The 2017 GMC Yukon is a big, burly full-size SUV with style inside and out that can mind its manners as a comfy family hauler, but is still tough enough to pull a trailer with ease. But with a starting price that isn't exactly cheap, and an expansive options list, the Yukon can end up being a very expensive SUV.

Pricing and Equipment

Prices for the base Yukon SLE in the standard length start at $49,825 (including a $1,295 destination charge). While pricey, customers get plenty of standard gear for their money, including:

  • A backup camera
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • An eight-inch infotainment system
  • A Bose audio system
  • Automatic climate control
  • An optional three-person bench front seat (only available in the SLE trim)

The SLT and the Denali trims round out the Yukon lineup. The SLT, with a starting MSRP of $58,610, comes with everything (except the bench seat option) that's standard on the SLE, plus heated seats in the front two rows, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery and more. SLT buyers have the option of adding the Premium Edition package, which tacks about $4,000 onto the price tag, but adds 22-inch alloy wheels and interior chrome accents.

Upgrading to the Denali trim bumps the Yukon's starting price up to $67,260 and includes everything from the SLT, a lots of chrome, 20-inch wheels, and a long list of driver-alert technologies and infotainment features.

SLE and SLT trims use a 5.3-liter V8 engine that turns out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, while Denali models come with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The smaller engine teams with a six-speed automatic transmission to return at least 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg in the city, while the 6.2-liter works alongside an eight-speed automatic and nets at least 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.

All Yukon trims are available in either a standard wheelbase or an extended XL trim level that adds 14 inches between the axles and increases the maximum cargo space from 94.7 cubic feet to 121.1 cubic feet. Selecting the XL body adds $2,700 to the price tag. All-wheel drive adds $3,000 to all trims.

Performance Pros

GMC Yukon
  • Regardless of trim, the Yukon is a capable tower.
  • The 6.2-liter V8 is surprisingly good at moving such a large vehicle.
  • We were impressed with the way the Yukon rides. For a big, body-on-frame vehicle, it offers a refined and balanced ride.

Performance Cons

  • The six-speed transmission is a little slow on the uptake.
  • The 5.3-liter V8 struggles when pushed hard.
  • The numb steering gives the Yukon a boat-like character.

Interior Pros

  • The cabin has an extra-classy feel, especially in the trims that include leather seating.
  • The Yukon is surprisingly quiet on the inside, easily allowing us to hold conversations in normal speaking voices on our test drive.
  • XL versions offer a huge amount of cargo space.

Interior Cons

GMC Yukon
  • In non-XL versions, the rear seats are a little cramped, and there isn't much legroom to speak of in the third row.
  • While the cabin materials are nice, the overall design lacks the elegance of some of the Yukon's European competitors. This is particularly true of the high-priced Denali trim.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Yukon's ride, especially with the Denali, really is terrific for such a big vehicle.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The Yukon has a lot to offer, but at a substantial price. Our experience with this SUV was largely positive, and there aren't many bad things to say until you remember how much you have to pay to get your hands on one.

The Bottom Line

The Yukon is ideal for families with boats or trailers to haul. It offers a ton of power to get the job done, but this SUV is also a class act. It can pull your boat out to the harbor then get you to dinner in style. The only drawback is the price. Because the 2017 Yukon is so expensive, it would only be a practical choice for those who actually need a large SUV with towing capabilities.