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Everything you want to know about the 2021 GMC Yukon

GMC has revealed the AT4 and Denali versions of their popular three-row SUV.

Photo courtesy of GMC

The GMC Yukon has undergone a complete redesign. For the 2021 model year, GMC has re-engineered nearly every component on the SUV resulting in a more refined take on the premium SUV than the 2020 offered. Here's a quick look at everything you need to know.

The 2021 GMC Yukon will be sold in four variants.

So far, GMC has revealed that there will be SLT, SLE, AT4, and Denali models. The Yukon SLT and SLE are likely to follow similar packaging standard that the GMC Sierra has while the AT4 is getting blacked out elements and different underpinnings. Similarly, the Yukon Denali is the most refined model. All models will have three rows of seating.

2021 GMC Yukon Denali The Yukon Denali is set apart from the rest of the lineup by its large chrome grille. Photo courtesy of GMC

It's bigger than before.

The Yukon has grown 6.1 inches in length and seen its wheelbase extended by 4.9 inches. This was done to give third row occupants more legroom and add cargo room without compromising passenger space in the first and second rows. Despite the added size, GMC has ensured that the 2021 model has a lower, flatter cargo-loading floor that allows for easier access to cargo space.

Yes, it will still come in two lengths.

Like the 2020 Yukon, Cadillac Escalade, and Ford Expedition, the largest GMC SUV will come in two lengths, labeled the Yukon and Yukon XL. The "XL" denotes the extended version, which adds 15.2 inches on the traditional Yukon body. That 225.1-inch design in the 2021 Yukon XL is up 0.9 inches over the 2020 Yukon XL.

The Yukon Denali's exterior has high-tech enhancements and is bolder than before.

The 2021 Yukon Denali sits tall. It has GMC's C-shaped front lighting signature up front that is delivered through LED illumination. Daytime running lights, headlamps, taillamp, and fog lamps are all LEDs. The Yukon Denali has a Galvano chrome grille that features a dimensional pattern with over 10,000 individual reflective surfaces.

There's an available adaptive air suspension.

GMC will offer the 2021 Yukon with an available four-corner adaptive suspension. When it's in 4WD LO, drivers can opt to raise the body up to an additional two inches for more ground clearance.

2021 GMC Yukon Denali XL Significant length has been added to the Yukon to make the Yukon XL model. Photo courtesy of GMC

It will have the most powerful engine in its segment.

The new 6.2-liter V8 engine achieves 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The Yukon comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 and there's an available 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel engine option. All the engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

GMC is debuting a new four-wheel drive system in the Yukon.

The available Active Response 4WD System combines technologies including an electronic limited slip differential, to continuously monitor road conditions and react to improve traction, handling and overall control.

Yukon AT4 makes its debut.

Like in the Sierra and Sierra HD trucks, the Yukon AT4 adds more off-road prowess to the model with equipment enabling a nearly 32-degree approach angle, two-speed transfer case, 20-inch Goodyear all-terrain tires, a drive mode system with off-road mode, hill descent control, and skid plates. The model comes standard with GMC's adaptive suspension. It also has leather appointed seats, a Jet Black interior color theme with Brandy accents, heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated second-row outboard seats.

2021 GMC Yukon AT4 The Yukon AT4 joins other AT4 models in the GMC lineup, most notably the Sierra and Sierra HD. Photo courtesy of GMC

GMC has significantly upgraded the interior of the Yukon Denali.

Yukon Denali models aren't just getting an upgraded on the outside. When buyers choose the 2021 Yukon Denali they will have the opportunity to choose from four color themes that feature wood trim, and hand-stitched leather upholstery. The model also have its own, unique instrument panel and center stack design.

It gets a large number of cameras for maneuvering and trailering ease.

GMC will offer the 2021 Yukon with up to nine camera views, the most in its segment. These views include a surround view, rear camera mirror, and GMC's ProGrade trailering system.

2021 GMC Yukon Denali GMC has designed the interior of the Yukon Denali to be more elegant than the other trim levels in the Yukon lineup. Photo courtesy of GMC

Advanced technology isn't just for the infotainment system.

Buyers will be able to opt for the available 15-inch head-up display that showcases speed, navigation, safety features, and other information.

The 2021 GMC Yukon goes on sale this summer.

As is traditional, pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle's on-sale date. Buyers should expect a price increase for the model, especially in the Denali trim.

2021 GMC Yukon AT4 The center stack of the Yukon AT4 has a unique design and Jet Black interior. Photo courtesy of GMC

GMC builds the Yukon in the U.S.A.

Each GMC Yukon is assembled at General Motors' Arlington, Texas assembly facility.

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The concept has been extensively modified for a life lived off the beaten path.

GMC

Overlanding has become a world of its own, with several parts and vehicle customization companies, media publications, and guide services popping up all over the place. GMC realizes this, and to capitalize on the overlanding craze, the automaker built a Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX off-road concept to show off at the Overland Expo Mountain West 2021, which took place last week.


