A classy alternative of a pickup truck, the 2020 GMC Yukon offers exuberance and luxury along with astonishing towing capabilities and ruggedness. The Yukon is identical to the Chevy Tahoe mechanically but adds more flare in terms of both interior and exterior design. Over the years, ‘body-on-frame’ design has seen the test of time. However, the rising demand for practical crossovers and compact SUVs has overshadowed the once-popular design.
The Yukon SUV comes in four trims, the Denali being the most expensive and lavish. Seating for up to nine passengers is standard across all trims. The massive cargo capacity along with monstrous towing capability makes 2020 Yukon a perfect SUV for those who need all the practicality along with the stylish persona that comes with it. However, the heart of the Yukon is a highly capable and powerful V8 engine that is standard across all the trims
The GMC Yukon competes with the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia. Let's move ahead and find out how does the competition fares against it.
8.1/10 Engine and Performance
2020 GMC Yukon Features
2020 GMC Yukon is still offered in two configurations the standard Yukon and the Yukon XL. The XL as the name suggests is the longer wheelbase version of the SUV, other than different dimensions, higher cargo capacity and more leg room in the third-row seats both the configurations are identical.
There are many trims to choose from the SLE, SLT Standard, SLT, SLT Graphite Edition and the top of the line Denali which adds a larger engine along with the 10 speed automatic gearbox.
There are two engine options 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 and a 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8. The bigger 6.2L V-8 with 10 speed automatic gearbox is outstanding in terms of both performance and mileage. The 4WD option makes Yukon a serious off-road vehicle and the new Graphite edition looks more aggressive and compliments the rugged look of the vehicle.
The base trim starts at 49,100 USD and offers more features than the base Chevrolet Tahoe its closest competitor.
SLT Standard Edition
5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque
Leather upholstered heated front seats
Perforated leather upholstered heated and ventilated front seats
Standard SLT features
18 inch wheels
Forward collision assist, lane departure warning, low speed forward automatic braking, Safety alert seats exclusive to Yukon
Heated second row seats
Unique chrome front grille exclusive to Denali
Rear view camera
Power programmable liftgate
Second row power release fold-and-tumble seats
20-22 inch wheel options
Front and Rear park assist
Manual tilt and telescoping steering column
Third row power fold-flat bench seats
6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque as standard
New 10 speed automatic transmission
CarHP recommends because of the sluggish power delivery from the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 we suggest to get the Denali with 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 which offers a 10 speed automatic gearbox which increases fuel efficiency and the addition of MagnaRide suspension increases the ride quality dramatically. The interior offers all the bells and whistles and leather all around.
2020 GMC Yukon Engine and Performance
Equipped with the 6.2-liter V8 and adaptive suspension, the Yukon accelerates and handles impressively. Even so, the Yukon can't fully mask its truck-based roots. The braking and steering are also less than exceptional:- Edmunds
The GMC Yukon can be configured with two engine options a 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 which puts out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque is equipped with a 6 speed automatic transmission and the 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 which puts out sports car like numbers 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque and is equipped with a 10 speed automatic transmission which is superior of the two configurations. The 2WD is standard while the 4WD is optional for each configuration.
5.3L V-8 Gas Engine
5.3L V-8 Gas Engine
3.5L EcoBoost V-6 Gas Engine
5.6L DOHC 32-valve V-8 Engine
5.7L V-8 Gas Engine
355 hp @ 5600 rpm
355 hp @ 5600 rpm
375 hp @ 5000 rpm
390 hp @ 5800 rpm
381 hp @ 5600 rpm
383 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm
383 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm
470 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm
394 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
401 ft-lbs. @ 3600 rpm
At base trim the Yukon is the least powerful only surpassing the competition if configured with the bigger V-8 but with the performance boost the price also jumps up and the Ford Expedition still makes a higher amount of torque with its 3.5L Ecoboost V-6.
The acceleration is not what people look for in these type of vehicles but it is good to have sufficient power on tap. Because of the massive dimensions and weight the Yukon cannot accelerate as hard a sports car but it just might surprise you for what it is. The Yukon takes 16.7 seconds to complete a quarter mile but if configured with a 6.2L V-8 it takes around 14 seconds which is the quickest time.
