- Lots of choice
- more premium look than the Chevy
- Serious truck-based SUV capabilities
- Access to tight third-row seats
- Ride height is high
There's not a better-looking Chevrolet Tahoe than the 2008 GMC Yukon Denali.
Like the Chevy Tahoe with which it shares a platform, the GMC Yukon was completely revised for the 2007 model year; they continue into 2008 with minor changes.
The 2008 GMC Yukon family is big, so we'll try our best to help you keep them straight: The standard Yukon rides on a 116-inch wheelbase, with an overall length of 202 inches. Extended-wheelbase Yukon XL models have exterior dimensions similar to the regular models, but are about 14 inches longer in wheelbase and 20 inches longer in overall length. That extra length and wheelbase gets you a roomier interior that can be stuffed with more gear.
Both Yukon and Yukon XL are available in SLE (cloth trim) and SLT trim (leather appointments), in either rear- or four-wheel-drive configurations. A third-row seat is standard on Yukon XL models and available on the Yukon.
Regular 2008 GMC Yukon models offer standard 4.8-liter (295 horsepower), 5.3-liter (310 or 320 horsepower), and 6.0-liter (366 horsepower) V-8s with four-speed automatic transmissions. E85/flex-fuel capability is offered with the 5.3-liter V-8 engine. Yukon XL models get a six-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, equipment highlights include standard traction and stability control, as well as curtain airbags. Base SLE models get a new split front bench seat.
If you want a more luxurious and exclusive SUV but not all of the bling (and baggage that goes with "the look") of a Cadillac Escalade, check out the 2008 Yukon Denali. The Denali and Denali XL models share the basic Yukon specifications but come standard with more luxury features, as well as a standard 6.2-liter, 380-horsepower V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. For the first part of 2008, Denali models feature all-wheel drive, but later in 2008, rear-drive versions will be available.
The editors of TheCarConnection.com have driven almost every version and powertrain configuration that one can find in a GMC Yukon. These are impressive truck-based SUVs that offer great towing and hauling capabilities. That said, if you're only moving people around, you might prefer something more efficient, such as a Mazda CX-9.
If your favorite color is green, you can pony up some additional greenbacks to drive the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid, an interesting study in the melding of enhanced efficiencies and environmentalism.
When facing off against the two full-size SUV imports, a properly equipped 2008 GMC Yukon can tow four tons, besting the Toyota Sequoia and Nissan Armada in this important category. These imports are both larger than the Yukon and Yukon Denali, but not quite as enormous as the long-wheelbase Yukon XL and Denali XL.