Here Are The GMC Yukon Years To Avoid (2023)

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The GMC Yukon is one of those big, bulky SUVs that looks like it can handle just about anything. It’s an SUV that looks about as hard-wearing as a truck or a Jeep, but looks can be deceiving.

GMC has been making Yukons since 1993, and they’ve been a relatively successful model the whole time. The vehicle is effective, reasonably priced, and they’re great if you’re looking for a larger SUV that performs and drives well.

Of course, they aren’t perfect, and there are some GMC Yukon years to avoid and other high-performing years that are still great as used vehicles. In this article, we’ll talk about the best and worst years for the GMC Yukon, as well as the most common problems the GMC Yukon has so you can prepare for common problems if you decide to get a Yukon.

GMC Yukon Years You Should Avoid

Real quick, here are the GMC Yukon years to avoid and which years tend to have the most complaints and the lowest reviews.

  • 1999
  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2007
  • 2015
  • 2016

For a vehicle that’s been in production for almost 30 years, that’s a relatively short list of years you should avoid compared to what it could be. That’s a great sign for the Yukon, but it doesn’t mean that they’re all fantastic vehicles.

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Overall, the 2015 model gets the most complaints of any model Yukon. Comparatively, the 1999 model just barely makes the list since it’s got more problems than the year before or after. However, it still performs relatively well compared with the other models on this list, though most ’99 Yukons have enough miles that they are starting to have age-related problems more than design problems.

The run of vehicles from 2003-2005 is also still reasonable, even though they don’t perform as well as other models of Yukon. The 2005 model especially just barely makes the list and tends to perform better than either the 2003 or 2004 designs, and all three are much better than the 2007 or 2015 models in terms of user reviews and performance.


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Common Problems With The GMC Yukon

Thankfully, even the GMC Yukon years to avoid tend to have relatively minor problems instead of big safety or effectiveness problems. Here are some of the most common problems. All of these can happen to any GMC, but they seem to be most common in the recent 2015 model.

Tailgate Light Not Working Properly

The most common issue reported with GMC Yukons is the tailgate light not working. Thankfully this is a relatively minor cosmetic issue more than a functional one, but it’s still frustrating at times. Unfortunately, this isn’t an issue that can be corrected with a new light bulb.

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That means that the whole fixture has to be replaced if you want to solve this problem, which can be relatively expensive for just fixing a cosmetic light.

Excessive Oil Consumption

Excessive oil consumption is another common problem with GMC Yukons, especially for the GMC Yukon years to avoid.

This issue isn’t extreme; most Yukons use less oil than a typical slow oil leak. However, it does mean that owning and maintaining a GMC Yukon can be a little more expensive than other vehicles. Sealing your engine won’t help fix this problem, and excessive oil consumption can get worse over time.

The best solution for this problem is just to carry the appropriate weight oil with you and check your oil levels when you fill up. That will help you stay on top of the problem without causing wear and tear damage to your vehicle. However, since there aren’t any good solutions to this problem, you’re pretty much stuck paying for extra oil if you happen to get a Yukon that consumes it.


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AC Not Working Properly

This problem is another issue that’s most common with the 2015 Yukon compared to other models. The repair is relatively expensive but not unreasonable, at about $1k on average. The 2015 Yukon is somewhat prone to A/C failure. However, the type of failure can impact the cost of the repair, which is worth noting.

Excessive Vibration From Transmission

The last common problem we want to highlight in GMC Yukon years to avoid is excessive vibration from the transmission. Vibration is rarely a good thing when it comes to the internal function of a vehicle and can cause damage all by itself. However, a vibrating transmission can make it harder to drive your vehicle safely and may be a sign of more severe transmission problems to come.

That means that this issue is particularly concerning, but thankfully it’s also a little rarer than the other issues we’ve highlighted so far.

Reliable GMC Yukon Model Years

As much as the 2015 GMC Yukon has some serious problems, there are plenty of good models of GMC Yukon. In fact, if we didn’t list the model in our above list, it’s probably a pretty reliable option. Here are some of the most reliable options when it comes to GMC Yukon, though.

  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2017
  • 2006
  • 2002
  • 2000

You’ll notice that we didn’t include the most recent releases. It’s not that there are any serious issues with the most recent Yukons, quite the opposite. Recent Yukons are incredibly reliable so far. We just haven’t included them because the real test of a vehicle is after it’s 5 years old or older, once design flaws are more likely to be noticed and maintenance is likely to go up.


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Which GMC Yukon Models Are Good Used Vehicles?

If you’re looking for a GMC Yukon to buy used, you’ll certainly want to avoid the GMC Yukon years to avoid, but just because a different model year is good doesn’t mean it’s a fantastic used option. At least, not in most vehicles.

The GMC Yukon is a little bit of an exception there. These SUVs tend to age well, which means that you can choose from any of the reliable model years to get a good used vehicle.

However, you should remember that older vehicles probably have more mileage and more wear and tear while younger models are likely to last longer and perform better. Older vehicles also tend to use more gas, which is one reason we tend to recommend you look mostly at vehicles made in 2010 or more recently.

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