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2018 GMC Yukon Review

The 2018 GMC Yukon comes in near the bottom of our large SUV rankings. It offers a lot of technology, and its highest trim is luxurious. However, the Yukon isn't as spacious or powerful as some of its rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Good handling for a large SUV
  • Smooth ride with upgraded suspension
  • Classy, well-equipped cabin
  • Dull throttle response with base engine
  • Bouncy ride with standard suspension
  • Cramped third row in standard-wheelbase models

New for 2018

  • Denali trim gained 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Minor changes to features and packages
  • Revised grille




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.4
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 GMC Yukon Overview

Is the 2018 GMC Yukon a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 GMC Yukon isn't a bad used large SUV, but it's not great either. Sure, this GMC is big and powerful and has lots of tech features, but most large SUVs can say the same.

Check out the 2018 Yukon's strengths:

  • Lots of standard and available tech features
  • Upscale cabin, especially in the Denali trim
  • Spacious and comfortable first- and second-row seats
  • Lots of cargo space in Yukon XL models
  • Handles well for its size

But take note of its weaknesses:

  • Base engine provides lethargic acceleration
  • Cramped third-row seat and subpar cargo capacity in standard-wheelbase models
  • Lower towing capacity than some competitors
  • More expensive to buy and maintain than rivals
  • Lower predicted reliability rating than competitors (though average for the industry overall)
Why You Can Trust Us

Our GMC Yukon review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 22 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 GMC Yukon?

Based on listings for the 2018 GMC Yukon on our site, the average list price is $51,600, which is above average for the class. Prices range from $42,800 to $65,200 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 GMC Yukon Cost to Own?

The 2018 Yukon’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $30,265, or $6,053 per year. That’s above average for a large SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Yukon?

The 2019 GMC Yukon sports a base price of $49,600, which is about $2,000 less than the average price of a 2018 model. No notable changes were introduced for 2019, meaning it's essentially the same SUV as the 2018 model. With that in mind, you might be able to save some money – or spend the same amount but get more features – by purchasing a used model.

Read about the new GMC Yukon »

Buying an older Yukon may save you even more money, though it may lack some of the features and upgrades found in newer models. The 2018 model gained a 10-speed transmission in the Denali trim but saw only minor changes otherwise. For 2017, GMC added low-speed automatic braking to the Yukon and introduced lane keep assist for 2016.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Yukon »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 GMC Yukon?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 Yukon a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average for the market as a whole but below average for the class.

Read more about Yukon reliability »

2018 GMC Yukon Recalls

At the time of writing, there is one recall for the 2018 GMC Yukon XL:

  • Rear seat belt retractor may not lock

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on GMC Yukon safety recalls »

Which Used GMC Yukon Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 GMC Yukon comes in three trims: SLE, SLT, and Denali. Even the base trim has lots of standard features, making it a fine choice for many buyers. The Denali trim is also worth a look, as it comes with plenty of upgrades like a more powerful V8 engine, extra interior features, and Magnetic Ride Control, which improves ride quality and adapts the vehicle to road conditions.

When the 2018 Yukon was new, every trim was available with the extended wheelbase and four-wheel drive, so you don't have to limit your search if either or both of those interest you.

  • GMC Yukon SLE: The base Yukon SLE comes with a 5.3-liter V8 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and a good number of standard features. All models have a touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a rearview camera, and tri-zone automatic climate control. You may also find models equipped with additional features (items that were optional when the Yukon was new) such as a power liftgate, forward collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and a rear-seat entertainment system.
  • GMC Yukon SLT: The Yukon SLT comes with all the features from the SLE, plus perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a power liftgate, a proximity key, and power-folding second- and third-row seats. Other goodies you might find in some SLT models include a sunroof, a navigation system, a rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.
  • GMC Yukon Denali: The Denali trim is considerably more upscale than the lower trims. It features chrome accents, a revised grille, 20-inch wheels, and woodgrain interior accents. But it’s not all about appearances. The Denali also has a beefy 420-horsepower V8 engine, a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension. Other trim-specific add-ons include an 8-inch driver information display, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system, and a head-up display.

See 2018 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?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Yukon an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. It earned five stars in the side crash test and three stars in the rollover test. Standard Yukon models earned five stars in the frontal crash test, while Yukon XL models earned four stars in the frontal crash test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not put the 2018 Yukon through crash tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • Teen Driver (lets you set limits on speed and audio volume for secondary drivers)

Available advanced safety features:

  • head-up display
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic high-beam headlights
  • lane keep assist
  • low-speed automatic emergency braking
  • safety alert seat
  • adaptive cruise control
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

See Yukon safety scores »

2018 GMC Yukon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 GMC Yukon or 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe?