GMC Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX Concept The OVRLANDX concept carries a kitchenette, solar panels, and more.GMC


Some of the upgrades on the truck include:

  • Cast-iron control arms
  • A heavy-duty front bumper with winch
  • Front and rear electronic locking differentials
  • An off-road jack and mount
  • Multimatic DSSV dampers
  • Off-road rocker panel protectors


Listing the rest of the upgrades would take more words than anybody cares to read but rest assured that they are plentiful and impressive. GMC says that the concept truck gained legitimate capability from the upgrades. The approach angle is 27.7 degrees, and the truck can ford water up to 32.1 inches, which come thanks to a ground clearance of 10 inches and a custom-built snorkel system. The truck rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires.

Since it's an overlanding concept, the truck needs the ability to support its passengers well off the beaten path. To do that, GMC gave the Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX a cooler and kitchenette, solar panel, and a truck bed storage system with drawers.



GMC Canyon AT4 OVRLANDX Concept You can build something similar to the concept with off-the-shelf parts.GMC


As a concept truck, it's unlikely the AT4 overlanding rig will make it into production as it sits. That said, it's an interesting idea for an intrepid Canyon owner to use as a blueprint. Outside of the chassis work, most of the parts and upgrades can be purchased and installed without a major hassle, but if you're in the market to build a rig, it's best to research your truck's payload capacity and capabilities before overloading for overlanding.

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Electric vehicles

Three new EVs we can't wait to see

The F-150 Lightning is just one of several new EVs we'll see soon.

Ford

With all the crazy news coming out of the auto industry this year, it'd be easy to believe that the rollout of new models is slowing to a snail's pace. The pandemic and ongoing microchip shortage have slowed vehicle production, to be sure, but they haven't put the brakes on automakers' push to roll out exciting new electric vehicles. In the next few months alone, we'll see several new electric trucks, cars, and SUVs hit the market, some of which will break new ground and help define their segments. We're on board with this trend 100 percent, and to help you get excited, we've rounded up a few of our favorites.

Here are the three upcoming electric vehicles we're most excited to see.

Ford F-150 Lightning

One of the world's best-selling and most popular vehicles is going electric. The Ford F-150 Lightning is set to arrive in 2022 with a fully electric powertrain, forward-looking technology, and a familiar style that will make any truck lover feel at home. We don't have full details on the truck, but Ford has shared some awe-inspiring performance numbers. The Lightning will offer around 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which should push the truck to 60 mph from a standstill in just four seconds. Payload capacity comes in at up to 2,000 pounds, and towing will reach 10,000 pounds for specific configurations.


Ford F-150 Lightning The Lightning will offer impressive capability in a familiar package.Ford


The Lightning's starting price will come in under $40,000, but don't get your hopes up about actually buying one for that amount. Ford says the entry-level Lightning is a commercial truck that will be a stripped-down work-ready vehicle, which likely means features like vinyl seats and far fewer of the desirable tech goodies that you'll want. To get the truck you and your family will want to drive, you'll need to spring for the XLT model, which starts just shy of $53,000. That's quite a bit more, but it is still a somewhat reasonable price to pay for what will surely be a capable electric pickup.

Mercedes-Benz EQS

The S-Class is a unique model in Mercedes-Benz's lineup. The car typically showcases the automaker's latest technologies and design techniques and offers a glimpse of the features that eventually trickle down to the rest of Mercedes' vehicles. Soon, we'll see the EQS, a fully electric flagship sedan that paves the way for the brand's other electrified offerings. The car will have a range of well over 400 miles on a charge, up to 516 horsepower, rear-axle steering, and breathtaking technology.


Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS will usher in a new electric era at Mercedes.Mercedes-Benz


The EQS is expected to land sometime late in 2021 and will carry a price tag that matches its premium brand name and top-notch feature set. Pricing for the "entry-level" EQS 450+ will come in at around $100,000, while the top EQS 580 4MATIC will land well north of that number. Remember, though, that Mercedes offers a long list of ultra-desirable options for its cars, so you'll likely shell out more than the base price to get the features you want.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq name is nothing new, but the way it will be seen in the automaker's lineup will change significantly going forward. Rather than being a model name within the Hyundai catalog, Ioniq will split off and become its own sub-brand, covering a line of electric vehicles of all types. The Ioniq 5 is the first such vehicle and will be offered in single- or dual-motor configurations that generate 225 or 320 horsepower. The car's futuristic design is attractive and features a pixelated look for the front-end, lighting features, and rear. Inside, the vehicle is clean but comforting and offers the features buyers expect in a family crossover.


Hyundai Ioniq 5 The Ioniq 5 is the first in what will be an entire line of new EVs from Hyundai.Hyundai


The Ioniq 5 should go on sale in late 2021 and is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

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