Review: 2005 GMC Yukon

The Yukon is best purchased by drivers who have concrete need for its extreme abilities --nine-place seating, ox-like tow ability, off-road skills--and will put them to task in combination. For solely suburban family-commuter duties, there are more refined, affordable, and efficient vehicles available. The price for indulging a Napoleon complex in purchasing more SUV than needed will inevitably be paid at the pump and through inconvenience when parking. That said, the Yukon and Yukon XL both fulfill their missions well. The feature-rich interior will appeal to buyers looking to step up from a more mainstream vehicle, or even making the transition from a well-appointed car.

The large cabin works well for large family members, with power-adjustable pedals and running boards to accommodate those of more modest stature. Fuel economy climbs one notch for 2005, though the thirst with any full-size SUV is inescapable. The appeal of a GMC over a Chevrolet is in tangible feature benefits, as well as the prestige halo, though bargain shoppers would do well to compare vehicles between the brands. IntelliChoice's data show that the Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon offer Excellent values across their model ranges, with limited exceptions.

The handsomely appointed GMC Yukon and Yukon XL offer feature-rich alternatives to mainstream-branded SUVs, matching their seating capacity, tow ability, and performance, but doing so with an extra measure of style.

What's Hot

  • Ride/handling/power
  • Tow up to 12,000 pounds
  • Combination of lux, toughness

    What's Not

  • Enormity limits drivability
  • Interior materials, design, fit
  • Transmission needs another gear

    Fuel economy has improved by one mpg thanks to subtle aerodynamics changes and move to an all-electric cooling system. Once optional, StabiliTrak is standard at all trim levels. A touch-screen, DVD-based navigation system is now available.

    The Yukon offers numerous a la cart options, though the best buys are those bundled in option packages. For the ultimate towing power, the 3/4-ton Yukon can pull up to 12,000 pounds. Kids will love the available DVD player with a flip-down monitor and inputs for a video game system.

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