2021 GMC Yukon

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in Suvs
2021 MODEL
$53,400 - $74,100
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2021 GMC Yukon Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: August 13, 2020
Totan Banerjee's image

Totan Banerjee

Automotive Journalist

The GMC Yukon’s are truck-based SUVs that are found in and around the US. The previous generation of GMC Yukon offered plenty of towing capacity but then it came up short in refinement, versatility, and in features as well. The 2021 GMC Yukon or the re-designed GMC Yukon looks to have addressed many of its previous shortcomings with premium appointments of advanced technology features. This version marks the first year for the Yukon’s fifth-generation. The base price of the GMC Yukon starts from $50,700.


Also Read


 

See detailed review »

Pros

Powerful towing capacity

Elegant and stylish interior

Efficient power saving engine

Engaging Infotainment

Cons

Poor overall reliability

High loading floor

Sluggish performance

What's New?

All new platform that is shared with Chevy Tahoe and Suburban

All new Independent rear suspension

All new trim Yukon AT4

What we know so far, the 2021 GMC Yukon will introduce an all new Yukon AT4 trim which now gets an all-new look with the following features to the existing Yukon.

Unique Front Fascia now comes with an Increased Front Approach Angle of Nearly 32 Degrees

UniqueExterior Design With Black Chrome Accents

Jet Black Interior With AT4-Exclusive Brandy Accents

All-New Available Active Response 4WD

Multicolor 15

20" Goodyear all terrain tyres

Four-Corner Air Ride Adaptive Suspension


2021 GMC Yukon Latest Update

Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2021 GMC Yukon Detailed Review video
2021 GMC Yukon Interior video
2021 GMC Yukon Exterior video

Styles

2021 GMC Yukon in Summit White color 2021 GMC Yukon in Onyx Black color 2021 GMC Yukon in Dark Sky Metallic color 2021 GMC Yukon in midnight blue metallic color 2021 GMC Yukon in Smoky Quartz color
Summit White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

9.6

Engine And Performance

8.1

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

7.9

Exterior

6.9

Safety

9.9

Competition

9.5

8.5

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 GMC Yukon SLE

SLE

power
355 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
17 combined

$53,400 - $56,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $53,400 MSRP (14/17/22) 355 hp @ 5600 rpm, 5.3 L, V-8, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 8
SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $56,400 MSRP (14/17/22) 355 hp @ 5600 rpm, 5.3 L, V-8, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic four wheel drive 8

2021 GMC Yukon SLT

SLT

power
355 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
17 combined

$60,500 - $63,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SLT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $60,500 MSRP (14/17/22) 355 hp @ 5600 rpm, 5.3 L, V-8, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 8
SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $63,500 MSRP (14/17/22) 355 hp @ 5600 rpm, 5.3 L, V-8, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic four wheel drive 8

2021 GMC Yukon AT4

AT4

power
355 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
17 combined

$67,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $67,500 MSRP (14/17/22) 355 hp @ 5600 rpm, 5.3 L, V-8, regular unleaded
6-speed shiftable automatic four wheel drive TBD

2021 GMC Yukon Denali

Denali

power
420 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
17 combined

$71,100 - $74,100


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $71,100 MSRP (14/17/22) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, regular unleaded
10-speed shiftable automatic rear wheel drive 7
Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $74,100 MSRP (14/17/22) 420 hp @ 5600 rpm, 6.2 L, V-8, regular unleaded
10-speed shiftable automatic four wheel drive 7

Expert Review

8.5

Overall Rating


One of the more popular SUVs from the GMC lineup, the Yukon, returns for another run for 2021. The GMC Yukon today faces stiff competition against the likes of Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada SUV. Below is our take on the 2021 GMC Yukon which is soon going to be on sale in the US market.

2021 GMC Yukon Front View
2021 GMC Yukon Rear View

9.6/10
Features

 
 
 

8.1/10
Engine and Performance

 

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.9/10
Interior

 

6.9/10
Exterior

 

9.9/10
Safety

 

9.5/10
Competition

 
 

2021 GMC Yukon Features

9.6/10

The upcoming GMC Yukon is a large three-row SUV that makes space for seven or eight passengers to sit comfortably inside. The 2021 GMC Yukon has four trims the base one is SLE, SLT, Denali and AT4. All of the Yukon trims are powered by a 5.3L V8 which outputs 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, which is quite a power and output. Not only V8 there are two other engines also available or found in the GMC models.

