20 Best & Worst GMC Yukon Years (With Pictures)

The GMC Yukon is a large SUV that started out as a 1992 model year. 

It has plenty of space throughout three rows of seating, several high-performance engine choices, and a comfortable ride. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best and worst model years of the Yukon.

2022 GMC Yukon Denali

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The GMC Yukon Are:

The best GMC Yukon model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2014, 2012, 2009, and 2006. The worst model years of the Yukon are 2015, 2007, 2003, 2004, 2016, 2001, 2011, 2008, 2002, and 2000. This is based on industry reviews, NHTSA stats, problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The GMC Yukon?

2023 and 2022 GMC Yukon

The 2023 and 2022 Yukon models meet all the for a large SUV while pushing it even further with a luxurious interior and advanced tech features.

Either model year is an appealing pick to many due to comfortable seating, a roomy interior, and spacious luggage areas.

Both models offer 4 trims: SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali, but the 2023 model year introduces the higher-end Denali Ultimate, priced at almost $100,000. 

The midrange SLT is essentially an entry-level SLE but with additional bells and whistles, including 20-inch wheels, a power liftgate, heated front seats, and the patented GMC Pro Safety Plus package.

2023 Yukon:

  • Edmunds: 3.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2022 Yukon:

  • Edmunds: 3.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2022 Yukon, Edmunds review:

“Vehicle is perfect for a family with towing needs. We have two kids and two large dogs and there is plenty of space in the vehicle when we travel. Also have a boat to tow and the 5.3L mated to the 10-speed auto performs flawlessly. Engine is plenty powerful. and shifts are smooth. Acceleration feels plenty quick. The SLT trim is the perfect blend of luxury and value. Ours has the SLT lux pack, Max towing pack, and the Rear Media & Nav pack. Really not sure what anyone else would really need…”

2021 GMC Yukon

The 2021 Yukon is fully redesigned as it marks the first year of the Yukon’s fifth generation.

It now possesses a new independent rear suspension system, a longer wheelbase, and a modern-looking redesigned interior.

The SUV can also come fitted with a diesel-powered engine.

When properly equipped, the Yukon can pull as much as 8,400 pounds, making it capable of towing a variety large trailers and recreational vehicles. 

  • Edmunds: 2.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2021 Yukon, Edmunds review:

“Traded in my 2019 Escalade and feel like I upgraded. The ride is superior. For the first time the interior finishes actually feel like a luxury vehicle should. The panorama roof is great, and my kids are enjoying the entertainment system. The third row is actually comfortable to sit in as well. Overall a complete 10 in my book. Love the new exterior style too. The lights under the deplorable running boards are extremely bright too.  Lights up nicely at night. I Highly recommend this SUV!”  

2020, 2019, and 2018 GMC Yukon

The 2020, 2019, and 2018 Yukon models are the final 3 iterations of the fourth generation.

Any of these models can comfortably seat nine adults, on top of around 95 cubic feet of storage, which makes it an excellent people-mover and luggage-mover. 

According to owner reviews, the following are the best aspects of this SUV: appearance, driving experience, reduced road noise, and acceleration.

Our favorite safety features shared among these model years are Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist, and Safety Alert Seat. 

2020 Yukon:

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2019 Yukon:

  • Edmunds: 3.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2018 Yukon:

  • Edmunds: 3.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2019 Yukon, Edmunds review:

“If you do not mind the price, which is high, but as someone said you get what you pay for. I am over 60 years of age and this vehicle is amazing to drive. It reminds me of my dad’s 1973 Caprice Classic which had a 454 cubic inch monster. The heads up display is wonderful as is all the technological advances of the automotive industries… Every time I drive the vehicle I just smile! I have the 22 inch tires and I am actually impressed with the gas mileage, if you can stay off throttle. If you prefer a large SUV, you must give the Yukon Denali a try…”

2019 GMC Yukon Denali

2014 GMC Yukon

The 2014 Yukon is a great all-around SUV that has an attractive interior and powerful engine options.

It also has stout towing capability, a comfortable ride, and smooth driving mechanics. 

Depending on the trim and configuration, this model can be powered by either of the following engines: 5.3-liter V8 (320 horsepower) and a 6.2-liter V8 (403 horsepower).

EPA estimates provide some low fuel efficiency figures: 17 MPG for combined driving, 15 MPG for city driving, and 21 MPG for highway driving.

There are 3 main trims to choose from: SLE, SLT, and Denali. There is also an extended-length version known as the Yukon XL. 

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2014 Yukon, Edmunds review:

“After owning a 2000 Dodge Durango for 10 years it was time to replace it. I like the space and comfort that a traditional truck based SUV provides and the GMC Yukon did not disappoint. Even though the price tag was pushing close to a base Escalade, a fully loaded Denali seemed like a better choice. This car has an impressive tow rating which helps me for work, the fuel economy is as expected from a large SUV and an average of 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway is okay coming from a previous guzzler so I’m used to it. This car is the ultimate road trip car with lots of space and comfortable seats. A good family car that can also hold its own during offroading and one of the best SUVs you can buy.”

