2023 GMC Yukon

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
July 21, 2022

Buying tip

The 2023 GMC Yukon works well in SLT trim, but we can’t blame you for stepping up to the Denali for its slick interior.

features & specs

2WD 4-Door Denali
2WD 4-Door SLE
2WD 4-Door SLT
14 city / 20 hwy
15 city / 20 hwy
15 city / 20 hwy

The 2023 GMC Yukon is a big SUV with flagship-grade tech, especially in tony—and expensive—Denali guise.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 GMC Yukon? What does it compare to?

The 2023 GMC Yukon is a full-size SUV available in standard and extra-long Yukon XL guise, with a lineup that includes the off-roady AT4 trim and the ritzy Denali edition. The Yukon rivals the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, plus its corporate cousins badged as the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and Cadillac Escalade.

Is the 2023 GMC Yukon a good SUV?

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A strong choice overall, the 2023 GMC Yukon serves up impressive refinement, towing capability, and comfort all wrapped up in a luxurious package. It’s a 6.3 on the TCC scale, at least until we know more about its crash-test record. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2023 GMC Yukon?

A new Denali Ultimate trim level pushes the range-topping version of the Yukon even closer to Escalade levels with its dressier cabin, additional seat adjustment, and available Super Cruise hands-free driver-assistance tech.

The Yukon comes in two basic flavors: big and bigger, also known as Yukon XL. All wear roughly the same lines, including a blocky, tall grille surrounded by C-shape headlights with plenty of LEDs. From the side, they’re more conservative than their GMC and Chevy siblings—something we don’t mind. 

They’re even better inside— especially in Denali trim, which has its own dash design. All have a 10.2-inch infotainment system that can run a full, desktop-style version of Google Maps. 

Less high-tech are the engine options, though they’re plenty smooth. Look for a 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 in most versions, though a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 and a torque-heavy 3.0-liter turbodiesel 6-cylinder are optional. All versions use a 10-speed automatic transmission and most offer a choice between rear- or four-wheel drive. 

A fully independent suspension delivers a plush ride, even in woodsy AT4 guise. That model offers impressive off-road chops, so long as you can find a trail wide enough. 

The diesel version provides the best fuel economy at 22 to 23 combined, but V-8s check in around 16 mpg combined. There is currently no Yukon hybrid.

It may not be frugal, but the Yukon is certainly comfortable. Its cabin serves up impressive space for as many as nine adults, though most models leave the Texas factory with room for seven or eight. XL versions have massive second-row leg room and even their third rows can accommodate adults, while the cargo area swallows plenty of luggage. Just measure your garage first; the Yukon XL is nearly 19 feet long. 

Automatic emergency braking comes standard, while a wide array of driver-assistance tech is on the options list. Disconcertingly, the Yukon range earns a somewhat unusual four stars from the NHTSA for its crashworthiness. 

How much does the 2023 GMC Yukon cost?

The GMC Yukon starts around $55,000 and climbs quickly from there. While the best tech comes on the Denali trim for upward of $75,000, most buyers will find the $64,000 or so Yukon SLT to offer a nice balance. 

Where is the 2023 GMC Yukon made?

In Arlington, Texas.


2023 GMC Yukon


The 2022 GMC Yukon is like wearing a suit over full football pads.

Is the GMC Yukon a good-looking SUV?

While not conventionally gorgeous, the Yukon wears tough, rugged lines and offers plenty of differentiation between its myriad trim levels. It’s nice inside and out, especially when dressed up in Denali guise. 

We rate it an 8 out of 10. 

The 2023 GMC Yukon comes in two basic forms: standard-length and extended Yukon, which adds 15 inches aft of the front doors. Regardless of length, these SUVs have a simple two-box shape with a tall, imposing grille flanked by headlights with C-shape accents. The roof line tapers slightly as it heads toward an integrated spoiler over the tailgate. Unlike some other GM SUVs, the Yukon sticks with circular wheel arches rather than rounded-off squares. 

Every version except the off-roady AT4 has no shortage of chrome, though Denalis dip their toes into the shiny end of the pool far more than others. 

Inside, it’s a tale of two Yukons. SLE, SLT, and AT4 trims have a simpler look with a high-mounted 10.2-inch touchscreen. The Denali’s cabin is swathed in soothing tones, and its dash channels luxury sedans more than work trucks. It’s worth a look, especially if you’ve added a bunch of options to an SLT.

Review continues below


2023 GMC Yukon


The 2023 GMC Yukon is no slouch, and it offers up a buttery smooth ride with the optional air suspension.

The 2023 GMC Yukon rates 7 out of 10 on the TCC scale for its performance, with points above average for its towing confidence and its comfortable ride. 

Is the GMC Yukon 4WD?

