Though gas mileage ratings for GM's full-size SUVs are impressive among their competitive set, they aren't likely to bring smiles to anyone at the pump; their combined ratings still linger in the teens. The Yukon Hybrid changes that, to a degree. Along with its twin, the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid, the Yukon Hybrid promises an improvement in overall gas mileage. The Yukon Hybrid is only available with a short wheelbase, but it comes with either rear- or four-wheel drive. It seats eight.
New for 2012
The Yukon Hybrid gets a revised touch-screen navigation radio that includes a USB port and the ability to record broadcast audio.
GM says the Yukon Hybrid's exterior changes are intended to make the SUV more aerodynamic compared with the gas-powered Yukon.
A modified bumper drops the regular Yukon's fog lights for some chunky bodywork and two small portals. There are horizontal grille slats and lower side cladding. Exterior features include:
- Standard 18-inch wheels
- Denali has 22-inch wheels
- Assist steps
- Heated power mirrors (auto-dimming on driver's side)
- Low-rolling-resistance tires
The Yukon Hybrid has room for up to eight people in three rows of seats. Leather upholstery is standard, and the front seats are fitted with seat heaters. Optional items include a sunroof and a rear-seat entertainment system. All Yukon Hybrids include an efficiency gauge that gives feedback on your driving style. Standard interior features include:
- Tri-zone automatic climate control
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
- Bose stereo
- Navigation system
Under the Hood
The Yukon Hybrid uses a two-mode hybrid system. The system augments the SUV's V-8 engine with two electric motors, both powered by a 300-volt battery pack. A cylinder-deactivation system cuts power to four of the eight cylinders during low-stress situations, such as downhill coasting, and regenerative braking is used to recharge the battery. When properly equipped, the rear-wheel-drive Yukon Hybrid can tow 6,200 pounds, and the four-wheel-drive version can tow 6,000 pounds. Mechanical features include:
- 332-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 with cylinder deactivation that generates 367 pounds-feet of torque
- Two-mode continuous electric ratio hybrid transmission with four fixed gears
- Rear- or four-wheel drive
- Electrically driven power steering
- Electrically driven air conditioning cools cabin even with the engine off
Standard safety features include:
- Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system with roll-mitigation technology
- Rear parking sensors
- Backup camera
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