Models

SLE 4x2

SLT Standard Edition 4x2

AT4

Denali

MSRP (FWD)

$51,895

$54,800-$62,095

$66,095

$67,700

Key Features

18-inch wheels

20-inch wheels

Hill descent control

Navigation system

 

Keyless entry ignition

Hands-free liftgate

Two-speed active transfer case

14-speaker Bose audio system

 

10.2-inch touchscreen

Ventilated and heated front seats

Driver-seat memory settings

Adaptive cruise control

 

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility

Leather upholstery

Heated steering wheel

22-inch wheels

 

Forward collision mitigation

Nine-speaker Bose audio system

Power-folding third row

Panoramic sunroof

 

Trailer brake controller

Wireless charging pads

Panoramic sunroof

Back-seat entertainment system with a dual 12.6-inch display

 

Rear cross-traffic alert

Rear seat entertainment system with a dual 12.6-inch displays

Rear cross-traffic alert

Tire-pressure monitoring sensors

The base trim is the SLE trim which is priced at $51,895 and it comes with plenty of features as compared to its higher trims. Most of the features of the base trim are available on the higher trims which makes it a good choice to buy.

Then the SLT Standard Edition comes next which is priced at $62,095 much higher than the base trim. It gets a nine-speaker Bose Audio system installed in it along with a rear-seat entertainment system.

2021 GMC Yukon Rear Third Quarter View

The AT4 comes next in line which costs $66,095 a bit higher than the SLT trim. This trim has a hill descent control also with panoramic sunroof which makes the SUV look more attractive.

The Denali trim, which is priced at $67,700 slightly higher than the AT4. The AT4 and the Denali almost have the same features. But the Denali comes with a 14-speaker Bose audio system much more than the previous trims.

2021 GMC Yukon Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

The cost of insuring a GMC Yukon will be totally depending on various factors, that will include the deductible amount as well, then the level of coverage that one wants, and also the type of insurance one chooses. But, according to J.D. Power, it gives the 2020 GMC Yukon a very poor predicted reliability rating which is two out of five.

Reliability and Ownership Costs

The reliability score is based on J.D Power and the Associate’s Vehicle Dependability Study which is known as VDS ratings. As per the J.D Power reports the 2020 GMC Yukon scored an average rating of 82 out of 100 and this has been taken for the Denali trim. There are some more ratings that provide more details behind the overall score in terms of quality, reliability as we discussed, experience and the resale value of the vehicle which is based on verified owner input.

Warranty

GMC offers a warranty that is competitive with its rivals in the full-size SUV class. The first maintenance visit or the charge is free for every GMC customer. But, on the other hand, one of its rivals which is the Toyota Sequoia offers maintenance for a full two years or 25,000 whichever comes first. Toyota is providing better service than the GMC in this case.

Criteria

Period

Limited Warranty of Yukon

3 years or 36,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain warranty of Yukon

5 years or 60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

24-hours roadside assist of Yukon

5 years or 60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

When one purchases or leases a new GMC, then their vehicle is backed by the company Pro Grade Protection. This protection program by GMC does not require special enrolment or sign-in, anyone who gets or purchases a GMC new vehicle will be automatically enrolled and this will be covered. GMC also provides 3 years or 36,000 miles of corrosion protection and we know that the first visit for maintenance is free of cost that will remain the same.

Miles Per Dollar 

The fuel expense of the GMC Yukon is quite friendly but it does cost something to get something. Here we have selected the Yukon SLE four-wheel-drive that costs $2.09 per gallon for 15000 miles per year. On average it will cost $1,742 per year for fuel, this is just the estimated amount. It equates to about 7 miles per dollar.

2021 GMC Yukon Buying Advice

Although the base trim of the GMC Yukon is now available with the upgraded engine option, and that provides better-off-the-line acceleration than the standard power plant. So, this basically means that you got to go for the higher trims for more options. If you need more room or more cargo spaces, then it is for sure that you will have to spend more money.

We would strongly recommend the SLT model which should satisfy most of the Yukon buyers. The SLT model is not too expensive than the base model, the SLT adds upscale touches such as the leather upholstery, then ventilated front seats and also with a higher-quality sound system that everyone prefers. One can go for the highest one also, the Denali trim which also gives good cargo space and a more powerful V8 engine. This is for those whose price is not the concern.

Is buying a used GMC Yukon a good idea?

The SUV has a lot of good things going for it but it does not suffer from a few of the drawbacks which are common from its class. The current year’s GMC Yukon has limited cargo space and of course, it could be difficult to maneuver through tight spaces. Talking about if one should buy a used Yukon or not then they should know that GMC last re-designed the Yukon for the 2015 model year. Since then there were no significant updates for 2019 or 2020.

