2008 GMC Yukon XL

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
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Reviews
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Key Specs

of the 2008 GMC Yukon XL. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
    Sport Utility
  • Engine:
    352-hp, 6.0-liter V-8 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    4x2
  • Seating:
    7-9 Seats
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Fuel economy with 5.3-liter V-8
  • Power with 6.2-liter V-8
  • Roominess
  • Luxurious Denali edition
  • Standard stability system

The Bad

  • Indistinct from Chevrolet Suburban at lower trim levels
  • Unwieldy dimensions

Notable Features of the 2008 GMC Yukon XL

  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • V-8 with cylinder deactivation
  • Available 6.2-liter V-8 (Denali)
  • Seats up to nine
  • Available 4WD

2008 GMC Yukon XL Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
GMC's Yukon XL is the brand's flagship sport utility vehicle, and it underwent a complete redesign for 2007. Available in base SLE, SLT and top-of-the-line Denali trim levels, the Yukon XL is available with a choice of V-8 engines, some of which feature fuel management systems that deactivate four cylinders during low-load situations. According to the company, this technology can improve fuel economy by about 10 percent. Competitors include the Ford Expedition EL, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia.

Topping the range of available engines is a 6.2-liter V-8 that does without the fuel management system but boasts 380 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive is standard across most models, but four-wheel drive is available.

For 2008, side curtain airbags are standard across the Yukon XL lineup, and a new rear-wheel-drive Yukon XL Denali joins the all-wheel-drive model. Specific changes to the heavy-duty 2500 series include a newly standard electronic stability system and six-speed automatic transmission. The Yukon XL is closely related to the Chevrolet Suburban, which underwent a similar redesign for 2007.


Exterior
The Yukon XL sports sleeker styling and better-integrated lower body panels than the prior generation. Larger headlamps and a cleaner front help distinguish the current Yukon XL from its predecessor. Fenders, fog lights and lower side cladding are integrated into the body to create a more continuous appearance than the previous Yukon XL's pieced-together ...
Vehicle Overview
GMC's Yukon XL is the brand's flagship sport utility vehicle, and it underwent a complete redesign for 2007. Available in base SLE, SLT and top-of-the-line Denali trim levels, the Yukon XL is available with a choice of V-8 engines, some of which feature fuel management systems that deactivate four cylinders during low-load situations. According to the company, this technology can improve fuel economy by about 10 percent. Competitors include the Ford Expedition EL, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia.

Topping the range of available engines is a 6.2-liter V-8 that does without the fuel management system but boasts 380 horsepower. Rear-wheel drive is standard across most models, but four-wheel drive is available.

For 2008, side curtain airbags are standard across the Yukon XL lineup, and a new rear-wheel-drive Yukon XL Denali joins the all-wheel-drive model. Specific changes to the heavy-duty 2500 series include a newly standard electronic stability system and six-speed automatic transmission. The Yukon XL is closely related to the Chevrolet Suburban, which underwent a similar redesign for 2007.


Exterior
The Yukon XL sports sleeker styling and better-integrated lower body panels than the prior generation. Larger headlamps and a cleaner front help distinguish the current Yukon XL from its predecessor. Fenders, fog lights and lower side cladding are integrated into the body to create a more continuous appearance than the previous Yukon XL's pieced-together look.

Seventeen-inch wheels are standard on most trims, but the 2500 gets 16-inch rims. The Yukon Denali upgrades to 18-inch wheels while also adding unique headlamps, grille and taillamps. Twenty-inch wheels are optional for all trims. Denali editions include a standard power liftgate. Optional parking-assistance features include a rearview camera and sonar rear parking sensors. Power-operated, retractable running boards are available.


Interior
A lower dashboard with a traditional instrument panel hump replaces the boxy dash from previous Yukon XLs. Higher-quality fixtures include flush-mounted controls, low-gloss materials and chrome instrument surrounds. Three rows of seats can accommodate up to nine occupants if configured properly, and front-seat occupants will find three inches of additional hiproom compared to the previous generation. Second-row passengers lose more than an inch of headroom, and third-row passengers sacrifice headroom and legroom.

Cargo volume measures 45.8 cubic feet behind the third row. With the third row removed and the second row folded — made easier with an available power-folding feature — cargo volume increases to 137.4 cubic feet.

Manual tri-zone climate control is standard in SLE trims. SLT and Denali editions get automatic climate control and leather seats. Denali versions up the luxury ante with heated first- and second-row seats, a premium audio system, rain-sensing windshield wipers and an available heated steering wheel.


Under the Hood
The Yukon XL can be powered by a choice of V-8 engines. A 5.3-liter V-8 propels regular-duty Yukon XLs; in rear-wheel-drive models the engine has an iron block, whereas four-wheel-drive versions have an all-aluminum mill. Both engines — which can run on either regular gasoline or E85 ethanol-based fuel — feature a fuel management system that can deactivate four of the eight cylinders when power needs are low. Total output for rear-wheel-drive models is 320 hp and 340 pounds-feet of torque, while four-wheel-drive versions make 310 hp and 335 pounds-feet of torque.

An optional 6.0-liter V-8 features variable-valve timing and cylinder deactivation and develops 366 hp and 380 pounds-feet of torque. Heavy-duty 2500 series versions receive an iron-block edition of the 6.0-liter V-8 that has variable-valve timing but lacks the cylinder deactivation. This engine is rated at 352 hp and 383 pounds-feet of torque. All 5.3-liter and 6.0-liter V-8s team with a four-speed automatic transmission, except on the Yukon XL 2500. Its 6.0-liter V-8 drives a six-speed automatic transmission for 2008. When properly equipped, the Yukon XL 1500 can tow up to 8,100 pounds.

The horsepower leader is the 6.2-liter V-8. It utilizes variable-valve timing but lacks cylinder deactivation; it develops 380 hp and 417 pounds-feet of torque. This motor is available only in the Yukon XL Denali, where it drives a six-speed automatic.


Safety
Standard safety equipment includes four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system with rollover mitigation technology. GM says the system senses when the vehicle is likely to tip, then triggers the stability system in an attempt to prevent it. (To date, only Ford Motor Company's Roll Stability Control feature can sense that a rollover has begun and attempt to forestall it.) Standard side curtain airbags cover all three rows of seats. The front seat belts feature pretensioners that can activate in the event of a rear-end collision.


Latest 2008 Yukon XL Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Great ride and power

by Frank from Florida on October 10, 2018

Only problem I have gone through 3 driver side motor mounts has anyone else had this issue and rust behind driver side rear door repaired it a year ago now it's starting on the passenger side same ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great ride. Superior vehicle.

by Wng378 from Little Rock, AR on August 24, 2018

Driven lots of makes, models, and sizes of vehicles and nothing really compares. Solid handling. Comfortable ride. Amazing passenger space. Our Yukon was a great SUV that lasted 200k miles I?m still ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 GMC Yukon XL currently has 4 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2008 GMC Yukon XL has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Yukon XL received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker