2021 GMC Yukon AT4: Long Term Report 2

gmc yukon Full Overview

When the world finally returns to some kind of normality, our daily commute has returned with revenge, and we have also set out on the road again in search of adventure. Why does this matter, you ask? Because we have spent a lot of time behind the wheel of our award-winning GMC Yukon AT4 2021 quad bike. And if you do not take anything else from this second long-term report, know this: We are still as impressed after more than 11,000 miles as we were the day we handed over the trophy.

IN our first reporting period we felled lots of towing kilometers and we are happy to say that we did exactly the same thing during the second quarter. About 800 of the more than 5,300 miles logged for this report were with an 8,000-pound trailer. With this particular trailer, a 21-foot toy dump truck, the Yukon averages about 9.5 mpg. While this is not great, given that gas is squeezing $ 5 per gallon in some parts of the country, it’s still not terrible when you focus on the overall fuel economy.

One of the few complaints we had in the first report was about the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4’s fuel economy, and we are sad to report that our hopes for a shock in the fuel economy after the deposit were not realized. During the first reporting period, the Yukon AT4 averaged 14.3 mpg, and then during the second period this improved significantly to 14.5 mpg. If we remove towing from the equation, the average fuel economy goes up to 15.6 mpg, which is still short of both the EPA’s 16 mpg city and 18 mpg combined ratings. We will continue to monitor fuel economy, but at this point we are convinced that is what it is.

2021 GMC Yukon AT4: What’s hot, what’s not

  • Warm: Powerful V-8 engine and soft-shifting 10-speed gearbox; lots of legroom in the back seat
  • Not: Still does not meet the lowest EPA rating for fuel economy; air suspension is constantly adjusted while driving, which gives an almost seasick feeling sometimes

Speaking of performance, one of the points we have raised on several occasions is the fact that for the 2021 model, GMC offered the Yukon AT4 with only one engine option, the 5.3-liter V-8. GMC apparently heard our complaints and for 2022 it added the burley 6.2-liter V-8 to the Yukon AT4’s options list. After spending a week runs the 2022 model with the large engine we can say with confidence that even though we appreciate the offer, we do not feel that the 5.3-liter V-8 is in any way insufficient. Yukon AT4s with 6.2-liter V-8 draw less and have poorer fuel economy than 5.3-liter V-8, and in daily driving it really did not feel much faster.

Last quarter we took the Yukon AT4 into the Sierra Nevada mountains and cycled through some beautiful forest trails. This time we spent most of our off-road driving in deserts in the southwestern United States. Our initial reactions are still true because we love the Yukon AT4’s suspension adjustment on graded desert roads. Our tester is equipped with the company’s adjustable air suspension and adaptive magnetic ride control dampers. In combination with the new independent rear suspension, this set provides an incredibly smooth ride on tough roads, even with the air suspension in its highest setting.

In addition to the Yukon’s suspension, we’ve also been impressed by the traction provided by the SUV’s Goodyear Wrangler TrailRunner AT tires. Although we wish GMC would have opted for an 18-inch wheel for more sidewall, we love that these 275 / 60R20 tires are 33 inches high and almost 11 inches wide. It’s a pretty big tire for a three-wheeled folk driver. In addition to providing great grip on loose dirt and wet, slippery roads, Goodyear tires are impressively quiet. Combined with the Yukon’s already stunning interior acoustics, there is no perceived tire noise rolling down the road.

As we sit halfway through our year-long evaluation of the award-winning 2021 GMC Yukon AT4, we are pleased to say that the vehicle continues to impress. Yukon has not needed any service other than its first planned oil change at 7,500 miles, although it has not hit a gas pump that it has not liked. For the next quarter, we have more towing planned and a road trip or two, and we hope to get some snow. Fingers crossed.

If you are not trying to be Ivan Stewart, the GMC Yukon AT4 is a perfectly comfortable and capable desert explorer. We have covered many miles as we hike through the Joshua Trees in the Mojave Desert and are constantly impressed by the performance of the large SUV. Interestingly, our go-to transfer case setting for almost all of our investigations has been four-wheel drive for no other reason than it is available. We have been impressed by how seamless the activation of the four-wheel drive system is in auto and have not yet been disappointed.

We have become big fans of the Yukon AT4’s Goodyear Wrangler TrailRunner AT tires. Although we are not the most aggressive, we have had fantastic traction in any case. And bonus points to GMC for having shoehorned a massive 33-inch tire under the fenders.

With two children in car seats in the middle row, we had high hopes for the Yukon’s entertainment system in the back seat. However, it is fundamentally wrong in two ways. First, there are no built-in media services, even though the vehicle has built-in OnStar WiFi. And secondly, there is no way to control devices connected to the HDMI ports from the front seats. In the end, trying to use the system has caused more crying than it has solved.

Speaking of unnecessary features, we are still not sure what the point of the electric center console is. Although we hoped that after six months we would get a clear picture of its usefulness, we have unfortunately not done so. If you do not see something we do not see, save $ 350 and skip this option.

The most remarkable feature of the Yukon AT4 so far has been the instrument panel-mounted push-button gearbox. We already experience that buttons get stuck, even though we have not spilled anything on the dashboard. We will look at this area during the year.

Report: 2 of 4

Looks good! More details?

  • Base price: $ 64,800
  • Price tested: $ 75,605

Long-term number

  • Miles so far: 11,240
  • Miles since last report: 5,326
  • Average mpg (this report): 14.48
  • Test best tank (mpg): 18.78
  • Test worst tank (mpg): 9.28 (pull 8,000 pounds)


  • This period: Oil change (7,500 miles)
  • Problem areas: None

Logbook quotes

  • “Really wish this thing had a bigger gas tank, I refill every four days.”
  • “Got another compliment for how good the Yukon AT4 looks … this is not getting old!”
  • “The suspension on this Yukon apartment hits the dirt roads.”

Options tested

  • AT4 Premium Package ($ 9,145)
  • Cayenne Red Tintcoat Color ($ 645)
  • Second Row Heated Buckets ($ 370)
  • Power Sliding Center Console ($ 350)

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