and Honda Pilot, it also uses more fuel.
- "Without question, the Yukon is a big, heavy vehicle that's more at home on rural roads than city streets, but thanks to its quiet interior and comfortable ride, it's quite pleasant to drive for the most part." -- Edmunds
- "Though their size can make these vehicles unwieldy to maneuver in tight spots, the 2013 GMC Yukon has a confident and civilized ride once on the road." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
Acceleration and Power
The 2014 Yukon comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque, while all Denali trims come with a 6.2-liter V8 that make 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are available. EPA-estimated fuel economy ranges from the base 2014 Yukon’s 15/21 mpg city/highway to 13/18 city/highway in the all-wheel drive Denali models, which is average for a large SUV.
Automotive journalists agree that both V8 engines offer strong acceleration, which makes merging and passing on the highway easy. Although it has more horsepower, one critic notes that the Yukon Denali’s 6.2-liter V8 only feels slightly stronger than the 5.3-liter V8 in the base Yukon. Reviewers say that the standard six-speed automatic transmission changes gears smoothly.
- "Yukons equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 are muscular off the line and in highway passing and merging. Despite a rather substantial increase in power, the Denali is only slightly stronger." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "Gasoline models shift smoothly with their 6-speed automatic transmission, while hybrid versions use an electrically variable version and automatic start/stop function to conserve fuel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say that the Yukon is composed through turns, though some mention that its steering is vague. However, they like that the Yukon has a soft ride that isn’t jostled by rough pavement. Test drivers say the Yukon’s brakes have no trouble bringing the big SUV to a quick and drama-free stop.
- "The Yukon's suspension provides a supple ride and absorbs most of the bumps and ruts that come its way. At the same time, it controls body motions well enough to keep the big vehicle steady around turns. Bounding through traffic isn't one of the Yukon's strengths ? nor should you expect it to be ? mainly because its steering is on the slow side and not especially precise." -- Edmunds
- "You won't mistake these big trucks for cars (or even crossovers for that matter), but they hold their own against the few other rivals in this class. The brakes deliver well-controlled stops with excellent pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "Overall, the Yukon has a surprisingly comfortable, compliant ride." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
The Yukon’s truck-based platform means it can tow a lot more than three-row crossovers such as the Buick Enclave and Honda Pilot. The Yukon’s maximum towing capacity is 8,500 pounds, which is better than the Toyota Sequoia’s, but not as good as the Ford Expedition’s. Opting for the XL model will decrease towing capacity, as will choosing the Denali trim or a four- or all-wheel drive model. The all-wheel drive Yukon XL Denali has the lowest towing capacity in the Yukon lineup at 7,800 pounds. One reviewer says that the Yukon feels stable while towing, and that it can haul a trailer uphill without losing speed.
- "Like the regular Yukon and the larger Yukon XL Denali, the Denali soldiers on with a rugged body-on-frame architecture that gives it excellent off-road and towing capabilities." -- Left Lane News
- "It feels right at home when towing a trailer, however, cruising effortlessly and easily maintaining speed up long grades." -- Edmunds (2012)