Large SUV; Built in USA
  • 4-door wagon
  • 4-door wagon
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,000 – $18,500*

2001 GMC Yukon

2000 GMC Yukon XL

2001 GMC Yukon Denali interior

2000 GMC Yukon

2000 GMC Yukon Denali

  • Acceleration (Denali)
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Trailer-towing capacity
  • Entry/exit (Denali)
  • Fuel economy
  • Steering feel

GM’s impressive new full-size SUVs are capable, comfortable, and easy to live with. Though too big for a lot of buyers, their size fits nicely into the gap between Ford’s Expedition and Excursion. Don’t buy a big SUV without trying a GMC or Chevrolet.


GMC’s Yukon again was largely a retrimmed rendition of the Chevrolet Tahoe. Instead of calling its longer model the Suburban, as before–and as Chevrolet continued to do–GMC switched to the Yukon XL designation. All models were 4-door wagons, about an inch shorter in wheelbase and overall length than their predecessors, but 2 inches wider, 2 inches taller, and some 300 pounds lighter. Both came with either side-opening rear cargo doors or a new aluminum liftgate with an independent-opening glass hatch. Yukons came only in one capacity rating, but Yukon XLs were offered in half-ton 1500 and 3/4-ton 2500 versions. Front side airbags were newly standard. The previous 5.7-liter V8 gave way to a trio of V8s: 4.8, 5.3 and 6.0 liters in displacement. Yukons had the 4.8-liter as standard equipment, with the 5.3 V8 optional. The 5.3-liter V8 was standard in the Yukon XL, with the 6.0-liter as an option. That bigger engine went into all Yukon XL 2500 wagons. Each model had a 4-speed automatic transmission, with GM’s Tow/Haul mode that adjusted shift points to accommodate heavy loads or pull a trailer. All came with either rear-drive or GM’s Autotrac 4-wheel-drive system, with an “Auto 4WD” mode that could be used on dry pavement. All had 4-wheel antilock braking. Newly available features included traction control, automatic climate control, a power sunroof, rear audio controls, and a self-leveling rear suspension. Second-row reclining bucket seats and GM’s OnStar emergency/communications system were offered for the Yukon XL.

Yearly Updates

2001 Yukon/Denali
Previously on the old platform, the upscale Denali wagon moved to the 2000 version and, for the first time came in an extended-length XL version. Offered only in half-ton capacity, Denalis had slightly different styling, 17-inch wheels (instead of 16-inch), an Autoride system with auto-adjusting shock absorbers, leather interior trim, and premium Bose stereo with 6-disc in-dash CD changer.
A third-row bench seat was standard in XLs and Denalis, optional for regular Yukons. Second-row reclining buckets were available for XLs, while heated front seats were standard in the Denali and optional elsewhere.
Both Denali wagons got the 6.0-liter V8, which gained 20 horsepower this year. A new 8.1-liter V8 was optional for the Yukon XL 2500. Denalis had a new permanent 4WD system that needed no driver intervention.
2002 Yukon/Denali
For 2002, front and rear automatic climate controls were newly standard on Yukons, and 2WD versions got standard limited-slip rear differential and traction control. Denalis for ’02 added heated 2nd-row seats to the already-standard heated front seats, plus load-leveling rear suspension. All models had GM’s Tow/Haul mode, which got revisions for 2002 designed to improve durability.
2003 Yukon/Denali
Front side airbags moved to the options list. GM’s Quadrasteer 4-wheel steering was a new option for all XL 2500s. At low speeds, Quadrasteer turns the rear wheels opposite the fronts to reduce the turning radius. At higher speeds, all wheels turn in the same direction to enhance stability. Power-adjustable brake and accelerator pedals were newly standard for Denalis and optional for Yukons. A multizone automatic climate system with front/rear controls was newly standard on Denalis and optional on Yukons. Newly optional are rear-seat DVD entertainment and XM satellite-radio service with 100-channel digital receiver.
2004 Yukon/Denali
New for 2004 on the Yukon/Denali is a standard tire-pressure monitor.
2005 Yukon/Denali
All models have a rear liftgate for ’05; side-opening cargo doors are no longer available. Denalis have a 6.0-liter V8 with 335 hp, up 10 hp for ’05. GM’s Stabilitrak antiskid system became standard for Yukon 1500 and Denali models during the ’05 model year; it is not available for Yukon 2500. Yukons get standard 16-inch wheels or optional 17s. Chrome-finished 20-inch alloy wheels are newly available for Denalis.
2006 Yukon/Denali
No significant changes in ’06.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Base engine for Yukons was a 4.8-liter V8, rated at 275 horsepower. 2000 model year Denalis got a 5.7-liter V8 that achieved 255 hp. A 285-hp 5.3-liter V8 went into LS/LT Yukon and the Yukon XL 1500. Standard engine for the Yukon XL 2500 was a 300-hp 6.0-liter V8 (raised to 320 horsepower in 2001). That engine also went into the 2001 Denalis. An 8.1-liter V8 with 340 horsepower became available for Yukon XL 2500s in 2001. All models had a 4-speed automatic transmission. For 2005, Denalis have a 6.0-liter V8 with 335 hp, up 10 horsepower.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/350
Engine HP 255
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 330
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.8/294
Engine HP 275
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 290
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.3/335
Engine HP 285
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 325
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.0/364
Engine HP 300-320
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 355-360
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 8.1/496
Engine HP 340
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 455
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


Road Test

Though mainly evolutionary, Yukon advances brought some noticeable improvements. New V8s feel slightly smoother than the engines they replaced, but not much stronger. Acceleration is adequate, aided by the smooth automatic’s astute shifting, but the 4.8 liter feels strained in towing or heavy hauling. Gas mileage is dismal. A Denali XL averaged only 9.8 mpg, though models with smaller engines will do a little better.