2014 GMC Yukon Denali

2012 GMC Yukon

When it was first released, the 2012 Yukon was one of the leading choices for a traditional large SUV thanks to its comfy cabin and strong towing and hauling capabilities. 

Based on available specifications online, this model (when properly equipped) has a maximum towing capacity of 8,500 pounds and a maximum payload capacity of 1,652 pounds, which are massive figures, even for its segment.

Owners praised the following areas of the vehicle: interior, reliability, and safety.

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2012 Yukon, Edmunds review:

“This one was just waiting on us, I guess. We’ve had our eye on this one for a couple months now, and when we were finally able to purchase the Yukon it was still available. Just what we were looking for…”

2009 GMC Yukon

The 2009 Yukon is an iconic model year that received a number of notable upgrades.

These upgrades include an XFE package (which offers aerodynamic enhancements and lightweight aluminum components for improved fuel efficiency), a third-row 3-passenger 50/50-split bench and new aluminum wheels. 

Bluetooth connectivity and rear view camera systems have also been integrated.

Under the hood, this SUV comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission paired to either a 5.3-liter V8 or a 6.2-liter V8.

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 84 / 100

2009 Yukon, Edmunds review:

“I always drove Toyota and Hondas but after long research bought Yukon 2009. I am really impressed by its smooth drive. We have two kids and our parents often travel with us, its been great fun in Yukon. DVD quality is great. I wish they had LATCH for car seat at all seating places in middle and third row. There are no front latches in 3rd row and has only one back latch. You might have tough time fitting two car seat in 3rd row. I get about 14.5 mpg at 1000 mi. Over all, not going back to Honda and Toyota at all.”

2009 GMC Yukon

2006 GMC Yukon

The 2006 Yukon is a feature-rich family SUV that was considered to be one of the greatest options during its time.

The model comes with strong engines, a roomy and versatile interior, numerous standard and optional features, and a rugged chassis.

It packs a lot of luxury features and towing power, with up to 7,700 of towing capacity, which is more than enough to bring large trailers and haulers. 

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2006 Yukon, Edmunds review:

“Excellent vehicle for traveling. I have a bad back. Lots of seat adjustments to get comfortable. Lots of room for hauling when necessary. AWD is excellent in the winter. Lots of power for towing. Meets all of my needs. Uses regular gas. Luxurious but also practical when need to haul lumber etc. Will hold sheets of plywood.”

Consumer Scores For Best GMC Yukon Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 GMC Yukon3.2 / 5.03.9 / 5.084 / 100
2022 GMC Yukon3.0 / 5.03.9 / 5.084 / 100
2021 GMC Yukon2.8 / 5.03.9 / 5.080 / 100
2020 GMC Yukon3.8 / 5.04.0 / 5.084 / 100
2019 GMC Yukon3.4 / 5.04.0 / 5.081 / 100
2018 GMC Yukon3.4 / 5.04.0 / 5.084 / 100
2014 GMC Yukon4.0 / 5.04.5 / 5.082 / 100
2012 GMC Yukon4.0 / 5.04.5 / 5.084 / 100
2009 GMC Yukon4.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.084 / 100
2006 GMC Yukon4.8 / 5.04.7 / 5.0NA

Related: How Long Do GMC Yukons Last? (Solved and Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The GMC Yukon?

2015 GMC Yukon

The 2015 Yukon, according to statistics, is the most problematic model year ever produced.

Its main issue was defective tail lights, which affected thousands of owners at various mileage (some occurring before hitting the 100,000-mile mark).

One owner summarizes the situation concisely below:

“Right rear tail light and brake light stoped working. It is an led light and very expensive. This is a safety concern as lack of a brake light on one side is in violation of legal requirements. Led lights should not quit functioning after 5 years and 85,000 miles.”

Trailer assist errors were also widespread with warning messages and loud chimes appearing constantly, according to owners this problem persisted despite multiple trips to the dealership.

The 2015 Yukon had a total of 1,116 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 197 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Tail light not working properly
  • Air conditioning does not work
  • Vibration from transmission
2015 GMC Yukon XL SLT

2007 and 2008 GMC Yukon

The 2007 and 2008 Yukons, like many other vehicles at the time, were affected by the widespread Takata airbag recall – airbags were susceptible to exploding and could fire metal shrapnel into the cabin.

Various airbag-related defects such as failure to deploy, warning indicator always on, and other component defects were also reported.

Dashboard cracking was also a common issue, as described by one owner below.

“The plastic dashboard has been cracking over the years. It is now breaking into jagged pieces that are free to fly around the passenger cabin. Cracked pieces around the airbag pose a potential problem to the eyes and face of passengers in the event of a crash.”

