2021 GMC Yukon (XL)

2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL
Source: GMC.com

Just hearing the word Yukon conjures up all kinds of imagery. For some, it’s blasting down a snowy mountain road, and to others, it’s showing up at an exclusive resort surrounded by snow-capped mountains. 

GMC’s 2021 Yukon and Yukon XL can do both in a big way. 

Touted as 2021’s Next Generation GMC Yukon, it presents a first-class experience just looking at it from the sidewalk. Having already established its reputation as the standard-bearer for large SUVs, the 2021 GMC Yukon adds more room, new safety features, a softer ride, new off-road capabilities, more engine choices, and the Denali interior. 

2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL

The Yukon remains a large three-row SUV but, for 2021, it has been revamped with major updates that have not been seen in six years. This all-new Yukon is bigger on the outside, bigger on the inside, and adds new features. These include new safety equipment, interior amenities, and a diesel engine option. 

In terms of size, the Yukon and the Yukon XL differ mainly in length. The first thing one will notice is that the Yukon XL has a much longer wheelbase. Its overall length is over 224 inches compared to the Yukon’s 204 inches. This equates to an increase in cargo volume of about 25-cubic feet. It also adds about 10 inches of third-row legroom. 

Beyond physical dimensions, new safety equipment includes a nine-camera system that makes parking and towing much safer, magnetic ride control, and air suspension. The air suspension eliminates the old live-axle design for a new independent multi-link suspension across the trim spectrum. This makes for much better ride quality and contributes to more interior room for passengers in the back. All models come standard with automatic emergency braking. 

The AT4 Off-Road Trim

New in 2021 for off-road enthusiasts, the AT4 trim takes ideas from GMC’s other proven off-road vehicles such as the full-sized Sierra truck. It has a two-speed transfer case, skid plates, a selectable traction system, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, leather upholstery, 20-inch Goodyear all-terrain tires, and four-corner air suspension. It is sure to make the impassible passible. 

Where’s the Power?

New in 2021, the Yukon has three engine choices. The standard 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 is still around as is the optional 460-horsepower 6.2-liter V8. 

New is the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder diesel. This addition is a time-proved offering from GMC in their Sierra and Silverado trucks. It produces 277 horsepower with a stump-pulling 460 pounds per foot of torque. It adds a whole new dimension of towing power to the Yukon and promises more in fuel efficiency. 

All models use the time-proven 10-speed automatic transmission. 

Come One, Come All

Perhaps one of the biggest changes in 2021 is the number of passengers that can be seated comfortably. There are three main options available for seating. The base SLE models continue to offer total seating for nine people when configured with the front three-across bench seat. It’d perfect for large families or people who transport a lot of passengers. More on the stylish side is a seven-passenger configuration that has a second-row of captain’s chairs. There is also an eight-passenger setup. 

The Denali Interior

The no-holds-barred luxury of the Yukon Denali comes loaded with even more features in 2021. It now has its own exclusive interior. The upgrade begins with a one-of-a-kind instrument panel with four exclusive color themes. Each of the color themes has a different combination of premium leather appointments with art gallery-worthy “fractal” stitching and beautiful authentic wood. The amenities in the interior abound including, but not limited to, leather seats, heated seats, heated steering wheel, triple door seals, tri-zone automatic climate controls, Bose Active Noise Cancellation, acoustic-laminated windows and much, much more. 

The Little Things in Life

GMC didn’t skimp on the smaller details for the 2021 Yukon. There is a roomy power-operated center console with secure locking upfront, a 15-inch heads-up display, an Active Response 4WD system, an electronic limited-slip differential, and GMC’s ProGrade trailering system. The roomy cabin has too many “little things” to mention in this writing (e.g., cupholders and great interior lighting) but it is safe to say, the things most passengers take for granted are covered. 

GMC’s Yukon line offers many choices and configurations to please even the most discriminating buyer. Whether it’s a black-tie affair in the city or an exciting romp in the snow, The 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL have it covered.