The GMC Yukon XL 1500 was known in its earlier years as the GMC Suburban. It is one of the longest-running automobile nameplates in production today. During its early years, the vehicle that has now evolved into a large sport utility vehicle had actually served as a faithful truck-based station wagon meant for rural or commercial use. That was what a "Suburban" stood for in the United States automotive industry back in 1935--a windowed, station wagon type body on a commercial frame. Since undergoing major changes in its features and size, the renamed GMC Yukon XL 1500 is now a popular choice both as a family car and a solid truck-based vehicle capable of towing.
1937-2006: The evolution of the GMC Suburban
After GMC produced all-steel "carryall-suburban" vehicles under its Chevrolet line, the automobile giant decided to produce its own version of the vehicle. In 1937, GMC manufactured a vehicle that was known as a "Suburban Carryall" until it cut the name to simply "Suburban." The GMC Suburban was built on a 1/2 ton truck frame and has stayed that way for many years, but by 1955, a lot of engineering and styling upgrades have been done to it. The GMC Suburban was equipped with a V8, and the aesthetic changes included a flatter hood, the edges of the front fenders close to the rest of the body, and a trapezoid grill. This was how the vehicle looked until the end of its fifth generation in 1959. For nearly 50 years, the GMC Suburban has evolved both in appearance and performance until GMC felt the need to redesign it as a more modern and less boxy SUV.
2000: The birth of the GMC Yukon XL
The GMC Yukon XL, officially introduced in 2000, featured a more aerodynamic shape. This is achieved by its steeply raked windshield angle, which provided less drag than previous models. Two versions of the Yukon XL were eventually offered: the Yukon XL 2500, which is the heavy-duty version, and a lighter full-size SUV--the GMC Yukon XL 1500. This first generation Yukon XL 1500 lasted through 2006 and quickly became a popular choice for families. Its warehouse-sized interior provided a large passenger and cargo space.
2007-present: The modern GMC Yukon XL 1500
The current 1500 versions come with a 5.3-liter V8 that offer 320 horsepower and 335 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, with options for either a two- or four-wheel-drive version. For the 1500 models, the use of gear shifters located on the steering wheel made the transmission shiftable. The newest version of the GMC Yukon XL 1500 can carry about 1,500 lbs and can tow about 8,100 lbs of load. Indeed, the Yukon XL 1500 has evolved from a classic vehicle to a very modern SUV.