GMC has luxury in mind when it comes to its SUVs
For the first time in a while, the large SUV of Yukon has been revamped from top to bottom and front to back. Based on a new platform, the General Motors affordable luxury line of GMC now offers an impressive range of features for the price. Tugging back into the history books, GMC was solely a medium-duty automobile manufacturer in America. Having perfected their trucks, GMC entered the SUV business in the 1940s.
While at the time SUVs were not as widely used as they are today, the large bodies on wheels were not as efficiently powered, good-looking, utilitarian, or functional as the public back then would like. Over the years with newly invented materials, improved design skills, and sophisticated manufacturing processes made building SUVs juicier and more fun. In this process, the Yukon was born in 1999 and shared a lot of similarities with Chevrolet’s Tahoe.
The 2021 GMC Yukon is the most recent advancement and is definitely the best model until now. Not only the exterior styling matches the Sierra pickup truck but the large SUV is also equally capable as it shares the same powertrain. Moreover, this rugged-looking SUV offers enough luxury which makes it comparable with some lavish brands like Cadillac, Lincoln, and Lexus and starts from $51,000.
How has GMC worked on their new SUV?
While GMC always has had a reputation for building tough products along with bold exteriors, the Yukon’s sharp and intensive upgrades were the least expected and though this update has been around for a while, it still does look awfully good. Just a couple of years ago, when the Sierra was redesigned, it impressed the whole industry and also hinted that the new large SUV would soon look more or less the same.
The updates that really matter have been made inside the cabin. To start with, the SLE, SLT, and AT4 trims make space for 8 passengers while the Denali comes standard with a passenger capacity of 7 with its captain’s chair middle row standard seating. These seats can slide and recline based on how the occupant wants them to be adjusted.
Moreover, cargo capacity is hilariously large in this SUV as the maximum value reaches a whopping 122.9 cubic feet when all the rows until the first are folded. With the third row folded, the Yukon becomes a holiday-special SUV and offers 72.6 cubic feet of cargo volume whereas a standard cargo volume of 25.5 cubic feet behind the third row is very sufficient as a daily driver.
What special features would one find in the new Yukon’s cabin?
From features like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and rear air conditioning to leather-appointed seats starts right from the base SLE and SLT trims. The top-tier Denali trim advances to the next level with an automatic heated steering wheel, rear air conditioning, and power tilt and telescopic steering column are standard. While the mid-range off-road AT4 package has all the luxuries fitted in the Denali trim without all the lavish materials; instead it is made from a built-to-last perspective.
A few other creature comforts like an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, heated and ventilated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, panoramic power sunroof, and many more are offered based on the trim levels. Some of these features are either standard or available while a few of them step up the game for the base trims making the cabin more opulent and offered for an affordable price.
How full of life does the cabin feel with its new materials?
The new GMC Yukon uses proper luxury-defining materials and trims all across the cabin. To start with, the Yukon Denali has a good range of selective interior decors.
With a dark walnut trim as standard; a choice between jet black and brownstone trims is optional while a few other interior packages also include seating upholstery upgrades. Also, the dashboard in the Denali trim is significantly different from the rest of the trims and has more lavish materials.
The AT4 off-road edition gets perforated leather seats whereas the seating surfaces in the Yukon SLT are leather-appointed and the base SLE gets long-lasting and good quality cloth wrapped seats. Unlike the high-end trim, soft-touch molded plastics start to show up more in the lower and medium halves of the cabin.
Do the seats keep up with the rest of the cabin?
Regardless of the trim, all the seats in the first and second row of the GMC Yukon have soft cushioning and firm bolstering whereas the third-row seats are sufficiently comfortable. The front bucket seats in the base SLE trim include a 10-way power driver’s seat offering easily customizable driving positions and has a 2-way driver preset memory seating as standard with an 8-way power front passenger seat.
All trims above that get a set of 12-way power front seats as standard with the AT4 and Denali trims getting heated and ventilated front seats and outboard heated second-row seats. The base SLE and SLT trims offer a manual-folding 60/40 split second-row and third-row bench seats as standard. Both of these bench seats in the AT4; and the second-row bucket seats in combination with the third-row bench seat in the Denali trim are power-folding.
With over 40-inches of headroom and legroom along with a massive 66-inch shoulder room, the front row is properly roomy. The second-row seats also offer good 42-inch legroom while the shoulder room and headroom are reduced to 64.8 and 38.9 inches respectively. The third row has had massive advancements in dimensions as the new GMC Yukon now has an independent rear suspension making it roomy enough in the rear, not just for the passengers but also to fit in more cargo.
What is it with all the screens in the cabin?
Adding up to all of the luxurious interiors is a standard 10.2-inch multicolor reconfigurable center touchscreen that has a brilliant display and graphics that are powered by the highly responsive and smooth operating software. The driver’s instrument cluster also has an 8-inch multicolor driver information display that communicates the SUV’s status to the driver. The Denali trim gets an additional 15-inch heads-up display as standard.
Some very necessary apps and entertainment features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM 360L subscription, HD radio, 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, multiple USB ports, and AUX inputs are offered to integrate all modern devices with the vehicle. To power them, there are 12-volt as well as 120-volt power supply points all around the cabin.
Moreover, luxury is not complete with a 14-speaker Bose surround sound and CenterPoint audio system that is standard in the Denali trim. The AT4 and SLT trims get a toned-down 9-speaker Bose premium audio system while a 6-speaker system is found to be sufficient for the large cabin of the Yukon SLE. Also, GMC offers an optional rear entertainment system for SLT trims and above.
What does this convey?
This upscaling of the GMC Yukon suggests that the dutiful and off-road specialist division of General Motors is slowly being driven towards giving a product that makes its customers feel proud once again. While there already exists a GM-owned brand called Cadillac which has luxury written everywhere on it, the Yukon still has a little different vibe to it when compared to an Escalade.
Whatever that vibe is, we like to see it getting all of that plush and luxury for the new generation.