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2021 GMC Yukon XL Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 GMC Yukon XL Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SLE vs SLT vs Denali

What 2021 GMC Yukon XL Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL is the epitome of luxury and convenience on wheels, giving families, businesses and consumers looking for maximum interior space a dependable choice. A longtime leader in its class since 2000, this full-size SUV offers incredible customizability along with four different trim levels to fit any lifestyle or budget - all while never compromising on durability thanks to reliable automaker design technology. Whether you need room for passengers or cargo (or both!), make sure your next ride embodies style by opting into the timeless classic that still remains at the forefront of innovation: The GMC Yukon XL.

Compare the Yukon XL SLE vs SLT Standard. What is the difference?

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL offers the perfect combination of reliability and luxury, no matter your trim level. Looking to save money? Consider jumping into the SLE Standard model – it may be basic but still comes jam-packed with modern amenities that outdo most competitors in its class! For a few thousand more dollars you can get some extra bells and whistles on top with the SLT Standard version, making for an even plusher ride. Shop smart this season by choosing either base model for an SUV experience fit for any budget or lifestyle.

Generally, the powertrain set up for both the SLE and SLT Standard are the same, as many of their trim-based differences are rooted in their interior and exterior features. Both rely on a 5.3-liter V8 engine capable of producing up to 355 horsepower that is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and auto-manual. The drivetrain is rear-wheel drive, and both models have a towing capacity of 6,300 lbs. Generating the same fuel efficiency of 17 MPG, these two models are nearly identical in their power and capability.

As soon as buyers begin to consider interior and exterior options that are standard and available for these two models, the differences begin to emerge. While the SLE offers four specialty packages that consist of the Convenience, SLE Value, Enhanced Driver Alert, and Interior Protection Package. In contrast, the SLT Standard offers an Open Road, HD Trailering, and Value Plus Edition Package.

When it comes to convenience both trim levels offer many similar standard features with just a few differences in their optional amenities. While the SLE sees the trunk key fob function and power cargo access remote release as optional, the SLT Standard makes them standard. An auto-dimming rearview mirror and garage door opener is also optional with the SLE, while the SLT Standard sees them as a standard inclusion.

Compare the Yukon XL SLT Standard vs SLT Trims. What is the difference?

Though it is not common for a vehicle model to include two different trim levels with such similar titles, the GMC Yukon XL is different from other SUVs. The SLT takes it up a notch from the SLT Standard's standard and optional features, making it more versatile and modern than its relative. Realistically, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLT is a great value, as it offers many attributes and features that the SLT Standard offers at the same MSRP.

The powertrain setup, fuel economy, and towing capacity is the same for these two models. Exploring the packages that these two models have to offer is where their differences begin to emerge. The SLT offers six different package options, while the SLT Standard offers just four. Although many convenience features come standard on the SLT Standard, the SLT offers many more standard features in addition to some extra optional features. Distance pacing cruise control, a mini overhead storage compartment, power glass tilting and sliding sunroof are all available options for the SLT, while they are not offered at all on the SLT Standard trim level.

Both trim levels come standard with seating for up to eight passengers, although seating for seven can be achieved using captain seats in the middle row. 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hot Spot capabilities, an LCD in the third row, and speed sensitive volume are also standard inclusions for both trim levels. In general, the SLT Standard and the SLT are similar, if not identical, in many aspects. Yet a few minor differences make the SLT a more comprehensive option at a comparable price.

Compare the Yukon XL SLT vs Denali. What is the difference?

Sitting at the top of the trim level option chain with the powertrain features and amenities to back it up, the Denali is incomparable to any other 2021 GMC Yukon XL trim. Simply put, it features the best that GMC has to offer in this model and comes at a cost to prove it. While some buyers may find the MSRP of the 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali to be out of their price range, those who do not settle for less than the best will be assured that this is the champion trim level.

In fact, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali is the only trim that provides for a different engine setup than all others. It utilizes a 6.2L V8 engine that can produce up to 420 horsepower. Luxurious and powerful, the Denali is GMC's prize trim level in all models. It ups the game for other GMC Yukon XL trim levels with its companion 10-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and auto-manual. Available in both 4x4 and 4x2 options, you will see a slight decrease in fuel economy to 16 MPG with the 4-wheel drive edition.

The towing capacity of the Denali trim also increases to 8,100 lbs., which is
the result of its improved and upgraded powertrain components. Every aspect of the 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali is an upgrade from the SLT trim level. Going up slightly in cost, the GMC Yukon XL Denali offers the most sophisticated and luxurious interior features available. These awe-inspiring amenities are heightened by the intricately designed exterior facets.

A chrome grille, power cargo liftgate, roof rack, and optional illuminated running boards grab your attention at first glance with the Yukon XL Denali. Adjustable pedals with memory, an illuminated entry, and heated steering wheel play on the overall sophistication of the Denali model on the interior of this SUV. Chrome interior accents, reclining rear seats, and a third-row seat that folds into the floor proves that the 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali is not only good-looking, but also functional and versatile. It is everything you could want in a quality, full size SUV, and more.


Final Thoughts

Overall, a buyer's preference in the trim level they prefer for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL depends solely on their preference in convenience features and necessity of upscale amenities. Some buyers would prefer a more economical trim level, like the SLE, that is conventional and durable. Yet, other buyers prefer trim details that are eye-catching and a more powerful engine like those found in the Denali. Each trim level offers its own unique features that match a niche market, and it is up to the buyers to decide which of these differences matter the most to them and fit their lifestyle needs.

One of the main concerns about trim level evaluation is ensuring the selected package meet the buyer's expectations of what they think they are getting. For example, a buyer who is interested in an upscale interior design likely would not be satisfied with the basic features of the SLE model. This is where consumer-driven research and dealership guidance is helpful. Yet, viewing these models in person can help, too.

Buyers who are looking for a spacious and durable full-size SUV with an interior suited for family travel would be satisfied with the 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLE model. It offers a standard look with typical features and an interior that can withstand wear and tear. Equipped with seats that are easy to fold down or remove, the SLE can be configured according to a consumer's immediate needs. Despite its spot at the bottom of the Yukon XL trim level list, it still excels past other competitor SUVs in many categories.

Consumers who are looking for a vehicle that is the median cost range will be happier with the SLT Standard or SLT. These are buyers who enjoy a few amenities that are more than basic but are not in need of the luxury feel that the Denali trim offers. Increasing minimally from the cost of the base SLE, the SLT Standard and SLT boast additional convenience and design features that are not offered in the preceding trim level.

Still yet, customers who only want the best attributes at any cost will feel most comfortable with the 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali. This trim level is upscale, comfortable, modern, and powerful. Not only does it offer intricately detailed designs, but it is more capable than any of the other underlying models in power and towing capacity. Well-rounded is the definition we would provide for the Denali model. However, this option is simply too pricey for some buyers, and that is to be understandable.

Save Money on a 2021 GMC Yukon XL:
Previous GMC Yukon Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2020 GMC Yukon Trim Levels