Big SUVs don’t corner like cars, but handling is better than their size might suggest. They feel balanced in directional changes, and are fairly easy to maneuver. Steering is reasonably precise, but road feel is only adequate. Ride quality and brake feel are the most noted improvements. The suspension absorbs bumps well and is sure-footed on rough pavement. Stopping power is strong, with firm, progressive pedal action. Wind rush is not intrusive. Tire noise is low for a full-size SUV, but audible at highway speeds.

The dashboard layout is logical and handy, with clear gauges and easily accessed controls. Drivers get a commanding view, while moving the spare tire beneath the rear undercarriage improved visibility and cargo space. Front- and second-row space is generous. Differences between regular and XL Yukons are most evident in the third row. XLs have ample head, shoulder, and leg room for two grownups, but leg and head clearance in the shorter Yukon’s third-row seat suggests children and occasional use. Entry/exit is somewhat hampered by modest back-door openings. A Yukon has only enough room for a single row of grocery bags behind the third row, but Yukon XLs are more sizable. Third-row seats fold easily, and have wheels for removal. The XL’s heavy bench takes two people to remove, while the Yukon’s third row is in two sections.


Model Tested: 2002 GMC Yukon XL

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 3
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 9
Room/Comfort Rear - 8
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 4

Total: 59


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
116.0 198.8 78.8 76.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
104.6 26.0 9
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.7 39.4 41.3 38.6
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
130.0 219.3 78.9 75.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
138.4 32.5 9
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.7 39.0 41.3 39.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2000 Yukon 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 76
Injury 49
Theft 269

Trouble Spots

Blower motor
Description: Blower may not operate or may run on with key off requiring revised blower motor control module. (2003-05)
Engine temperature
Description: Overheating and coolant loss may be due to rough surface on radiator filler neck. Neck should be sanded smooth and cap replaced. (2000)
Manual transmission
Description: Manual transmissions tend to pop out of first gear because the transmissions were built without a detent ball and spring. These parts will be installed under warranty. (2000)
Rough idle
Description: Debris buildup in throttle body leads to high accelerator pedal effort and/or uneven idle. Requires installation of an air bypass plug. (2000-02)
Suspension noise
Description: Front drive shaft emits a whining sound and a revised shaft that is internally tuned and damped eliminates problem. (2000-03)

Recall History

2000 XL
Description: Hydraulic pump driveshaft may fracture, resulting in immediate loss of power-steering assist; same condition could produce loss of assist from hydro-boost power brakes after reserve pressure is depleted, but neither condition totally eliminates the ability to steer or slow the vehicle.
2000-01 Yukon XL
Description: Fuel pump wire connectors in reservoir may overheat under certain operating conditions; if ignition wire is exposed, fuse will blow, disabling fuel pump and causing engine stall or no-start condition.
2000-02 Yukon XL
Description: In environmentally corrosive areas of specified “salt belt” states, unwanted antilock braking activation may occur, causing increased stopping distance during low-speed brake application.
Description: Misrouted positive-battery-cable assembly could come in contact with the steering-shaft universal joint. Over time, this contact could cause a wear-through of the cable-assembly conduit and cable insulation, exposing the wire core and resulting in intermittent electrical shorting or battery discharge.
Description: Outboard-seatbelt retractors for the 2nd and 3rd row of seats could be cracked. With repeated actuation of the locking mechanism, the crack could spread to the point such that the seatbelt would no longer lock.
Description: Rear wheelhouse plugs may be loose or missing, allowing exhaust gases to flow forward under certain conditions and accumulate in rear wheelhouse.
Description: Fingers can get pinched and trapped between the rear head restraints and the seatback when folding the seat down. Dealers will install protective covers.
2003 Yukon XL
Description: In certain extreme impacts, frame cross member could tear fuel tank resulting in fuel leakage. Dealers will install a fuel-tank shield on affected vehicles.
2003-04 Yukon/ Yukon XL
Description: Certain vehicles may have been produced with an out-of-specification brake relief valve, making steering difficult when braking. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
2003-05 Yukon
Description: Seatbelt routing for second-row center occupant may make it difficult to position the lap portion of the belt low around the occupant’s hips.
2004-05 Yukon XL w/Bosch hydro-boost braking
Description: Hydraulic brake booster pressure accumulator may crack and separate during normal operating conditions, possibly issuing fragments and allowing fluid leakage.
2005 Yukon XL w/5.3-liter V8
Description: Engine fuel rail crossover tube retainer screws may break, allowing fuel leakage and possible engine stalling.
2005 Yukon XL
Description: Under certain vehicle-starting conditions, shift-lever position indicator in instrument panel may not illuminate.
2005 Yukon XL
Description: Brake-pedal pushrod retainer may be missing, which could result in loss of braking.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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