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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
Five stars, front and side impacts; three stars, rollover rating
Yukon comes fully equipped with dual-stage front air bags
Rollover mitigation technology that can deploy the vehicle's head-curtain airbags before a crash occurs
The 2008 GMC Yukon is a true safety standout, with only one noteworthy blemish on its crash-test ratings. It also offers a wealth of safety features and impressive driver visibility.
Few vehicles on the road today can match the 2008 GMC Yukon when it comes to occupant protection during a crash, and none can exceed it, at least according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). After conducting its full battery of crash tests, the NHTSA awarded the GMC Yukon 2008 XL Denali a perfect five-star rating for all impact protections. That includes five-star ratings for GMC Yukon 2008 driver and passenger protection during front impacts, as well as five stars for occupant protection during impacts on either side. The only blemish on the GMC Yukon 2008 safety record comes in the rollover category, where the NHTSA gives the Yukon Denali XL only three out of a possible five stars. While this score is somewhat disappointing, it is rare for a full-size SUV to score well in the rollover category. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the other major crash-test authority in the United States, has not yet had a chance to try out the GMC Yukon 2008.
Aside from very high crash-test ratings, the 2008 GMC Yukon rates well in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com when it comes to safety features. ForbesAutos reviewers say that "stability control is standard" on the Yukon Denali, and it now "incorporates rollover mitigation technology that can deploy the vehicle's head-curtain airbags before a crash occurs." Cars.com further notes that the GMC Yukon 2008 rollover prevention system "senses when the vehicle is likely to tip, then triggers the stability system in an attempt to prevent it," and "to date, only Ford Motor Company's Roll Stability Control feature can sense that a rollover has begun and attempt to forestall it." Other standard safety features on the 2008 GMC Yukon Denali XL include "dual-stage front air bags" and "side-curtain airbags," along with "rear park assist" and "OnStar, GM's hands-free, in-vehicle communications assistance program," according to J.D. Power. ConsumerGuide also mentions that all 2008 GMC Yukon models come standard with an "antiskid system," a "tire-pressure monitor," and "daytime running lights."
One other characteristic of the 2008 GMC Yukon XL Denali that improves overall safety is its commendable driver visibility. As mentioned earlier, ForbesAutos reviewers are pleased to find that the "instrument panel is positioned lower for easier visibility, particularly for shorter drivers," and other reviewers mention the impressive visibility as well. Furthermore, for tight parking situations, the 2008 GMC Yukon XL Denali offers "rear park assist" as a standard feature; a "rearview camera" can be equipped as well, according to Edmunds.
Safety is clearly a priority on the 2008 GMC Yukon, and this big SUV scores well in almost any safety category.