These full-sized SUVs offer impressive trailer-towing capability and a smooth, quiet ride--at least at low speeds. The V8s feel strong, and the automatic transmission shifts smoothly. The Yukon can also accommodate up to nine, but unlike the longer Yukon XL (a twin of the Chevy Suburban), it offers very little cargo space behind its cramped third-row seat. Handling is imprecise but ultimately secure.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
NA
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
NA
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
NA
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
NA
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
NA
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
NA
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard from 2000-2002, available until 2006. ESC available from 2003, standard from 2006. Head protection air bags available in 2007, standard from 2008.
Model Summary
These full-sized SUVs offer impressive trailer-towing capability and a smooth, quiet ride--at least at low speeds. The V8s feel strong, and the automatic transmission shifts smoothly. The Yukon can also accommodate up to nine, but unlike the longer Yukon XL (a twin of the Chevy Suburban), it offers very little cargo space behind its cramped third-row seat. Handling is imprecise but ultimately secure. 4WD models have a selectable system with a full-time mode. Stability control is now available. The uplevel Denali is substantially similar to the Cadillac Escalade.
Seating
3 front, 3 rear, 3 third
Drive Wheels
4WD , AWD , Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 4.8-liter V8 (275 hp)
  • 5.3-liter V8 (285 hp)
  • 6-liter V8 (320 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2003 GMC Yukon owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"memory settings for pedals, mirrors, and seats are not reliable. sometimes they work, other times they don't"

Anonymous, NV (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)
Gauges

"Several years ago, had to replace the instrument panel due to a recall. In the last several months different gauges on the instrument panel have been acting up and/or not working and the alarm dinging. Gas gauge is not working now - when says half full, is almost empty"

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon SLT)

"bad instrument cluster, replaced with refurbished cluster"

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"The speedometer failed. It began reading 50 MPH over actual. Unit was replaced. Computer governing display of MPG, oil change, odometer and more locked up. Not yet repaired"

William T., CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"Instrument console including speedometer failing"

Leslie G., NV (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"Tachometer stopped working"

Robert W., FL (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)
Headlights

"One of the headlights on my vehicle quit working. It doesn't have a simple fix like changing a bulb or fuse or module, the whole headlight section needs to be replaced to fix the problem"

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon SLT)
Heated or cooled seats

"Driver side heated seat trips like a breaker when turned on. Goes off after about 10 seconds. Seat Adjustment works backwards! Push forward on control and driver's seat moves backward, and vice versa!"

Anonymous, TX (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"Uncontrolled and intermittent oscillating through the heat control range. Possible weather determined"

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)
Interior lights

"Interion lighting does not come on when the doors are opened."

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)

"Rear back bar light went out. Took car to dealer to get inspection, had no idea it was out. $350 to fix. Also rear seatbelt mechanism has gone out. Also rear window motor is out. $350 at dealer to fix each"

Mary E., MO (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)
Keyless entry

"Changed battery on driver 2, can't reset following manual"

Mary E., MO (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"Erratic lock/unlock. Sometimes doesn't unlock all doors on second click. Sometimes doesn't lock all doors remotely. Clicking sound from temperature sensor fan in ceiling - needed to be replaced. Since then 3rd brake light not working"

Richard S., ON (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"ac compressor became noisy and was pulley engine down,replaced ac compressor and needed parts to repair correctly"

Michael Q., CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"AC Compressor and Accumulator were replaced"

Mike R., CA (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)

"Initially, the rear A/C lines corroded and we disconnected the rear A/C with a blocker kit. Then the A/C compressor froze and would not engage. It will cost over $1,300 to repair"

Patrick R., WI (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"Only hot air was coming from the vents"

Anonymous, NC (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 6.0-L V8)
Automatic climate control

"I have more than average miles on my vehicle however I've purchased 3 temperature control modules. They last a couple of years then stop controlling the front fan speed correctly or fail with no fan."

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)

"Automatic vent controls not functioning properly"

Scott R., WA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)
Blower (fan) motor

"I have had to replace the blower motor 2 times since I've owned the car"

John C., NC (2003 GMC Yukon 5.3-L V8)
Heated or cooled seat controls

"Heated seats turn off after about 2 minutes of use."

Molly F., GA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 4.7-L V8)

"Can only use seat heater in one seat at a time. Turn on two and they both turn off"

Scott R., WA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)
Refrigerant leaks

"Coolant was leaking"

Anonymous, NC (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 6.0-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

"seal on sunroof is cracked"

Michael Q., CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"the suspension hinges on the hatch stopped working. It is very unsafe."

