Overview & Reviews
Hybrid technology is a wonderful thing, simultaneously improving fuel mileage and vastly lowering emissions. Originally, it was only available on funky hatchbacks and midsize sedans, but the GMC Yukon Hybrid represented a radically different application for a gasoline-electric powertrain. Boasting a significant increase in fuel efficiency compared to a typical big ute -- and reduced emissions, of course -- the "green" Yukon sacrificed serious off-roading ability. But this "sacrifice" would have about as much effect on the typical SUV owner as a power outage on the Amish.
Naturally, this have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too SUV wasn't cheap, with a price tag of more than $50,000 when new. Even with its significant gas savings, the Hybrid made for a questionable economic choice over the regular Yukon. When compared to GM's large eight-passenger crossovers that offered more interior space with only a minor fuel-economy deficit, it made even less sense. But if owning a traditional truck-based SUV while minimizing fuel consumption is your goal, a used Yukon Hybrid may be worth considering.
Used GMC Yukon Hybrid Models
The GMC Yukon Hybrid debuted for 2008 and was produced through 2013. This full-size, truck-based SUV utilized a gasoline-electric powertrain to earn a combined EPA fuel economy estimate of 21 mpg in combined driving, thanks almost entirely to its considerably improved city fuel consumption. The Hybrid's combined fuel economy rating was roughly 5 mpg higher than the combined rating for the non-hybrid Yukon of the same time period.
Rather than going light on the power, GMC fitted the Yukon Hybrid with a burly 6.0-liter gas V8 that, combined with the added boost of the twin electric motors, supplied up to 332 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. A full "two-mode" hybrid, this Yukon had the ability to run up to 30 mph on electric power alone; hence the efficiency in city driving.
The Yukon's hybrid system included a novel dual-mode transmission design. In normal driving, the transmission would act as a CVT (continuously variable transmission). As driving demands increased, such as when towing, the transmission switched over to a more robust four-speed automatic transmission. This unique duet of transmissions also allowed the 4WD Yukon to have low-range gearing, an unusual attribute for a hybrid SUV. It also boasted a maximum 6,000-pound towing capacity when properly equipped.
The hybrid system's added weight was offset somewhat by lightweight body panels and thinner front seats. Additionally, a low-slung front airdam that would look more at home on a Corvette helped aerodynamic efficiency but hurt the Yukon Hybrid's approach angle. But since most SUVs don't actually go off road, it's essentially a non-issue.
Otherwise, the GMC Yukon Hybrid was similar to a regular Yukon, meaning it could handle as many as eight passengers and provide almost 109 cubic feet of cargo space. But to get that space one would have to physically remove the heavy 50/50-split third-row seats. That task is not required in most other SUVs (including GMC's crossover Acadia) where the third-row seats fold neatly into the floor and are more comfortable to boot.
Changes through the years were limited. Still, shoppers should note that Bluetooth was added for 2009, a USB audio port debuted the following year and front side airbags were not available until 2012.
In our reviews of the GMC Yukon Hybrid, we've found that it drives very much like a regular Yukon. Acceleration is on par and highway passing performance is even better than what a related 5.3-liter V8-equipped Tahoe provided. The main downsides concern price and absolute fuel economy. When new, the Hybrid version cost thousands more than a similarly equipped regular Yukon. And the vehicle's combined fuel economy rating, even though it's a major improvement, still isn't what most people would consider "good" fuel economy in the absolute sense. Overall, we think those who don't need massive towing capacity would be better served with the considerably less expensive -- yet equally roomy and nearly as fuel-efficient -- GMC Acadia.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 22.00
New 2008 hybrid - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By James K - September 23 - 3:43 am
What a vehicle to say the least and fun to drive. I can manipulate the truck to pretty much run electric only around the neighborhood. Or "stealth mood" as we have nicknamed it. Love the truck! I have owned 8 new Surburbans. I fully recommend the vehicle, awesome to say the least
Keep on GMC Truckin' - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By madeintheusa - August 29 - 2:30 am
This is an amazing truck that has all of the "eco-modifcations" commonly discussed for trucks: aerodynamic styling, light weight engine / body parts, hybrid drive train. The result has been about 23 mpg in overall mileage in a 2WD truck that is fun to drive and easy to operate. Highly recommended to those who need and appreciate large trucks. There is simply nothing else like this truck in its size/weight class.
