2021 GMC Yukon Denali Could Be The Most Luxurious Yukon Yet

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - January 15, 2020

When Chevrolet unveiled the all-new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban before the end of 2019, we knew that GMC would be showcasing its upscale versions in the near future. Well, the 2021 GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are here. Just like the Tahoe and Suburban, the Yukon and Yukon XL are bigger than before, benefit from independent rear suspension, and are being offered with a turbodiesel engine. The Denali trims get an overhaul, too, making them even more luxurious than before.

Thanks to the new wheelbases that are approximately four inches longer than before and the new independent rear suspension setup, the Yukon and Yukon XL have more cargo space than before. The Yukon has 28 more cubic feet of cargo space, while the Yukon XL gets 23 extra cubic feet of cargo space.

Large changes have been made to the SUVs’ powertrains, too. Just like Chevrolet’s SUV twins, the Yukon and Yukon XL get a 355-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 as standard. A 6.2-liter V8 is available and is rated at 420 hp. GMC will also be offering a turbodiesel 3.0-liter inline-six engine that will probably produce 277 hp – just like in Chevrolet’s SUVs.

GMC is also using the new Yukon and Yukon XL models to expand its lineup of AT4 models. SUVs in AT4 guise get more rugged designs, a two-speed transfer case, heavy-duty skid plates, red tow hooks, and an optional adaptive air suspension system that can adjust ride height by up to two inches. The off-roading friendly SUVs also get an electronic limited-slip differential, 20-inch all-terrain tires, Hill Descent Control, and an off-road mode for the Traction Select System.

The changes mirror the ones Chevrolet made to the Tahoe and Suburban, which aren’t surprising. What is surprising is to see how many changes GMC made to the range-topping Denali trim. For the first time since GMC introduced the Denali trim, the Yukon and Yukon XL Denali will come with an exclusive interior. According to the automaker, Denali trims will have different instrument panels, bespoke seats, four unique interior color schemes, and more upscale materials. Real wood trim and hand-stitched leather upholstery will also be found on the inside.

GMC Yukon

Further differentiating the Denali trims are unique touches on the outside. The trim’s Galvano chrome grill has more detail than before and has also grown in size – GMC claims the grille now has over 10,000 reflective surfaces. LED exterior lighting will also help the Denali trims stand out.

Denali trims also get more features. A high definition surround-view camera, a 15-inch head-up display, rear pedestrian alert, and Magnetic Ride Control are all standard for the Denali. The trims also get upscale options, which include 22-inch wheels, adaptive air suspension, an Active Response 4WD system, and a panoramic sunroof.

It’s a good thing the Denali trims get extra special touches on the inside, because the interior of the Yukon and Yukon XL look similar to the new Tahoe and Suburban. Though GMC claims that the SUVs will be available with a power-sliding center console that can slide 10 inches toward the back seats. This opens up enough space for a bag and reveals a hidden drawer underneath the main storage bin in the center console.

The new Denali trims are set to be the most luxurious Yukon models ever offered. Before, GMC has relied on luxury and tech features to justify the larger price tags on the Yukon and Yukon XL Denali trims. While that’s still the same case, it’s surprising to see GMC add unique exterior touches and completely different cabins to the SUVs.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we’re certain all of the changes will see things increase for both models. The Yukon currently costs $50,895 including destination and the Yukon XL is priced at $53,695. When the Yukon and Yukon XL go on sale this summer, they’ll compete with the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Infiniti QX80, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, and BMW X7.

Learn More About The 2021 Yukon »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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