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

Manufactured by General Motors, the GMC Yukon made its debut in 1992 and in today’s market has an an MSRP of $50,700.

The Yukon offers plenty of cargo space, comfortable seating, impressive towing capabilities and a selection of engine choices depending on your needs.

If your on the lookout for a full size SUV then reaserching the Yukon makes sense.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how many years of service you can expect from the GMC Yukon...

Here is the short answer to how long do GMC Yukon Last:

The GMC Yukon boasts a respectable life expectancy of 200,000 miles, this means it will last approximately 13.5 years based on the average mileage of a US citizen. The vehicle’s longevity is dependant on regular maintenance, good driving habits and keeping up to date with the service schedule.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a GMC Yukon?

The GMC Yukon is a durable vehicle that is built to last and owners should expect well over a decade of life from this SUV and with due care and attention, there is no reason why these projections couldn’t be exceeded.

There are anecdotal reports of Yukons surpassing 200,000 miles and even reaching 300,000 miles. It is important to note however that the majority of Yukons will likely break down or need expensive repairs before reaching such high numbers. Hence our estimation of 200,000 miles, this equates to 13.5 years of service based on driving the national average mileage of 15,000 miles per year.  

Given the workhorse capabilities of this SUV, owners must keep in mind not to exceed the towing capacity, excessive loads can strain the engine, accelerate brake wear, damage your tires and even warp the chassis. The towing capacity of the Yukon ranges from 7,900lbs – 8,400 lbs, depending on trim level. 

As with any vehicle, case-to-case reports of longevity can vary based on a number of factors, primarily maintenance and driving habits. Ultimately it’s up to the owner to get the most life from their vehicle.

To help ensure your Yukon withstands the test of time:

  • Drive smoothly. This includes smooth braking and smooth acceleration. This puts less stress on components and reduces wear and tear.
  • Carry out basic car maintenance habitually – this includes things such as ensuring fluids are topped up and tire pressures are correct.
  • Keep up to date with factory scheduled maintenance – this information can be found in your vehicle’s manual.

How Soon Should You Expect Rust on a GMC Yukon? 

Fortunately, the GMC Yukon does not share the same severity of rust that the Sierra has become infamous for. However, reports of frame rust, specifically rear quarter panel rust, can be found scattered throughout the years. 

The same frame rust complaints are a recurring theme on the GMC Yukon and can be traced specifically to 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2012, and 2013. 

Minor issues such as fender, brake rotor, and exhaust pipe rust occur throughout all model years with more than 100,000 miles on them. 

Although rust problems on the Yukon are not a common occurrence, especially in newer models, we still recommend investing in ceramic coating upon purchase to prevent the onset of rust in the future. 

Alternatively, rust-proofing sprays are widely available and are designed to protect your undercarriage and exposed metal parts. Sprays form a layer to guard against moisture and air and help combat rust due to their anti-corrosion properties.

Residents of the Salt Belt States and regions close to the sea need to be especially mindful of salt accumulating on their vehicle.

Salt buildup on vehicle surfaces is corrosive, and the sand, dirt and snow that accumulate can trap moisture in wheel wells and underbody structures.

Standard rust proofing and preventative measures to consider are:

  • Regular washes, including the underside of the vehicle
  • Rustproofing sprays
  • keeping the car’s interior dry
  • Ceramic coatings
  • Rust-proofing treatment

You may also be interested in our article: GMC Yukon in snow & winter driving

How Long Does the GMC Yukon Last Compared to Similar Car Models?

Due to the popularity of the full-size SUV segment the Yukon comes up against some stiff compettion.

In this segment, we’ll see how the GMC Yukons longevity compares to its rivals. 

GMC Yukon vs. Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban has been on the road since the 1930’s and shares the same 200,000-mile life expectancy as the GMC Yukon, this is to be expected as both vehicles share the same platform.

As well as having identical life expectancies, the difference between the two in terms of annual maintenance is a mere $65, with the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Suburban costing $747 and $812 respectively. 

The Yukon and Suburban have a respective Repair Pal reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 and 3 out of 5.

You may also be interested in are article: how long do Chevrolet Suburban last?

GMC Yukon vs. Toyota Sequoia

The Toyota Sequoia is no exception from the brand’s dedication to making long-lasting vehicles. With an average lifespan of 300,000 miles, the Toyota Sequoia is estimated to outlive the Yukon by some margin.

The Sequoia and Yukon have the same RepairPal reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 and rank as 5th and 6th place respectively across 16 full-size SUVs. 

The Sequoia costs $642 per year in maintenance, whilst the Yukon costs $747 per year. 

If your looking for an SUV with the best possible longevity, then the Sequoia trumps the the Yukon.