Buying an old model would not be a bad idea if one is trying to purchase a Yukon. The Yukon inhaled lane assist for the 2016 year model and the 2017 model was the first to come standard with low-speed automatic emergency brakes (ABS). One should check the safety measures before getting one of the old model cars.

2021 GMC Yukon Engine and Performance

8.1/10

Engine and powertrain remain unchanged with the same two engine options on offer, a 355hp, 5.3L V8 and a 420hp 6.2L V8. In addition to those gasoline-burning engine options, GMC will also offer a 3.0L turbo-diesel inline-six which makes an output of 460 lb-ft of torque and this should be the choice for buyers who intend to tow heavy items.

2021 GMC Yukon Engine

The base engine of the GMC generates good power for most routine driving situations, but with a much larger V8, it also delivers much faster acceleration and a quicker throttle response.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon ( mostly expected)

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe ( mostly expected)

2020 Ford’s Expedition

2020 Nissan’s Armada

MSRP

$50,700

$49,000

$66,470

$52,300

Engine

5.3I V8

5.3I V8

3.5I V6

5.6I V8

Drivetrain

FWD

4WD

RWD

4WD

Transmission

10-speed shiftable automatic

10-speed shiftable automatic

10-speed shiftable automatic

7-speed automatic

Power

355hp @5600rpm

355hp @5600rpm

375hp @5000rpm

390hp @5800rpm

Torque

383 ft-lbs @4100rpm

383 ft-lbs @4100rpm

470 ft-lbs @3500rpm

394 ft-lbs @4000rpm

There is not much difference with the 2021 GMC Yukon rivals. The 2021 GMC Yukon and the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe both have everything same in all segments, but their price is different. The 2020 Ford Expedition is the most pricy one in the segment and the last one is the Chevrolet. The Nissan Armada is the one that has 7-speed automatic transmission and also has more output than the rest of the competitors.

2021 GMC Yukon Acceleration and Braking Performance

For now we know that the Yukon comes standard with a 355hp 5.3Litre V8 engine, it has a good muscle for most driving situations, though one has to press the pedal closer to the floor to unlock the engine’s available power which is quite high.

2021 GMC Yukon Accelerate 0-60 MPH Just In 7.1 Sec

The 2021 GMC Yukon takes 5.1-7.8 seconds from 0-60, here we are talking about all the trims.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon ( mostly expected)

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe ( mostly expected)

2020 Ford’s Expedition

2020 Nissan’s Armada

0-60 MPH

7.1 secs

6.5 secs

6.7 secs

5.9 secs

Quarter-Mile

16.7 secs

16.7 secs

15.1 secs

14.4 secs

Top Speed

NA

140 MPH

120 MPH

120 MPH

60-0 MPH

NA

137ft

NA

NA

The 2020 Nissan Armada beats the GMC Yukon in 0-60 MPH, and the Nissan is the fastest among the rest. The GMC Yukon is the slowest among the SUV’s under review, but it is giving tough competition to the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe in the quarterly section.

2021 GMC Yukon Fuel Economy

6.5/10

The eight-cylinder or the V8 is not fuel-efficient in any case. Although the Yukon has 16 MPG in the city and near to 20 MPG in the highway. The 2021 GMC Yukon could offer slightly better MPG figures than the 2020 GMC Yukon.

2021 GMC Yukon Instrument Cluster

Despite having its big engines and weight, the 2020 GMC Yukon manages a decent fuel economy for a truck-based SUV.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon ( mostly expected)

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe ( mostly expected)

2020 Ford’s Expedition

2020 Nissan’s Armada

MPG (city)

16

15

17

14

MPG (highway)

21

21

24

19

MPG (combined)

18

17

20

16

Fuel Capacity

26.0

26.0

25

26.0

Range (city/highway/combined)

390/572/NA

390/546/NA

425/600/NA

364/494/NA

Looking at the rivals all of the above SUVs have the same fuel capacity except for the Ford Expedition. Ford has the lowest fuel tank capacity, but it offers the highest fuel mileage on both city and highways than the rest. The GMC Yukon is also no less than its competitors.

2021 GMC Yukon Interior

7.9/10

The 2020 Yukon’s standard configuration seats eight people on the cloth upholstery. The available front-row bench seats raise the seating capacity to nine, while the optional second row’s chair is red.

2021 GMC Yukon Seating

Heated and ventilated in the front seats and heated second-row seats are now available. In the base model, the Yukon has a good amount of space for most average-sized persons in the first two rows, but the third row is quite tight.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon ( mostly expected)

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe ( mostly expected)

2020 Ford’s Expedition

2020 Nissan’s Armada

Seating Capacity

8

8

8

8

Front Row (head/shoulder/Legroom) (in.)

