The 2009 GMC Yukon is the middle child among GM’s full-size SUVs. Based on price and equipment, the Yukon sits squarely between the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade. Four-wheel drive is available on the Yukon, as are seating configurations for up to nine occupants. Competitors include the Ford Expedition and Toyota Sequoia.
The Yukon Hybrid and Yukon XL are covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
The 2009 Yukon receives increased power and fuel efficiency, with a new six-speed automatic transmission and an enhanced 6.2-liter V-8 that can run on E85. A third-row seat is standard on all models, and there is an optional rearview-mirror-integrated camera system.
The Yukon has a one-piece grille and taller headlights than its sister Tahoe, with jewel-like bezels and a wider, lower air dam. The rest of the body features blocky fenders, long rear-quarter windows and a squared-off back end. The Yukon is also available in a higher-end Denali trim level. Denali models come with 20-inch wheels, chrome exterior moldings and a power-operated rear liftgate.
At 202 inches long and 79 inches wide, the Yukon is a bit shorter than the Expedition and Sequoia but about the same width.
Exterior features include:
- Integrated running boards
- Standard 17-inch aluminum wheels
- Standard power, heated side mirrors
- Optional 20-inch aluminum or chrome-plated aluminum wheels
- Chrome grille (Denali edition)
- Optional articulating running boards
The Yukon’s dashboard has the same shape as its redesigned GM siblings. That’s good news because the domed instrument panel, car-like dashboard and flush-mounted buttons are a vast improvement on the rectangular fixtures of previous Yukons.
This SUV has the ability to seat up to nine occupants when benches are placed in all three rows. Uplevel models replace first- and second-row benches with captain’s chairs, lowering total seating capacity to seven. The second-row seats fold forward, either manually or via an available power mechanism. The third row is removable, but it doesn’t fold flat to the floor as some competitors’ seats do. New for 2009 is standard third-row seating on all models.
With both rows stashed away, maximum cargo volume is 108.9 cubic feet, which places the Yukon in between the Expedition and Sequoia.
Interior features include:
- Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
- Standard XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic and route advisements
- Available cloth, vinyl or leather-appointed seats
- Optional power fold-and-tumble second row
- Newly available integrated rear camera in rearview mirror
- Newly available heated/cooled seats (Denali models)
The Yukon can be had with either rear- or four-wheel drive. The Yukon Denali can have an all-wheel-drive system that’s distinct from the available part-time four-wheel drive on the regular Yukon.
New additions for 2009 include an integrated brake controller, which provides proper brake force signaling to a trailer’s brake systems, and a heavy-duty trailering package that gives the Yukon a new maximum towing capacity. When properly equipped, the Yukon can now tow up to 8,500 pounds.
Powertrain features include:
- 295-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 with 305 pounds-feet of torque
- Flex-fuel 310-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with 335 pounds-feet of torque and an available cylinder-deactivation system
- Flex-fuel 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with 417 pounds-feet of torque
- Four-speed automatic (4.8-liter) or six-speed automatic (5.3- and 6.2-liter)
- New fuel-saving 3.08:1 axle ratio
- Optional variable load-leveling suspension
- Power rack-and-pinion steering
New safety options include a blind-zone alert system, rear parking assist and a rearview camera system that’s integrated into the rearview mirror.
Standard safety features include:
- Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
- Side-mounted thorax airbags
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Electronic stability control with traction control
- OnStar with one year of Directions & Connections plan, which provides voice-guided directions, automatic crash response and Bluetooth hands-free calling