Changes to 2021 GMC Models Highlighted by All-New Yukon/Yukon XL SUV

Jeff Youngs | Dec 14, 2020

While the 2021 model year may be upon us, the most anticipated new product debut at GMC won’t actually take place until the 2022 model year. That’s when the new GMC Hummer EV pickup truck will arrive, along with its 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb.-ft. of torque, and 350-mile range – all with zero emissions emanating from its all-electric powertrain. 

2021 GMC Yukon Denali Gray Front Quarter View

In the here and now, a redesigned Yukon/Yukon XL full-size SUV is on sale, with bold exterior styling, a premium interior, a new AT4 trim level, and an even more upscale Denali version. The Sierra 1500 and Sierra HD pickups add enhanced towing capacity, and GMC rolls out more AT4 versions of GMC’s other models.

2021 GMC Acadia Changes - Find the best GMC deals!

Offering five trim levels, available all-wheel drive, and seating for up to seven occupants across three rows, the GMC Acadia midsize crossover SUV offers buyers a lot of choice. Changes for the 2021 model year are limited to equipment additions and a few new paint colors. The sporty Elevation Edition is now available on SLE and SLT trim levels, while wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard across the board.

2021 GMC Canyon Changes - Find the best GMC deals!

Updated styling, a new AT4 model, and an upgraded Denali trim level highlight the changes for the 2021 GMC Canyon midsize pickup. The Canyon AT4 is geared toward people that lead an active lifestyle, while the Canyon Denali is an upscale version of the truck equipped with leather, authentic open-pore wood trim, aluminum accents, and fancy stitching.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Changes - Find the best GMC deals!

For 2021, GMC makes numerous enhancements to its light-duty Sierra 1500 pickup. New features include improved trailering cameras and a Jack-Knife Alert system, and GMC expands availability of the MultiPro tailgate option on SLE and Elevation trims. The AT4 off-roader is now available with 20-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires and high-clearance side assist steps.

On the powertrain front, GMC has both improved the capability and reduced the price of the 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine. Towing capacity increases 1,900 pounds on 2WD configurations (max. capacity now 9,300 lbs.) and GMC reduces the price by $1,500, which means the diesel now costs a mere $995 more than the gas-powered 5.3-liter V-8. GMC also upgrades trailering capacity for the 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which is now able to tow a maximum of 9,200 lbs. versus 6,900 lbs. last year.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 Heavy Duty Changes - Find the best GMC deals!

Changes to the heavy-duty version of the 2021 GMC Sierra are largely focused on the premium trim levels. Denalis receive more standard camera views, and a new Sierra HD Denali Black Diamond Edition offers unique black high-gloss 20-inch wheels along with new power-retractable assist steps. Mirroring the update to the light-duty Sierra 1500, the AT4 versions offer available 18-inch mud-terrain tires and high-clearance side steps, along with a standard MultiPro tailgate on the SLE trim.

Heavy-duty trucks are all about capability, and for 2021, GMC increases the maximum towing capacity of its HD trucks by 500 lbs. For those keeping score, when properly equipped, that means it can handle 36,000 lbs. of trailer. GMC says that the increase in towing capacity is due to hardware updates to the suspension and packaging changes to the wheels.

2021 GMC Terrain Changes - Find the best GMC deals!

in advance of a freshening that comes next year, GMC makes few changes to the 2021 Terrain compact crossover SUV. In the meantime, the Pro Safety Plus Package (automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, etc.) is now standard. Also, GMC discontinues the Chrome Package and the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is no longer available.

2021 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL Changes - Find the best GMC deals!

The 2021 GMC Yukon and the extended-length Yukon XL are completely redesigned, equipped with a bevy of tech and powertrain enhancements and more room for third-row passengers, thanks to a new independent rear suspension that allows for a lower floor. In addition to SLE, SLT and Denali versions, the new Yukon comes in a new AT4 off-roading trim level, further expanding the Yukon’s appeal. 

Depending on the model, the new Yukon has a 5.3-liter V-8 or a 6.2-liter V-8, and most versions are available with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline 6-cylinder engine. An available Four Corner Air Ride suspension can raise the vehicle up to two inches to provide extra ground clearance, while Magnetic Ride Control adaptive damping helps to deliver a smooth ride and responsive handling. There’s also a newly available Active Response 4WD system that works in concert with an electronic limited-slip differential to quickly react to road conditions to improve traction and handling.

GMC is the source of information in this article. It was accurate on December 12, 2020, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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