Unlike some previous GM hybrids, the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid is a full-fledged hybrid capable of running only on electric power.
The GMC Yukon Hybrid 2008 features "a 6.0-liter V8 engine coupled to a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors" that Edmunds states "produce 322 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that reviewers love the new hybrid system, which USA Today says "works well in city and highway use, instead of favoring one, as rival systems do." Kelley Blue Book finds that "the shift between electric power and the gasoline engine is seamless," and the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid's "Active Fuel Management" system switches "from eight cylinders to four" when cruising. In terms of acceleration, Edmunds reviewers write that "although the Hybrid is the most powerful Yukon available, it's also the heaviest, so don't expect particularly brisk acceleration." Still, for a hybrid vehicle, the GMC Yukon Hybrid 2008 is a very capable work machine, and Edmunds notes "maximum towing capacity for a properly equipped 4WD model is 6,000 pounds."
Along with one engine and motor set, the GMC Yukon Hybrid 2008 comes with one transmission option, though that transmission is quite complicated. Kelley Blue Book says that GM calls the system an "Electrically Variable Transmission," and Edmunds declares that the system is "essentially like having two transmissions inside one -- continuously variable drive for light load conditions and fixed-ratio for high load conditions." While most reviewers appreciate the smooth operation, USA Today writes, "when going to wide-open throttle, as when merging on a fast-moving interstate, the GMC tester held the engine at high revs -- 5,000 to 5,500 rpm -- an unusually long time before shifting into another gear." They elaborate on this phenomenon by reasoning that "it could be because the transmission was switching from conventional four-speed automatic mode" to the "variable-ratio that's part of the hybrid setup." Edmunds reviewers also report that "the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid is available with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive."
Fuel economy on the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid is, understandably, one of the most appealing features on this 2008 GMC SUV. Car and Driver says that the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid boasts "mpg gains of up to 25%" over traditional Yukon models. The official EPA estimates for the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid are 21 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for 2WD models, while the 4WD offers 20 mpg both in the city and on the highway.
Ride and handling on the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid are impressive for a large SUV. Reviewers are unanimously impressed by what ForbesAutos calls "a responsive suspension setup," which "delivers a fairly smooth ride with handling that's more composed than you might expect from a vehicle of this size and weight." Car and Driver also lists the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid's "refined ride" as one of its greatest attributes. Heaping on additional praise is USA Today, which writes that the 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid boasts the "same nimble feel and tight turning circle that allow all GM biggies to drive as if they're midsize." Even the braking on this big sport ute wins favor with reviewers, as Edmunds finds that "the regenerative braking system produces a firm braking feel and, according to GM, actually stops the big SUV better than the regular Yukon's conventional brakes do."