New for 2021: General Motors has had quite the start to 2020. Just days after news of the new Hummer broke, the company has unveiled the 2021 GMC Yukon. Based on the recently unveiled Tahoe and Suburban, the Yukon presents a more premium family-hauling alternative compared to the Tahoe and Suburban on which it is based. Aesthetically, the changes are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It features an even bigger grille flanked by the familiar Yukon LED headlamps which now sport a slightly sharper design.

It shares the powertrains, chassis, suspension and the cabin with the Suburban, which is actually a great thing. It ensures that you now get Air Ride Adaptive suspension along with the magnetic ride and all engine options also available on the Suburban along with the premium GMC badge. The biggest changes, however, are the addition of an off-road AT4 trim along with the addition of the 3.0-liter Duramax Diesel engine and a cabin design that is exclusive to the Denali trim.

In terms of dimensions, the Yukon has grown quite significantly. The regular Yukon is now 6.1 inches longer and features a 4.9-inch longer wheelbase compared to the previous model. It also offers an additional 10 inches of legroom in the third row. The XL, on the other hand, has grown by just 0.9 inches in length but the wheelbase has increased by 4.1 inches freeing up 2.2 inches of extra legroom in the third row.

There is no clarity on the trim and pricing break up of the Yukon yet and according to GMC, the SUV will go on sale only in the summer.

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GMC Yukon Powertrains

The Yukon and Yukon XL will come with a choice of three powertrains and GMC will follow the same trim ladder as it does with its Sierra series of trucks. So according to the GMC playbook, the Yukon twins will be offered with the 5.3-liter gasoline V8 as standard which delivers 355 hp of power and 383 lb-ft of max torque. You will have the option to either upgrade to the 6.2-liter V8 dishing out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft or to the new 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six engine that makes 277 hp and 460 lb-ft.

All engines, however, will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Armed with the 3.0-liter Duramax, GMC is claiming that the Yukon twins will be the most fuel-efficient SUVs in their segment. Both 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL will be available in both RWD and 4WD.

GMC Yukon Features

One of the most notable additions to the Yukon lineup is the AT4 off-road specific trim and GMC claims it will offer the AT4 trim on all products by the end of 2020. It is already available on the Acadia, Sierra, and Sierra HD. The AT4 trim features a two-speed transfer case, 20-inch Goodyear all-terrain tires, traction select with off-road mode, hill-descent control and skid plates. It also comes with the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension that allows for ride height adjustment. It also gets its own stitching inside the cabin.
Other features on the new Yukon include an Active Response 4WD system that is coupled with an eLSD. It monitors the road surface and adjusts the suspension settings accordingly. It also features magnetic ride control which when coupled with the air suspension claims to offer the best ride in the segment. It also features 9 camera views along with HD surround view, a 15-inch heads-up display with all vehicle and navigation information.

Then there is the top of the line Denali trim that gets its own set of exclusive features. For starters, it gets its own dash layout. The infotainment system is embedded into the dash compared to the free-standing design of the lower trims. In addition, the aforementioned surround-view camera, HUD and the magnetic ride control with Active Response 4WD and self-leveling will probably be exclusive to the Denali trim.

GMC will also offer safety features such as front collision alert with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and blindspot detection as standard along with automatic headlamps. Lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control will likely cost extra.

Detailed Specs

Engine / 3.0L 6-cyl diesel/ 5.3L V8/ 6.2L V8
Power (hp) / 277/ 355/ 420
Torque (lb-ft) / 460/ 383/ 460
Transmission / 10-speed automatic
Drivetrain / RWD/ 4WD
Price / $55,000-$85,000