42.8/64.8/45.3

42.8/64.8/45.3

39.5/63.2/41.1

40.9/63.8/41.9

Rear Row (head/shoulder/Legroom) (in.)

38.7/65.1/39.0

38.7/65.1/39.0

39.7/63.7/39.1

40/63.4/39

Third Row (head/shoulder/legroom) (in.)

38.1/62.6/24.8

38.1/62.6/24.8

38/67.1/37.7

36.4/60.5/28.3

The 2020 GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe both have the same value of front, second and third-row room. The Yukon and the Tahoe both have enough front head, shoulder, and legroom than the Ford and Nissan. Ford Expedition and Nissan Armada, on the other hand, does decently well in this aspect when it all comes to outright interior spaces.

How’s the 2021 GMC Yukon infotainment system?

The infotainment system of Yukon features an 8-inch touch screen, smartphone integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A nine-speaker Bose Premium sound system, seven USB ports, Bluetooth, voice recognition, HD Radio, Satellite Radio and Wi-Fi hot spot all come as a standard feature in Yukon. The Yukon also comes standard with remote start, remote keyless entry, tri-zone climate control, and last not the least with a 110-volt household-style power outlet.

2021 GMC Yukon Infotainment Screen

The infotainment system in the GMC Yukon is easy to operate, one has to go through several menus to access some of the hidden features. One can also control audio and climate settings using the touch screen or the easy-to-reach physical controls and knobs on the dashboard.

2021 GMC Yukon Exterior

6.9/10

The 2021 GMC Yukon gives a completely new front fascia gives the new GMC much more of the commanding stance to the vehicle. The new GMC Yukon gives a bold look. The GMC Yukon has an aggressive design and an elegant look, its boxy design separates it from the rivals and gives the SUV an old school charm. 

2021 GMC Yukon Third Quarter View

The 2021 GMC Yukon benefits from a brand new C-shaped LED headlight also with turn indicators integrated into the ‘C’. When they are in action they look stunning. The bumper is made quite big in itself, but the grille eats into it in the middle. The hood of the car receives prominent muscular creases. Beside the skid plate, there is a black plastic cladding to protect the body when traversing over the uneven surfaces.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon ( mostly expected)

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe ( mostly expected)

2020 Ford’s Expedition

2020 Nissan’s Armada

Curb Weight (lbs)

5379 lbs

5602 lbs

5368 lbs

5824 lbs

Length

209.9”

204”

210”

208.9”

Width

80.5”

80.5”

79.9”

79.9”

Height

74.4”

74.4”

76.6”

75.8”

Ground Clearance

8.0”

7.9”

9.8”

9.1”

Wheelbase

120”

116.0”

122.5”

121.1”

In terms of dimensions, the Ford Expedition holds the leader’s place in the segment. The GMC Yukon is still one of the largest SUVs in the segment, all the other SUVs weigh more than 5000 lbs. Overall, all the SUVs have similar kinds of ground clearance and all have done well in their own segments.

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2021 GMC Yukon Safety

9.9/10

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or known as NHTSA gave the 2020 Yukon 4/5 stars for overall safety features. The GMC received five out of five stars in the side crash test, four stars in the front crash test, and three stars in the rollover evaluation. The ratings are quite good for a huge weight SUV. As with most large SUVs, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety IIHS has not crash-tested the SUV. 

2021 GMC Yukon Competition

9.5/10

2021 GMC Yukon vs. 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

As we have seen that the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is essentially Chevy’s version of the 2021 Yukon. Two of them are similar in most of their parts, the trim levels more or less match-up between the two vehicles.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Third Quarter View

That is why they are one of the best competitors of each other. Although the Tahoe is less expensive, the Yukon gives off a slightly more luxurious vibe.

2021 GMC Yukon vs. 2020 Ford Expedition

Here the Ford has given a good competition to the upcoming or the current year’s GMC Yukon. The Ford Expedition is priced to rival or go against the Tahoe, and it undercuts a similarly equipped Yukon by thousands.

2021 Ford Expedition

In some of the segments, the Expedition wins the GMC Yukon leaving the Yukon far behind.

2021 GMC Yukon Final Verdict

GMC Yukon is a decently large-sized SUV for the buyers who give their full priority to comfort and style. Its luxurious and handsome cabin is highlighted by quality materials and plenty of standard amenities. The safety scores are also good for this kind of SUV so it would not be a bad choice for one to go for the 2021 GMC Yukon.