16.7 sec @91 MPH
16.7 sec @91 MPH
15.1 sec @ 90 MPH
15 sec @ 93 MPH
15.3 sec @92 MPH
Emission Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K Mi/year
All the SUVs take 6.5 seconds to reach 60 mph except the Toyota taking 6.8 seconds to reach 60 mph. But in a quarter mile bot the Yukon and Tahoe are dusted by the competition. Only the configuration with 6.2L V-8 can win against the other three SUVs.
Ride and Handling
The 2020 Yukon is capable of smooth ride on most of the surfaces and the option of adaptive suspension improves the handling to a greater extent. But the oversized wheel the outdated chassis does not help the Yukon in competing against the other SUVs. However, the overall ride quality is still impressive and comfortable all the way. The optional 4WD makes the Yukon a very capable off-road vehicle despite its heft.
The GMC Yukon has the worst braking performance in its class and takes 137 ft. from 60 mph to 0 mph. the performance at best is mediocre and is exactly what you'd expect from a SUV of this dimensions. During hard braking the response in sluggish.
Brake pads Front (in)
Brake pads Rear (in)
Curb weight (lbs)
The Ford takes the victory here even though it is the heaviest vehicle of the group. The Yukon is the lightest of the bunch but still takes the longest distance to stop which shows how the brakes suffer against its competition.
2020 GMC Yukon Fuel Economy
One good reason to buy the Yukon is the fuel economy that the massive SUV provides 16 MPG city and 23 MPG on the highway which surpasses most of the competition i.e. if equipped with the 5.3L V-8 with 2WD, if equipped with the bigger V-8 it loses on mileage and the 4WD option also pushes the figure further down.
The ford might seem the best here but keep in mind that it uses an Ecoboost V-6 while the Yukon has a 5.3L V-8 and is the best option in terms of mileage if compared to other V-8 offerings from the competition. These figures might not seem much but these vehicles are not meant to be fuel efficient instead these vehicles are meant to be utilitarian like hauling trailers, long road trips, interstate journeys and go off-road.
2020 GMC Yukon Interior
The Yukon offers straightforward controls, plenty of room for first- and second-row passengers and a commanding view of the road ahead. But third-row leg- and foot room are severely limited, and outward visibility is mediocre:- Edmunds
Seating and Comfort-
Yukon sits high off the ground and gives you a commanding position on the road while driving. Yukon can be opted with heated and ventilated front seats and heated second row seats and these seats are comfortable as well. Small bumps might hurt the outdated chassis of the SUV but the MagnaRide suspension with Graphite performance pack is superior in terms of performance and soaks all kinds of bumps.
Ford outshines the competition here but no matter the choice none of these SUVs feel cramped.
In terms of cargo space, Yukon does not disappoint but the high tailgate might be an issue for some while loading and loading luggage or other cargo. Yukon offers 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space and folding down the third row increases the figure to 51.7 cubic feet. Folding the second row pushes the figure to 94.7 cubic feet which is almost as good as smaller cargo vans but still, the competition outperforms the Yukon.
Volume (ft. cube) (Behind Third Row)
Volume (ft. cube) (Third Row Folded)
Volume (ft. cube) (Second & Third Row Folded)
If the second and third-row seats are folded the Toyota offers maximum cargo capacity as compared to the competition but if you have all the seats occupied by passengers then the ford offers the best in class cargo space. The Yukon offers the least amount of cargo space but it is still enough for log road trips and interstate journeys.
Towing Capacity and Payload-
For maximum towing capacity go for the configuration of 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 with the Max Trailering Package to increase your towing capacity to 8,500 lbs.
The maximum capacity is at par with all the competition except the Ford Expedition which is the best in class.
Yukon is loaded with features and even the base Yukon offers android auto or apple car play. The specs are same in the Yukon XL as well. Both the vehicles have 8 touch displays with GMCs IntelliLink system. The screen is responsive enough and the features include:
A nine-speaker audio system
Five USB ports
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
The key highlights of the Yukon's cabin include:
Power-adjustable front seats
Leather upholstery (Optional)
Heated and ventilated seat (Optional)
Heated steering wheel (Optional)
Power adjustable pedals (Optional)
2020 GMC Yukon Exterior
The 2020 GMC Yukon sports elegant looks inside and out to match its hefty price tag :-The Car Connection
Dimension and Weight
GMCs Yukon is the lightest of the competition at 5,466 lbs, the shortest wheelbase and the lowest ground clearance at just 8 inches but it makes the Yukon more stable and maneuverable than the rivals. However the lower ground clearance means it is less capable off roads as compared to the other vehicles offering higher ground clearance.