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon)

"The pneumatic system on the hatch stopped working. Hatch door has to be propped open to use."

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon)
Windows

"Driver side window would not go up."

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)

"Rear passenger side power window inoperable"

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Body side molding has lifted away from body and edge has broken off."

Molly F., GA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 4.7-L V8)

"Multiple pieces of trim have broken or come unglued."

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"paint is fading on top of cab over passonger side"

Anonymous, CO (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 4.7-L V8)
Rust

"tailgate doors (bottom) rusting now. Below tailgate rust several years ago (repaired satisfactory)"

Anonymous, MA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)

"Body rusting out over passonger side wher the windshield glues down to seal at body"

Anonymous, CO (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 4.7-L V8)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"I keep getting a "reduce engine power" and it looses power. even on freeway driving 60+ mph reduces down to 30-35 mph"

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)
Oil leaks

"Pinion Seal leak"

Mike R., CA (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)

"both oil pan and valve cover gaskets leaked and were repaired"

Anonymous, NV (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

"Front and rear seals on the oil pan are leaking, but it is not worth repairing. I just dump oil in it constantly. Maybe if the price of oil goes back up, then I'll fix it"

John R., NC (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"The backlight for buttons went out multiple times where the entire radio had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2003 GMC Yukon Denali)

"Display in the dash would change languages constantly and then went blank. If I'd have taken it in when it was switching languages, I probably could have saved the whole dash, but I needed it replaced. Good as new now though"

John R., NC (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)
Radio

"The amplifier developed a short resulting in a high-pitched squeal even when the vehicle was powered off. The amplifier had to be disconnected to resolve, which of course disabled the entire sound system. Too expensive to replace"

Doug H., FL (2003 GMC Yukon 5.3-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"I've had to replace brake pads several times during my ownership."

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon)
Normal routine brake wear

"routine brake replacement. no issues"

David Z., SC (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)
Regular brake failure

"Brake lines rusted out and failed even though the vehicle was garaged the majority of the time. Master cylinder also needed replacement Front wheels also needed to be replaced due to failed sealed bearings. And the brakes needed a new sensor as they"

Anonymous, MA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 4.7-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"The clutches in the third and fourth gear went out"

Anonymous, MO (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission was replaced with brand new one and 1 1/2 years later it had to be replaced again. This is absurd because it is a heavy duty transmission meant for towing. This car has never been used for towing"

Anonymous, FL (2003 GMC Yukon Denali)

"Would not engage in 2nd gear. had to replace transmission"

Mary K., CO (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"The air suspension system Is a leveling system that is required for heavy towing. As long as I do not place an extreme load on the rear it does not affect the operation."

Anonymous, FL (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)
Shocks or struts

"Right rear air-suspension leaking"

Robert W., FL (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Broken steering shaft found during routine maintenance of rack and pinion. Had not caused a driving problem to that point"

Anonymous, MO (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 4.7-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"(Expensive) failure of catalytic converter. This is not unexpected due to age of vehicle, but has very high replacement/repair cost ($2200) especially relative to residual value of vehicle (probably less than $5000)"

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)
Fuel gauge/sender

"gas gauge on dash does not read correctly I have not repaired the item because it costs $950 and the fuel used indicator (digital) is spot-on accurate as a work-around"

Anonymous, MN (2003 GMC Yukon SLT 5.3-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Engine harness

"The "reduce power" could possibly link to the engine harness wiring."

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon Denali 6.0-L V8)
Spark plugs or wires failure

"replaced wires and spark plugs for 100,000 mile tune up"

Anonymous, AZ (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Water leak top passenger side windshield seal"

Anonymous, MA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)
Squeaks or rattles

"There is an annoying hum and clicking that seems to come from the steering column most of the time that I'm driving"

Doug H., FL (2003 GMC Yukon 5.3-L V8)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Slipping transmission

"Third and fourth gear went out in the transmission. We had the transmission rebuilt"

Anonymous, MO (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"There are many moving parts to the 4wd drive on this vehicle however it seems that only the parts that require electricity and interact with the onboard computer systems have failures. Just look at the TCB's."

Anonymous, OK (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 5.3-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"had to replace rear 1300 bucks. dealer wanted 4k"

Anonymous, CA (2003 GMC Yukon SLE 4.7-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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