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2020 GMC Yukon: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 11/6/2020 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked in front of a building: 2020 GMC Yukon © General Motors 2020 GMC Yukon

The 2020 GMC Yukon places near the bottom of our large SUV rankings. It boasts a comfortable and well-equipped cabin that exudes an upscale vibe. However, it has a poor predicted reliability rating, subpar cargo space in non-XL models, and a cramped third row.

Is the GMC Yukon a Good SUV?

The 2020 Yukon is not the best choice in the large SUV class, but it has a few perks. Its cabin is well-dressed in rich materials and treats travelers to comfortable seats. This GMC has a user-friendly infotainment system and offers a slew of high-tech features the whole family can appreciate. That said, the standard-wheelbase Yukon has a tighter third row of seats and less cargo space than most rivals. These problems can be remedied by upgrading to the long-wheelbase XL model, which is more in line with class rivals in terms of space.

Should I Buy the GMC Yukon?

Unless you bypass the 2020 Yukon’s base model and upgrade to a pricier upper trim, you probably shouldn’t buy this GMC. The base Yukon isn’t available with the upgraded engine, which provides better off-the-line acceleration than the standard power plant. Additionally, the base Yukon has below-average cargo and third-row passenger space for the class. If you need more room, you’ll have to spend more money for the long-wheelbase Yukon XL variant.

While a fully decked-out Yukon offers comfort and luxury appeal, many lower-priced rivals offer similar perks, more passenger space, and better predicted reliability ratings. Before buying the Yukon, consider the Chevrolet Tahoe, which has the same dimensions, features, and engines as the Yukon but at a lower price. The roomy Ford Expedition is a pricier option, but it’s a powerful, heavy-duty SUV for those who do lots of trailering and off-roading.  

Should I Buy a New or Used GMC Yukon?

GMC last redesigned the Yukon for the 2015 model year. Since there were no significant updates for 2019 or 2020, we recommend buying an older model to save money. There are a few year-to-year changes to keep in mind though.

The Yukon gained lane keep assist for 2016, and the 2017 model was the first to come standard with low-speed automatic emergency braking and the Teen Driver safety system. For 2018, the Yukon gained a 10-speed automatic transmission in its Denali trim. Before deciding, you'll want to weigh these changes against the difference in price and model availability.

To research used Yukon models, read our 2016 Yukon, 2017 Yukon, and 2018 Yukon reviews. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 27 Reviews Analyzed

To ensure that our automotive rankings and reviews are as unbiased and consumer-focused as possible, we do not rely on our personal opinions. Instead, we analyze hard data like crash test results and reliability ratings, as well as the opinions of the automotive press. This GMC Terrain review draws on applicable research and reviews from all models in the Yukon's current generation, which runs from the 2015 through 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful information to consumers. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party takes care of our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers.

How Much Does the GMC Yukon Cost?

The 2020 Yukon has a starting MSRP of $50,600, and the extended-wheelbase XL variant is available for $2,800 more. Those figures are slightly below average for a large SUV. The top-tier Yukon Denali and Yukon Denali XL start at $66,700 and $69,500, respectively.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

GMC Yukon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: GMC Yukon or Ford Expedition?

The Ford Expedition is one of the top contenders in the large SUV class. It matches some of the Yukon’s best traits, and it brings a little extra to the table. The standard-wheelbase Expedition has roomier second and third-row seating than the Yukon, as well as more cargo space. The extra-long Expedition Max has even higher cargo capacities. The GMC has more standard features, but the Ford has a class-leading towing capacity, slightly better fuel economy, and several off-road features. The Expedition is one of the most expensive full-size SUVs, but it’s well worth the extra cost.

Which Is Better: GMC Yukon or Chevrolet Tahoe?

The Chevrolet Tahoe and Yukon are corporate siblings that share the same interior dimensions, engine options, and features. Like the Yukon, the Tahoe also has a long-wheelbase variant (see the Chevrolet Suburban). While the Tahoe could save you some money, it's not as nice as the Yukon in terms of interior materials and cabin styling. The Tahoe has a significantly better predicted reliability rating. If you don't mind spending more for a nicer cabin, go for the Yukon. Otherwise, pick the Tahoe.

Yukon Interior

How Many People Does the Yukon Seat?

In its standard configuration, the Yukon seats eight people on cloth upholstery. An available front-row bench seat raises the seating capacity to nine, while optional second-row captain's chairs reduce it to seven. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and heated second-row seats are available.

In its base configuration, the Yukon has a good amount of space for most adults in the first two rows, but the third row is only suitable for children. The long-wheelbase XL model is a bit more accommodating with its extra 10 inches of third-row legroom. The Yukon's large rear doors and available power-retractable steps help with entering and exiting the vehicle.

Yukon and Child Car Seats

There are complete sets of LATCH connectors for each of the Yukon's second-row seats as well as tether-only connectors for each of the third-row positions. Some of the tether anchors are hard to find.

Yukon Interior Quality

The Yukon has an attractive cabin made with quality materials. The range-topping GMC Yukon Denali offers an extra helping of luxury with finer interior materials and upgraded styling. The cabin remains quiet, especially in models equipped with the Active Noise Cancellation system.

Yukon Cargo Space

The Yukon has 15.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 51.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 94.7 cubic feet with both rear rows folded down. Those are some of the smallest cargo figures among large SUVs. The Yukon’s high cargo load floor also reduces available storage space.

