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2016 GMC Yukon Review

The 2016 GMC Yukon stacks up well to most rivals. However, its reliability rating is low for the class, keeping it in the middle of our large SUV rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Luxe interior
  • Brawny V8 engines
  • Comfortable, controlled ride
  • Limited cargo room in standard-wheelbase models
  • Lower reliability rating than rivals

New for 2016

  • Lane keep assist now available
  • Updated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay

Rankings & Awards

The 2016 GMC Yukon's #3 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Affordable Large SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2016 Best Large SUV for Families award. Currently the GMC Yukon has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 16 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.7
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 GMC Yukon Overview

Is the 2016 GMC Yukon a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Yukon is a fine pick among truck-based large SUVs. With standard- and long-wheelbase (Yukon XL) models as well as a range of trims – including the luxurious Denali – you’ll likely find a Yukon that fits your needs. All Yukon models have potent V8 engines, comfortable rides, and feature-filled, upscale interiors.

Why You Can Trust Us

To help you decide if the GMC Yukon is the right SUV for you, we've gathered and analyzed 16 professional reviews. We've also included information about the Yukon's fuel economy, safety, and much more to give you an idea of the Yukon's strengths and weaknesses.

The U.S. News Best Cars staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry, and we've been ranking the best vehicles since 2007. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and the ads on our site are placed and sold by a third party.

How Much Is the 2016 GMC Yukon?

Based on more than 900 listing on our site, you can expect to pay between $38,000 and $59,000 for the standard-wheelbase Yukon. The average list price is $49,300. Extended-wheelbase Yukon XL models have an average price of $50,200 and range from $39,000 up to $60,000. A vehicle’s condition, mileage, and location can all affect its price.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 GMC Yukon Cost to Own?

Fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2016 Yukon will cost you around $28,600 over five years, or around $5,700 per year. The Chevrolet Suburban and Chevrolet Tahoe are based on the same platform as the Yukon, and they have comparable expenses. The Ford Expedition costs less to run.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Yukon?

The average price of a used 2016 Yukon is nearly identical to the base MSRP of the new 2018 Yukon. At first glance, you might think you should go for the new model, but that may not be the most frugal move. The average used 2016 Yukon is probably not a base model, which means it likely has many more features than the comparably priced base model from 2018. The new Yukon adds a few features that are unavailable for 2016, and it has a new car warranty to cover any defects.

Read about the new GMC Yukon »

Most large SUVs, including the 2018 Chevy Tahoe, 2018 Ford Expedition, and 2018 Toyota Sequoia, have base prices that roughly line up with the average price of a used Yukon. Remember these are base models, which may have fewer features than a used Yukon. Buyers who want a more feature-filled 3-row SUV and don't need quite as much cargo space or towing capability may want to consider a crossover like the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, 2018 Honda Pilot, 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, or 2018 GMC Acadia. These models all have much lower starting prices. That means you could get a well-equipped new crossover SUV with multiple option packages for the same money as a used 2016 Yukon.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 GMC Yukon?

The Yukon has a reliability score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is a bit lower than the scores earned by most large SUVs.

Read more about Yukon reliability »

2016 GMC Yukon Recalls

At the time of writing, there are three recalls on the 2016 Yukon. Two recalls address a problem with the front airbags potentially failing to deploy in an accident. The third recall involves insufficient welds on front control arms, which could lead to a loss of steering. Be sure these issues have been resolved before you buy a used 2016 Yukon.

See more information on GMC Yukon safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the GMC Yukon Is Best?

The Yukon was last fully redesigned for the 2015 model year. The 2016 model has an updated infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and lane keep assist. Those are the only differences between the two model years. If you can live without those features, you may want to consider a lower-priced 2015 model. 2013 and 2014 Yukon models are part of the previous generation, which has different styling and features, lower fuel economy estimates, but higher reliability rating.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Yukon »

Which Used GMC Yukon Model Is Right for Me?

The base SLE trim is the best value in the Yukon lineup. It has the lowest price and a long list of standard features, like tri-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a Wi-Fi hot spot, an 8-inch infotainment system, and a Bose audio system. The SLT adds several driver assistance systems, power-adjustable pedals, and a power liftgate. The Denali trim has a more potent V8 engine, adaptive suspension, and heated second-row captain's chairs.

