General Motors first introduced the GMC Yukon in 1993 when they rebranded the venerable two-door, GMC Jimmy. Redesigned in 1995, the GMC Yukon was offered as a shorter, four-door alternative to the Chevrolet Suburban. The 1998 model year saw the introduction of the 255 hp 5.7-liter V8 with 330 lb-ft of torque, and buyers could opt for two-wheel or four-wheel drive. From humble beginnings, the GMC Yukon has risen to the top of its class.
From rugged to refined
Over the last two decades, the GMC Yukon has evolved into a luxury SUV. Redesigns in model years 2000, 2007, 2015, and 2021 have refined the GMC Yukon from its rough-and-rugged GMC Jimmy heritage to a premium SUV capable of seating eight people comfortably and towing a boat or camping trailer for a fun-filled weekend.
The 2020 GMC Yukon is available in two- or four-wheel drive with a choice of a 355-hp 5.3-liter or a 420-hp 6.2-liter gasoline-powered V8 engines backed by six- or 10-speed automatic transmissions respectively. Available configurations include options for locking rear differential, hi-lo transfer case, and cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy. Safety features such as traction control, stability control, front and rear seat airbags, and emergency brake assist are standard issue across all trims levels.
If you need more room in your Yukon, consider the GMC Yukon XL. The XL is 20.5 inches longer, offers 24 cubic feet of additional storage behind the third-row seat, and has 9.7 inches more third-row legroom than the standard Yukon.
Upgrades for the 2021 GMC Yukon
The newly redesigned 2021 GMC Yukon boasts a variety of upgrades. Buyers choosing the Yukon Denali option will enjoy a cleaner dashboard featuring an integrated touchscreen that reduces the clutter of the standard top-of-dash versions. Real wood inserts add to the luxurious feel of the cabin and a 15-inch heads-up display with four color theme choices reduces the amount of time the driver’s eyes are off the road. GMC offers an exclusive power-sliding center console with a built-in safe drawer to secure your belongings.
Ride quality is enhanced with new fourth-generation magnetic ride control shock absorbers plus available height-adjustable air suspension. Transmission choice is narrowed down to only one; for 2021 the six-speed automatic is no longer an option and all GMC Yukon engines will be backed by the 10-speed automatic.
New for 2021
New tech for the 2021 GMC Yukon includes an independent rear suspension, a 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine producing 270 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, and the all-new AT4 off-road-optimized package.
The AT4 package builds upon the traditional Z71 package commonly seen on GM trucks and SUVs by adding Active Response 4WD electronics plus an electric-locking limited-slip differential, red tow hooks, and luxurious interior trim. Active Response 4WD controls the amount of torque delivered to each tire in slick conditions to maximize traction.
All 2021 GMC Yukon models have front and rear-vision cameras, but there is the option to equip your Yukon with up to nine exterior cameras including rearview, bird’s-eye 360-degree, and a trailer camera system that is able to see past any trailer being towed.
General Motors is expecting most 2021 GMC Yukon models to be available for order in the early summer of 2020 but AT4 trim versions with adaptive air-ride suspension and Active Response 4WD will be a few months later. If you want to be notified when your GMC dealer is ready to take your order, you can sign up for email updates.
When they do go on sale, the purchase price is expected to range from $51,995 to $54,595 for the Yukon and $54,695 to $75,395 for the larger Yukon XL model.