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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Rick Popely
December 1, 1999
Vehicle Overview GMC's full-size SUV gets the same overhaul as its cousin, the Chevrolet Tahoe. The redesign encompasses new styling, new V-8 engines, a new coil-spring suspension and a new interior that holds up to nine people, three more than previous models.
The Yukon lineup parallels the Tahoe's, but GMC also offers the Denali as a lavishly furnished luxury model. The Denali, however, will carry over from the previous generation until the 2001 model year, when it will switch to the new Yukon design. Cadillac has a similar luxury model, the Escalade, which also carries over until the 2001 models arrive.
Interior The 2000 Yukon holds as many as nine if you spring for the optional three-place rear seat. The front and middle bench seats also hold three people, though a pair of front buckets is optional. The middle and rear seats fold for additional cargo room or can be removed; these seats are outfitted with integral wheels designed to make the chore easier.
GMC brags that the front and middle rows have more room this year, and there are more cupholders, cubbies and storage bins. Maximum cargo volume, however, has dropped 10 cubic feet to 108. Side-impact airbags for the front seats are a new standard feature.
Exterior The Yukon now comes only as a four-door with an overall length of 199 inches, almost an inch shorter than the previous version and nearly six inches shorter than the Ford Expedition. Width and height have grown a couple of inches to 79 and 74 inches, respectively, and are about the same as Expedition. The new styling is patterned after Chevy's full-size pickup, from which the Yukon is derived.
Buyers have a choice of swing-out rear cargo doors or an aluminum liftgate. An optional roof rack holds 200 pounds.
Under the Hood Last year's engines have been replaced by new Vortec V-8 engines, a 4.8-liter with 275 horsepower and a 285-horsepower 5.3-liter. A diesel V-8 is supposed to be added for the 2001 model year. The Yukon comes in 2WD and 4WD guises, the latter being GM's Autotrac system that automatically engages when needed. All models use a four-speed automatic transmission. An 8,800-pound trailer-towing package is optional.
Availability The 2000 Yukon is scheduled to reach GMC showrooms by early December. The Yukon lineup parallels the Tahoe's, but GMC also offers the Denali as a lavishly furnished luxury model. The Denali, however, will carry over from the previous generation until the 2001 model year, when it will switch to the new Yukon design. Cadillac has a similar luxury model, the Escalade, which also carries over until the 2001 models arrive.