The long-wheelbase Yukon XL offers more cargo room, and its measurements are about average for the class. It has 39.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 76.7 cubes behind the second row, and a maximum capacity of 121.7 cubic feet.

A hands-free power liftgate is available.

Yukon Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Yukon's infotainment system features an 8-inch touch screen, smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a nine-speaker Bose premium sound system, seven USB ports, Bluetooth, voice recognition, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The Yukon also comes standard with remote start, remote keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a 110-volt household-style power outlet.

The infotainment system in the Yukon is fairly easy to operate, though you may have to dig through several menus to access some features. You can also adjust audio and climate settings using the touch screen or the easy-to-reach physical controls and knobs on the dashboard. 

Available features include a head-up display, navigation, a sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, a rear-seat DVD system, wireless device charging, and a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound stereo.

Yukon Performance

Yukon Engine: Great V8s

The 2020 GMC Yukon has two powertrain choices. The base engine is a 5.3-liter V8 that produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The optional powertrain consists of a 6.2-liter V8, which makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and a responsive 10-speed automatic transmission.

The base engine generates good power for most routine driving situations, but with the larger V8, the Yukon delivers faster acceleration and a quicker throttle response.

Yukon Gas Mileage: A Bit Above Average

With its base engine and rear-wheel drive, the Yukon gets an EPA-estimated 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Long-wheelbase XL models with four-wheel drive lose 1 mpg from each estimate. Models with the larger 6.2-liter engine return 14/23 mpg city/highway. Those figures are slightly above average for the large SUV class.

Yukon Ride and Handling: Mostly Mellow

Despite its truck-based platform, the Yukon maintains a composed ride over most larger road imperfections. Still, occupants may be slightly jostled by smaller bumps in the road. An available Magnetic Ride Control suspension system boosts ride comfort, as it adjusts on the fly to adapt to changing road conditions. The Yukon is also surprisingly agile for its size, maintaining good body control around corners. Rear-wheel drive is standard; four-wheel drive optional.

Yukon Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the 2020 GMC Yukon has a maximum trailering weight of 8,500 pounds.

Yukon Reliability

Is the GMC Yukon Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Yukon a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five.

GMC Yukon Warranty

The GMC Yukon comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Yukon Safety

Yukon Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Yukon four out of five stars for overall safety. It received five stars in the side crash test, four stars in the frontal crash test, and three stars in the rollover evaluation. As with most large SUVs, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the Yukon.

Yukon Safety Features

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and the Teen Driver system, which lets you do things like set speed and volume limits for secondary drivers.

Available safety features include automatic high-beam headlights, a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, low-speed forward automatic braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. There's also an available safety alert seat, which vibrates in tandem with various safety notifications.

Yukon Dimensions and Weight

The standard-wheelbase Yukon is about 17 feet long. It has a base curb weight of 5,379 pounds and a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,100 pounds.

Long-wheelbase Yukon XL models are 18.7 feet long, and they have a base curb weight of 5,610 pounds, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,300 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 GMC Yukon Built?

GMC builds the 2020 Yukon in Texas.

Which GMC Yukon Model Is Right for Me?

There are four trims available for the Yukon: SLE, SLT Standard Edition, SLT, and Denali. All trims are available in a long-wheelbase variant (Yukon XL), which has the same features as the regular Yukon trims but with 24.3 more cubic feet of space behind the third row and about 10 more inches of third-row legroom. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

The base Yukon SLE is an excellent value and will more than satisfy shoppers who have a budget of about $50,000. It comes well-stocked with convenient technology like smartphone integration and a Wi-Fi hot spot, as well as a few advanced driver assistance features. Keep in mind, if you need seating for nine instead of the standard eight, you’ll have to choose the SLE and add the optional first-row bench.

While the top-of-the-line Yukon Denali has a much higher sticker price, its add-ons are worth the money. It features a potent 6.2-liter V8 engine that isn't offered in the base model, and its Magnetic Ride Control suspension system enhances ride comfort. Additionally, the Denali’s top-notch cabin materials rival those of luxury vehicles.


The GMC Yukon SLE has an MSRP of $50,600. It comes with a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and the Teen Driver system.

The Yukon's standard infotainment system features an 8-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, voice commands, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Other standard features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, remote start, and alloy wheels.

An available Convenience package adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate, and power-adjustable pedals for $730.

GMC Yukon SLT Standard Edition

The GMC Yukon SLT Standard Edition (MSRP: $54,800) comes with the Enhanced Driver Alert package, which includes forward collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, a safety alert seat, and automatic high-beam headlights. It also comes with leather seats and all the features listed in the Convenience package.


The Yukon SLT starts at $57,800. It features perforated genuine leather seats, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row bench seats, a heated steering wheel, a power tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

GMC Yukon Denali

The top-of-the-line Yukon Denali has a sticker price of $67,700. It comes standard with a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission, distinct exterior styling, larger alloy wheels, ash wood interior trim, an integrated navigation system, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system, a head-up display, a Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension, and Active Noise Cancellation.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

The Final Call

The 2020 Yukon is a decent large SUV for shoppers who prioritize comfort and style. Its handsome cabin is highlighted by quality materials and plenty of standard amenities. However, you’ll have to splurge on an upper trim to access some of the SUVs best attributes, like an extended wheelbase, an adaptive suspension, and a more-powerful 6.2-liter engine.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2020 GMC Yukon review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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