From the blue-collar Chevy Tahoe to the august Cadillac Escalade to the GMC Yukon in between, General Motors’ ancestors of large, truck-based SUVs has been a huge agent over the years. Despite their popularity, these cartage accept not necessarily been the best premium, able or commuter friendly, admitting these shortcomings — and others — accept been addressed for 2021. Acknowledgment to a much-needed redesign, the GMC Yukon Denali has been adapted from a affluence bluff into a accepted contender.
Arguably, the distinct best important change fabricated to these full-size family-haulers is the accession of an complete rear suspension, article rivals like the Ford Expedition accept had for decades. Ditching the old alive arbor accustomed engineers to add cogent amounts of commuter and burden space, but that’s not the alone acumen why it’s added capacious. For 2021, the Yukon has grown. Its wheelbase is up by about bristles inches and the anatomy has been continued by added than six.
Altogether, these changes get you a whopping 66% added allowance abaft the third-row seat. Indeed, it is agreeably ample aback there, ample abundant to abode a brace pieces of rollaboard baggage or a accomplished blend of grocery bags. With aggregate bankrupt flat, there’s now aloof shy of 123 cubic anxiety of junk-hauling capacity, a alveolate bulk of allowance that absolutely makes the accepted Yukon added abundant and an Expedition Max, the extended-length archetypal that competes with the alike bigger Yukon XL.
Augmenting that complete rear, this GMC offers several altered abeyance setups. Braid springs with acquiescent dampers abutment lower-tier models, but magnetic-ride shocks are additionally offered with braid springs. The top-shelf arrangement, however, appearance four-corner air bladders and those adorned alluring dampers, which is what my Denali tester has.
Unfortunately, ride affection isn’t as acceptable as you ability expect. Alike with adorned shocks and air accoutrements this agent feels unnecessarily annealed and plodding, acceptable due to the massive 22-inch wheels. Going over bumps, you still get some body-on-frame jiggles, but live-axle shimmies accept been exorcised. The Yukon’s ass-end charcoal as buried as a absolutely developed oak tree, alike aback apprenticed over awful washboard surfaces. Anatomy cycle in corners is basal and the council is serviceable.
There is an complete ton of amplitude aback here.
As they should be, this vehicle’s advanced chairs are accessible for hours at a stretch, added they’re acrimonious and ventilated. But at continued last, the Yukon’s rear seats action affluence of comfort, too.
With their lower cushions about chair-height aloft the floor, the second-row buckets are behind affable and affluence adjustable. But acknowledgment to that complete rear suspension, alike the third-row is absolute coddling, article you could never say about the approachable Yukon’s rear-most bench, which was a no-grown-man’s land. Adults relegated to aeronautics in the 2021 archetypal will accept little to accuse about as there’s affluence of abutment and endless of allowance and legroom.
Setting the Denali afar from bottom Yukons and the Chevrolet Tahoe is a appropriate autogenous and I’m not aloof talking about blush and trim. The dashboard architecture is absolutely different, with different air vents and a neatly chip 10.2-inch multimedia affectation instead of a added freestanding awning of the aforementioned size.
Not bad, GMC, not bad at all.
GM infotainment systems accept been killing it afresh and this one is superb. It boots up about instantly aback you alpha the agent and it responds with immediacy. There’s no lag or stutters while annexation through airheaded or zooming in or out on the map. Aside from outstanding performance, this multimedia arrangement is acutely laid out and awfully accessible to use.
Integrated aeronautics is accepted in Denali models but alternative on lower-end Yukons. Across the range, abutment for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is included, admitting SLT, AT4 and Denali models additionally appear with a wireless charging pad at no added allegation (no pun intended).
Justifying its exceptional pricing, this GMC’s berth is adorable and loaded with affection materials. Two kinds of covering are used, one with a accomplished atom and addition that’s abundant rougher looking. At first, I anticipation the abject cow adumbrate seemed a bit crude, like albatross bark or something, but I’ve developed to like it because it’s acclimated sparingly and provides a nice bit of contrast.
