The competitive nature of the auto industry means brands must continually update their vehicles to keep up with rivals. Although the GMC Yukon may not have been as popular as desired last year, a 2021 redesign has significantly improved its ratings from U.S. News. Here’s what makes the redesigned Yukon so much better.
The GMC Yukon’s improvements
Reviewers at U.S. News liked the 2020 GMC Yukon, giving it an overall score of 6.7/10. This low score was partially due to the vehicle’s size: It has only 51.7 cubic feet of cargo space even with the third row folded down. Reviewers also found that the 2020 Yukon was not spacious enough for adults to be comfortable sitting in the third row.
By contrast, the redesigned 2021 Yukon received an overall score of 8.3/10, improving 1.6 points. Although its new score does not push it to the top of the rankings, it does bring the Yukon firmly up to the middle of the class rankings, rather than languishing at the bottom.
Critics praise the spacious cabin, which now offers 72.6 cubic feet of space with the third row folded down. Legroom has also improved considerably, with U.S. News noting that adults can now sit in the third row comfortably without feeling cramped.
Another area where the Yukon has improved is in its power and driving experience. In fact, reviewers state the 2021 Yukon “delivers better steering and handling than ever.”
The redesigned SUV also has quite a few new standard features. These include forward-collision warning, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic emergency braking, and a 10.2-inch touchscreen display.
Features and pricing for the 2021 GMC Yukon
The 2021 GMC Yukon is available in four trim levels: SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali. The SLE starts at approximately $50,700. It features a 5.3-liter V8 engine that makes 355 hp. A 10.2-inch touchscreen comes standard, as do automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and front pedestrian braking.
The next level up is the SLT, which starts at about $57,800. This is the trim level that comes most highly recommended by U.S. News, as it features significantly more technology and comfort features than the base trim. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and lane departure warning all come standard.
The AT4 starts at approximately $64,800. It comes standard with four-wheel drive, hill descent control, and skid plates, making it an excellent option for off-roading.
Finally, the Denali trim starts at around $68,400. This price bump brings second-row bucket seats, rear pedestrian alerts, a head-up display, and a V8 engine harnessing 420 hp.
What do reviewers say about this vehicle?
Critics at U.S. News praise the GMC Yukon’s classy cabin, which they call “arguably the most upscale interior in the large SUV class.” They also praise its comfort levels, power, and intuitive technology. The reason this vehicle did not make it to the top of the SUV rankings is that its predicted reliability rating is a below-average 2.5/5
However, despite this drawback, the 2021 GMC Yukon undoubtedly offers drastic improvements over the previous model year. Its abundance of legroom and headroom, easy-to-use infotainment system, and excellent handling all make the redesigned Yukon stand out from the crowd. So if you’ve been looking for a new full-size SUV but didn’t like the Yukon’s small size, the 2021 version is definitely worth considering.