Test Drive: 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid Review

I sure wish GM would quit sending me large hybrids! I am trying to help them all I can, but as you recall it wasn’t long ago I refused to write a review on a GMC Sierra pickup. Well, I can’t cop out twice, so here we go. I just finished a week with the Yukon hybrid.

The 2009 GMC Yukon Hybrid SUV itself is actually great, so keep that in mind. I actually love the Yukon, I owned one myself before I got my Escalade. Rides good, drives well, nice interior, sharp exterior. All is good until we get to the hybrid engine.

First, the transition between batteries and gas is very rough on acceleration as well as deceleration. It makes the vehicle actually shudder and it makes a clunking noise as it changes. I know this is normal; the Sierra did the same thing. This will drive you absolutely nuts in traffic.

The big issue for me is the price. I will admit to increased fuel economy. In mixed driving I was getting 19 miles to the gallon, which is good for a full-sized SUV. The problem is my Escalade ESV does over 14 under the same conditions.

So let’s do the math on this deal and you’ll see what my problem here is. The difference between the smaller V8 and hybrid is $13215. From 14 miles per gallon to 19 miles per gallon at $2 per gallon, the hybrid saves me $47 per month in fuel at 15000 miles per year. So in roughly 281 months, I’ll break even on the deal. That is slightly over 23 years.

Ah, but you naysayers are out there going “well, what if gas goes to $4 per gallon?” I thought of that too. Now we break even at 11 ½ years. That’s a long time to be putting up with an engine that shifts roughly.

I love the Yukon and its sister the Tahoe, both built right here in Arlington, TX. But give me the regular V8 and the $13,000 in change and I’ll be a happy camper.


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