GMC Yukon vs. Lincoln Navigator

Both the Yukon and Navigator have been popular choices for business people, political figures, and other VIPs for over a decade. 

These two iconic full-size luxury SUVs are built to last an average of 200,000 miles. Regardless of which one you choose, you can be sure to expect over 10 years of service.

Despite sharing identical lifespans, the Navigator ($1,089) costs significantly more than the Yukon ($747) to maintain per year. 

When it comes to reliability, the Yukon (3.5/5) overshadows the Navigator (2.5/5).

When deciding between the Navigator and Yukon, the choice will come down to personal preference and brand bias. 

How Reliable is a GMC Yukon?

From our research we can say the GMC Yukon is a fairly reliable vehicle, some years perform better than others in this area however overall its reliability should not be too much of a concern for potential buyers.

When buying new Yukon, GMC offer a 3 yr/36,000 (whichever comes first) mile basic warranty and a 5 yr/60,000 mi powertrain warranty.

  • RepairPal rates the Yukon 3.5 out of 5 in terms of reliability and ranks it as 6th out of 14 full-size SUVs – the average for the segment is 3.0
  • Cars.US.News have given the 2021 Yukon a sub-par predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of 5

Below is a table of consumer ratings for the Yukon from J.D. power

Model YearQuality and Reliability Rating
202184/100 Great
202084/100 Great
201984/100 Great
201883/100 Great
201768/100 Fair
201669/100 Fair
201567/100 Fair
201482/100 Great
201383/100 Great
201283/100 Great

Reliability Compared to Other Fullsize SUVs

ModelReliability 
Mazda CX-94.0 / 5.0
Nissan Armada3.5 / 5.0
Dodge Durango3.5 / 5.0
Jeep Commander3.5 / 5.0
Toyota Sequoia3.5 / 5.0
GMC Yukon3.5 / 5.0
Ford Expedition3.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Avalanche3.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Suburban 15003.0 / 5.0
GMC Yukon XL 15003.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Suburban3.0 / 5.0
GMC Yukon XL3.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Suburban 25002.5 / 5.0
Toyota Land Cruiser2.5 / 5.0
Avg. Fullsize SUV3.0 

The Best and Worst Years of the GMC Yukon

The GMC Yukon has received a low number of complaints throughout its history according to the Car Complaints database which dates back to the vehicle’s debut.

That being said, there are some notable spikes in 2015 and 2007 where the vehicle received 157 and 94 complaints respectively, considering most years were relatively complaint free – we would suggest avoiding these Yukon model years.

According to the Car Complaints’ extensive database, 2015 ranks as the worst model year of the GMC Yukon. Owners reported their tail-lights not working, with an average of $800 to repair, and an average of only 62,000 miles when the problem occurs. 

Other problems found throughout the Yukon’s lifetime include:

  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Engine problems
  • Interior accessory problems
  • A/C malfunctioning
  • Transmission problems

The most recent models years have the lowest number of complaints listed, and hence is a safer choice when looking to purchase. 

Complaints data from Car Complaints:

Model YearNumber of Complaints
20210
20200
20190
20181
201713
201631
2015157
20144
20133
20123
201117
201010
200919
200818
200794
20067
200539
200447
200360
200210
200130
20008
199917
19981

What About Recalls?

The Yukon has been subject to a relatively low number of recalls over the years.

A recall is issued when a manufacturer or the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) deems that a vehicle or one or more of its components creates an unreasonable safety risk or does not meet minimum safety requirements – recall related problems are fixed free of charge.

To find out if your Yukon has been subject to a recall, you can use the recall search bar on the GMC website, by simply entering your vehicle VIN number.

Here is the full list of recalls:

  • 1993: 1 recalls
  • 1994: 4 recalls
  • 1995: 7 recalls
  • 1996: 4 recalls
  • 1997: 1 recalls
  • 1998: 3 recalls
  • 1999: 2 recalls
  • 2000: 9 recalls
  • 2001: 8 recalls
  • 2002: 5 recalls
  • 2003: 6 recalls
  • 2004: 4 recalls
  • 2005: 6 recalls
  • 2006: 3 recalls
  • 2007: 2 recalls 
  • 2008: 2 recalls
  • 2009: 2 recall
  • 2010: 1 recalls
  • 2011: 3 recalls 
  • 2012: 1 recalls
  • 2013: 2 recalls
  • 2014: 2 recalls
  • 2015: 8 recalls
  • 2016: 3 recalls
  • 2017: 1 recalls
  • 2018: 0 recall
  • 2019: 0 recall
  • 2020: 0 recalls
  • 2021:0 recalls

GMC Yukon Model Year List:

Here is a full list of model years for the GMC Yukon:

