Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

The interior of a 2021 GMC Yukon SLT is shown overlooking a mountain range.

The 2021 GMC Yukon: The Master of Diverse Driving Conditions

Luxury SUVs aren’t always just about appearance and technology; they are about offering tons of power and capability too. Take, for example, the sleek, stylish, and powerful 2021 GMC Yukon. This full-size SUV offers a level of luxury and style that you won’t find on any other vehicle, but it’s still a functional vehicle that can handle just about any job or terrain you throw at it.

The 2021 GMC Yukon is ideal for towing, off-roading, and even racing (safely, of course). It comes in 4 different trims and includes 3 different engine options, so you are in control of what your Yukon looks and drives like. Today, we’re focusing on the Yukon’s capabilities. We’ll detail which models are best for towing, for off-roading, for speed, and for casual driving. There’s a Yukon out there for everyone, but the truth is that each trim is diverse and highly capable of both on and off-pavement adventures. But we know that some drivers prefer certain strengths over others, which is why we’re laying it all out for you below. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Towing and Hauling

The most that a 2021 GMC Yukon can tow is 8,400 pounds. This is possible with the 5.3-liter gas engine, rear-wheel drive, and the Max Trailering Package. The Pro-Grade Trailering System upgrade really improves the Yukon’s towing experience with hitch guidance and hitch view, integrated trailer braking, an in-vehicle trailering app, and trailer side blind-zone alert. Let’s take a closer look at what these technologies can do.

First, hitch guidance with hitch view removes the need for help when you’re trying to hook up your trailer. Using your infotainment system, your Yukon will display a camera view of your hitch, similar to a regular backup camera, only now, you get a backup experience that’s tailored to towing. The camera includes guiding lines to help you line up with your hitch. Then, you’ll switch to hitch view, which zooms in specifically on your hitch for an accurate lineup. Next, we’ve got the integrated trailer braking. This allows drivers to adjust their braking for their load. If drivers are towing a heavier load, they can tailor their brake sensitivity through this feature, and the same goes for lighter loads.

One of the more unique trailering features of the Yukon in the in-vehicle trailering app that gives you access to a lot of cool features via the infotainment system. First, it offers pre-departure checklists. These detail the necessary steps you’ll want to take to safely hook up your trailer. Whether you’re new to trailering or not, it’s nice to have a reminder of the hook-up process. Next, this app will test to make sure your trailer lights are working correctly. It also allows you to create trailer profiles for each trailer you own. This way, you won’t have to re-configure your trailer every time you reconnect it. Lastly, it also includes a tire pressure monitoring system for the trailer and a theft alert feature that will keep people from stealing your trailer when it’s parked. Trailer side blind-zone alert works like your average blind-zone alert system, except it’s catered specifically to trailering blind zones. Overall, this Pro-Grade Trailering System provides both convenience and added safety to your driving experience.

A white 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 is shown from the side splashing through a river.


While all Yukon trims are suitable for off-roading, the AT4 is designed specifically for taking things off-pavement. It includes a 2-speed AutoTrac transfer case, allowing neutral, two-wheel-drive high, automatic four-wheel drive, four-wheel-drive high, and four-wheel-drive low options. It also comes with a traction select system, with an option specifically for off-roading. It offers Active Response 4WD, hill descent control, and hill start assist. Active Response 4WD includes Traction Select, the two-speed transfer case, chassis controls, and an electronic limited slip differential. In short, these systems work together to provide an elevated off-roading experience.

Hill descent control is another great off-roading feature that works to hold your Yukon back when going downhill. It keeps your speed manageable to prevent slippage. Hill-start assist works in the opposite way, keeping you from rolling backward while going uphill. On the AT4 trim, you’ll get two more inches of ground clearance and a 32-degree approach angle. That means you’ll have a lot more space for climbing over rough terrain. This trim also includes underbody skid plates, 20-inch Goodyear all-terrain tires, and non-off-roading related features like a heated steering wheel, leather heated seats, and Jet Black interior with Brandy accents. So, overall, the AT4 trim comes with more than just off-roading assets. It’s also incredibly sporty and visually appealing to boot.

Racing and Sport Usage

The 2021 GMC Yukon is also fun to race in. Like a race car, the Yukon includes magnetic ride control, which creates an incredibly quick dampening response. Dampening is important because it helps your vehicle go faster. So, thanks to magnetic ride control, the Yukon performs more like a sports car than your average SUV.

Despite carrying all that weight, it can hit 0 to 60 in 6.8 seconds. You can get up to 420 horsepower with 460 lb-ft of torque with the 6.2-liter V8 engine option. All engine options are direct injection, meaning its performance is heightened and its mileage is optimal. The diesel engine option is also turbocharged, which, when combined with direct injection, can create even better mileage and more power. If you want the best gas mileage, the diesel engine gets 21 miles per gallon city and 27 miles per gallon highway. Overall, the Yukon is a good option if you’re looking for a fast and sporty SUV.

A black 2021 GMC Yukon Denali is parked in the driveway of a modern house.

The Yukon’s Benefits for Casual Drivers

Maybe you have no interest in towing, off-roading, or racing. Or, maybe you do, but your main concern is with your daily commute. You’ll be happy to know that the 2021 GMC Yukon offers several fun features for day-to-day driving. If you have a daily work commute but you enjoy the occasional wild weekend driving experience, the Yukon has exactly what you need. Let’s look at its broader features.

The Yukon SLE and SLT options are best if you’re more of a daily commuter. These offer advanced navigation, in-vehicle apps, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. You’ll also benefit from several driver assist features such as lane keep assist with lane departure warning, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, and much more. The SLE comes with standard 18-inch wheels and tires, which helps with mileage, but you can still opt for larger 22-inch variants instead. It’s also a great family vehicle option, with seating for up to 9 passengers and up to 122.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Why the 2021 GMC Yukon Is the Best Large SUV Option

The Yukon is diverse, allowing options for everything from off-roading and towing to commuting and traveling. If you’re the type of person who wants power but who also wants to get more than 12 miles per gallon, the Yukon is for you. You can haul anything from boats to ATVs and kayaks with this model. It’s great for traveling due to its large amount of cargo and passenger space and the fact that you can use trailers and roof rack rails for extra cargo room. The 2021 GMC Yukon offers a great amount of diversity, utility, and luxury that every type of driver will want to take advantage of.

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