2021 GMC Yukon AT4
Here's an overview of the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4. Our vehicle was assembled at the Arlington plant in Texas and has a starting MSRP of 57398.00 CAD.
Fun Factor: 5
Can it Family: 10
City Cruising: 5
We'll give you a glimpse of the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 equipped with 5.3L V8 and our first impressions of it during a Montreal-Ottawa road trip we took.
Let us start with what makes this new 2021 Yukon great; the magnetic ride control suspension absorbs imperfections on the road admirably. The driving dynamics are quite easy; some may expect that driving this giant would come with its share of complexity. However, behind the controls, you have the sensation of driving a smaller vehicle.
The engine under the hood produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque and smoothly shifted through a 10-speed automatic transmission. This base 5.3L V8 feels adequate and returns respectable fuel economy for such a mastodon. Acceleration from a still stand can feel sluggish. However, the bigger 6.2L V8 fitted on the Denali trim would fix that issue. This is also GM's trim with the biggest market share within its Yukon brand. At a later time, GMC will launch a 3rd engine option with the same turbo-diesel V6 Duramax found in their pickup line up. This engine will be producing the same torque figure as the big 6.2L V8. Read more about this engine in our reviews for the Sierra & Silverado.
The Yukon offers plenty of space for the family. It offers seating capacity for up to 9 passengers in the SLE variant; in our AT4 variant, seating was for up to 7 passengers, and adults could use 6 of these with ample room. During our test, we noticed that those in the 3rd row could have a business class experience when folding the 2nd-row captain chairs flat to lay their legs while taking a nap or enjoying a home theatre experience while being driven around.
During this short test, we averaged 13.9L/100km. Our average fuel economy was 11.9L/100km on the Hwy. While it is possible to get a better fuel economy when driving below 110km/h, we drove the vehicle at varying speeds, and anything above 120km/h significantly impacts fuel economy. In the city, the fuel economy was 15.8L/100km, which is lower than other SUVs in this segment, and these figures are probably aided by the start/stop that function without annoyance or delays.
On the HWY, the new Yukon feels like the Queen of the roads, riding in comfort and offering an unparalleled view on all metrics thanks to a massive heads up display, almost making the cluster obsolete. The interior cabin at HWY speed felt well insulated, making conversation enjoyable even for those sitting in the 3rd row.
The sound system found in our trim was a Bose audio system that sounded okay; we normally do not like the Bose System. It seems that GM tweaked it to make it sound richer. The 10.2-inch infotainment is a highlight with the Yukon; it's simple to use and respond quickly. We also see a considerable improvement in connectivity with wireless devices. Currently, only a handful of companies offer wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and GMC nailed it. We were astonished by the system's speed and the amount of information shown on the massive 10.2-inch screen when using maps. If you forget or break a cable, you do not need to worry about charging your phone as there is a large wireless charging mat that basically fits any phone or phablet. Other highlights were the 2 screens found in the 2nd row that feel like they belong in a modernistic vehicle. Screen mirroring is possible using portable devices via the Miracast app, and passengers in the back can send directions or navigation instructions directly to the driver using these screens.
The Yukon's AT4 variant we drove offered ISOFIX ports only in the 2nd-row. They were slightly hidden, making the installation a little more finicky. As for the 3rd-row seats, car seats can only be latched using the rear anchor latch. On the good side, the doors open very wide to conveniently get the car seat(s) in or out; once in the cabin, you have ample space to attach your car seat(s) comfortably. As for children infiltrating the vehicle, even with the vehicle's height, the assist step lowering facilitates it; they will still require an adult to open the door. Once in the vehicle, the seating arrangement allows small and big children to find a comfortable spot.
Driving such a big vehicle in the city is often challenging; many would feel uncomfortable or uncertain they could keep it in the lanes. The Yukon makes it easy; you have the sensation of driving a much smaller vehicle. The large windows provide good visibility of the vehicle's surroundings, and with the help of the cameras, we were sure not to miss anything or anyone. The wheel adjusts the firmness depending on the speed to make you feel more in control. We experienced the same while parking; we were uncertain the Yukon would fit in our narrow parking from the exterior. The light steering made parking smoother compared to smaller vehicles we've tested recently.
Why would we buy the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4, or what we liked about it? It offers comfortable seating for the whole family; the suspension is a dream; potholes are no match for the Yukon. Connectivity is future proof in providing wireless connectivity and enough USB-C for everyone. An efficient diesel engine is available for those planning to drive long distances.
Why would we not buy the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4, or what we did not like about it? No hybrid or plugin hybrid variant available at this time; the base 5.3L engine feels just adequate, no ISOFIX port for the 3rd-row seats.
GM has lent us this vehicle for one day as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with GM Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.
Additional pictures by Can Car Photos & Marc-Anthony Cruz Gonzalez