Curb weight (lbs)
Width (in) (w/o mirror)
Ground clearance (in)
Track width (in) F/R
Yukon is the widest and the lowest of the bunch which gives it a meaner look and better handling as compared to the rest of the bunch. The Armada is the biggest in terms of exterior dimensions whereas the Sequoia has the highest ground clearance.
The SLE, SLT Standard and SLT are almost identical from the outside. The Graphite Edition is basically a blacked-out version with larger wheels and the for the top of the line Denali the front grille is all chrome and looks fancy and it also features HID headlamps with LED daytime running lights. There are 12 different designs of wheels available and the sizes vary between 18 to 22 inches.
2020 GMC Yukon Safety
The IIHS has still not crash tested the vehicle but the NHTSA has and Yukon earned four star overall rating in the test and the reason for the four star rating instead of five is because the Yukon performs poorly in rollover crashes which these types of top-heavy vehicles usually do.
The 2020 Yukon is covered with a 3 year/36,000-mile warranty and a 5 year/60,000-mile warranty for the powertrain.
Frontal barrier crash rating overall
Frontal barrier crash rating (driver)
Frontal barrier crash rating (passenger)
Side barrier rating overall
Side barrier rating (driver)
Side barrier rating (passenger)
Side crash rating
Combine side barrier and pole rating
The Yukon is jam-packed with safety features and the innovative design for the placement of airbags so that the driver and the passenger does not collide with each other during a crash or collision is impressive.
Advanced Air Bag System with dual-stage supplemental front airbags with seat belt and occupant classification sensors
Driver and front passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags
Roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental airbags with rollover sensor help provide head protection for outboard occupants for all three rows
3-point ALR/ELR passenger seat belt system (ELR for driver)
Front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters
LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children)
Child-safety rear door locks
High-strength side-door guard beams
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors along with the impressive low-speed automatic emergency braking which is standard except the SLE trim in which it is optional.
2020 GMC Yukon Competition
2020 GMC Yukon vs Chevrolet Tahoe
The Yukon and Tahoe are mechanically identical. It comes to the buyer's choice of brand whether you prefer the GMC or the Chevy you get identical performance and identical engine configurations. The GMC has more traditional design at the front whereas the Chevy looks more modern, from the sides and the back both are almost identical. The only major difference is that the Yukon offers more features in the base configuration as compared to the Tahoe.
2020 GMC Yukon vs Ford Expedition
The Ford has a V-6 and the GMC has a V-8 should be enough for some people to choose. Some other differences are ; Ford offers more cargo space, more ground clearance, better fuel economy but the Ford is heavier and bigger and its dimensions matches the Yukon XL.
2020 GMC Yukon vs Nissan Armada
Nissan's offering is the biggest in terms of size. While comparing the two the results are clear the Yukon offers better interior and infotainment system than the Armada. The fuel economy and ride quality is also better in the Yukon.
2020 GMC Yukon vs Toyota Sequoia
Toyota has the highest ground clearance and as a result it has inferior ride quality and handling as compared to the GMC on the tarmac but off-road Toyota's higher ground clearance helps the Sequoia to outshine the competition. The Yukon has better interior features whereas Sequoia has better interior space and cargo capacity.
2020 GMC Yukon Final Verdict
The 2020 GMC Yukon offers a host of features even at the base trim which none of the competition does. The interior is plush and luxurious, the exterior is clean and traditional in terms of looks and the option to upgrade the engine to a bigger 6.2L V-8 turns the Yukon into a whole different animal. The new Graphite performance edition for 2020 looks and performs tremendous.
The Yukon might not be the best when compared to the competition in terms of utility and fuel economy but the Yukon is loaded with features and with the addition of the bigger 6.2L V-8 also becomes more fun as well.