The GMC Yukon is a full-size SUV marketed exclusively to North America and the Middle East by General Motors. The Yukon replaced the second-generation GMC Jimmy (K5) as Big Red’s body-on-frame SUV.
The first-generation GMC Yukon was introduced in 1991 as a 1992 model year vehicle, three years before the Chevrolet Tahoe. Notably, this generation was the only generation in which a Yukon could be optioned with two doors.
The first-gen Yukon, as well as the Chevrolet Tahoe, rode on the GMT400 platform. The Chevrolet Suburban also used this vehicle platform. Despite the shared platform, the Yukon and Tahoe were significantly shorter in length than the Suburban. Production took place at assembly plants internationally, including the GM Arlington plant in Texas, the GM Janesville plant in Wisconsin, the GM Silao plant in Mexico, the GM Cordoba plant in Argentina and the GM Valencia plant in Venezuela.
General Motors never gave the first-gen Yukon a mid-cycle refresh but did introduce a few updates every year. Notably, the first-ever Denali model was introduced in the form of the 1999 Yukon.
As for powertrain, the 1992 Yukon was equipped as standard with the 5.7L LO5 V8 gasoline engine, while 1996 and onward models received the updated 5.7L L31 V8 gasoline engine. Additionally, the turbocharged 6.5L Detroit Diesel V8 engine was only available for two-door models with 4WD. The GM four-speed automatic transmission or five-speed manual transmission were the only transmission options.
In regards to output, the LO5 V8 produced 200 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the L31 V8 developed 255 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque, and the Detroit Diesel churned out 180 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque.
Production spanned from model years 1992 to 1999, while the 1999 Yukon had a trim lineup that ranged from Base, SLT, SLE and Denali.
The second-generation GMC Yukon debuted for the 2000 model year. Based on the GMT800 platform, this generation of the Yukon received a complete overhaul over the preceding model, including softer, more aerodynamic styling features and an interior overhaul.
For the 2003 model year, the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe received a mid-cycle refresh. This revision included new safety features, new radio system, a redesigned instrument cluster, and a updated steering wheel, as well as minor electrical and powertrain updates.
Speaking of powertrain, the second-gen Yukon introduced two new engines, the 4.8L LR4 V8 gasoline engine and the 5.3L LM7 V8 gasoline. While smaller then the outgoing 5.7L Small Block, both engines produced more power, albeit less torque as well.
The 4.8L LR4 was rated at 285 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.3L LM7 was rated at 295 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque.
Production of the second-gen GMC Yukon spanned from the 2000 to 2006 model years, while the trim lineup on the 2006 Yukon ranged from SL, SLE, SLT and Denali.
The third-generation GMC Yukon launched in late 2005 as a 2007 model year vehicle. This generation Yukon rode on the GMT900 platform, and had a much more angular design theme as compared to the second-gen Yukon, as well as a significantly redesigned interior.
Production of the third-generation Yukon began early 2006 at the GM Arlington plant in Texas, later following suit at the GM Janesville plant in Wisconsin, GM Kaliningrad plant in Russia, and GM Valencia plant in Venezuela.
The 2010 GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe saw a relatively mild mid-cycle refresh, with a slightly raised front bumper, revised interior door trimmings, and improved safety with side torso airbags and optional side blind zone alert.
As for powertrain, the third-gen Yukon saw a bump in fuel economy to the tune of the 2 to 3 mpg thanks to the addition of Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology. The 4.8L LY2 V8 was standard from model years 2007 to 2009 and produced 295 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.3L LY5 V8 lasted the entire model run, and developed 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque.
From model years 2011 to 2014, the GMC Yukon Denali was available with the 6.2L L92 V8 gasoline engine. First offered in the 2007 Cadillac Escalade, this all-aluminum powerplant churned out 403 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque.
Starting with the 2008 model year, the third-gen Yukon was also offered as a hybrid. This model featured the shared GM / Chrysler Advanced Hybrid System 2, which combined the 6.0L LFA V8 gasoline engine with two supplemental electric motors. The 6.0L LFA produced 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque alone, while the electric motors brought total output to 379 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque.
Production of the third-generation GMC Yukon spanned from the 2007 to 2014 model years, while the trim lineup on the 2014 Yukon ranged from SLE, SLT and Denali.
