The 2012 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 XL is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
New for 2012
The Yukon SLT now comes standard with heated leather front seats; a heated steering wheel is optional. A blind spot warning system now comes on Denali models. A new navigation radio with a USB port and the ability to record broadcasts is optional.
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 trim and a power-operated liftgate. Exterior features include:
- Integrated running boards
- Standard 17-inch aluminum wheels
- Standard heated power side mirrors
- Optional 20-inch wheels
- Chrome honeycomb grille (Denali)
- Optional power-operated running boards
The Yukon's dashboard has the same shape as its GM siblings. That's good news because the domed instrument panel, carlike dashboard and flush-mounted buttons make for a handsome design.
This SUV can seat up to nine occupants when benches are placed in all three rows. Some models replace first- and second-row benches with captain's chairs, lowering total seating capacity to seven. The third row is removable, but it doesn't fold flat to the floor as some competitors' seats do. Third-row seating is standard on all models. Interior features include:
- Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
- Standard Bose stereo
- Available sunroof
- Available cloth or leather-appointed seats
- Available integrated backup camera in rearview mirror
- Available heated/cooled front seats
Under the Hood
The Yukon is available 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. When properly equipped, the Yukon can tow up to 8,500 pounds. Mechanical features include:
- Flex-fuel 320-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 with 335 pounds-feet of torque
- Flex-fuel 403-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 with 417 pounds-feet of torque
- Both V-8s feature fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- Optional load-leveling rear suspension
- Optional Off-Road Suspension Package
Safety options include a blind spot warning system, rear parking sensors and a backup camera. Standard safety features include:
- Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor
- Seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front row
- Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system with traction control, trailer-sway control and hill start assist
- Recovery hooks