GMC Yukon Hybrid Test Drive Review

By dancurranjr On February 21st, 2009

gmc-yukonImagine a Toyota Prius crawling over rocks and slogging through mud. A friend owns one, but admitted he drove his Toyota Tundra 4×4 to work when 12” of snow fell. I said, “A real man would have driven his Prius.” To which he replied, “I tried, but couldn’t get it out of the driveway.” A GMC Yukon Hybrid would have made it just fine – without the need for a Tundra-in-reserve.

Like every other GMC Yukon, the Hybrid is large, comfortable, trailer-ready, and loaded to the roofline with a full entourage of luxuries. As a 4×4, it can do almost anything its full-gasolined brethren can do. It just does it with much less fuel running through its injectors. In fact, its in-town fuel economy is comparable to a Toyota Camry!

Few things would clue you into its electrified underpinnings from the exterior. Yukon Hybrids have a front facia that more closely hugs the ground for airflow, lighter alloy wheels, re-shaped rear window, and low-resistance tires. To get the most out of every gallon of gas, the exterior was refined to eliminate drag and friction wherever possible. HYBRID graphics on the lower bodysides, as well as GM’s “green H” logos, remove any doubt that this is no typical Yukon.

From inside, you would be challenged to tell the difference. Heated leather seats, woodgrain dash panels, XM Satellite Radio, Bose audio, and automatic climate control are all available for the asking. Power-adjustable pedals, navigation, and fold down rear seats provide comfort and convenience. Select the $1,295 rear seat entertainment system and climate control knobs to keep the kids happy.

Suspension and steering feel tighter, and acceleration is more effortless with high electric torque off the line and a variable-displacement 6.0-litre V8 pumping out 332-HP at speed. An electrically-variable transmission, with four fixed gears, has two modes for optimizing fuel economy or for towing up to 6,200 lbs. During low speed driving, the battery pack pitches in to save fuel while regenerative brakes replenish energy while decelerating. As a result of all this sophistication, two-wheel-drive models achieve 21/22-MPG city/hwy while our 4×4 test model posts 20/20-MPG.

A full-size SUV that can carry seven passengers while towing a boat will never challenge a Toyota Prius for fuel economy honors, but a Prius can’t even get out of its own driveway when deep snow falls. Real men drive GMC Yukon Hybrids.

Source: Daily Camera

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