Efforts comes from the large gm triplet suvs i'm. Talking about the tahoe i'm talking about the yukon and, of course, i'm talking about the escalade now for 2021, the triplet suvs got a complete redesign with an all new independent rear suspension, an available fuel sipping diesel engine underneath the hood and on the inside one of The most tech focused cabins that we've ever seen, especially on the escalade, where they offer a 38 inch curved oled screen. Now, of course, this week, as you can see, i'm testing the middle child between the chip, the triplets. This is the all new 2021 gmc yukon denali with the duramax diesel engine. Underneath the hood and the big question i want to answer, if you guys are looking for one of these large suvs to put in your driveway, is the middle child of the lineup. The one you want to get stay tuned to find out now between the yukon, tahoe and escalade general motors managed to sell nearly 180 000 of these in all of 2020. So, as you guys know, this is a huge cash cow for gm. This is something they seriously make a lot of money off of and since i already tested the tahoe, suburban and escalade all fairly recently, the yukon is the last one that i haven't had a chance to drive yet. But as you can see, this yukon denali that they dropped off is the top of the line version.
The denali actually accounts for about 20 of sales. Here in north america, gmc actually calls it a sub brand within its actual brand, and you can see the denali version of the yukon, definitely ups, the bling factor. We have this massive chrome plated grille here. That has the same front end. Of course, as the new sierra, i think out of the three suvs, this is actually my favorite in terms of the exterior design. I really like the full led headlights you get. These are kind of the signature c shaped, led headlights with an led daytime running light. You have these three multi reflector bulbs here for the low and high beams and then down here you have these led fog lights with more of that silver chrome trim. There are some functional vents here and there, but really the grill of this car is just so massively huge. Now, if you guys, don't like the chrome gmc will happily sell you an at4 version which will block out all the chrome. But, however, if you guys want to go for the 6.2 v8 or the diesel engine like this particular one here, you have to go for the denali or the slt, because the at4 only comes with the lackluster 5.3 liter v8. Now, of course, moving over to the side of this vehicle, it has a traditional boxy suv shape, but this is based off of the all new fifth generation platform, which has been extensively overhauled underneath the vehicle.
This is, of course, getting a new frame. It has an all new suspension and gmc made this significantly larger this year, around 6.1 inches longer than the previous generation. This is not the xl version, but at 210.9 inches long. It is about the same length as a ford expedition. If you guys go for the yukon, xl it'll extend it by about 15 inches, which will give you more cargo space and, of course, more third row, space. Now, of course, here being the denali version, you have these massive 22 inch wheels as standard. These are actually not quite as chromy as i thought it would be it's kind of similar to the new escalade. These are wrapped in 275 with tires, this particular one that i'm showing you is actually a two wheel drive version, which is the one that's better for gas mileage and for towing. You also get a standard four corner air suspension, which will give you the ability to kind of lift the truck up if you guys want up to four inches, if you guys go for the at4 version of this truck now, looking at the rest of the side Profile, my tester also has a panoramic sunroof. That goes really well with this. You know: side, roof, rails, there's, a lot more chrome on this vehicle. When you look at the side profile, so remember go for the at4. If you guys want to delete all the chrome, but really i like the proportions of this vehicle, even as you come to the back of the car or the truck compared to the tahoe, and the suburban gmc, actually puts different tail lights on the vehicle as well And you have a full led tail light design, which i remember, the tahoe and suburban had an incandescent bulb design which definitely looked a lot more cheap.
There are some pretty big, yukon and denali badges here, which i think the company could have actually just removed and then down here, there's, no visible exhaust tips. If you guys go for the 6.2 liter v8 gm will actually put quad exhaust tips on that particular engine. Not with the diesel model of this vehicle, now in terms of the rear hatch area, you can actually open up the glass if you'd like just like the escalade and the tahoe. If you want to just access this really quick without opening the entire thing or if you want, you can open up the entire tailgate, which they did expand cargo capacity this year significantly because it's so much larger. You get around 25.5 cubic feet of space with the third row seat up. If you fold down the third row seats, uh gmc expands it to around 72 cubic feet, which is actually similar to what you get in some compact suvs with all the seats down. If you fold down everything, the company says you get around 123 cubic feet of space, that is approaching minivans, and it makes this one of the largest cargo capacities in the segment now stepping into the interior of the all new yukon denali. You can see, unlike the tahoe and suburban, that i tested, you actually have a unique dashboard on the denali models, which really makes it feel a lot more upscale and luxurious now, first, getting in and shutting the door, the door has a relatively solid sounding thunk, just Like the other vehicles that i tested and you can, as you can see, with the hunter metallic exterior, my tester kind of has like a two tone, brown and black interior, with some contrast stitching.
