2021 GMC Yukon XL

MSRP range: $53,700 - $74,300
(3)
MSRP$57,260
Edmunds suggests you pay$55,774

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2021 GMC Yukon XL Review

  • New independent rear suspension benefits ride as well as cargo capacity
  • Longer wheelbase increases passenger comfort
  • Redesigned interior a substantial improvement over the outgoing model
  • 3.0-liter diesel engine promises to be fairly fuel-efficient
  • Large size restricts maneuverability
  • Throttle response can be lazy
  • Does little to differentiate itself from the less expensive Chevrolet Suburban
  • The GMC Yukon XL has been redesigned
  • Available adaptive air suspension
  • New optional 3.0-liter diesel engine
  • Part of the fifth Yukon generation introduced for 2021

As you might have surmised from its fantastically literal badging, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL is an enlarged version of the GMC Yukon. Both of these truck-based SUVs are more spacious and have higher tow ratings than three-row crossover SUVs such as GMC's own Acadia. Like the Yukon — and its corporate cousins, the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe ‐ the GMC Yukon XL is fully redesigned for 2021 and aims to be a significantly more appealing SUV than its predecessor.

Chief among the 2021 GMC Yukon XL's upgrades is a fully independent rear suspension. It should provide the Yukon XL with a more supple ride since the previous version had a traditional solid axle. An adaptive air suspension is available for the first time too. It can lower the vehicle's ride height to help with getting in and out or raise it for increased ground clearance. Its load-leveling feature also helps keep the body level while towing.

Later in the model year, a new 3.0-liter diesel engine will be added to the options list. Official figures haven't been released yet, but we expect it to offer similar towing capacity to the gasoline engines — 8,000 to 8,4000 pounds, depending on powertrain choice — yet deliver improved fuel economy.

Cargo space is also improved compared to the previous generation, with an extra 2.2 cubic feet behind the third row. That isn't a tremendous amount, but the lower load floor makes placing items into the back much easier. Fold the second and third rows down and you have a whopping 144.7 cubic feet of room — an increase of 23 cubic feet — and akin to what you'll find in most minivans.

True, a crossover SUV such as the Volkswagen Atlas or Kia Telluride is more comfortable and fuel-efficient. But if you need to haul up to nine people and their gear, or pull a heavy trailer, the 2021 GMC Yukon XL looks to be a worthy choice.

Which Yukon XL does Edmunds recommend?

The Yukon XL is more expensive than the related Chevrolet Suburban, and the benefits aren't truly realized on the lowest SLE trim. As such, consider the midrange SLT. It's nicely equipped with standard equipment and gives you flexibility with options. But if price isn't a huge concern, the range-topping Denali is the best of the bunch. It comes with a more powerful V8 and unique interior styling that further differentiates it from the Suburban. Make sure to opt for the Advanced Technology package, which comes with adaptive cruise control — a feature sorely missed on lower trims.

GMC Yukon XL models

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL is a large three-row SUV that seats seven to nine passengers depending on configuration. It is sold in four trim levels: SLE, SLT, AT4 and Denali. Most Yukon models are powered by a 5.3-liter V8 (355 horsepower, 383 lb-ft of torque). Two other engines are also available:

The Denali exclusively has a 6.2-liter V8 (420 hp, 460 lb-ft). Later in the model year, GMC will offer an optional turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine (277 hp, 460 lb-ft). All engines are paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional except on the AT4, where it's standard.

SLE
The base SLE trim kicks things off with:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Eight-person seating configuration (2-3-3)
  • 10.2-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto compatibility
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)

There are several options for the Yukon XL SLE, including:

  • GMC Pro Safety Plus package
    • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
    • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while in reverse)
    • Lane departure mitigation (warns you of a lane departure when a turn signal isn't used and can automatically steer to maintain lane position)
  • Max Trailering package
    • Trailer brake controller (helps you adjust the brakes on your trailer)
    • Heavy-duty cooling system
    • If GMC Pro Safety Plus package is ordered, blind-spot monitor extends to cover trailers
    • Two-speed active transfer case (4WD models only)
  • Tire-pressure monitoring sensors for trailer
  • Nine-passenger seating configuration (3-3-3)

SLT
The midgrade SLT comes standard with:

  • GMC Pro Safety Plus package
  • 20-inch wheels
  • Hands-free liftgate
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Nine-speaker Bose audio system
  • Wireless charging pad

As with the SLE, a number of options are available for the SLT. These include:

