2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV

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2021 MODEL
$53,400 - $74,100
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2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: June 30, 2020
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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

American crossover shoppers at one point of time were solely focused on the fuel-efficiency and comfortness part of the vehicle. Fast forward to 2020, everyone nowadays needs all the nitty-gritty modern stuff that comes with a premium offering and then some. Having said that, there is one player in the industry that caters to all those needs without having to compromise on its true-born American heritage. GMC has introduced the next generation of its flagship SUVs, the GMC Yukon XL. All-new from the ground up, the stunning Yukon XL is the embodiment of the GMC brand. If you seriously want pure-bred performance figures and tons of amenities all for nearly half the price of what the European premium luxury crossovers can offer, you should seriously consider the 2021 GMC Yukon XL, for it has the best of the best stuff in store for you. It goes against the Chevrolet Suburban, the Ford Expedition, and the Nissan Armada

See detailed review »

Pros

Endless room inside cabin

Feature-loaded interiors

Superior Ride quality

Tons of customization options

Cons

Sub-par MPG figures

Not the best handling vehicle

What's New?

*


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV in Quicksilver Metallic color 2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV in Satin Steel Metallic color 2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV in Smoke Metallic color
Quicksilver Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV SLE

SLE

power
TBD
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$53,400 - $56,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $53,400 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD
SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $56,400 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV SLT

SLT

power
TBD
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$60,500 - $63,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SLT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $60,500 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD
SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $63,500 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV AT4

AT4

power
TBD
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$67,500


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $67,500 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV Denali

Denali

power
TBD
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$71,100 - $74,100


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $71,100 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD
Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) Starting at $74,100 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD

Expert Review


The 2021 GMC Yukon XL is worthy enough to express a commanding stance, and hence the changes brought about in this new generation Yukon XL are well worth the praise. Exterior-wise, it has received a noteworthy refresh, and also a whole new approach to the design language as it is basically planted on a brand-new platform as the GMC Sierra. The changes don’t just end there, but very well creep into the handling department of the car too, with a brand-new independent rear-link suspension and the Active 4WD system. When it comes to advancements in the case of the powertrain options in the GMC Yukon XL, there is no bump whatsoever in the case of power figures. Although with the addition of the cylinder de-activation technology designed to decrease the fuel consumption, we can surely expect better MPG figures than the outgoing version.

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV Engine and Performance

Performance purists, behold! GMC’s very own Yukon XL is here to give you the power figures you need and when you need it. Engine tunes to the amount of 3 varied powertrains make their way into the GMC Yukon XL. A 5.3L V8 punching out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque on demand at the slight push of the throttle, a 6.2L V8 clocking in a massive 420 hp, and also a 3.0L turbo-diesel. The 7-speed paves the way for a 10-speed automatic transmission in the 2021 GMC Yukon XL that sends all that power to the rear wheels.

When it comes to handling dynamics, GMC for the 2021 Yukon lineup has also come up with an all-new Active Response 4WD System, which given the already dominant Yukon a more commanding stature when it takes on some of the treacherous roads less followed. Back that with the also new independent rear-link suspension, and you have a muscle car that doesn’t let its hair down when it comes to comfortness as well.

Model

2021 GMC Yukon XL(Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

2020 Ford Expedition

2020 Nissan Armada

MSRP

$51,995

$51,000

$52,810

$50,100

Engine

5.3L NA V8

5.3L NA V-8 Engine

3.5L EcoBoost Turbocharged V-6 Engine

5.6L NA V-8 Engine

Drivetrain

RWD

4WD

RWD

4WD

Transmission

10-speed automatic transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

10-speed shiftable automatic transmission

7-speed automatic

Power

355 hp @ 5,600 rpm

355 hp @ 5,600 rpm

375 hp @ 5,000 rpm

390 hp @ 5,800 rpm

Torque

383 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm

383 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm

470 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm

394 LB-ft @ 4,000 rpm

For the price and performance figures, it is offered at, the Nissan Armada is an absolute steal. Ford Expedition, on the other hand, has the highest torque figures in the segment and that graces the 5,000 lbs car with an astonishing acceleration figure. The Yukon and the Suburban are as close to each other as two cars can be, both in terms of performance figures and also in terms of driving characteristics.

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV Fuel Economy

With the same powertrain being carried forward for the year 2021, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL is expected to deliver around 15 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway. GMC has more or less focused on the design part of the crossover, and not so much on the performance front per se. Furthermore, with GMC’s new cylinder deactivation technology in place, one thing is guaranteed, and that is the 2021 Yukon XL will have much less fuel consumption than before. Although, with no exact official report on how much it would have an effect, it’s all an assumption game at this point.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon XL(Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

2020 Ford Expedition

2020 Nissan Armada

MPG (city)

15

15

16

13

MPG (highway)

22

22

21

18

MPG (combined)

18

18

18

15

Fuel Capacity (gal.)

