The Yukon came to me in a rich Pewter Metallic
color, very handsome with muscular body contours and an authoritative stance. The grille,
with the classic cherry-red logo, projects prominently and reads GMC all the way. With an
overall height of 76.7" I was glad to see the handy step rail & running board. I
had to laugh each time I climbed out and forgot to use it. Whoa, where's the stirrup?
Inside, the Yukon is really comfortable. The two-toned look of pewter leather seats
blended with gray leather on the dash, door panels and steering wheel was dressy, but
tasteful. The instrument panel is fully featured, nice-looking, and easy to use. I also
loved the sportiness of the sunroof. Seats, front and rear, are generously sized, and with
the new third-row seat, the Yukon can claim to be a nine-seater. This would be pushing the
envelope and although it could handle eight passengers somewhat comfortably, the rear
third-seat access desperately needs to be improved.
Rear audio and head phone jacks are now available, allowing all passengers to listen to
individual music selections. (Only in America can we get such freedom of choice!) Given
the overall feeling of roominess inside, I was expecting more storage bins. I was missing
all the useful compartments typically found on the back of a seat, or the side of a door.
The glove box was OK and there was one nice deep box in between the front seats that
tripled as a storage, armrest and cup/food/Yukon Jack holder.
Now for the really good stuff. In my opinion, in a truck, anything less than a V8 is a
joke. The Yukon is certainly no laughing matter, but it did leave me giggling. An
available option is the husky Vortec 5300 V8, which produces 285 horsepower and 325 lb ft
of torque, and is mated to a smooth four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The
power was awesome. The ride felt terribly civilized, and not at all truck-like. In city
driving, the nimble Yukon zipped around corners gracefully; at 70 mph it handled well and
felt secure. The Yukon's smooth-riding suspension is remarkable. Equipped with the new
powertrain, this dynamo V8 can tow trailers weighing up to 8,800 pounds and pull gross
combined-weight capacities up to 14,000 pounds!
This latest version of the GMC Yukon handles like a dream and runs like a racehorse. If
youre in the market for a full-size SUV, take it out for a trot. Youll be
impressed, as this is the benchmark vehicle in the full size class for model year 2001.