2013 GMC Yukon Hybrid

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Flash Drive: 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid

This 2008 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2013.
By MSN Autos of MSN Autos

Like the Toyota Prius, the GMC Yukon Hybrid shuts off the gasoline engine at stoplights and then proceeds in electric-only propulsion up to about 30 mph. But this hybrid is no weenie Prius — when you need to bury the go-pedal to pass someone you get all 322 horses from the 6.0-liter V8. Plus, it can seat eight and tow 6,200 pounds. Despite displacing some 5,600 tall-in-the-saddle pounds, body motion is well controlled and predictable, even over undulating or broken surfaces. Only occasionally is there a hint that a truck chassis lives beneath. As for fuel mileage, we clocked nearly 300 miles of in-town and highway driving, averaging 21.7 miles per gallon. That’s not quite Prius territory, but then again, the teacher’s desk that glided easily into the back of the Yukon would never fit in the Toyota. — Larry E. Hall

I was skeptical as to how efficient a hybrid system could be when tied to a powerful V8 in a full-size, 7-passenger SUV, but it turns out that it works quite well. This is a big truck, yet when you go easy on the throttle you can cruise silently under 30 mph on electric power alone. Like other hybrids, the regenerative brakes are a bit grabby but easy to get used to. In 200 miles of mixed city/highway driving, the system delivered just less than 20 mpg. An economy meter in the instrument panel lets you know how efficiently you’re driving — keep the needle in the green for maximum efficiency. Unlike most hybrids, you still have V8 power on tap when it’s needed. But use it sparingly, otherwise you can forget about that 20 mpg. — Perry Stern

The biggest adjustment necessary when driving the new Yukon Hybrid is to believe the trip computer when it reads over 19 mpg average fuel consumption around town. The non-hybrid Yukon delivers 14 mpg. From a driver’s standpoint, both the steering and the brakes take some getting used to. The steering is very light, but with a vague and disconnected feel courtesy of electrical variable-assist power steering that is more efficient but less driver-friendly. The regenerative brakes deliver unfamiliar sensations that also take some adjustment, such as the sensation that the brakes are continuing to hold when the brake pedal is released at a stop. And when braking from speed, the binders don’t seem to respond in a linear fashion to pedal pressure, and at times additional pedal pressure is required. — Mike Meredith

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BB05 - 4/18/2014 4:29:10 AM