The 2007 Yukon had a total of 1,004 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 97 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

The 2008 Yukon had a total of 466 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 21 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Cracked dashboard
  • Engine failure
  • Airbags did not deploy
  • Electric door locks do not work
2008 GMC Yukon

2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004 GMC Yukon

The two main problems the 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2004 Yukon models have in common are numerous electrical system and brake system defects.

Owners reported instrument panel flickering, infotainment display malfunctions, and premature wear and tear of brake lines.

The point of failure of these systems was commonly between the 100,000-mile to 200,000-mile range.  

  • The 2000 Yukon had a total of 322 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 8 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2002 Yukon had a total of 400 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 10 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2003 Yukon had a total of 639 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 63 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2004 Yukon had a total of 563 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 47 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine stalls/dies while driving
  • Speedometer malfunction
  • Brake line failure
  • Brake lines rusted
  • Climate control works inconsistently
  • Bad hydraulic lifter causes play in camshaft
  • Metal hitting metal sound
  • Front transaxle failure
  • Fuel pump gave out
  • Water leaks into interior
  • Battery drains over time
  • ABS not working properly

2016 GMC Yukon

The 2016 Yukon was plagued by various brake light problems, as reported by hundreds of owners online.

Here is one complaint that explains the issue perfectly:

“The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, fellow motorist would alert the contact that his brake lights had failed to illuminate. Upon inspection, the contact discovered that both rear brake lights would intermittently fail to illuminate upon depression of the brake pedal. The dealer was notified about the failure and he was given an appointment.”

The 2016 Yukon had a total of 556 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 45 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Air conditioning not working properly
  • Transmission shudders and shakes when shifting
  • Transmission slips
2016 GMC Yukon XL SLT

2001 GMC Yukon

The 2001 Yukon had a very problematic brake system.

Problems included brake malfunctions while driving, brake line defects, and premature rust and corrosion, even with proper maintenance and car care practices.  

The 2001 Yukon had a total of 520 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 32 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • ABS module failed
  • Paint peeling, cracking
  • Brakes lock up

2011 GMC Yukon

A lot of owners of the 2011 Yukon reported damage, cracks, and deformities along the dashboard.

One owner raised potential injury concerns in the event of airbag deployment, as explained below:

“The dashboard has severely cracked and could cause harmful plastic to shoot towards passengers if the airbag is deployed. This also causes the interior to make loud dash sounds while driving affecting the experience of the drive.”

The 2011 Yukon had a total of 475 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 17 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Dashboard cracked
  • Battery dies overnight
  • Seats will not move

Related: GMC Yukon In Snow & Winter Driving? (Solved & Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2023 GMC Yukon2111
2022 GMC Yukon0362
2021 GMC Yukon29811
2020 GMC Yukon0153
2019 GMC Yukon7411
2018 GMC Yukon19733
2017 GMC Yukon382903
2016 GMC Yukon455565
2015 GMC Yukon1971,11610
2014 GMC Yukon5773
2013 GMC Yukon52214
2012 GMC Yukon51633
2011 GMC Yukon174756
2010 GMC Yukon152945
2009 GMC Yukon222436
2008 GMC Yukon214666
2007 GMC Yukon971,0045
2006 GMC Yukon91222
2005 GMC Yukon403131
2004 GMC Yukon475632
2003 GMC Yukon636392
2002 GMC Yukon104001
2001 GMC Yukon325204
2000 GMC Yukon83223
1999 GMC Yukon17302
1998 GMC Yukon189
1997 GMC Yukon2179
1996 GMC Yukon390

What Problems Do GMC Yukons Have?

  • Tail light not working properly
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Air conditioning does not work
  • Vibration from transmission
  • Transmission shudders and shakes when shifting
  • Transmission slips
  • Lunghes, hard shifts
  • Cracked dashboard
  • Engine failure
  • Engine stalls/dies while driving
  • Speedometer malfunction
  • Brake line failure
  • Brake lines rusted
  • Climate control works inconsistently
  • Bad hydraulic lifter causes play in the camshaft
  • Air conditioning line failed
  • Squeaky brakes
  • Cracked drive shaft
  • ABS module failed
  • Paint peeling, cracking
  • Brakes lock up
  • Alignment problem
  • Squealing noise from underneath
  • Turns over but does not start
  • Air compressor malfunction

Related: 13 Most Common GMC Yukon Problems (Explained)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The GMC Yukon?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Jeep Wagoneer8.5$58,995 – $77,220City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 20 – 22
Chevrolet Suburban8.2$55,500 – $79,100City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 19 – 27
Chevrolet Tahoe8.2$54,200 – $77,400City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 19 – 28
Ford Expedition8.2$52,905 – $84,670 City: NA /Highway: NA
GMC Yukon8.1$57,400 – $97,255City: 14 – 21 /Highway: 18 – 27
Toyota Sequoia7.2$58,365 – $78,365City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 22 – 24
Nissan Armada6.6$50,400 – $69,720City: 13 – 14 /Highway: 18 – 19

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 9 Luxury Fullsize SUVs With The Most Cargo Space (With Pics)











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...