For such a large and bulky vehicle, the Yukon’s design is tidy and elegant. The AT4 is the off-road member of the family with underbody skid plates and a two-speed transfer case. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

For such a large and bulky vehicle, the Yukon’s design is tidy and elegant. The AT4 is the off-road member of the family with underbody skid plates and a two-speed transfer case. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

2021 GMC Yukon: For king-size towing and hauling, Yukon rules the roost

For 2021, the GMC Yukon AT4 has been redesigned, top to bottom.

If you prefer your vehicular transportation on a massive scale, the GMC Yukon is rolling out the welcome mat. A very large welcome mat.

For 2021, the first cousin to the Chevrolet Tahoe – and rich-uncle Cadillac Escalade – has been redesigned, top to bottom. Most obvious is the Yukon’s grille that’s even larger than the previous generation’s, plus crisp new body panels that look tidy and elegant, which is a neat trick for this squared-off mega-hauler.

There’s also a new frame to which an equally new independent rear suspension – a first for Yukon – is attached. Beyond improving overall ride and handling, it contributes to increased stowage capacity behind the standard three rows of seats.

The 2021 Yukon is 15 centimetres longer than before and has nearly 13 more centimetres between the front and rear wheels. Room behind the third row has increased by an astounding 66 per cent. With the second and third rows folded flat, total load area is up by 30 per cent. Third-row legroom is increased by 41 per cent.

The AT4 gets a heated steering wheel, premium leather seat coverings and heated front and rear seats. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

The AT4 gets a heated steering wheel, premium leather seat coverings and heated front and rear seats. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

The second-row seats (bench or optional captain’s chairs) now slide fore and aft by up to 14 centimetres, providing easier access to the third row.

The longer-wheelbase Yukon XL – the twin of the Chevrolet Suburban – is also larger, but not nearly to the same degree as the standard-length Yukon.

The restyled cabin includes an upscale-flavored dashboard and gauges, and thankfully retains easy-to-use knobs for the audio and climate controls. The only glitch is a turn-signal stalk that also operates the windshield and rear-window wiper/washers.

A tablet-type touch-screen is standard for base models, while the version in the premium Denali model is flush with the dash.

The extra-wide floor console has plenty of room. Optional for upper trims is a power-sliding console that can be adjusted rearward by up to 25 centimetres and reveals a hidden storage spot for your valuables.

The standard engine is a 5.3-litre V-8 with 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, which carries over from 2020. An available 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel is rated at 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet. Its max torque occurs at a low 1,500 rpm, which makes it ideal for trailering (Yukons can tow up to 3,800 kilograms). Also returning is a 6.2-litre V-8 — exclusive to the Yukon Denali — with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet.

A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The Yukon’s interior-design progress from one generation to the next is dramatic. It would be more unified if GMC cut down the number of fonts it uses on the various dials, switches and displays. Check out that wide console. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

The Yukon’s interior-design progress from one generation to the next is dramatic. It would be more unified if GMC cut down the number of fonts it uses on the various dials, switches and displays. Check out that wide console. PHOTO: GENERAL MOTORS

The 5.3’s fuel consumption is rated at 14.3 l/100 km in the city, 11.8 on the highway and 13.2 combined. That engine delivers more than sufficient grunt for motivating the 2,450-kilogram Yukon without feeling stressed or strained.

All-wheel-drive is optional in the base SLE, SLT and Denali Yukons, but is standard with the new off-road oriented AT4 trim. It’s fitted with a two-speed transfer case, underbody protective skid plates, Hill Descent Control and multi-mode Traction Select with Tour, Sport, Tow/Haul and Off Road settings. Also included is a heated steering wheel, premium leather seat coverings and heated front and rear seats.

The base Yukon SLE starts at $59,900 (including destination charges), while the AT4 costs $76,600. The Denali starts at $81,700. That’s a fair chunk of coin but is totally in keeping with the Yukon’s competitors.

Considering the size bump bestowed upon the Yukon, which dramatically increases interior space, it might be less necessary to spend an extra $3,000 for the XL. Whichever iteration you choose, you can be secure in the knowledge that, kilo for kilo, the Yukon’s style, comfort and performance are pretty much tops in its class.

For 2021, the GMC Yukon AT4 has been redesigned, top to bottom.

For 2021, the GMC Yukon AT4 has been redesigned, top to bottom.

What you should know: 2021 GMC Yukon

Type: Rear/ all-wheel-drive full-size sport utility vehicle

Engines (h.p.): 5.3-litre OHV V-8 (355); 6.2-liter OHV V-8 (420); 3.0-litre DOHC I-6, turbo-diesel (277)

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Market position: The Yukon and Yukon XL are part of an elite group of extra-large utility vehicles dominated by the GMC, Chevrolet and Cadillac brands. All have been re-engineered for the 2021 model year.

Points: The newest edition conveys a bolder, more stylish image. • Larger size creates significantly more cargo and passenger space for those seated in back. • Heavy reliance on the 5.3-litre V-8 engine, but it has a nearly ideal balance of power and efficiency. • The power-retractable running-board option is almost a requirement for shorter passengers.

Driver assist: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); adaptive cruise control (opt.); front emergency braking (std.); inattentive-driver alert (n.a.); lane-departure warning (std.); pedestrian detection (std.)

L/100 km (city/hwy): 14.3/11.8 (5.3 V-8)

Base price (incl. destination): $59,900

AutoscarsSUVsTrucks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A photo illustration shows a fountain planned for Mill Lake. (City of Abbotsford photo)
UPDATED: City approves $200K fountain for Mill Lake using donated funds

Project will improve lake quality and ecosystem, say Abbotsford city staff

Linnea Labbee outside the Chilliwack Law Courts on April 1, 2021 on day 16 of her trial in BC Supreme Court where she is charged in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a 78-year-old woman on Mary Street on Dec. 1, 2016. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crown seeking jail time for 72-year-old Chilliwack woman found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Trial of Linnea Labbee who struck and killed 78-year-old woman in 2016 ended Monday

The Abbotsford IHOP, shown here on April 5, is now completely removed. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford IHOP building taken down

Iconic restaurant had been on South Fraser Way for nearly 33 years

Abbotsford's Rick Hansen Secondary School is celebrating Vaisakhi virtually for 2021. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Abbotsford’s Rick Hansen Secondary School celebrates ‘Virtual Vaisakhi’

Production highlights local youth talent in anticipation of the start of annual festival on April 13

The Abbotsford Gogos are inviting local residents to watch a virtual concert in support of African grandmothers. The concert first airs on April 15. (Photo: Abbotsford Gogos Facebook page)
Abbotsford Gogos invite guests to virtual concert to support African grandmothers

Event first airs on April 15, featuring music, dance and storytelling

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read