Nice truck, but has some shortcomings - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By RJ - June 20 - 6:26 am
Bought this truck new on New Year's Eve 2008. After 7 months and 12k miles, I'm a bit disappointed with the mileage. We're only getting around 17 MPG. I have a lead foot, but my wife doesn't and she is the primary driver. Don't see how other reviewers are getting 20+. Have also had to take it to the dealer twice for brake issues. Covered under warranty, but still a hassle. Interior is laid out nicely, but materials seem really cheap. Driver's seat has great leg and head room, but comfort of seat is lacking on long trips. Overall, pretty happy with it. Has a very good ride even at 75-85 MPH. With 3rd row seats out, cargo area is spacious. Can't use NAV without radio on.
Great truck & mileage after recall - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By mwells - June 19 - 4:16 pm
Love this truck for it can idling when parked and no carbon foot print. The truck was receiving poor gas mileage, but after the transmission recall it is getting what is estimated. I love the fact it gets around 20 miles per gallon and I have a lead foot. Wondering if GM will credit me the fuel cost from their error?
Everything it is advertised to be - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By Quentin - March 9 - 3:10 pm
We recently bought our Yukon Hybrid as a demo model, so got a great deal (GM Certified used vehicle - 41,000 miles left on bumper-to-bumper warranty). I averaged 23.7 mpg on 400 mile trip home from dealership, driving 65-70 mph on interstates. Am now averaging 24.5 mpg combined city/highway driving in my local area. The hybrid system, and instant economy display really encourage you to drive light-footed, and I have never been light-footed until now. It is a hoot to drive - the hybrid system is virutally seamless in transition, and the V8/V4 cylinder deactivation system works really well. As an added bonus, you can sneak up on your friends and neighbors up to 30 mph, like a big golf cart..
Big Moe's Yukon Hybrid - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By Big Moe - November 17 - 11:20 pm
I own a paper recycling company and my customer base is very environmentally conscious. My new Yukon Hybrid fits our company image perfectly. I now own 2 Cadillac Escalades that average 12 MPG. I have averaged 21.7 MPG over the last 3,000 miles with my new Yukon Hybrid. I love my vehicle! The car cost me $20,000 less than my Escalades and is both quieter and handles better. I plan on purchasing two more for my company as soon as the leases are up on the Escalades. A great job by GM!
tremendous vehicle! - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By jet1 - July 22 - 10:30 pm
I have had my Yukon Hybrid for a year and a half and in that time I have discovered a whole new level of sophistication. Previously I have had Range Rovers which are very nice but just don't offer the same level of performance. I have had one recall for a minor issue but other than that in 19,000 miles it has never missed a beat. Fuel mileage seems to average around 20 mpg mostly city driving, but the carbon foot print of this vehicle is far lower than my last few which is the reason I bought it. At stop lights with the engine off the other hybrids are usually running...enough said. You do have to learn to change your driving style to get the most out of this vehicle.
So disappointed - 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By alex170 - June 4 - 10:06 pm
I bought the Yukon new in 09 thinking the hybrid would save me some money on gas, well it did not preform nearly the way it was proclaimed to. It seemed to be cheaply built. The remove-able 3rd row was almost unusable as they were so heavy to put back in that it took two people
My Yukon is always in the shop! - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By ahurley - April 28 - 4:30 pm
The actuators that move the door locks keep burning out, one after the other. I am on my fifth replacement. I will be contacting a lawyer when the next one burns out.
No buyer's remorse here! - 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
By Tex - February 29 - 12:13 am
After the Hybrid stickers were removed, my family and I stand back and admire the beauty of this automobile. We had been persuaded away from American-made cars several years ago and went the way of the foreign minivan. We were leery of Government Motors, but are extremely happy with the quality of this vehicle. The ride is smooth, the gas mileage is really 20 mpg, and the cargo room is expansive with the last row of seats out. All our stuff can fit and when the grandparents come to town, everyone has ample room. GM did a great job without sacrificing anything. It's solid and the quality is on par with any Toyota/Honda/Nissan minivan out there!