In General Motors’s calendar of ample SUVs, the GMC Yukon lives in the baby bit of arena amid the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe. Like those trucks, the Yukon has been thoroughly adapted for 2021. The new belvedere is still body-on-frame construction, but GM has assuredly anchored in an absolute rear abeyance to alter the old live-axle setup. That new abeyance pays assets in ride and administration and allows for a lower floor, which increases third-row amplitude and burden capacity.
The Yukon now has 11 cubic anxiety added burden amplitude than in the antecedent bearing and 10.1 added inches of third-row legroom. The wayback of the new Yukon still looks cramped, but bottomward the attic makes the third row far added comfortable, and it’s accessible to brainstorm that an developed would voluntarily absorb up to an hour aback there after complaint, abnormally if the second-row seats are scooted forward.
Ride and administration improvements built-in of the new abeyance are subtler. The new Yukon steers, handles, and rides with added adroitness than before. But the avant-garde and rear abeyance still applause annoyingly over impacts. The Yukon is easier to apply and responses are tighter, but we did agenda its obnoxiously low cornering grip—less than before—just analogous the aftermost Sierra HD auto that we activated at 0.73 g.
Not aggregate about the Yukon is new, but not aggregate bare to change either. Unlike the Ford Expedition, which alone comes with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, GMC continues to action artlessly aspirated V-8 engines. A 355-hp 5.3-liter V-8 is standard, and the upmarket Denali comes with a 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8. Both accept the avant-garde cylinder-deactivation arrangement alien by the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado. With the 6.2-liter V-8, our Denali hit 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, two-tenths of a additional abaft its predecessor. We saw 14 mpg during our time with the new Denali, which is in befitting with the EPA’s burghal fuel-economy appraisal for a Yukon with this wheelbase and powertrain.
© Andi Hedrick 2021 GMC Yukon Denali
As abundant as we adulation the V-8s, advised by how it able-bodied it works in the Sierra pickup, we ability be tempted by the new turbocharged 277-hp 3.0-liter inline-six agent agent with 460 pound-feet of torque. GMC hasn’t appear fuel-economy estimates for the diesel, but based on the Sierra’s numbers with that agent we’d apprehend it will annual almost 23 mpg burghal and as aerial as 30 mpg highway. All three engines allotment a 10-speed automated manual and accessible with rear- or four-wheel drive.
If you’re added into off-roading than annoyance racing, there’s the new AT4 trim, which adds off-road tires, drift plates, accepted magnetorheological dampers, red front-tow hooks, and a array of added corrective enhancements. When GMC began planning an AT4 trim for the Yukon, it accepted the archetypal to annual for about 10 percent of sales, but the success of the Sierra and Acadia AT4 bumped expectations to about 20 percent.
A new autogenous helps the Yukon amuse its flush pretensions, and Denalis go a footfall added with appropriate leather, absolute copse trim, and a cardinal of absolute interior-color options. There’s an accessible 15-inch head-up affectation and alternative tablet-style infotainment displays for the additional row that can affectation media from a array of bring-your-own video sources and—this may about-face out to be a mistake—send aeronautics suggestions to the disciplinarian for approval.
More applied and comfortable than before, the Yukon is a attenuate best compared to the apparent affectation of the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. Buyers would be acute to accede Mercedes’s GLS-class full-sizer, but the Yukon’s architecture strikes us the candied atom in GM’s calendar of ample SUVs.
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