What do we have here? Fresh off the debut of the all-new Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC has launched the more upscale Yukon and Yukon XL. Right away, we have to give GMC credit for making such a bold statement in a world where any SUV that’s going to succeed stands out. The massive grille is big enough that it almost feels like a hat tip to BMW while the recessed headlights and fog lights help even things out. And, even better yet, the boxy nature – much like it did with the Tahoe and Suburban – carries over as it should. Based on looks alone, it makes one wonder how the Yukon isn’t going to cannibalize the Tahoe and Suburban, but we’ll leave that discussion for another day.
Much like their Chevy counterparts, the Yukon’s footprint has grown. The Yukon XL is now 0.9-inches longer with a 4.1-inch longer wheelbase. This, of course, leads to improved legroom in the rear (up 2.2 inches to 36.7 inches) and a massive improvement of 23 cubic-feet of cargo room (up to 144.7 cubic-feet.) Both Yukon and Yukon XL have been equipped with a sliding second row that gives a whopping 5.5 inches of extra room to get to the rear.
The range-topping Denali has an “exclusive” interior trim layout that includes a sliding center console, 15-inch head-up display, and materials that you wouldn’t believe came from a company owned by GM. Seriously, folks, GMC has moved upmarket just a little bit this time around.
Under the hood, you’ll be treated to your choice of an updated 6.2-liter V-8, a new 5.3-liter V-8, or an all-new 3.0-liter, turbodiesel, inline-six – a lineup similar to what you find in the Tahoe and Suburban. All three engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the 6.2-liter V-8 pumps out a cool 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Both models are now offered with the optional Active Response AWD system, which includes a new electronic-slip differential, magnetic ride control, and up to four inches of on-the-fly suspension adjustment (2 inches up and 2 down.)
As far as the new AT4 trim is concerned, it features an exclusive front end to go with dark chrome accents, and the AT4 signature red recovery hooks. Exclusive 12-spoke, 20-inch wheels put power to the ground via a set of Goodyear all-terrain tires. Four-corner air-ride suspension comes standard, and thanks to that, along with the various traction select models, you can have up to 32-inches of approach angle. The interior is worked over with AT4-exclusive leather and brand-color accents, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, the latter of which includes the first and second rows. There is absolutely no word on pricing yet, but the 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL will go on sale Summer of 2020.