The all-new 2021 GMC Yukon has been revealed with a new AT4 off-road model and a Denali that’s more premium than ever before.
The full-size SUV shares its platform with the recently unveiled Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and upcoming Cadillac Escalade and delivers a mix of capability and luxury that slots right between them.
Stu Pierce, senior marketing manager for GMC trucks and full-size SUVs, says the brand’s customers are looking for a vehicle that’s better than average, but not so nice that they wouldn’t want to get it dirty.
The biggest change to the new trucks is a switch from a solid rear axle, like a pickup truck uses, to a carlike independent rear suspension. This improves ride and handling while allowing for more interior space for third-row passengers and cargo behind them.
The Yukon is offered in regular and stretched XL models, both with larger cabins than the outgoing versions. The standard engine is a 5.3-liter V8, while 6.2-liter V8 and 3.0-liter inline-6-cylinder turbodiesel are also available. The diesel debuted in the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup this year with best in class fuel economy.
The Yukon’s strong exterior styling is complemented by a cabin trimmed in premium materials and equipped with GM’s latest tech, including a new infotainment system, a head-up display projected on to the windshield and a 360-degree camera system. A unique power sliding center console is also available that opens up extra storage space between the front seats and hides a secure drawer inside of it.
2021 GMC Yukon AT4
Along with the standard trim levels and top of the line Denali that makes up the most of Yukon sales, GMC has added an AT4 model that provides the most off-road capability in the lineup with 33-inch all-terrain tires, skid plates and tow hooks. It can be equipped with a unique two-range 4×4 system that includes an electronic rear differential for added traction on slippery surfaces as well as an air suspension system with four inches of height adjustment.
The Yukon Denali’s dashboard design is unique in the lineup.
The AT4 is only offered with the 5.3-liter V8, but the Denali can be ordered with either the 6.2-liter V8 or the diesel. For the first time, the street-smart model gets a unique dashboard design to give it an even more upscale feel and further set it apart from the other models and a standard air suspension with computer-controlled dampers.
The power center console slides rearward to open up a deck between the seats.
Full specifications and pricing for the Yukon, along with information on lower trim levels, will be announced closer to when it goes on sale this summer, but the outgoing version starts at around fifty grand.