Those are the times large SUV retailers are going through right now.
After a summer of record fuel prices and unprecedented natural disasters, sales of big American SUVs took a nosedive recently, falling between 20 and 25 percent compared with last year, though the Toyota Sequoia took the cake with a 46-percent decline in just one month. Hybrids are continuing to gain in performance and popularity, and those high gas prices haven’t receded – even though big oil companies are reaping terrific profits. Indeed, now is not necessarily a good time to be introducing a redesigned lineup of V8-powered big trucks.
Unfortunately, seeing into the future isn’t an attribute of car companies, so they must continue to take gambles, hoping that the cars they design today will be desirable when they hit the lots two or three years (or more) from now. That’s just the problem GM ran into with its redesigned trucks, including this new 2007 GMC Yukon. Consider that GMC designers were benchmarking the Audi A4 back in 2002 for the 2007 Yukon’s interior, and you get a sense of how long the automotive design and engineering process can take. So, much of the new 2007 GMC Yukon took shape before skyrocketing gas prices and the subsequent shift to hybrids and more efficient smaller cars occurred. Should GM have been prepared with its own thrifty lineup, just as its import competitors were? We’ll leave that one for another time.
In reality, people are still buying large suvs, just not as many of them. And for those buyers, the 2007 GMC Yukon has a lot to offer. Its V8 engines are more powerful, the frame has been stiffened, overall styling is much cleaner, and attention to material and build quality has supposedly improved.
What it is
Why it matters
When you can buy it
How much it costs
How quick it is
What it looks like
Inside is a completely redesigned dash, now featuring smooth shapes, tight tolerances, and none of the 1980’s-era radio and climate controls that have historically plagued GM interiors. It’s a welcome change, though the volume knob we saw on an early production model was conspicuously small. With the new design, cargo capacity has increased by 4.2 cubic feet behind the second row seats, and a new front-row center console offers an amazing 20 liters of capacity.
What it does best
What we think
On a purely subjective note, we tend to favor the styling of the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe over the GMC Yukon mainly because of its smoked headlights, giving the Chevy a sportier appearance.
Photos courtesy of General Motors