2021 GMC Yukon Denali 4WD
Class: Large SUV
Miles driven: 208
Fuel used: 14.3 gallons
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Real-world fuel economy: 14.5 mpg
Driving mix: 70% city, 30% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 14/19/16 (mpg city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas recommended
Base price: $71,400 (not including $1295 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Denali Ultimate Package ($11,255), Midnight Blue Metallic paint ($495), power-sliding center console ($350) Denali Ultimate Package Savings (-$1000)
Price as tested: $83,795
The great: Cavernous room for both people and cargo; pleasant road manners for such a large vehicle
The good: Classy interior trim; long list of standard and available features; satisfying acceleration
The not so good: Brawny V8 is thirsty for premium fuel; extra-large dimensions can make close-quarters maneuvering a challenge
Denali is a pretty big deal. The highest mountain peak in North America, the Alaskan mountain is also the third most prominent peak on the planet—it’s also the globe’s third highest.
Denali is also a big deal for General Motors’ truck brand GMC. First employed in the late Nineties, the Denali sub-brand now accounts for almost one third of all GMC vehicle sales, as well as considerable added revenue.
The top-tier trim level, currently available on every GMC model, brings unique exterior trim, plus upgraded interior trim and additional equipment. Choosing the Denali trim level on any GMC model also means paying a hefty upgrade fee for the privilege—more than $17,000 over a base SLE model in the case of the Yukon.
Consumer Guide was privileged to get a second look at the standard-length 2021 GMC Yukon in Denali trim. You can read our original review here. Our impressions of the large SUV remain unchanged: If you need the space, power, and utility, the GMC Yukon, or one of GM’s other large SUVs, is one of the best choices in the large SUV class.
Aside from the price, the only truly bad news about our test Yukon Denali was the fuel economy. This time around we averaged 14.5 mpg in routine driving, a little better than the 14.1 observed during our previous evaluation. While that figure is in line with other vehicles in the class, it can be a tough pill to swallow as costly premium gasoline is recommended for the Denali’s standard 6.2-liter V8.
But for power, ride comfort, cabin appointments and quietness, as well as general functionality, the Yukon in any trim level impresses. And if the Denali with its big V8 seems a little extravagant, lesser trim levels equipped with the standard—and capable—5.3-liter V8 are no less impressive.
2021 GMC Yukon Denali Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)