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2021 GMC Yukon Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 GMC Yukon Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SLE vs SLT vs AT4 & Denali
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

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

Narrowing down vehicle choices by make and model is only half the battle of purchasing a new vehicle. There are so many decisions that must be made to ensure you are investing in a vehicle that will suit your budget and lifestyle that even the smallest details can make a big difference. Features and attributes of the same vehicle in different trim levels can contribute to these important choices. Exploring different trim levels with a specific make and model, like the 2021 GMC Yukon, can ensure a consumer's price point and preferences are cohesive.

Currently, the 2021 GMC Yukon offers four different trim levels. The SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali all offer the same inherent concepts. Yet, these trim levels differ in the level of intricacy and customization they incorporate for interior attributes, exterior design, and technology inclusions. Therefore, it is important for consumers to consider the differences among these trim levels to ensure they are attaining the features they want and need the most without overpaying for overzealous amenities they will not use. Buyers should consider each trim level carefully and compare them thoroughly to ensure they are a good fit for the buyer.

Compare the Yukon SLE vs. SLT Trims. What is the difference?

While both trim levels are available in 4x2 or 4x4, buyers will find that the SLE comes in at a slightly lower price point. Utilizing the same engine with identical transmission setups, the SLE and SLT can attain identical fuel efficiency at 18 combined MPG for the 4x2 and 17 combined MPG for the 4x4. Both trim levels involve a 5.3L V8 engine that can produce up to 355 horsepower, as well as the standard 10-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and auto-manual. In fact, buyers will find this transmission to be a staple across every 2021 GMC Yukon trim level.

Aesthetically, the SLT adds on one additional exterior color option in its White Frost Tricoat hue. Functionally, the SLT can hold one fewer passenger with its top capacity ranging from 7-8 passengers. In comparison, the SLE can hold 8-9 passengers. While both the SLE and SLT offer a Max Trailering Package, the differ greatly in the remaining package upgrades. While the SLE focuses on a GMC Pro Safety Plus and Cargo Convenience Package, the SLT offers an SLT Luxury Plus, SLT Luxury, and Rear Media & Nav Package. An increase in the multitude of package offerings means an increase in the number of optional features that are available for the SLT.

As one might assume, the number of standard features is higher for the SLT model, as well as optional features that the SLE does not offer. For the SLE, standard convenience features include a proximity key and remote keyless entry, while standard exterior features include power remote heated side-view door mirrors that are manual and a black grille. In comparison, the SLT offers optional convenience upgrades, such as a power sunshade and a tilting glass sunroof, as well as exterior optional features that include a chrome grille and power liftgate.

Compare the SLT vs. AT4. What is the difference?

Moving from the median 2021 GMC Yukon SLT model, the AT4 trim level offers more sporty attributes that are aesthetic and functional for off-road travel and playful adventures. These features allow it to ride better over rough terrain and hold up longer during endurance-base situations. The AT4 offers even more packages than its SLT relative in its AT4 Premium Plus, Technology, Cargo Convenience, and Illumination Package upgrades.

When progressing up to the AT4, buyers can expect their exterior color choices to be reduced back down to eight. The AT4 is only available in a 4x4 layout, so the combined MPG is maintained at 17 MPG. This trim level boasts the same engine and transmission setup as the previous models, making it just as capable of towing and hauling.
Explain the difference between the two. What do you get when you move up a trim level? What standard and optional features are available for each.

Buyers can enjoy a wheel size upgrade from the standard 20" that the SLT offers to a 22" made for serious fun with the AT4. While the SLT offers only alloy wheels, the AT4 puts its stock in chrome wheels to gain some additional attention, as well. Every aspect of the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 is made to make a bold statement that matches its athletic potential. This sets it apart from the lower SLE and SLT trim levels.

Compare the Yukon AT4 vs. Denali. What is the difference?

At the top of the trim level selections for the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 and Denali sit the AT4 and the Denali. As previously addressed, the AT4 is perfect for individuals with a sporty side who are down for adventure at any time. Comparatively, the 2021 GMC Yukon Denali was developed specifically for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Offering the most upscale amenities out of any of the GMC Yukon models, the Denali is intricately designed and meticulously detailed to offer an exclusive feel that you will not find in other Yukon models.