See 2016 GMC Yukon trims and specs »

What Does GMC's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

GMC offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned models, GMC extends its original new-car limited powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date. CPO models also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Qualifying vehicles also get free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles. 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.

According to our analysis, GMC has a decent CPO program compared with other affordable car manufacturers.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Yukon?

Like many competitors, the Yukon did well in most crash tests. However, its poor performance in the rollover test (three out of five stars) kept it from earning a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The Yukon comes standard with a rearview camera as well as front and rear parking sensors. Available safety features include forward collision warning, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and a safety alert seat that vibrates if one of the safety systems detects a hazard.

See Yukon safety scores »

2016 GMC Yukon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 GMC Yukon or 2016 Chevrolet Suburban?

The Chevrolet Suburban is essentially a Yukon XL with a Chevy badge. It has the same engine, interior features, and gas mileage. The Yukon comes out on top in reliability and safety, however, so it's the better buy.

Which Is Better: 2016 GMC Yukon or 2016 Cadillac Escalade?

Just as the Chevy Suburban and Yukon XL are mechanical twins, the Cadillac Escalade shares much in common with the Yukon Denali. The Escalade has the Yukon Denali's larger V8 engine, adaptive suspension, and many of the same features. As a true luxury vehicle, the Escalade has more features, like massaging front seats, a cooled center console, and premium leather interior trim. While these are nice features to have, they don’t justify the Escalade's substantially higher price. Stick with the Yukon Denali.

Which Is Better: 2016 GMC Yukon or 2016 Ford Expedition?

The Ford Expedition may have a better towing capacity and higher reliability ratings than the Yukon, but it trails the GMC in nearly every other way. The Expedition gets lower fuel economy estimates, and its cabin is fitted with low-rent plastics on most surfaces. The Ford also has significantly fewer standard features than the Yukon.

Compare the Yukon, Suburban, and Escalade »

2016 Yukon Performance

How Does the 2016 GMC Yukon Drive?

The Yukon rides comfortably and is fairly easy to maneuver, despite its large size. This body-on-frame SUV comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine that has plenty of power for hauling full loads. Yukon Denali models have an even more potent 6.2-liter V8 engine. Both engines are generally quiet, except when you press the accelerator hard. An automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while four-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2016 GMC Yukon Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Yukon gets up to 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, which is typical for a large SUV.

2016 GMC Yukon Towing Capacity

The Yukon can tow up to 8,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Yukon performance »

2016 Yukon Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Yukon Seat?

The Yukon’s cabin is upscale, with soft materials everywhere you touch and metal and wood trim covering some surfaces. Yukon Denali models are especially upscale; their interiors rival those of many luxury SUV competitors. The Yukon has seating for up to nine when properly equipped. The first- and second-row seats offer plenty of space for adults, but the third row is only roomy enough for kids. However, the third-row seats in extended-wheelbase Yukon XL models are adult-friendly.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 GMC Yukon?

There are full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on each of the second-row seats and upper tethers on each of the third-row seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Yukon's LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable.

2016 GMC Yukon Features

The Yukon comes standard with a long list of tech features, including a Bose audio system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and an 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay. The infotainment system is easy to use, with intuitive menus and a straightforward control layout. The screen can be slow to respond to inputs. Physical controls for climate and audio are easy to reach and logically arranged.

See 2016 GMC Yukon specs »

Read more about Yukon interior »

2016 GMC Yukon Dimensions

GMC Yukon Cargo Space

The standard-length Yukon has less overall cargo space than most large SUV rivals. It provides 15.3 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, 51.7 behind the second row, and 94.7 with both rear rows folded. Extended-wheelbase XL models have up to 121.1 cubic feet of space, which is more than nearly every rival.

2016 Yukon Length and Weight

The standard-wheelbase Yukon is nearly 17 feet long, while extended-wheelbase XL models are nearly 19 feet long. The Yukon's curb weight ranges from 5,308 pounds for a standard-wheelbase model with rear-wheel drive, up to 6,009 pounds for a Denali XL model with four-wheel drive.

Where Was the 2016 GMC Yukon Built?

The 2016 Yukon was assembled in Arlington, Texas.

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Yukon Shoppers Should Also Consider...

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