GMC unveils all-new 2021 Yukon full-size SUV
GMC changed the SUV market forever when it released the Yukon Denali in 1999. The new vehicle established GMC as a premium luxury market manufacturer and opened competition with Lincoln, Cadillac, and Land Rover. Fast forward 20 years and about 30% of all current GMC sales are Denali-class vehicles, with the Yukon still leading the way.
For the 2021 model year, GMC redesigned the Yukon from the ground up, with several major changes that will make the new SUV better than ever. Most importantly, the new Yukon will feature independent rear suspension. Up till now, the Yukon used a traditional truck design with a solid rear axle assembly. The new design will greatly improve ride and handling characteristics, while maintaining the Yukon's durable body-on-frame design.
The new Yukon also benefits from Active Response 4WD. This new system is a full-time four-wheel-drive solution that automatically routes engine power to each wheel as needed. The Yukon's system is similar to all-wheel-drive used in crossover SUVs, but also has the ability to shift into low-range gears for off-road use.
Air suspension is another new feature for the Yukon. The adaptive suspension allows the driver to raise and lower the vehicle by up to two inches in either direction. The suspension automatically lowers at highway speeds to reduce wind resistance.
Yukon buyers will select from a standard 5.3-liter V8 engine or a best-in-class 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower. GM's new fuel-efficient Duramax 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine will also be available. All engine choices come with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Technology is a big part of the Yukon's 2021 update. A best-in-class 15-inch head-up display projects navigation, infotainment, and critical driver information onto the windshield, helping keep the driver's eyes on the road ahead. The Yukon also offers nine different camera views for easy maneuvering in tight places. Camera views include the trailer hitch and a high-definition birds-eye view. Additionally, the rear-view mirror can be switched to a rear-facing wide-angle camera view when driving.
For the first time ever, GMC is offering the Yukon with an AT4 off-road package including underbody skid plates, recovery tow hooks, hill descent control and a special off-road driving mode. The AT4 trim also includes heated and ventilated leather seats and a heated steering wheel.
The top Denali trim includes class-leading luxury features, including the camera system, head-up display, air suspension and active 4WD system. Inside, you'll find real open-grain wood trim and special leather upholstery, as well as a powered sliding center console with a hidden locking storage compartment for valuables. Finally, both the AT4 and Denali include magnetic ride control dampers in the suspension, giving the new Yukon a smooth and confident ride.
Finally, the new Yukon is a bit bigger than the outgoing model. The 2021 Yukon is about 6 inches longer, with about 5 inches more wheelbase and 10 inches more legroom in the third row seats. Total cargo area improves by over 28 cubic feet to almost 123 cubic feet of space. The extended wheelbase Yukon XL now offers up to 144.7 cubic feet of cargo.
The 2021 GMC Yukon product family will be produced in Arlington, Texas, and the new vehicles are expected at area GMC dealerships by July of this year. Pricing and other details are expected closer to the on-sale date.
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