The fourth-generation GMC Yukon debuted in February 2014 as a 2015 model year vehicle, and rode on the GM K2XX platform (K2UC for Tahoe and K2UG for Yukon). This generation of the Yukon saw an overall improvement in aerodynamics and efficiency, as well as entirely different sheetmetal from its GMC Sierra brethren. On the interior, passenger space was increased, and fold-flat second- and third-row seats were now standard affair. Additionally, all Yukon models received an eight-inch diagonal color touch screen radio with enhanced IntelliLink and available navigation.
Overall, this generation of Yukon increased the general daily livability of Big Red’s full-size SUV.
General Motors never gave the fourth-gen Yukon a mid-cycle refresh but did introduce a few updates every year of production.
Production of the fourth-gen Yukon began in December 2013 at the GM Arlington plant in Texas. These first vehicles were used for testing purposes, as the Yukon officially arrived on dealership lots in February the following year.
In the powertrain department, the fourth-generation GMC Yukon was standard with the 5.3L L83 V8 gasoline engine, rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, throughout its entire production run. It’s worth noting that this engine produced more power when fed flex fuel, boosting output to the tune of 376 horsepower and 416 pound-feet of torque.
Available from model years 2015 to 2020, and exclusively on the Denali trim level, was the 6.2L L87 V8, rated 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. As for drivetrain options, most models utilized the GM six-speed automatic transmission, while the Denali trim level featured the GM eight-speed automatic transmission.
Production of the fourth-gen GMC Yukon spanned from the 2015 to 2020 model years, while the trim lineup on the 2020 Yukon ranged from SLE, SLT Standard Edition, SLT and Denali.
The fifth-generation GMC Yukon was unveiled in Vail, Colorado on January 14th, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this next-gen Yukon didn’t begin production at the GM Arlington plant in Texas until May 18th 2020, and arrived on dealership lots in June 2020.
The fifth-gen Yukon rides on the GM T1 platform, which it shares with the Sierra 1500. However, this generation of GMC’s full-size SUV is noted for the introduction of an independent rear multilink suspension setup with coil springs over the pickups live axle and leaf spring setup. This new suspension system improved ride quality, as well as created more room in the cargo area and for second- and third-rowing seating.
The fifth-gen Yukon retains much of the preceding Yukon’s boxy styling, albeit with a more rounded design. On the inside, the interior has been completely overhauled, with a standard 10.25-inch infotainment screen, as well as a driver-centered steering wheel. An Air Ride Adaptive Suspension system is standard affair on higher trim levels.
In regards to engine options, the fifth-generation GMC Yukon has three powerplant choices. These include the naturally aspirated 5.3L V8 L84 gasoline engine, rated at 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 L87 gasoline engine, rated at 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and the 3.0L I6 LM2 turbodiesel Duramax, rated at 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
Production of the fifth-gen Yukon is currently ongoing, and the trim lineup of the current 2023 Yukon ranges from SLE, SLT, AT4, Denali and Denali Ultimate.
More GMC Yukon Resources
Follow these links for more GMC Yukon information:
- 2014 GMC Yukon & Yukon XL
- 2015 GMC Yukon
- 2017 GMC Yukon Family
- 2018 GMC Yukon
- 2018 GMC Yukon Changes, Updates, New Features
- 2018 GMC Yukon Colors
- 2018 GMC Yukon Denali Changes, Updates, New Features
- 2018 GMC Yukon Lineup
- 2018 GMC Yukon Order Guide
- 2019 GMC Yukon
- 2019 GMC Yukon Changes, Updates, New Features
- 2019 GMC Yukon Colors
- 2019 GMC Yukon Denali Colors
- 2019 GMC Yukon Exterior Colors
- 2019 GMC Yukon Interior Colors
- 2019 GMC Yukon XL Colors
- 2019 GMC Yukon Order Guide
- 2020 GMC Yukon
- 2021 GMC Yukon
- 2023 GMC Yukon
- 2024 GMC Yukon
- GMC Yukon And Yukon XL Sales Numbers
- GMC Yukon AT4
- GMC Yukon Sales Numbers
- GMC Yukon XL Sales Numbers