  • Rear Media and Nav package
    • Navigation system
    • Rear-seat entertainment system with dual 12.6-inch display screens
  • SLT Luxury package
    • Driver-seat memory settings
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Heated outboard second-row seats
    • Power-folding third row
    • Rear cross-traffic alert system can now detect pedestrians
    • Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Yukon XL and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Max Trailering package
    • The blind-spot monitor extends to cover trailers
  • Seven-passenger seating configuration with second-row bucket seats
  • Tire-pressure monitoring sensors for trailer

AT4
The AT4 is the Yukon XL's off-road-oriented trim and is offered in 4WD only. Features unique to the Yukon XL AT4 include:

  • Unique front fascia to improve the Yukon XL's approach angle
  • Dark gray wheels with all-terrain tires
  • Front tow hooks and skid plate
  • Heavy-duty air filter

On top of SLT equipment, the AT4 also adds:                                 

  • Adaptive suspension dampers (better ride and handling capabilities)
  • Hill descent control
  • Two-speed active transfer case
  • Driver-seat memory settings
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated outboard second-row seats
  • Power-folding third row

Options for the AT4 include:

  • Technology package
    • Rear cross-traffic alert system can now detect pedestrians
    • Surround-view camera system (gives you a bird's-eye view of the Yukon XL for tight parking situations)
    • Head-up display (displays important information in your sight line onto the windshield)
  • Premium Capability with Active Response 4WD package
    • Air suspension (can raise or lower the ride height of the vehicle)
    • Electronic limited-slip differential
  • AT4 Premium Plus package
    • Max Trailering package
    • Rear Media and Nav package
    • Technology package
    • Premium Capability with Active Response 4WD package
    • Panoramic sunroof
    • Power-retractable side steps
  • Max Trailering package
  • Tire-pressure monitoring sensors for trailer

Denali
The Denali includes all non-unique AT4 features, though the two-speed active transfer case is reserved for 4WD models. Further additions include:

  • 6.2-liter V8
  • Technology package
  • Navigation system
  • 14-speaker Bose audio system

Even the top-trim Denali doesn't include every feature available for the Yukon. Optional extras include:

  • Advanced Technology package
    • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Yukon and the car in front)
    • Digital rearview mirror (can display an image from the rearview camera in the mirror)
    • Advanced security system
  • Denali Deluxe package
    • Advanced Technology package
    • 22-inch wheels
    • Rear-seat entertainment system with dual 12.6-inch display screens
  • Denali Premium package
    • Advanced Technology package
    • 22-inch wheels
    • Panoramic sunroof
    • Power-retractable side steps
  • Denali Ultimate package
    • Denali Premium package
    • Max Trailering package
    • Rear-seat entertainment system with dual 12.6-inch display screens
    • Air suspension (rear-wheel-drive models only)
    • Premium Capability with Active Response 4WD (four-wheel-drive models only)
  • Max Trailering package
  • Tire-pressure monitoring sensors for trailer

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 GMC Yukon XL.

Average user rating: 4.7 stars
3 total reviews
5 star reviews: 67%
4 star reviews: 33%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • value
  • interior
  • infotainment system

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, GMC Way To Go.
Best Dealership in the 5 Boros,
Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
Great Truck & Features at no Extra Cost. Went from 2016 to 2021. Can`t wait till 2025.
4/5 stars, It looks nice, I love it
Gabriel Manjarrez,
Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
The only thing is that I expect that my suv comes with the entertainment system the 2 screens tablets , but it didn’t, also the consola is not moving. The seller didn’t explain me the difference of the packages
5/5 stars, This is our Fourth!
Shanny0872,
Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)
We keep buying these over and over for a reason! They are the best in class as far as we’re concerned! Wow! This is our fourth Yukon and they continue to get better and better! The new suspension is absolutely amazing! It drives like a dream and so smooth! Although we didn’t realize the safety features could be improved upon, this thing is absolutely packed with them! More sensors and more alerts and the camera views from every angle imaginable, which is a good thing because this thing is a BEAST!!! The Heads Up Display is a really nice feature for those of us that have a problem with speeding. It really keeps me in check with the speed limit without being distracting. Our interior is Teak and so pretty! Just an all around comfortable, beautiful and SAFE vehicle!! (We had a bad accident in our 2nd Yukon and will never drive anything else!)

Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$53,700
MPG & Fuel
16 City / 20 Hwy / 18 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 28.0 gal. capacity
Seating
8 seats
Drivetrain
Type: rear wheel drive
Transmission: 10-speed shiftable automatic
Engine
V8 cylinder
Horsepower: 355 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 383 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 225.2 in. / Height: 76.5 in. / Width: N/A
Curb Weight: 5633 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 41.5 cu.ft.
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*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Some colors are extra cost. See dealer for details.