I actually like the design of this dash. I thought i like the interior design of the tahoe and suburban, but i actually really like how the dash on this model is unique, it's a little bit of a higher dash which does cut into your visibility a tad. But if you guys don't like that floating tablet, look, this has a much more integrated, uh design to it. Now here's the keep up for the vehicle you can see. The gmc version has the typical gm key on it. It does include remote start on it, and you can also open up the liftgate and the glass area uh. The button to fire up the engine is over here and even though this is a diesel, it sounds very quiet, there's very little indication that this actually has a diesel engine. Aside from the fact when you look at the attack and look at that really low 5000 rpm redline, now looking over at the rest of this cabin here in terms of the materials i really like the wood grain trim, this is kind of a really nice matte Finish: wood it's, a dark wood. This is actually nicer than the wood that cadillac sent me in the escalade last week. You can see the dash is also covered with real leather, real exposed stitching you have contrasting stitching and the leather is actually the same leather. The material that you find on the seats, so this is all again really nice quality.
The same thing is kind of extended here onto the door panels where you have this soft touch area here with the leather stitching, the windows are one touch up and down for just the front windows. The back window is just one touch down, but not one touch up. I kind of think that gmc should have just made that made it that way. The steering wheel you can see here is slightly unique to the denali. Instead of the gmc badge, they put the denali badge here, which is again all for marketing. But i do like the fact that you find real metal trim on the steering wheel. Real metal trim on the center console. The wheel itself is also a power tilt and telescoping design it's a heated wheel which is nice. You have um buttons on the back for your radio controls and your volume controls and then the gauge display. This is where i think gmc kind of cut corners here. They should have made this an all digital display. I mean yes, i can expect it to have the curved 38 inch oled screen that the escalade has, but this is too similar to the tahoe and the suburban, and they should have just changed out the gauge display to be a full digital display. That would have been nice. You also have this really nice large heads up display here on this particular model, which does project. You know a very clear, crystal clear image, which is makes the cabin feel a lot more modern, then over here on the center stack.
This is a 10.25 inch display, it does include features like wireless apple, carplay and android auto. So again, really nice. The screen looks very crisp, clear, bright and modern and it's, also, surprisingly, responsive to use and there's a dedicated hold button here, where you can go back between the gmc intellilink system, the gps function, as you can see, they've really been improving this over the years. It works extremely well, very quick to respond. The one thing that i don't like about this system. When i have it in the gmc system, you can see there's an outside temperature display here, but if you go to the carplay, the temperature display goes away and you have to cycle back. I think that gmc should have kept it up in that upper corner over there to make it a little bit easier to see that if you guys want to know what the temperature is like there's also a few features here, where you have the trailering pro app There'S, a rear seat, entertainment system – you can also access the full 360 cameras right here, which has very good resolution. Gmc and gm in general have really been upgrading all this um, so i'm really liking that uh. Unlike the cadillac escalade, you also have a push button transmission selector here, where you kind of pull up to go, to drive and reverse and then push to go to neutral and l and then park. This is actually more modern.
Looking versus the little shifter that you got in the escalade, so i actually think that cadillac should have probably used this shifter because it looks a little bit nicer. The tahoe and the yukon are the the tahoe and the suburban also use the same thing. Pause you're like so much wrestling with that jacket. Sorry, every time you move your arm up and down this particular denali also has a really cool rear camera mirror. If you guys don't like it, you can kind of flip this down. It gives you back a regular mirror or go to the actual digital mirror, which is nice, especially for visibility. The rest of the center stack here, you can see houses a wireless phone charger. There are these nice little doors that cover up the cubbies they're, also kind of trimmed in the same elegant, looking wood, big cup holders. Here you have two usb ports, one usbc and one usb a port, and then you have this nice center console area here with some nice padded leather. If you open this up, you can see lots of storage in here, although it's, not quite as deep as i thought it would be. Gmc actually offers the ability to slide this console forward and back it's motorized. My tester doesn't have that feature at least it's supposed to, but i couldn't find the actual button to make the console move forward and back. It gives you the ability to slide it back like all the way into the second row, but my tester again doesn't have that feature.
