Trucks & SUVs

2020 or 2021 GMC Yukon: What’s the Difference?

Buying a used GMC Yukon instead of a new one can certainly help you save thousands. Buying a new outgoing 2020 model, usually with deeper discounts, will likely offer savings, as well. But before you decide, consider the all-new 2021 GMC Yukon‘s improvements over last year’s model. The latest generation of this behemoth SUV makes it better than any other Yukon model.

Here are the most significant changes between the 2020 and 2021 GMC Yukon.

The 2021 GMC Yukon’s specs are mostly unchanged

The 2021 GMC Yukon still offers three rows, a monstrous V8 engine (either a 355-hp 5.3-liter or a 420-hp 6.2-liter), and the rugged body-on-frame construction you know and love. The soul of the Yukon has, for the most part, gone unchanged. And you can still go XL if you need the added size and capacity. But you can expect an additional 6.1 inches in length and a 4.9-inch stretch across the wheelbase with the latest Yukon.

New additions to an old favorite

RELATED: Is the 2021 GMC Yukon Denali Worth Not Paying More?

For the 2021 GMC Yukon, Car and Driver praises the new 3.0-liter, turbodiesel inline-six engine option. If towing is your jam, this beast makes 460 lb-ft of torque. You can now control the 10-speed automatic transmission using a push-button panel, selecting a rear- or all-wheel drive engagement, too.

The 2021 GMC Yukon is also ready for off-road adventures with the new AT4 model. This warrior brings 20-inch wheels, skid plates, all-terrain tires, and a two-speed transfer case. Making it even more aggressive is the optional air suspension, jacking the Yukon another two inches off the ground.

A completely different experience inside the 2021 Yukon

You might be looking at a 2020 GMC Yukon, but don’t make the call without experiencing the 2021 Yukon’s overhauled cabin. MotorTrend cites the increased interior spaciousness, primarily thanks to the new independent rear suspension design. The 2020 model offers 94.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while the 2021 Yukon boasts a whopping 122.9 cubic feet.

And the infotainment system now features larger and higher-resolution screens, including rear integrated systems, Rick Hendrick Buick & GMC says.

But there’s nothing wrong with a CPO

Sure, the 2021 GMC Yukon sports plenty of bright and shiny upgrades. But that doesn’t mean a new 2020 model or certified pre-owned Yukon isn’t worth a look. Avoiding that new vehicle depreciation hit can save you thousands.

And if you’re eyeing a remaining new 2020 model, you’ll likely score dealer incentives to offload outgoing models. Right now, you can get a “$5,700 Customer Cash for Retail” rebate and the “$750 Loyalty for Retail” rebate, both set to expire in May, Edmunds reports.

So, which GMC Yukon is the better buy?

If style matters to you, the 2021 GMC Yukon offers a more aggressive and imposing stance, along with other improvements over the 2020 model. The grille is larger and looks significantly different on the Denali trim. But, ultimately, as with any vehicle purchase, it boils down to what you need, like, and can afford. But there’s no question the 2021 GMC Yukon offers more size, versatility, and tech to the SUV-buying table.

However, before you make a final decision, test-drive every Yukon you have your eye on. There are pros and cons to the old and new models. The better value proposition for you might be with a used or outgoing new 2020 Yukon. But if bells and whistles, power and performance, and the latest and greatest are what you crave, the 2021 GMC Yukon delivers on all fronts.