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Yukon XL safety features:

Forward Collision Alert
Warns you to take action to avoid colliding with a vehicle or other object in front of the SUV.
Lane Keep Assist
Alerts you when the SUV drifts out of its lane and delivers steering input to keep the vehicle in its lane.
Safety Alert Seat
Generates vibrating pulse patterns in the seat cushion to alert you to potential collisions on the left or right side of the car.

NHTSA Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover3 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover21.2%


GMC Yukon XL vs. the competition

2021 GMC Yukon XL

2021 GMC Yukon XL

2020 GMC Yukon

2020 GMC Yukon

GMC Yukon XL vs. GMC Yukon

The Yukon XL is the expanded version of the standard GMC Yukon. The two vehicles are identical in almost every way except that the Yukon is shorter and has less room for storage. The cargo area behind the third row of the Yukon XL measures 41.5 cubic feet, compared to the Yukon's 25.5 cubes. You pay for the space since the Yukon XL is a few thousand dollars more than the Yukon.

Compare GMC Yukon XL & GMC Yukon features 

GMC Yukon XL vs. Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban is essentially Chevy's version of the Yukon XL. The two share a common platform and engine choices, and the Suburban is a stretched version of Chevrolet Tahoe (which in turn is nearly the same as the Yukon). The Yukon XL is a little more expensive than the Suburban, but in return you get a slightly more upscale cabin.

Compare GMC Yukon XL & Chevrolet Suburban features 

GMC Yukon XL vs. Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition — specifically, the expanded Expedition Max — is the Yukon XL's primary competition. The Expedition Max is slightly less expensive than a similarly equipped Yukon XL, and its turbocharged V6 is more fuel-efficient than either of the Yukon's gasoline engines.

Compare GMC Yukon XL & Ford Expedition features 

FAQ

Is the GMC Yukon XL a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Yukon XL both on the road and at the track. You probably care about GMC Yukon XL fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Yukon XL gets an EPA-estimated 16 mpg to 18 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Yukon XL has 41.5 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a GMC Yukon XL. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 GMC Yukon XL?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL:

  • The GMC Yukon XL has been redesigned
  • Available adaptive air suspension
  • New optional 3.0-liter diesel engine
  • Part of the fifth Yukon generation introduced for 2021
Learn more

Is the GMC Yukon XL reliable?

To determine whether the GMC Yukon XL is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Yukon XL. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Yukon XL's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 GMC Yukon XL a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 GMC Yukon XL is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Yukon XL is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 GMC Yukon XL?

The least-expensive 2021 GMC Yukon XL is the 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $53,700.

Other versions include:

  • Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) which starts at $74,300
  • SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) which starts at $63,700
  • Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A) which starts at $71,300
  • SLT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) which starts at $60,700
  • AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) which starts at $67,800
  • SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) which starts at $56,700
  • SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) which starts at $53,700
Learn more

What are the different models of GMC Yukon XL?

If you're interested in the GMC Yukon XL, the next question is, which Yukon XL model is right for you? Yukon XL variants include Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A), Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), and SLT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A). For a full list of Yukon XL models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 GMC Yukon XL

2021 GMC Yukon XL Overview

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL is offered in the following submodels: Yukon XL SUV. Available styles include Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A), SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A), Denali 4dr SUV (6.2L 8cyl 10A), SLT 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A), AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A), SLE 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A), and SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A).

What do people think of the 2021 GMC Yukon XL?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Yukon XL 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Yukon XL.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Yukon XL featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 GMC Yukon XL?

2021 GMC Yukon XL SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A)

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $57,260. The average price paid for a new 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) is trending $1,486 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,486 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $55,774.

The average savings for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLE 4dr SUV (5.3L 8cyl 10A) is 2.6% below the MSRP.

2021 GMC Yukon XL SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A)

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $72,080. The average price paid for a new 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) is trending $2,779 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,779 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $69,301.

The average savings for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) is 3.9% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2021 GMC Yukon XL SLT 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 GMC Yukon XL AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A)

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $77,565. The average price paid for a new 2021 GMC Yukon XL AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) is trending $2,637 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,637 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $74,928.

The average savings for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) is 3.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2021 GMC Yukon XL AT4 4dr SUV 4WD (5.3L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A)

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $85,565. The average price paid for a new 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) is trending $3,040 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,040 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $82,525.

The average savings for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) is 3.6% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 26 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4dr SUV 4WD (6.2L 8cyl 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 GMC Yukon XLS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 GMC Yukon XL for sale near. There are currently 30 new 2021 Yukon XLS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $65,890 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 GMC Yukon XL.

Can't find a new 2021 GMC Yukon XLs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new GMC for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $24,242.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 GMC Yukon XL?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out GMC lease specials