GMC Yukon Hybrid 4×4 Review – Environmentally Conscious Soccer Moms Applaud GM

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2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

What is on Farley’s mind other than thinking about his next bag of oats? Parked next to Farley’s corral is the new GMC Yukon Hybrid featuring GM’s 2-mode hybrid system. The 2008 Yukon Hybrid boasts a 332 hp, 6.0L Vortec V8, a NiMH 300V battery, two 60KW motors in the transmission, and nifty software that controls the whole caboodle. Not only can you pack in 8 passengers utilizing the 3rd row seating, but this 4×4 hybrid has the capacity to tow 6,000 pounds. Translation: mom can take the team to soccer practice during the week and dad can tow the family boat to the lake on the weekend.

2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

I called upon Tony to perform an informal tow test just to see how well the 2-mode hybrid system works while pulling a big load up and down some hills. So, we hitched up his trailer and track car which adds up to over 4,000 lbs. The trailer weighs approximately 1,100 pounds and the track car weighs in close to 3,000 pounds. Our designated hill for the test had an 8 – 11% grade. Because the Yukon did not have a brake bias switch, the trailer brakes could not be connected and were not active for our test.

During our short test the Yukon Hybrid came through with flying colors. Uphill grunt was smooth and almost effortless. Controlling our speed going downhill produced no drama and the Yukon’s brakes had more than enough braking power to slow our rig heading downhill at 40 MPH.

GMC Yukon Hybrid towing a loaded trailer

This was only a brief test, so we couldn’t judge how hot things might get while towing a load on a longer trip. There is a quick information display incorporated in the gauge cluster. Along with the trip mileage and average/instant fuel economy numbers, the transmission temperature can be found. Since the Engineering folks at GM put in a huge effort to program and optimize the multiple transmission modes (EVT versus four fixed gears), it makes sense to have the ability to keep a watchful eye on the transmission before it melts down.

For those that appreciate a complex piece of machinery, the new transmission is an engineering work of art. The 2-mode hybrid transmission fits into the same space as a standard six-speed automatic. It contains two 60-kilowatt motors, and has four fixed gears, three planetary gear sets and four clutches.

2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid interior GMC Yukon Hybrid center console

In my opinion, General Motors’ game plan to create fuel efficiency where fuel efficiency is needed most was a great move. Especially, with today’s weak dollar and fuel prices reaching for the stratosphere. GM has plans to propagate the 2-mode hybrid system to the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra (crew cab versions of the pickup trucks) in the very near future.

And what were our fuel economy results for the Yukon Hybrid? GM claims the Yukon (aka Chevrolet Tahoe) Hybrid gets 20 in the city and 20 on the highway. After 500 miles of testing, and a couple of trips to the gas-n-go, we recorded an overall fuel economy of 17.8 mpg. Driving mostly on the highway without the trailer/race car gave us 20 -22 mpg. Our tow test was too short to get any real fuel economy numbers while pulling a heavy load.

2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid tow test

family friendly yukonClick on the link to read Twain’s full review of the Yukon Hybrid and its family-friendly features.

I even showed it to my sister and her equally Eco-minded friends who, like her, have 2 kids and a dog; they were fascinated and seemed almost guilty that they really like the concept of a huge SUV with hybrid efficiency. It was as if they’d been conditioned to dislike these beasts though secretly liking the utility.”

GMC Yukon Hybrid Photo Gallery

GMC Yukon Hybrid Specs

GMCOfficial website for GMC trucks and SUVs –

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  • lewis says:

    I used to tow large boat with my 1987 subaru dl stationwagon and it got 30 miles to the gallon without being a hybrid! This is a joke, 20 miles per gallon is good? You don’t need a massive truck to tow. The real truth is rolling weight of a boat is nothing. Most people can roll a boat on wheels by themselves.

  • db says:

    Nice review I would like to see more reviews that show the Yukon Hybird towing. If only the big(+oyota/-onda) little cars could haul \ tow and then GO. So to them a bycycle could also be a Hybird. In the future more RV’s, 18wheelers, and Trademen’s work trucks will be using this 2-mode Hybird system. I would now like to ask the little car people to more over and get out of the way the big dogs are back. Also I do a lot of one-way towing. So the Hybird would work even better on the return trip with out the trailer loaded.

  • Derek says:

    I completely ignored the fact that the GMC Yukon Hybrid and Chevy Tahoe Hybrid qualify for federal tax credits. Both of the above hybrid SUVs are estimated to qualify for a $2200 tax credit if you purchase one this year.

  • harry ballsagna says:

    hey adam, you’re a f’ing retard. well, at the very lease, you’ve never had to tow anything.

  • Derek says:

    Two reasons are immediately obvious. 1) People buy large trucks and SUVs to haul stuff. They are built for a purpose and have become America’s workhorse. 2) 20 mpg is much better than 13. Especially if considering the Yukon’s towing capacity. GM’s approach actually makes sense – concentrate on the worst offenders first since they have the most potential for improvement.

  • adam says:

    LOL – Anyone is a fool to buy a car this freaking big and heavy. Why doesn’t GM focus on smaller, better looking, fuel efficient cars?

    20 freakin miles to the gallon – what a joke!

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