The 2021 GMC Yukon Denali features its own exclusive package upgrades that are unique only to this trim level. The Denali Deluxe, Denali Premium, Advanced Technology, and Denali Ultimate Packages allow buyers to take customization to the next level. By focusing on the aspects that they find the most alluring in a new vehicle, consumers can implement one of these packages that will set their Yukon Denali apart from others. Yet for those who feel like the base Denali is sufficient, these packages options are merely selections that can be left off.

While the 2021 GMC Yukon Denali is not necessarily larger and does not seat more passengers than its AT4 relative, it does feature a more capable engine. Employing the use of a 420-horsepower 6.2L V8, the Denali uses the same 10-speed automatic transmission with OD that all the other Yukon models utilize. While this larger engine provides the Denali trim with a bit more power than other trim levels, it also drops the combined fuel efficiency down a bit to 16 MPG.

For the most part, the GMC Yukon AT4 and Denali are similar in their standard offerings. Where most of the difference is seen are in the optional features that vary between the two. For example, both trims offer similar safety features, but the Denali makes upgrades available for a 3-point rear center seat belt and driver and passenger 2-way head restraints. The safety and security features offered by the Denali go above and beyond the industry standard for full-size SUVs, making it that more notorious for its efforts to remain exclusive in every way possible.

As for convenience, the AT4 and Denali remain similar in most aspects. However, buyers will find a standard navigation system with voice activation in the Denali, while it is only an upgrade option for the AT4 trim level. A power glass tilting sliding sunroof and panoramic sunroof are optional for both trim levels. So, if you are looking for excellent views from your front seat, you may have to pay a little extra for an upgrade. A video-feed rear view mirror and locking internal compartments are optional upgrades for the Denali, as well. Yet, you will not find these options at all on the GMC Yukon AT4 model.

Final Thoughts

Despite these comparisons that provide a wealth of information about the various trim levels available for the 2021 GMC Yukon, selecting a package may not come as easy as you think. Each trim boasts its own, unique strengths and weaknesses that must be evaluated individually. Overpaying for features you do not need is not ideal, while longing for standard features only to find they optional for your selected trim level is not a good idea, either. If you find yourself in a bind and unable to decide, dealership professionals or online reviews should be considered to address aspects you may never have thought of before.

The best way to evaluate each 2021 GMC Yukon trim level is to compare their standard and optional features against those that you are looking for in a new vehicle. Find the one that best meets your guidelines without going overboard or scaling back too much. There is a happy medium that most buyers find, although it may take some work to be able to do so. Oftentimes, taking a vehicle that you are considering purchasing for a test drive can help you actively compare their inherent features and upgrade options. Seeing and feeling the difference between trim levels in person can make a big impact in making your final decision.

Considering your potential use for the vehicle you choose is essential to ensuring a logical decision. For example, someone who likes to go on frequent camping trips that involves a little off-road travel may feel comfortable in a sporty and capable AT4. Yet, another buyer who is watching their budget may feel more financially stable in a spacious SLE. Still yet, consumers who only want the best of everything will find the Denali to be the most adequate option. Each buyer has their own specific needs that can be met by one of four 2021 GMC Yukon trim levels.

In general, the most popular 2021 GMC Yukon trim level falls somewhere in the middle. The SLT is a roomy, yet upscale SUV that offers ample room and a few upgrades to choose from. It is not too economical, but not too pricey, either. Many buyers find that the SLE is just too basic, and the Denali is out of their price range. Yet, the SLT hits the sweet spot for many Yukon enthusiasts making it a viable contender for the most popular trim level for the 2021 GMC Yukon SUV.

Although the have discussed the most acceptable use for each trim level and pros and cons of each type of 2021 GMC Yukon, the ultimate decision is up to you. Each 2021 GMC Yukon is fully capable and impressive on many levels. We know you will be happy with whichever variation you select. The new 2021 GMC Yukon simply offers four different trim levels that allow consumers to be set apart from the crowd if they so desire. Take your time to select the specific 2021 GMC Yukon that fits the needs of you and your family the best.

Used 2021 GMC Yukon:
Previous GMC Yukon Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2020 GMC Yukon Trim Levels