1st Generation

  • 1993 GMC Yukon
  • 1994 GMC Yukon
  • 1995 GMC Yukon
  • 1996 GMC Yukon
  • 1997 GMC Yukon
  • 1998 GMC Yukon
  • 1999 GMC Yukon

2nd Generation

  • 2000 GMC Yukon
  • 2001 GMC Yukon
  • 2002 GMC Yukon
  • 2003 GMC Yukon
  • 2004 GMC Yukon
  • 2005 GMC Yukon
  • 2006 GMC Yukon

3rd Generation

  • 2007 GMC Yukon
  • 2008 GMC Yukon
  • 2009 GMC Yukon
  • 2010 GMC Yukon
  • 2011 GMC Yukon
  • 2012 GMC Yukon
  • 2013 GMC Yukon
  • 2014 GMC Yukon

4th Generation

  • 2015 GMC Yukon
  • 2016 GMC Yukon
  • 2017 GMC Yukon
  • 2018 GMC Yukon
  • 2019 GMC Yukon
  • 2020 GMC Yukon

5th Generation

  • 2021 GMC Yukon

Is the GMC Yukon Expensive to Maintain? 

The GMC Yukon will cost an average of $747 a year to maintain, with an expected cost of $4,100 over a 5 year period.

ModelAvg. Annual 
Repair Cost
Frequency of
Unscheduled
Repairs (per year)
Probability of
Severe Repairs
Mazda CX-9$5390.610%
Nissan Armada$5500.413%
Dodge Durango$6750.213%
Jeep Commander$6390.415%
Toyota Sequoia$6420.415%
GMC Yukon$7470.316%
Ford Expedition$8610.315%
Chevrolet Avalanche$7000.518%
Chevrolet Suburban 1500$8210.418%
GMC Yukon XL 1500$8520.418%
Chevrolet Suburban$9440.515%
GMC Yukon XL$9340.616%
Chevrolet Suburban 2500$8700.321%
Toyota Land Cruiser$8430.721%
Avg. Fullsize SUV$7840.415%

You may also be interested in our article: how long do Dodge Durango last

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

GMC Yukon brake pads usually last between 30,000 and 40,000 miles.

How you drive your vehicle will play a big part in brake longevity. If you tend to do a lot of stop-and-go driving or are prone to heavy braking then your brakes will need frequent replacement.

Full and complete stops from a high speed are the biggest culprit of premature brake pad wear.

How Long Do the Tires Last?

GMC Yukon tires last up to 3 years, which means an average of 50,000 miles given the 15,000 miles driven per year. 

Maintaining the correct tire pressure will not only keep you safe it will also bolster your tire’s lifespan, the correct pressure for your tires is usually located in the driver’s door jamb.

To ensure even wear of your tires, have them rotated regularly as specified in the owner’s manual or new-tire warranty guidelines, this is usually every 5,000 – 8,000 miles.

How Long Does the Transmission Last?

The transmission on the GMC Yukon is built to last between 130,000 to 180,000 miles without needing replacement, so long as a proper servicing schedule is followed.

Ensure fluid levels are topped up and fix any problems immediately to keep the transmission running smoothly.

How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?

GMC Yukon spark plugs are built to last between 30,000 and 60,000 miles before needing replacement.

Spark plugs are responsible for creating the spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture, causing the explosion which makes the engine produce power.

They are usually inspected and if needed, replaced when you go for a tune up.

How Long Do the Batteries Last?

Yukon batteries should last on average between 3-5 years.

This is dependent on a number of factors such as driving habits and climate.

As a general rule, warmer weather will degrade the battery faster due to sulfation.

Also, long periods of time spent in a discharged state will shorten the life of a battery.

What About Insurance Cost?

The average insurance costs for a GMC Yukon is $190 per month or $2,280  annually according to Finder.

Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your GMC Yukon

  • Observe regular rust-proofing intervals.
  • Avoid over-the-top modifications.
  • Use only high-quality spare parts or after-market attachments.
  • Drive carefully to prolong the life of your tires, brake pads, and to get the best possible longevity.
  • Keep up to date with factory scheduled maintenance.
  • Keep fluids topped up and check fluid levels regularly
  • Check your tire pressures at regular intervals
  • Check engine oil every two weeks
  • If possible, keep the vehicle stored in a garage, out of the elements
  • Use good quality parts and fluids
  • Invest in a ceramic coating to protect against contaminants and minor scratches
  • Consider all rust-proofing options
  • Wash the vehicle regularly particularly when encountering salt and snow
  • Do not overload your vehicle.
  • Do not exceed towing limits

Resources

https://www.carcomplaints.com/GMC/Yukon/2020/

https://www.edmunds.com/gmc/yukon/2021/cost-to-own/

https://repairpal.com/reliability/gmc/yukon

https://www.gmc.com/suvs/yukon/sle-slt

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2021/gmc/yukon