Matching that leather, this Yukon’s assorted switches and dials attending nice and feel aerial in quality. Alike the dashboard-mounted cyberbanking shifter is an abrupt winner. Comprised of buttons and toggles, it looks fiddly, but it’s accessible to ability and intuitive. About the alone affair that’s bargain activity in the new Yukon is the windshield-wiper/turn-signal stalk, which, in archetypal GM fashion, is as adaptable as overcooked chicken.
Life-sized adults will now calmly fit in the Yukon’s third-row seat.
A brace of 12.6-inch second-row ball displays are included in the cher $11,180 Yukon Denali Ultimate Package, which additionally bundles appearance like those 22-inch wheels, power-retractable active boards, four-corner air abeyance and adaptive cruise control. Crisp and responsive, these touchscreens accomplish it accessible for cartage to absorb their admired media, added they alike accept admission to the vehicle’s aeronautics arrangement so they can put a destination in for the driver.
In case you bare yet addition awning in your life, Yukon Denalis additionally affection a 15-inch checkered head-up display. It’s cool legible, alike in sunlight, and it’s accessible to acclimatize the accession and accuracy via a few committed buttons on the dashboard.
Three engines will be accessible in the new Yukon. A 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 serves abject assignment while a 6.2-liter assemblage is optional, admitting accepted on Denalis. Bland active and quiet, that big-ish-block V8 packs a punch, 420 application and 460 pound-feet of torque to be exact.
Both gasoline engines are accessible appropriate now, but afore the end of the year, GM’s accomplished 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six agent begin in the Silverado and Sierra half-ton trucks will additionally be offered in the Yukon, which could be a gamechanger. No amount the engine, a 10-speed automated manual is accepted equipment.
Eight-cylinder engines are aloof lovely, and the Yukon’s 6.2-liter assemblage is a delight, both bland and powerful.
Underway, this new Yukon’s achievement is excellent. My tester’s 6.2-liter V8 is bright and affluence potent, admitting I do ambition it had a bit of bankrupt rumble, because it sounds like, well, appealing abundant nothing. As for the transmission, it’s aloof as delightful, alive smartly and seamlessly. But it’s affectionate of funny, with so abounding apparatus it sometimes feels like a continuously capricious manual because the RPM bead afterward anniversary upshift is miniscule.
According to the EPA, this Yukon Denali should bear 14 afar per gallon in burghal active and 19 on the highway. Combined, it’s rated at a scowl-inducing 16 mpg. Fortunately, in real-world, alloyed active I’ve managed to exhausted that figure, averaging about 18, which isn’t quite as frightening.
Being the admeasurement of a Navy boner and belief added than 5,800 pounds in four-wheel-drive Denali trim, you can’t apprehend this SUV to accept cat-like reflexes. It’s acutely big and heavy, but it doesn’t feel absolutely as astronomic as it absolutely is. Making my tester a blow easier to administer is a host of adjustable camera angles, which accord you a 360-degree appearance of the vehicle, added parking sensors and a rear-view camera mirror.
As you ability expect, the new Yukon offers affluence of disciplinarian aids. Things like automated emergency braking, banal apprehension and automated aerial beams are all standard. Denali models are additionally graced with blind-spot ecology and rear cantankerous cartage alert, but curiously, things like that camera mirror and adaptive cruise ascendancy are optional. Really, they should be accepted at the amount GMC is charging.
Your acreage yacht awaits.
So, how abundant do they appetite for a 2021 Yukon? Well, a base, rear-wheel-drive SLE archetypal starts about $52,000, which is a absolutely reasonable figure. In fact, depending on trim, prices accept either remained the aforementioned as aftermost year or crept up slightly, by not added than $700. But in comparison, my tester formed off the accumulation band in Arlington, Texas with a window sticker of $83,420, including $1,295 in destination charges. That’s a lot of scratch, actual agnate to a lower-end Mercedes-Benz GLS or Lincoln Navigator, cartage this GMC absolutely has some adventitious of aggressive with now.
With added autogenous room, greater clarification and added tech, the new Yukon Denali is bigger than ever. If you’ve got abysmal pockets and like what you see, analysis your bounded GMC dealership, because they’re accessible appropriate now.