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2013 GMC Yukon Review

The smooth, comfortable 2013 GMC Yukon places near the top of our full-size SUV ranking. It has seating for up to nine people, a long list of standard features, and an excellent towing capacity.

Pros & Cons

  • Intuitive navigation system
  • Authoritative acceleration in Denali models
  • Outstanding cargo capacity in XL models
  • Disappointing material quality in Denali models
  • Third row must be removed to maximize cargo space




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 GMC Yukon Overview

Is the 2013 GMC Yukon a Good Used SUV?

If you need a large family vehicle that can double as a workhorse, the GMC Yukon is a good choice. In addition to its well-equipped base models, this 3-row SUV is also available as the upscale Yukon Denali and the Suburban-length Yukon XL. There’s even a more efficient Yukon Hybrid, which we review separately.  

Used 2013 GMC Yukon Performance and Interior

Three available V8 engines move the Yukon with ease, even while towing a heavy trailer. With GM's cylinder deactivation technology, the Yukon achieves good gas mileage for the class, at 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Its small turning radius and smooth ride make it an easygoing family vehicle. Tow hooks are standard and a four-wheel-drive system is available for off-road adventures.

Read more about Yukon performance »

Yukon models seat seven to nine people, depending on if it has a front-row bench or second-row captain's chairs instead of the standard seats. Third-row legroom is tight in the regular body type, but the extended-length Yukon XL models alleviate this issue by adding enough room that even adults fit. The standard fixed steps and available power-retractable steps are a welcome addition for climbing aboard with ease. There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors, as well as a tether anchor in the second row and two tether-only connections in the third row.

Audio and climate controls are straightforward, and the optional navigation system is one of the best among 2013 large SUVs. A nine-speaker Bose sound system comes standard, along with Bluetooth for hands-free phone connectivity. Most say the interior design is handsome. However, some lament that the Yukon Denali doesn't feel as high class as some rivals. Cargo room is average with the standard-wheelbase model and superb with the extended-body Yukon. One downside is that you have to remove the heavy third-row seats for maximum storage space.

Read more about Yukon interior »

Used 2013 GMC Yukon Prices

Average prices range from $21,700 for the base GMC Yukon SLE, up to $28,200 for the top-of-the-line GMC Yukon Denali. These estimates are for models with rear-wheel drive. Expect to pay about $1,500 more for a four-wheel drive SLE or SLT, or $2,800 more for a Denali AWD. Dealer prices also range depending on a vehicle's mileage, condition, features, and demand.

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We Did the Research for You: 67 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible, whether you plan to buy from a dealership or a private party. You'll find everything you need to know in our comprehensive GMC Yukon review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 67 professional reviews.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 GMC Yukon?

The 2013 Yukon is expected to be more reliable than a Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition. It has a reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is slightly above average for a used vehicle.

See Yukon reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Yukon?

Both the Yukon and the Yukon XL have an overall safety rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earned the highest scores for front and side crash tests, and three stars in rollover testing. Optional safety features include intelligent brake assist, OnStar automatic crash response, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera.

See Yukon safety scores »

Is the 2013 Yukon the Best Model Year to Buy?

GMC made a few minor changes to the Yukon before a full redesign for 2015. These include a suite of options added for 2012 and a standard rearview camera for 2014. The final three model years of this generation are relatively similar. That means you can save around $3,300 by purchasing a 2012 Yukon instead of a 2013, and still get a similar vehicle.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Yukon »

Which Used GMC Yukon Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Yukon comes with a V8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and three drivetrain options: rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive (Denali only). The extended-wheelbase Yukon XL body type adds more than 9 inches of third-row legroom, and almost triples the cargo area behind the third row.

The two lower trims are powered by a 320-horsepower V8. Standard features on the GMC Yukon SLE include tri-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons, cloth upholstery, and power-adjustable front seats. If you prefer to keep your price tag and amenities slim, the SLE is a great option.

For an SUV that's a little more luxurious, consider the Yukon's two upper trim levels. The GMC Yukon SLT adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, remote start with keyless entry, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors. For most, this trim presents an optimal blend of features and price.

With its extensive list of amenities, the GMC Yukon Denali is the most luxurious of the bunch.  Perforated leather upholstery is standard, with cooled front seats, and heated seats in the first two rows. The middle-row bench seat is replaced by a set of power-folding second-row captain's chairs with leather upholstery. A navigation system with a touch-screen display, power-adjustable pedals, and a power-operated liftgate are also standard. The Denali is the most powerful edition in this lineup, and it’s available with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

A certified pre-owned vehicle provides additional peace of mind. For all of its CPO models, GMC extends its original new-car limited powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. GMC CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read GMC’s warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the GMC certified pre-owned program »

2013 GMC Yukon and Other SUVs to Consider

General Motors has quite a few large SUVs to choose from, and deciphering the differences can be difficult. Aside from pricing and packaging, all four SUVs compared below are near equals. That leaves you with plenty of latitude to pick the best one for you.

Which Is Better: 2013 GMC Yukon or 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe?

You can save around $1,400 on the Chevrolet Tahoe, our pick as the 2013 Best Large SUV for the Money. While the Tahoe costs less, you may have to give up niceties like a premium sound system and tri-zone automatic climate control, which are standard on the Yukon but not on the Tahoe.

Which Is Better: 2013 GMC Yukon or 2013 Chevrolet Suburban?

The dimensions of a Chevrolet Suburban are almost identical to those of the Yukon XL. That translates to roomier third-row seating and a generously sized cargo bay, even when all seats are in use.

Which Is Better: 2013 GMC Yukon or 2013 Cadillac Escalade?

If you want an SUV that's even more opulent than a Yukon Denali, the Cadillac Escalade is a good pick. Its first-class features include leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, and a Bose surround sound system. The Escalade also has a higher reliability rating than the Yukon.

Compare the Yukon, Tahoe, and Escalade »


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