At least it doesn't appear to have that feature the seats i find them to be very comfortable and supportive, they're heated and cooled. They adjust in like 12 different ways. They offer a two person memory on my side over here and then, when you look at the glove compartment, you can see it's a pretty average size, it's uh damped, but it's not lined with felt. But you can see. The interior is very wide in here uh and then above me, the panoramic sunroof on my tester here. It'S part of the denali ultimate package lets in a lot of light, although it doesn't go back into the third row and if you guys are an audiophile, the premium uh 14 speaker bose stereo is decent. However, the one that i sampled in the escalade, which had like 36 speakers, is obviously significantly better but overall, this cabin, very modern full of the latest tech. Incredibly roomy, and i like how it's a unique dash design, of course, over the lesser yukons. And, of course, the tahoe and the suburban now hopping into the second row of the denali version you can see. My tester has the captain's chairs, and this is one seriously seriously roomy family vehicle gmc actually says you get around 42 inches of leg room back here, which is about the same as what you get in the front seat. So there's no penalty for sitting back here. Really, the all the triplets offer an incredible amount of space.
You can see at five foot seven. I can kind of stretch my legs out back here. You can also move the seat forward and back to give second row passengers a little bit more room. It also reclines, which is nice above me, there's this big panoramic sunroof. Although i wish it kind of went further back into the third row of this vehicle, it would have let in a lot more light and then part of that denali ultimate package. Are these massive 12.6 inch displays here for the rear seat, entertainment system? These are also a touch screen. You can plug it into either one or two hdmi connectors there's, a usb c connector. You can also go to the gps and see you know where we're going, how far we are from our destination. The one thing i am surprised, there's, no rear seat manual, sun shades, you do have rear seat climate controls back here, it's a three zone, climate control – and you also have uh second row. Heated seats there's two more usb c ports back here, although i'm surprised that they don't offer cooled seats back here, that's, something that i think they should consider offering considering you can get that in some lower level competitors now the third row, this vehicle got significantly larger. This year, because of that independent rear suspension, if you want to get back here, obviously i can go through the center or you can also pull this little lever over here and you can see it'll kind of fold down and then pull it again.
It will raise this and push it completely out of the way, and that gives you a ton of space to get back into the third row, which is now finally usable for adults, because that floor that's so much lower. You get around 35 inches of legroom back here now. If you guys go for the xl version, uh gmc says you get around 36.7 inches of legroom. So a little bit more at five foot. Seven, you can see there's plenty of headroom back here and i could easily sit back here on a longer trip and if i wanted, i can actually ask the second row passenger move this up, but really with the seat all the way back. I'M. Pretty comfortable back here now there are a couple of features back here. There are two usbc charging ports a couple of cup holders, and the truck itself is so wide that you could easily fit three people across back here now under the hood of the all new yukon you're, going to find a choice of three different power trains. Just like its siblings, starting, of course, with the base motor, which is a 5.3 liter, pushrod v8 that still makes 355 horsepower. I tried that engine out in the tahoe – and i found it to be a little bit lackluster. It needed a little bit more grunt. Now, of course, the diesel engine is actually the middle child, and this is the one that is probably the engine that i would go for.
It'S, a three liter turbo charged straight six cylinder engine it's the same one that we find under the hood of the sierra and, of course, the silverado. It makes 277 horsepower and 460 pound feet of torque. The engine is just a thousand dollars more versus the 5.3 and it's actually 1500 cheaper versus the 6.2 liter v8. Remember this diesel engine has the same torque as the big 6.2 liter motor. All the engines come with a 10 speed automatic transmission. That is a gm and ford design transmission, which is a great partner for this powertrain and of course, you could take your pick between either rear wheel. Drive like my tester or four wheel, drive with a low range transfer case. Now the rear drive model that i'm, showing you here is the one that's going to get the best gas mods and it's going to tow the most. If you guys want the diesel it's ready to get 21 in the city and 27 on the highway, which is pretty impressive, considering how this thing weighs nearly 6 000 pounds, if you guys go for a four wheel, drive model, it'll drop it down to 20 26. In my weeks worth of testing, i easily got 25 26 mpg out on the highway for a 600 mile cruising range, so this is the one you're going to want to get if you guys constantly do long highway drives now, if you guys plan on towing this Model here, because it's two wheel drive, will tow a maximum of 8 100 pounds.
