There are some people who need a full-size SUV with a luxurious interior and the muscle and torque to carry a load of passengers or heavy cargo. That is where the 2021 GMC Yukon shines. One of the things we admire most about the Yukon is that everything is bigger than life on this SUV, the interior is big, the engine is big, and there is big potential in what it can accomplish. Even though the Yukon is closely related to its cousins, the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, it has further distanced itself from that crowd and stands alone quite well. The 2021 model brings a few new features and choices, including all-new independent rear suspension, a diesel engine option, and the much-anticipated addition of an AT4 model to the lineup. The Yukon offers much more than just a spacious interior; there are plenty of things to love about this full-size SUV.
When shopping for your dream vehicle, the more choices you have, the happier you will be with your final selection, mainly because you have a much better chance of getting everything you desire. GMC felt it was important to give you three engine options in the new Yukon, and they are all great choices, so be ready to spend some time taking each option into consideration. The standard trim levels are equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 with 383 lb-ft of torque and 355 horsepower. There is also an optional 6.2-liter V8 on the higher trims that delivers 460 lb-ft of torque and 420 horsepower. Finally, there is an optional six-cylinder turbo-diesel rated at 460 lb-ft of torque and 277 horsepower. All three engines are paired with a modern 10-speed automatic transmission. Regardless of which engine you choose, the Yukon enjoys exceptional towing capacities.
Now, performance isn't just about engine power; thanks to available adaptive shock absorbers and air springs, the Yukon offers a surprisingly smooth ride for a full-size SUV. The big engines also provide smooth acceleration and maintain highway speeds without any problem. You can also thank the independent rear suspension for the smooth ride as well as nice handling. On most trim levels, rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is an option, except on the AT4, where four-wheel drive is a standard feature.
There is no doubt that the Yukon is a stylish SUV with its aggressive front end, massive grille, and distinguished looks, but the AT4 and Denali trims take it to the next level. The Denali's exterior styling screams luxury; from the daytime running LED lights in the front to the massive chrome grille, it is a refined look sure to draw the attention you desire. There have been a few dimensional changes as well, with the 2021 model being five inches wider and over six inches longer than the previous model, which just adds to the charisma. But seriously, you need to check out the grille on the Denali; it is chrome dipped and has over 10,000 individual reflective surfaces in the pattern. Impressive indeed.
There are a few significant changes to the interior of the new Yukon. Thanks to additional space from the new design, passengers can now enjoy extra room for their legs, and it is easier to get people in the third row of seating. Speaking of third-row seating, the 2021 Yukon adds over 10 inches of legroom. And thanks to the independent rear suspension, the floor of the Yukon is lower, which means more comfortable seats as well as seats that fold flatter to maximize cargo space. The interior of the Yukon is as aesthetically pleasing as it is comfortable. You will find the materials used in the interior to be high quality, and the gauges and controls are within easy reach. The seats are super comfortable, which also helps to achieve such a relaxing ride.
The Yukon boasts GMC's latest infotainment system with a large 10.2-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Bose audio system with nine speakers, and an instrument cluster display measuring 8.0 inches. At the Denali level, the driver enjoys built-in navigation, a heads-up display, and a surround-sound audio system with 14 speakers. The passengers in the Denali can even enjoy a rear-seat entertainment system, which is perfect for long family trips.
Yukon drivers can enjoy heated and ventilated 12-way power front seats with leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, and a hands-free power liftgate. You will also get wireless charging, keyless entry and start, and three-zone climate control that ensures every passenger enjoys their ride in comfort. There are plenty of safety features that deserve to be mentioned as well, including rear-cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and pedestrian detection. And it doesn't stop there; there are several other safety features, including automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and forward-collision warning. You get the idea; GMC makes it perfectly clear that safety is paramount, and they give you the tools you need to ensure a safe driving experience.
There are several additional packages you can add to your Yukon, depending on the trim. For example, the Denali Premium Package adds a panoramic sunroof, 22-inch alloy wheels, and power side steps, which makes climbing inside the Yukon a breeze. The SLT Luxury Package includes a 360-degree view parking camera system, which makes fitting the full-size SUV in tight spaces a task that doesn't cause anxiety, a heated steering wheel, and memory function for the driver's seat, which is a must for those who have a spouse or other family members who drive their Yukon on a regular basis and always mess up your perfect seat adjustments. We can all agree to that.
The GMC Yukon is a full-size SUV that is luxurious, stylish, and a very comfortable ride. Some might even describe the 2021 Yukon as a sophisticated SUV, a vehicle that turns heads and can be considered a status symbol. No kidding, it looks good, the interior and exterior are aesthetically pleasing, and it is an SUV you would be proud to show off to your friends. However, as classy as the Yukon may be, it still has the heart of a GMC work vehicle. That is, the Yukon is equipped to carry a lot of cargo as needed, and it has some impressive towing capacities.
The maximum towing capacity of the 2021 Yukon is an impressive 8,400 pounds, which is enough power to tow anything from larger trailer loads to boats to all of the other toys in your garage. So whether you are the type who loves weekend adventures and could use a high towing capacity for your trips to the lake or you do your own work around the house and need to haul away that tree you chopped up or the trash from the bathroom you refinished, the Yukon gets the job done and makes your life easier.
When all of the seats are upright, you enjoy 25.5 feet of cargo space in the 2021 GMC Yukon. That capacity increases significantly to just over 72 cubic feet of cargo space when the third row of seats is folded down. When you fold down both the third row of seats and the second row of seats, cargo space increases to nearly 123 cubic feet, which is more than enough for the gear you need to pack whenever you take a trip or head out for a weekend adventure. However, if even that is not enough, then the extended-length Yukon XL offers an incredible 144.7 cubic feet of cargo space.