Doesn’t feel like 420 horsepower the GMC Yukon has been completely overhauled for 2021.
But there is far more to this redesign than just updated styling.
Addressing nearly all of the outgoing model shortcomings this New one has more interior space and comfort plus better dynamics and refinement.
Giving customers more of what they want.
The Yukon is not just better, it’s bigger too.
The new models wheelbase has grown by nearly five inches and its overall length is up by more than six.
Now the super chunky Yukon XL has also bulked up, but its gains are less significant.
These increases have dramatically improved passenger and cargo space, in the standard length Yukon.
There’s a whopping 66% more room behind the third row seat.
And with everything folded flat, there is just shy of 123 cubic feet of junk hauling space and increase of more than 28 which is huge.
But it’s not just distended dimensions that made the Yukon more capacious, engineers finally got around to stuffing an independent rear suspension underneath this body on frame SUV.
As for the rest of this vehicles chassis, coil springs with passive dampers support lower tier models, but magneride shocks are also offered with coil springs.
The top shelf arrangement however.
Features for corner air bladders and magneride which is of course what we have here.
So I am testing a fancy Denali model and aside from extra standard equipment and an updated interior, unique styling helps separate these from lesser yukons.
And of course that includes this unmistakable grill Supposedly it has more than 10,000 individual reflective surfaces.
I haven’t bothered to count them, have you?
No matter the number.
It kind of looks like the Denali drove through a giant plume of glitter.
You’re not going to miss this thing in your rear view mirror.
Behind that big bold grille three different engines will be offered in the new Yukon.
A 355 horsepower 5.3 litre V eight serves base duty, but a 6.2 litre unit is available or standard in Denali models.
It is smooth running and very potent.
Getting you 420 horsepower and 460 pound feet of torque.
Both of those gasoline engines are available right now but before the end of this year, that excellent three liter Duramax inline six diesel will be available in the Yukon and it couldn’t really be a game changer and a full size SUV like this.
You know, it’s that engine.
They use in the.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra, it is really nice.
But no matter the engine you choose in this vehicle, they’re all matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
interior quality is another sore spot with GMC, outgoing full-size SUVs.
They just They aren’t that nice, but I’m happy to report these Denali digs are way better and it actually feels like it’s worth the asking price in here, which we’ll get to in just a little bit, or in a lot of it because this is a pretty long video.
In here there are loads of nice materials and attractive overall design and high quality switches and knobs, except for the windshield wiper slash turn signal stock, which feels as rubbery as overcooked chicken.
Further setting Denali models apart from lessor Yukon’s is a unique dashboard design and I’m not just talking about color and trim here, the overall layout is actually unique.
Plus, they’ve got a more integrated infotainment screen opposed to one that sort of Free standing in other Yukon models but no matter the variant you get they all measure 10.2 inches.
This vehicles leather is soft and premium plus I love this sort of cross stitch pattern they use it adds a really unique look.
There’s also another kind of cowhide.
They’ve got here with a much coarser texture.
And at first I kind of thought it looked like elephant skin a little bit cheap, but I’ve got to say that use it sparingly and it adds a nice bit of contrast compared to some of the other surfaces in here.
On the dashboard here, you’ll probably notice this electronic shifter which at first looks kind of funny, but I gotta say, it’s very intuitive and it quickly becomes second nature to use.
Navigation is included on my Denali model here, but you can get it optionally on lower trim versions of the Yukon though.
Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard across the range.
This infotainment system is an absolute winner Not only is it clearly laid out and very finger friendly with Large Icons, it’s also super responsive.
This thing just absolutely flies so GM has done a very good job with this.
Now we’ve also got a 15 inch color head up display in this Yukon which is super handy and very easy to adjust.
With a few buttons right here to the left of the steering wheel, because of the tall dashboard, it feels like you’re sitting deep in this vehicle but visibility isn’t too compromised.
And of course you can just lift the driver seat up just a little bit.
Now one very clever feature is this power sliding center console.
I love this once you move it back at leaves you A large space to put either a big purse or maybe even some carry-out food.
So now you don’t have to worry about your wonton soup spilling everywhere when you’re taking those corners.
These front seats are also super-comfortable, long-haul cushy, and so are the chairs in the back.
This isn’t something I’d like to do in last year’s UConn with their live rear axles GMC, outgoing full size SUVs have incredibly cramped third row seats.
But this one here is all day comfortable even for adults or adult size children.
With plenty of leg and headroom now these second row chairs are also very comfortable, plenty adjustable and with a lower cushion that’s about a chair height above the floor.
So overall these accommodations are a major win for passenger comfort, But enough about seats Heading up front.
Let’s take this thing for a spin.
This new Yukon’s performance is excellent that 6.2 liter V8 is super smooth and plenty potent though I do wish it had a bit of exhaust rumble because it sounds like well, pretty much nothing
See it’s way too quiet.
This SUVs 10 speed transmission is delightful as well.
It shifts smartly and seamlessly just about every time but it’s kind of.
Funny because with so many gears to choose from, it almost feels like a CVT because the rev drop with each up shift is so small.
According to the EPA, this Yukon Denali should return 14 miles per gallon in the city and 19 on highway drives.
Pretty frightening numbers combined it is rated at 16mpg.
Fortunately though, in real world mixed driving, I’ve managed to average right around 18mpg, which isn’t too terrible.
For handling, it’s fine I mean, being the size of a Navy destroyer and weighing more than 5800 pounds and four wheel drive Denali trim, you can expect this thing to handle like a Subaru BRC.
Now it is certainly big and heavy, but on the plus size, I should say on the plus.
Side doesn’t feel as enormous as it actually is.
It feels a good bit smaller, which is a good thing.
a plethora of adjustable camera angles, parking sensors, and a rearview camera mirror all helped make it just a little bit easier to dock this vessel when it’s time to alight.
Yukon Denali is on-road performance is really pretty admirable except for one thing, ride quality.
Despite that new independent rear suspension for corner airbags and magnetic dampers, this vehicle still feels a little bit too stiff and plotting and, I’m blaming those 22 inch wheels which are gigantic and probably weigh a figurative ton.
Going over bumps, you still get some of that body on frame jiggle Enos, but fortunately, there are no more of those live axle shimmies that send the back end shaking from side to side.
The rear here, remains as planted as a fully grown oak tree even when you’re driving over washboard surfaces.
The Yukon comes with plenty of advanced driver aids things like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and automatic high beams are all standard.
But Curiously, even on Denali models, things like that rearview camera mirror and adaptive cruise control are optional.
Shouldn’t they be included at the price GMC is charging.
So how much do they want for a 2021 Yukon?
Well, a base rear wheel drive SLE model starts at about 52 grand, which is Pretty reasonable.
But this Denali model here rolled off the assembly line in Arlington, Texas with a sticker price of $83,420 including 1295 and destination fees and that is nearly as much as a lower end Lincoln Navigator or Mercedes Benz GLS With loads of additional interior room, greater refinement, and more tech, this Yukon Denali is nicer than ever.
And I’ve got to say it actually, it feels like it’s worth the price now.
So if you’ve got suitably deep pockets and you like what you see here, head on over to your local GMC dealership because these things should be available right now.
The 2021 GMC Yukon Denali is so much better – Video