The four wheel drive version will drop that to 7 900 pounds so starting off the driving scene in the 2021 yukon denali diesel. Now keep in mind. I have had a chance to drive the tahoe, the suburban and the escalade, so this is the last one of the triplets that i haven't driven. Technically the suburban and the tahoe are the same car it's. Just the bigger version and gmc sent me the diesel to drive first, which i'm happy they did because the diesel is most definitely my favorite powertrain to drive out of the three i mean i thought the 5.3 was a little bit underpowered. I thought the 6.2 liter v8 had good power, but it didn't get great gas mileage either uh and the diesel is the one that gets 27 miles to the gallon on the highway. This two wheel, drive version is what it's supposed to get and i've been driving. The last 40 miles or so and it's been averaging around 24 miles to the gallon that's, with a 75 to 80 mile per hour cruise, which is typically the speed that people drive on interstates nowadays and i'm, pretty impressed with the fuel economy on a full tank. This truck was showing 600 miles on a full full tank of gas, so that's very impressive. This is definitely the engine you're going to want to get if you guys plan on doing a lot of long road trips being on the highway a lot.
The yukon denali, of course, is the luxury version of the yukon. This is the highest trim level. If you guys don't, like the chrome, you can buy the at4 version, but the at4 doesn't offer this diesel engine, which is a huge recommendation of mine for 1500. Less than the 6 2 i'd go with this all day, long for a thousand dollars more than the 5'3. This is a bargain uh, to say the least, because you'll make up that money in fuel savings over the years now in terms of driving the yukon. Just like its siblings, this is still a big truck based suv. The road matters have improved greatly this year. Of course, with that independent rear suspension, my tester has the air suspension, which is nice. You just have this amazing commanding view of the road, which probably is the reason why these things are so popular with american buyers. You sit nice and high, you feel safe. You have massive amounts of space in here and the driver assistance tech features work. Okay, but i think gmc should make their adaptive cruise control as standard. If you guys are looking to get supercrews, you have to buy a cadillac escalade. They do not offer super cruise on the regular models but um. The last tahoe and yukon that i, dr and suburban, that i drove didn't have adaptive cruise control, so let's go ahead and turn on the adaptive cruise control on this uh denali version, which again it has full speed, range adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking.
Of course it has the lane keep assist it doesn't have those auto lane changes that i tried in the cadillac supercruise, but this vehicle should come to a complete stop. If you, you know, if the car in front of you decides to come to a complete, stop as well and the adaptive cruise works well, the lane keep assist doesn't work as well as some competing systems, but again gmc and gm in general have really upped the Technology, they've really upped the you know the features in this vehicle, and i also really like the heads up display. The heads up display shows a lot of useful information it's, a large heads up display – which i think is good, and you can see here. The fuel economy is improving to 25 miles to the gallon right now, so it constantly shuffles between 23 and a half to 26 miles to the gallon. You probably could get 27. If you really wanted to drive this vehicle super economically. The one thing i do want to test out: this only has 277 horsepower. So with that amount of horsepower, how does it accelerate? If i want to pass somebody i'll floor it now, the 10 speed is very responsive Music and it does a pretty good job of accelerating. Although i will say that the 6.2 liter v8 is faster when you're out on the highway trying to pass people. This diesel is wonderful at low speeds. It'S got the same amount of torque as the 6.
