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Introduced in 1937 as a vehicle that would carry everything passengers could potentially need, the current GMC Yukon XL was this automaker’s response to the elongated Chevrolet Suburban. A mass re-branding effort as a “Yukon XL” occurred in the 2000 model year release, and the development of this vehicle into its own SUV has not stopped since. Offering a variety of trim levels from the basic SLE to the luxury Denali, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL plays to the needs and desires of a variety of consumers. While most will find solace in the functional attributes of this vehicle, some may find that it falls short of their expectations. Though this doesn’t mean the GMC Yukon XL is not worth looking into, let’s take a look at some of its stronger features that buyers often enjoy.
What's New for 2021?
Interestingly enough, despite its differentiation from other SUV models, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL has taken on a new look and feel. Built off the same platform that is featured in the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, the newest Yukon XL mimics its competitors but adds its own distinctive styling. Sporting the first independent rear suspension, the GMC Yukon XL stands out among other large GM-brand SUVs because of this added feature.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 GMC Yukon XL – The Pros
1. Versatile Engine Options
The sheer number of engine options available in the 2021 GMC Yukon XL is impressive. Yet, the diversity in these options is incredibly unique. Not only does the newest Yukon XL offer two gasoline engines, but it also incorporates a powerhouse diesel motor in its lineup. This makes it easy for buyers who desire different levels of horsepower in conjunction with the sophisticated look and size of this SUV.
2. Active Response Four-Wheel Drive
In an effort to improve vehicle handling and steering control, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL has implemented a feature known as active response four-wheel drive. This technology is a combination of a limited slip differential that functions electronically and road monitoring. Improving reactions to improve traction, buyers are provided better vehicle control than available in previous models.
3. Multiple Camera Views
In-cabin cameras are common features in modern vehicles, but the extent to which they function is unique within each model type. Not only does the 2021 GMC Yukon XL feature nine comprehensive camera views, but it also employs the use of additional technology. A rear camera mirror enhances vision, a ProGrade Trailering System characteristic to GMC ensures safe hauling, and high definition surround vision enhances the quality of camera views for drivers.
4. All-New Exclusive Denali Interior
At the peak of trim levels for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL sits the Denali model. As if it could not get any better, the interior features of the Denali Yukon XL only improved for this model year. With an all-new design, one of the most favorite consumer features is a center console that offers a power slide option.
5. Enhanced Head-Up Display
Buyers will be more than comfortable with the inherent safety and navigation features that are integrated into the interior design of the 2021 GMC Yukon XL SUV. Complete with a 15-inch Head-Up Display that is multicolored, drivers can keep track of their vehicle’s stats in real-time. Projections of speed, safety feature deployment, and navigation are easily viewed on this immense screen.
6. Power to the Extreme
The most advanced engine option for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL is nothing to play around with. A 6.2-Liter V8 engine is standard for the Denali. It comes equipped with a Dynamic Fuel Management system that allows the generation of 420 hp. When paired with the Yukon XL’s standard 10-speed transmission, the engine becomes an unstoppable force.
7. Air-Ride Adaptive Suspension Benefits
Off-road navigation and travel on multiple terrain types is made easier with the innovative Air-Ride Adaptive Suspension that the 2021 GMC Yukon XL utilizes. Providing a comfortable ride, this system raises the body of the Yukon XL up by two inches. Creating extra ground clearance when four-wheel drive is implemented, this feature enhances ride comfort substantially.
8. AT4 Model Introduction
Acknowledged as GMC’s sport model option, the AT4 has made its way into the lineup of the 2021 GMC Yukon XL. As a popular option in the Sierra, the AT4 is expected to be just as sought out in the Yukon XL, as well. An inspiring off-road design is completed with all-terrain capabilities and off-road feature implementation to make exploration easier.
9. Leading the Pack in Interior Space
One of the main reasons why buyers select this vehicle is based on its excessive interior space. Enhancing its usable interior space by five inches, thanks to a widened wheelbase, provides additional cargo volume in the rear. Passengers benefit from additional space in the seating area, while drivers benefit from having more room to stow items for the drive ahead.
10. Advanced Technology That Rises Above
Active safety features are made more easily available in the 2021 GMC Yukon XL. These driver-assistive features are not reserved solely for higher trim levels, unlike competitor model choices. New trailering feature enhancements make the process of hauling and towing easier and safer, while a digital platform helps take the technology of the 2021 GMC Yukon XL to the next level.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 GMC Yukon XL – The Cons
1. A Tough Decision for Extra Space
One of the biggest downfalls of the 2021 GMC Yukon XL is the convertibility of its interior space. While it does boasts some of the most expansive interior cargo or passenger space, it fails to do so simultaneously. All too often, owners must choose between hauling extra passengers or more cargo, because there simply is not enough room for both.
2. Navigation Away from Previous Body Style
This year, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL has moved further away from its Chevrolet-inspired design than ever. If a buyer is happy with this new development, they will find the 2021 model of the GMC Yukon XL to be desirable. However, consumers who loved this layout may not be as satisfied with this SUV’s newest rendition.
3. Thirsty for Fuel
Any vehicle of this size and stature can be expected to fall below average for fuel efficiency. In the 2021 GMC Yukon XL this is truer than ever before. With a wimpy 16 combined MPG, individuals who wish to use this vehicle for commuting will be let down by its abilities.
4. Reduced Agility
Despite its great ability to handle off-road terrain, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL’s large size makes it less agile than some buyers would prefer. Sticking mainly to roadways where navigation for large vehicles is easier is key to finding satisfaction in this full-size SUV model.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 GMC Yukon XL vs 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
Once sharing a similar platform, it is understandable that buyers would have a difficult time choosing between a 2021 GMC Yukon XL and a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe. Both large and spacious, these two vehicles are great options for family travel and as a solution for intuitive storage solutions. Exclusive to the Yukon model, this GMC SUV offers a more advanced drivetrain system in its Active Response Four-Wheel Drive setup. Completely different in their exterior features, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL and the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe offer distinctively opposite exterior designs that will play to the preferences of various buyers.
2021 GMC Yukon XL vs. 2021 Ford Expedition
Sophisticated, yet rugged, upper-middle class buyers find comfort in the attributes of both the 2021 GMC Yukon XL and the 2021 Ford Expedition. While the 2021 Ford Expedition offers more interior space, quicker acceleration, and a well-accented cabin, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL focuses on a distinctive look that stands out, an upscale trim level, and a specific off-road model. There is no denying the differences between these two SUVs. Fuel economy leaves much to be desired for both models, as well as a higher price that leaves most buyers out of the ballgame.
The 2021 GMC Yukon XL is a vehicle that performs well and offers an immense amount of space for buyers and passengers to utilize. While the powerful engine and advanced technology of this model are admirable offerings, buyers who are looking for a fuel efficiency vehicle that maneuvers well in small spaces will not find their desires fulfilled in this SUV. Yet, if off-roading and towing toys is your niche, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL will suit you well. Though it fills a niche need for buyers, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL provides well for the consumers it was designed for. This SUV stands out among the rest in a way that is refreshing and leaves us with optimism for the 2021 model year.
• Why buy a 2020 GMC Yukon? w/ pros vs cons