It can be. GMC offers four-wheel drive on all trims, though it’s standard on the AT4. An optional electronic limited-slip differential improves traction on slippery terrain and is worth seeking out if you live in a snowy, rainy, or muddy area. 

How fast is the GMC Yukon?

It can be downright quick, even with the base 5.3-ltier V-8. That engine is rated at 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, and it’s strong enough to lug up to 8,400 lb in certain configurations. The optional 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 available in higher-trim versions furnishes more power for truly effortless acceleration, but it’s not rated to tow any more weight. Still, the melodic burble it emits may be worth the price of admission on its own.

An optional 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 delivers the best fuel economy, but it can be sluggish from a stop and there’s no tow-rating advantage. It’s worth a look, if long-distance highway driving is your primary reason for considering a Yukon.

No matter the engine, all Yukon models furnish a fantastic ride with decent handling by hefty SUV standards. The fully independent suspension can be upgraded with air springs and adaptive dampers that will raise or lower the vehicle while simultaneously canceling out the huge 22-inch wheels available on higher-trim Denali versions. 

Similarly, the Yukon is a master at maintaining its lane on the highway. This year’s addition of Super Cruise only augments its highway credentials. 

Review continues below


2023 GMC Yukon

Comfort & Quality

In either standard or XL length, the 2023 GMC Yukon has a massive and massively comfortable cabin.

The 2023 GMC Yukon comes in two configurations, which can accommodate as many as nine passengers. Most models will come with front bucket seats and either a three-piece second-row bench or individual captain’s chairs with a narrow walk-through, plus third-row seating for three.

With its impressive interior space for humans and their gear, the Yukon rates 9 out of 10. Denali versions could tickle a 10 thanks to their upgraded accommodations. 

The front seats are comfortable for all-day cruising, and GMC offers heating, cooling, and even a massage function. This year’s new Denali Ultimate offers additional adjustment, too. Only a high dash limits forward vision. 

Row two serves up as much as 42 inches of leg room in the Yukon XL, accessed via wide doors no matter the variant. The third row can be tricky to access for adults, but they’ll find good space once there.

Cargo-wise, the Yukon can lug 26 cubic feet of gear behind row three, which expands to a hefty 123 cubes behind row one. The Yukon XL offers more than 41 cubic feet behind the third row and a massive 145 cubic feet of total cargo capacity. 

All versions have nice enough trim inside, but Denalis are a step above with their own dash design and sleek matte wood trim. 

Review continues below

2023 GMC Yukon


We’re still waiting for full crash-test data for the 2023 GMC Yukon.

How safe is the GMC Yukon?

The NHTSA says the 2023 Yukon is a four-star overall vehicle, a relatively rare score that gives us some pause. The IIHS hasn’t tested it yet.

Even though the GMC Yukon comes with automatic emergency braking and offers active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and a host of cameras for low-speed driving and towing, it scores just 5 out of 10 on our scale.

Review continues below


2023 GMC Yukon


The 2023 GMC Yukon can be downright decadent in Denali guise.

Starting at around $54,000 – we’ll update this space when we have exact 2023 model year pricing—the Yukon can climb rapidly from base SEL trim.

Still, the Yukon SLE comes with cloth seats, a 10.2-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Add about $3,000 for four-wheel drive and/or the longer XL body. 

Which GMC Yukon should I buy?

Our money would be on the SLT, which for about $61,000 tosses in leather seats that are heated and cooled up front, upsized 20-inch alloy wheels, Bose audio, and a wireless charging pad. 

We think it’s a better buy than the $68,000-plus AT4, though that model’s standard four-wheel drive and rugged styling may be hard to resist. 

How much is a fully loaded GMC Yukon?

For around $70,000, the Yukon Denali adds an adaptive suspension, upgraded leather and wood inside, a sunof, and a surround-view camera system. This year, GMC’s new Denali Ultimate can up the ante with more power seat adjustment, 12-speaker Bose sound, and access to the automaker’s Super Cruise system that allows for limited hands-free driving on many highways. 

Review continues below


2023 GMC Yukon

Fuel Economy

The 2023 GMC Yukon is at its best in diesel form, but it’s not particularly frugal.

Is the GMC Yukon good on gas?

Not at all, but what do you expect? It’s heavy and shaped like a block—plus there’s plenty of power underhood. 

The EPA says that the greenest Yukons are turbodiesels, which rate 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined with rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive dents those figures to 22 mpg combined. 

The 5.3-liter V-8 is a lot thirstier at 17 mpg combined with rear-wheel drive, while all other Yukon models check in at just 16 mpg combined. Those are more popular—and they’re the basis for the Yukon’s green score of 1.

Review continues below

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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MSRP based on 2WD 4-Door SLE
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Styling 8
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety 5
Features 8
Fuel Economy 1
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