The 2013 GMC Yukon is powered by the segment’s most reliable and respected engines. A 5.3-liter V8 is combined with a six-speed automatic to produce 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in a respectable 8.5 seconds, and it can tow up to an impressive 8,500 pounds, when properly equipped. Yukon comes standard as a rear-wheel drive, but you can choose between two four-wheel drive systems. One is a traditional two-speed case while the other is a single. Similar to other vehicles in its class, Yukon’s fuel-economy is nothing to get excited about. It returns 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, so you will be filing up more often than you would like. To ensure an amazingly smooth ride to all passengers, the 2013 model features a real-time dampening system, which is engineered to eliminate the need to compromise between precise control and a smooth ride. Shock absorption settings are varied in real-time to respond to driving condition variations.
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• DVD System - This available feature allows you to provide second row passengers with a DVD player, LCD screen, wireless headphones and a remote.
• Navigation - The touchscreen navigation available for Yukon offers multiple map views, pause and play feature, 30GB of storage and SirusXM traffic and weather.
• Rear Camera - This available system lets you see objects behind you when reversing at slow speeds.
• Audio - A CD player with MP3 playback capability is complemented by nine BOSE speakers, speed-sensitive volume and one subwoofer.
Crash and brake tests have yet to be performed on the 2013 model, but it is expected to rate the same as its predecessor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2012 model “Good” in front and side-impact, but only “Marginal” in rollover protection. Braking capabilities were average, taking 134 feet to stop from 60 mph. Safety features to offer peace-of-mind include:
• Multiple airbags
• StabiliTrak with proactive roll avoidance
• Blind spot alert (optional)
• Four-wheel ABS
• Emergency brakeforce distribution
• Post-collision safety system
• Tire-pressure monitoring
• Front seatbelt pretensioners
• Dusk-sensing headlamps
• Engine immobilizer
• Rear door safety locks
• Child seat anchors
The first thing you notice about the Yukon is its wide stance, which creates a commanding presence. Similar to its Tahoe relative, you can recognize this vehicle coming down the road, but many will say that the boxy styling is horribly outdated. Those wanting a flashier ride will opt for the SLT chrome package that includes 20-inch polished aluminum wheels.
The cabin is simple and straight forward, but the use of high-quality materials keep it from being boring. The touchscreen is a little small for the cabin size, but it is certainly easy to use. The 2013 Yukon offers seating for up to eight passengers. The front bucket seats are incredibly comfortable and provide the driver with a great view of the road. There is even plenty of legroom in the second row, but the third row is best reserved for small children. One nice feature Yukon has its second row fold-and-tumble seats that works with one hand operation. Unfortunately, similar to its relatives, the third row does not fold flat and will need to be completely removed for tall cargo.
Yukon excels and fails in the cargo department. Behind the first row you get a whopping 108.9 cubic feet of space, which is fantastic. However, with all seats in place, there is only 16.9 cubic feet, which won’t welcome much more than a load of groceries.