San Francisco: Unless
you’ve been living under a rock or hiding in a Pakistani cave, you know
by now that gasoline will never again cost less than $2 a gallon and
that hybrids are selling like hotcakes, for a niche market. You also
know that the worst vehicles for fuel economy are big, heavy SUVs and
ultra-high-performance sports cars. Enter the 2007 GMC Yukon.
If you were a GMC
engineer / designer and you had to come up with a new model that could
make or break your brand you might redesign the Yukon with few hard
angles and many organic shapes to make the new truck stand out and add a
gas-saving feature to the 5.3-liter V8 that shuts down 4 cylinders while
cruising on level surfaces, where not a lot of power is needed to keep
the rig moving.
Redesigning the Yukon
must have been a difficult task indeed, since the styling of the
previous model was new at least five years ago and there is so much
stellar competition out there. What the stylists and designers delivered
was handsome, taut lines with wraparound fascias front and rear and nary
a plastic add-on in sight. The design team should be commended for
putting a handsome and sleek SUV of this size on the road.
accepted measure of build quality is the size of the gaps between the
doors and the hood and fenders. We were quite impressed and a bit
surprised with the small gap widths all around the Yukon. We kept
marveling at the lengths the engineers must have gone to get those lines
in line, so to speak.
The new front fascia
has a more refined look with a sloping grill and integrated bumper that
looks like it is all one piece, because it is. This huge difference
compared to the old vehicle is like night and day. The new truck looks
like it was made from one piece of metal and plastic that belies its
frugal price, at least in the vehicle we drove.
That high-quality look
and feel followed through to the interior. What surprised us most upon
taking delivery of our test vehicle was the cloth interior. Not only was
it cloth (can’t emphasize that enough) but the seating surfaces were top
notch. Not since the mid-90s, to our recollection, has the
General been able to
put a seat out that was this comfortable and supportive.
After a few days
driving the Gray Dane around, we decided to head out to wine country; so
the tank was topped off and we noticed we got 19 miles per gallon in
mixed driving. Considering the shear heft of the Yukon, that ain’t half
bad. We also like watching the display switch from V8 to V4 and back as
we drove around. And remember, don’t try this at home, we are trained
professionals (or so we like to think).
Driving through rolling
hills and reducing radius curves show that the Yukon has come a long way
since the beginning of the SUV craze. It’s no GTO or Saturn Sky, but the
Yukon gets going pretty good and there’s not a trace of wallow or too
much body roll-like SUVs of old.
top-notch. All have a soft, tactile feel and soft detents that give this
base-model truck a classy, luxurious feel.
One really neat feature
is the lighted visible detent on the climate controls. During the day it
is a mild-mannered dark spot on the bright chrome-like dial, telling you
where your blower and output is set at. By night, it is a cool blue
showman, ready for the next gig and willing to give it all for a great
One gripe we have about
SUVs in general that this Yukon was without was a third row of seats.
There are certain vehicles, like the Yukon XL and Suburban, that can do
with the extra seating capacity without infringing too much on cargo
space. Our tester did without this “convenience” and we were much
appreciative to have the space to haul whatever we wanted without
worrying about where to store those extra seats.
Yukon tester stickered at $34.690, including $875 for delivery, with no
chargeable options. Included on the standard feature list was the
5.3-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and
flex-fuel capability, four-speed automatic transmission, dual front
airbags with passenger sensor, OnStar, Stabilitrak stability control /
four-wheel ABS, remote keyless entry, 17-inch aluminum wheels, power
heated outside mirrors, AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio, auto dimming mirror with
temperature and compass and driver information center, to name just a
For the dough, we got a
capable vehicle with towing and hauling ability matched by only a few
other vehicles in a stylishly handsome body and newfound fuel frugality.
Add to that the flexibility of using an ethanol blend and you have a
smart package that should appeal to the eco-friendly among us as well as
the staid SUV driver that wouldn’t have it any other way. By
James E. Bryson © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
GMC Home Page
content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
the Microsoft Word version here:
2007 GMC Yukon
Column Name: Redesigned Big Ute Is Easy On The Eyes And
Topic: The 2007 GMC Yukon
Word Count: 910
Photo Caption: The 2007 GMC Yukon
Photo Credits: GMC Internet Media
Series #: 2006 - 30
Download the Original Image File here:
2007 GMC Yukon