31.0

31.0 

28.3 

26.0 

Range (Cty/Hwy) (miles)

465/682 

434/651 

453/594

338/468

This is by far one of the most frugal segments in the industry. Ford Expedition, even with its EcoBoost engine has no major effect in this department, as its relatively smaller fuel-tank lets it down in terms of the range. In this aspect, both the Yukon XL and the Chevrolet Suburban are able to cruise long distances without worrying to find a gas station every other minute.

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV Interior

With the extent of changes coming in fast with the 5th generation GMC Yukon XL, it will still carry over the same sumptuous interior setup that we’ve grown to love and adorn from GMC. Nobody would’ve thought that GMC, a pickup and SUV based manufacturer would so far crawl into the premium segment that it gives the German royalties a run for their money. The perforated leather-appointed seats are the most spacious and comfortable in this segment. It has more than enough room to accommodate up to 8 passengers with ease. 

The lack of space won’t be a problem anymore with the Yukon as with the 5th generation, GMC has made it longer thus translating to better legroom both in the front and back. In the tech field, it packs in the best and latest technology one could hope for in a crossover of its stature. A 10-inch crisp and clear infotainment setup is now located above the air vents, and furthermore it packs in a much better interface. A 10-speaker Bose surround sound system also graces us with its presence in the 2021 GMC Yukon XL.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon XL(Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

2020 Ford Expedition

2020 Nissan Armada

Passenger Capacity

9

8

8

8

Front row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

42.8/64.8/45.3

42.8/64.8/45.3

39.5/63.2/41.1

40.9/63.8/41.9

Rear row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.7/65.1/39.0

38.7/65.1/39.0

39.7/63.7/39.1

40.0/63.4/39.0

Third row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.1/62.6/24.8

38.1/62.6/24.8

38.0/67.1/37.7

36.4/60.5/28.3

Cargo Capacity behind 3rd row (cu.ft)

25.5

15.3

19.3

16.5

Cargo Capacity behind 2nd row (cu.ft)

59.0

51.7

63.6

49.9

Cargo Capacity behind the front row (cu.ft)

144.7

94.7

104.6

95.4

Coming to the cargo-capacity of the Yukon. With the massive increase in dimensions of the Yukon and thanks to the independent rear suspension, the Yukon XL makes way for the best-in-class cargo room. With the previous 15.3 cu.ft of space now increasing to 25.5 cu.ft, which is damn near respectable even with the inclusion of the third row of seats.

2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV Exterior

There is literally no backing out in a fight for the ultimate family crossover supremacy, as GMC has time and again proven with their flagship SUV, the Yukon XL. For instance, there is literally quite a lot going on for the Yukon in terms of the exterior to catchy your attention. A gloss-black bold grill, with C-shaped standard, LED headlights, and taillights, there is little or for that matter no room for complaining. They are also graced by a new set 20-inch wheels, which can also be increased to 22-inches depending upon the package chosen.

GMC’s new bold and open personality gives the Yukon XL a commanding stance and presence on the road that is hard to miss upon. The new 2021 GMC Yukon XL has had noticeable changes in the dimension area, with over 6-inches longer than the previous generation truck, and over 4-inches in terms of wheelbase. This, in turn, generates a massive improvement in the interior space of the Yukon XL. Overall, to sum it up GMC has done enough to make it stand out from the other redesigned competitors for now.

Models

2021 GMC Yukon XL(Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Suburban

2020 Ford Expedition

2020 Nissan Armada

Curb Weight(lbs.)

5846 

5808 

5815 

5822

Length(in)

230.4

224.4

221.9

208.9

Width(in)

85.5

80.5

83.6

79.9

Height(in)

74.4

74.4

76.2

75.8

Ground clearance(in)

7.9

7.9

9.7

9.1

Wheelbase(in)

134

130

131.6

121.

The 7.9-inch ground clearance makes it possible for the 2021 Yukon XL to inspire confidence in its owner while wading through water or large boulders. Now, as it commands such large dimensions, it is basically pretty hard to maneuver it around town. Nissan’s Armada, on the other hand, has the upper hand in this matter, as with its relatively compact structure, it not only just indulges a third-row but is also pretty easy to manage around town.

What’s the Expected price and release date of the 2021 GMC Yukon and should you wait for it?

2021 GMC Yukon XL will be made available, with a reported release date of the summer of 2020 all across major US dealerships for a base price of $51,995. Although, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic looming around our heads, it’ll be better to expect the release date of the car to be extended a bit. Having said that, we whole-heartedly recommend you to wait for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL, as it stands out to be the ultimate OG when it comes to riding and handling prowess, with a number of add-on features such as the independent-rear link suspension and the Active 4WD setup. Moreover, with a completely new exterior and interior silhouette that makes the Yukon XL truly a value-based proposition, it should be enough to give you an idea that the 2021 Yukol XL is well worth the wait.