Overhauled ’21 GMC Yukon caters to large households

Published on: January 20, 2021

2021 GMC Yukon Denali

Overhauled 2021 GMC Yukon caters to large households


After five years, GMC has totally redesigned the Yukon, making the full-size SUV even bigger than ever before. Here are the impressive figures: wheelbase and length are up by 5 and 6.1 inches respectively; third-row leg room increases another 10.1 cubic feet as does the cargo area behind the third row; and maximum cargo room grows by a gigantic 28.2 cubic feet.

A 6.2-liter V-8 Ecotec engine, coupled with a 10-speed auto gearbox, blasts off 420 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 460 pounds-feet of torque @ 4100 rpm.An independent coil-over-shock front and a new independent rear suspension (out goes the traditional solid-axle) work well to eagerly tackle sharp, sudden curves on the road. The power rack-and-pinion electric power steering has a trusty feel. The Dynamic Fuel Management system deactivates four of the eight cylinders for fuel savings. We dig the active noise cancellation feature, which guarantees silence and poise at highway speeds. Tow capacity is an impressive 8,000 pounds.

Up front, familiar C-shaped LED headlights flank the much bigger Galvano chrome-accented grille. Also obvious are the traditional vertical tail lamps and rear chrome bar with GMC etching, body-color side moldings, fog lamps and a wider rear track. Step into the capacious cabin, and you will realize there is no need to remove the third-row seat. Instead, press a button in the cargo hold and watch the bench fold. The second-row seat moves fore and aft 5.5 inches. That leaves you 122.9 cubic feet of space behind the first row with the two seats down. The two-gauge analog instrument cluster is well-lit and crystal clear. And the huge center console can swallow a laptop. Other notable niceties include tri-zone auto a/c, power tilt/telescopic steering column, 10.2-inch color touch screen for infotainment readings, 14-speaker Bose surround system, heated/cooled front seats, wood trim on dash and doors, hands-free power lift gate and several USB slots.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for rear rows, stability, hill descent and traction controls, four-wheel antilock brakes, rearview camera, rear-cross traffic, forward-collision and side-blind zone alerts, lane departure assist/warning, front/rear park sensors, auto-locking rear differential, two-speed transfer case, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights. Magnetic Ride Control adjusts the four-wheel independent suspension as per road conditions, resulting in a smooth but firm ride. It also keeps body roll to a minimum.

The Yukon Denali boasts ample room for cargo and passengers, laudable tow capacity backed by a potent power train. Turn a blind eye to a whopping price tag and fuel economy figures (14 mpg city/19 highway) and this full-size SUV will serve the needs of large families quite well.


Tires: P275/65R20 all season

Wheelbase: 120.9 inches

Length: 210 inches

Width: 81 inches

Height: 76.5 inches

Weight: 5,827 pounds

Fuel capacity: 24 gallons

Base price: $71,400

Price as tested: $83,795


Nitish S. Rele, editor/publisher of Motoring Tampa Bay ( and Khaas Baat (, was an automotive editor/columnist for The Tampa Tribune.