SUM UP (3 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Yukon XL 2500 in 2013

The Yukon XL adds available champagne silver metallic paint and automatic engine braking in all transmission modes. ..
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p>This classy full-size sport utility vehicle by GMC offers a super-sized experience for those who need maximum space for passengers and cargo along with the towing performance of a capable truck. The heavy-duty 2013 Yukon XL 2500 offers equal power and towing capacities to GM’s pickup trucks with its durable torsion bar suspension. The superior power and size comes with a considerable price at the gas station, however: even fuel management technology and Driver Shift Control can only bring this beast up to decent ratings. Fuel economy aside, the GMC Yukon XL 2500 is a heavy-duty work horse that combines performance with luxurious touches to offer room and comfort for up to nine people.


No matter where the 2013 Yukon XL 2500 takes family, friends, and all their gear; it goes there in style. The exterior boasts clean and professional lines, nothing too fancy, but more streamlined than the models prior to the last redesign in 2007. 17-inch, eight-lug, bright machined, aluminum wheels roll this large vehicle over mountains and into the wild if necessary. For the exterior paint, five standard and two premium colors are available, with the new champagne silver metallic being one of the standards. The overall appearance shows a let’s-get-it-done attitude with a sophisticated and elegant twist. It proudly takes a basketball team around the city, but even its looks seem to demand a lot more to pull than just a small utility trailer.

Interior & Cargo

The clean lines and elegance continues on the inside of the 2013 GMC Yukon XL 2500. The instruments and gauges are designed to be very functional, and their classic and polished looks make the driver feel in control and at home. Various storage options for small items add extra convenience for large families with a lot to transport.

The heavy-duty Yukon XL comes in two different trim levels: the basic but still well-equipped SLE and the higher-class SLT. The latter offers three different color options for the leather interior, while the SLE comes with either ebony or light tan premium cloth seat trim. Both trim levels come standard with many modern conveniences such as satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-month subscription to OnStar. Tri-zone climate control makes all passengers feel comfortable even on the hottest summer days. Additional perks and safety features that are standard on the SLT include the remote vehicle starter system, ultrasonic rear parking assist and rear vision camera. On the exterior, a luggage rack makes it easier to load up even more cargo for those who cannot fit everything inside even the biggest vehicle. The Denali trim level that would bring the top-of-the-line luxury is not available in this heavy-duty version of the Yukon XL.

It is not the luxury that sets this SUV apart from competitors anyway: it is the impressive amount of space inside the vehicle. The XL model takes up a full 20 inches more space the garage than the shorter Yukon, adding almost 30 cubic feet of extra cargo room, totaling at 137.4 cubic feet for those who wish to carry cargo instead of passengers. For the large group of friends travelling in this SUV on the other hand, both the first and second rows can be configured to carry either two or three passengers. The bucket seats allow enough hip-, shoulder- and headroom for an NFL lineman to enjoy the ride no matter how long the trip is. The third row of seating accommodates three more passengers, and a power-folding feature for the second row is also available to make it easier for those in the very back to get in and out of the vehicle.


To help maintain control over the vehicle in tricky driving situations, GM’s electronic stability control (StabiliTrak) comes standard on the 2013 Yukon XL 2500, as do the four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and the tire-pressure monitoring system. Standard front and side curtain air bags help GMC reach its goal of offering 360 degrees of protection to all passengers. The SLT trim level has the option to equip the vehicle with the most advanced technology, such as side blind zone alert, a feature of the side-view mirror that alerts you when a vehicle enters the blind zones.

Driving Experience

The powerful 6.0 liter, V-8 engine produces 352 horsepower and 382 lb-ft of torque, enough to pull almost 10,000 pounds in the two-wheel drive version. The four-wheel drive Yukon XL 2500 can pull up to 9300 pounds, but in both cases, 1500-2500 pounds of towing capacity is lost when it is full of passengers or cargo. The amount of weight inside the vehicle makes a considerable difference in the driving experience as well: for a beast this size, the heavy-duty 2013 Yukon XL 2500 is surprisingly quick when not loaded with those NFL or basketball players.

The interior comforts and conveniences allow this large SUV to offer an enjoyable ride when cruising on the interstate straight across the country, although the experience is much rougher when turning around corners, but this can be expected from such a large vehicle. Sitting high up gives the feeling of being in charge of the highway, and that feeling is not lost when the destination is the back-country; the Yukon XL 2500 is more than capable of taking everyone to enjoy some outdoor fun, whether it requires pulling snowmobiles, ATVs or a large boat on not-so-smooth terrain.

Key Competitors For The 2013 GMC Yukon-XL-2500

  • Ford Expedition
  • Infiniti QX56
  • Nissan Armada
  • Toyota Sequoia

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