2, so it feels very potent at low speeds, but again it doesn't rev very hard, but it does have a very responsive transmission and that's. The whole thing that makes the diesel really good is the 10 speed automatic because it's a great transmission it's, a gm uh design transmission that was co developed with ford. I think a lot of people are going to find plenty to like with this powertrain. It gets stellar gas mileage, it has decent passing power on the highway more so in low end torque. I also, i also have very comfortable seats. The denali version has these upgraded thrones, of course, they're heated and cooled no massaging. You have to get the cadillac. If you want the massaging seats, but i just really like the visibility and overall, this car is very, very pleasant to drive out on the open, open road. I think that's very important when you're considering a vehicle like this, because it is probably going to be spending most of its time out on the highway. This is where this vehicle, this platform really shines and i'm really happy with the the diesel version. I think if you guys went for the xl version, you really just need it for the cargo space um and maybe the additional legroom the third row. But this has plenty of room. It doesn't feel big and cumbersome, but if you guys are used to say driving something like that, a toyota highlander or you know even looking at the pilot or the key italian ride.
If you don't, need the truck based capabilities with the towing capacity. Of course, you're. Better off getting a car based crossover, which should get around the same gas mileage on the highway as this diesel version. But really the diesel makes this vehicle much easier to live with on a daily basis and i think that's. What is really going to be a deciding factor for most it's it's been priced well, it gets good real world mileage and it has decent passing power and it's also very quiet. This is actually a little bit quieter than the last suburban. I drove because i'm noticing gmc has put more sound deadening materials in the denali version of the yukon, so it sounds less like a school bus tractor, trailer or whatever and more like just a regular car. You wouldn't even tell this is a diesel until you look at the tack and just feel the low end, torque that this engine just offers you in terms of handling. This is still a truck based suv and the steering on this vehicle is very light and kind of numb to avoid a feel, but the truck does change directions pretty quickly. The suspension also feels pretty soft, i mean yes, i could put it into the sport mode. Setting here there is actually a sport mode, and mostly it just affects the throttle tip in, and the transmission programming suspension wise. It doesn't really do much i'm just noticing the transmission is more eager to downshift and give up its top gears, and it also gives you the ability to downshift up to like three or four gears to get you into the right gear.
To give you the right amount of power, but you don't buy this vehicle for better handling. I recommend looking at the mercedes, benz gls or the bmw x7, which will handle better but keep in mind. Those are car based suvs that also won't feel quite as truck like or be able to tow as heavy loads as this vehicle will, with nearly 180 000 units sold in america, it's pretty easy to see why general motors spent so much money developing the next generation Of the tahoe, the yukon and, of course, the escalade and after spending a week with the yukon, this is the last one that i haven't had a chance to test i'm, pretty impressed with this platform in general as a three row, family truck based suv, gm has Really pulled out all the stops and even though it doesn't have an interior that's, quite as nice as the all new escalade. Really i like the fact that gm gave the denali version its own unique interior. The ride quality is really good from the air suspension. The diesel engine is probably the one you want to get you're going to want to get because of the excellent fuel economy and range that you get on the highway in terms of the exterior styling. This is the one that i would go for, especially in the denali version and this hunter metallic exterior color. This is one sharp looking truck. I think that gm has nailed the overall design, the packaging, the tech on the inside, and it actually has made it better versus the ford expedition and the lincoln navigator, which were the suvs to beat so really, if you guys are looking to buy one of these.
Personally, i would go for the yukon version and in terms of the pricing, this is actually going to start at around 1700, more versus the tahoe at fifty thousand seven hundred dollars. It is still a very expensive proposition if you guys want to go for a denali version. They started around sixty eight thousand dollars now my tester here with the diesel option and the denali ultimate upgrade package for ten thousand dollars. Stickers are around 78 000 bucks, which is pretty darn expensive. It makes it around the same price, of course, as an expedition more expensive versus something like an armada or a toyota sequoia. Although those vehicles are significantly older and less efficient, but really if you were going to compare it to an escalade which to me it actually looks better than the escalade on the outside you're saving yourself, roughly twenty thousand dollars and you're also not getting some of the Tech features of the escalade like supercruise, but i think there's plenty like with the yukon it's one of my favorites, if you guys are looking for a large truck based suv with all that said, i hope you guys have enjoyed my full overview on the 2021 yukon Denali with the diesel engine, if you're also looking to see the latest cars i'm testing, be sure to follow me on instagram redline, underscore reviews like us on facebook and as always guys, please keep subscribing to the redline reviews youtube channel for all the latest reviews.