The 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe is basically the Yukon's twin. Both are made by General Motors, and they have the same engine options, features lists, and cargo capacities. The Yukon is slightly more upscale and offers a long-wheelbase model. There's not a long-wheelbase Tahoe, but the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban is the equivalent of the long-wheelbase Yukon XL. Despite their similarities, the Tahoe has one clear advantage over its GMC rival: It has a much higher predicted reliability rating. Still, the choice here may come down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: 2018 GMC Yukon or 2018 Ford Expedition?

The 2018 Ford Expedition finishes well ahead of the Yukon in our large SUV class rankings. It can tow more than the Yukon, and in standard-wheelbase versions, the Ford has more cargo space. Each SUV offers a long-wheelbase model, and both are similar in terms of cargo space. The Ford has slightly better fuel economy and a much better predicted reliability rating. This is an easy choice. Go with the Expedition.

Compare the Yukon, Tahoe, and Expedition »

2018 Yukon Performance

How Does the 2018 GMC Yukon Drive?

The Yukon gives you a choice between two V8 engines. Both provide plenty of power, but the standard engine doesn't have the same forceful acceleration that you get with the larger available V8. This GMC handles well for such a large vehicle, though it can still be tough to maneuver in tight spots like parking garages. The Yukon's ride quality depends on its suspension. The standard setup leaves this GMC feeling a little jittery over rough roads. Opting for the available Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension noticeably improves ride smoothness.

  • Base engine: 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8
  • Available engine: 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available four-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic with the 355-horsepower engine; 10-speed automatic with the 420-horsepower engine
Does the 2018 GMC Yukon Get Good Gas Mileage?

Gas mileage in the Yukon is a bit better than in some of its competitors. The Yukon's ratings are basically the same regardless of whether you get the standard or extended wheelbase model.

  • 5.3-liter V8, RWD: 16/23 mpg city/highway
  • 5.3-liter V8, 4WD: 16/22 mpg
  • 6.2-liter V8, RWD: 14/23 mpg
  • 6.2-liter V8, 4WD: 14/22 mpg
2018 GMC Yukon Towing Capacity

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

Read more about Yukon performance »

2018 Yukon Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Yukon Seat?

The base 2018 Yukon seats eight people in three rows, but capacity increases to nine with the optional front bench seat and shrinks to seven with the available second-row captain’s chairs. The Yukon's cabin is attractive and more upscale than its rivals’ interiors, and the range-topping Denali trim compares favorably with some luxury large SUVs.

The first two rows of seats are spacious and supportive, and the highly adjustable front seats make it easy to find a suitable driving position. In the standard Yukon, the third row is too cramped for adults, but the long-wheelbase Yukon XL has plenty of head- and legroom in all three rows.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated and ventilated seats
  • heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 GMC Yukon?

The 2018 Yukon XL has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the second-row seats and an upper tether on all three rear seats. The system earns the second-highest rating of Acceptable from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for ease of use. The lower anchors are tough to maneuver around, and the tether anchors are difficult to find.

2018 GMC Yukon Features

The Yukon comes with many standard features, including plenty of connectivity options. The IntelliLink infotainment system works well. Its touch screen, which controls most functions, has sharp graphics and intuitive menu layouts, and it's easy to reach from the driver's seat.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, USB ports, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, a 10-speaker surround-sound system, and a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system
  • Additional standard features: remote start, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a 110-volt household-style power outlet
  • Other available features: push-button start, a proximity key, wireless device charging, and a sunroof

See 2018 GMC Yukon specs »

Read more about Yukon interior »

2018 GMC Yukon Dimensions

GMC Yukon Cargo Space

Standard Yukon models offer 15.3 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, 51.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 94.7 cubic feet with all rear seats folded. Most other large SUVs have higher capacities. Fortunately, you can step up to the long-wheelbase Yukon XL model. It gives you 39.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats, 76.7 cubic feet behind the second row, and 121.7 cubic feet behind the first row. Those are above-average totals for the class.

There's hidden storage space beneath the cargo floor, but it also creates a high liftover height that can make it more difficult to load and unload heavy objects. Power-folding second- and third-row seats and a hands-free liftgate are available.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 GMC Yukon Length and Weight
  • Length: 17 feet to 18 feet, 8 inches
  • Curb weight: 5,379 to 5,965 pounds

Where Was the 2018 GMC Yukon Built?

GMC built the Yukon in Texas.

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