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Home / Technology / Test drive: 2021 GMC Yukon Diesel is built for a long time, but can be short-lived

Test drive: 2021 GMC Yukon Diesel is built for a long time, but can be short-lived



GMC’s latest SUV may also be the latest of its kind.

2021 Yukon is now available with a diesel engine. It̵

7;s the same 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder offered in the Sierra pickup and an alternative to the 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V8s that are also available in both trucks.

The thing is, General Motors recently announced plans to become an all-electric carmaker by 2035, so it’s unlikely that it will add any new internal combustion engines to the series before that happens, let alone diesels. How long the current ones will be on sale is not clear, but the first of the battery-powered truck brigade will arrive late this year in the form of the GMC HUMMER EV.

So why even bother with a Yukon diesel now? The market has made it quite clear that not everyone is ready to switch to electric, especially long distances, for which this type of motor is particularly suitable. According to the Diesel Technology Forum, sales of diesel SUVs and pickups increased by 28 percent in 2020.

The 277 hp engine has the same torque of 460 lb-ft as the Yukon Denalis 6.2-liter V8 and provides an EPA-combined fuel economy of 23 mpg in two-wheel drive trucks and 22 mpg with four-wheel drive, thanks in no small part to Yukon’s 10-speed automatic transmission .

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It is over 30 percent better than both the V8 and the highway rankings are 27 mpg and 26 mpg, respectively, which puts the Yukon in three-row crossover country and makes it possible to cover 648 miles between embankments. The extended Yukon XL can do it 756 miles, thanks to its larger fuel tank.

Equally important to its intended customers, the Yukon Diesel can tow up to 8,100 pounds of two-wheel drive and 7,800 pounds of four-wheel drive, which is 200 to 300 pounds more than the V8s are capable of in standard configurations. However, petrol cars can be equipped with an optional maximum towing package that gives them an advantage of 200 to 400 pounds.

The Yukon Diesel starts at $ 52,990, representing a $ 1,000 premium over a 5.3-liter V8. In the top class $ 68,195 Yukon Denali, diesel is $ 500 less than the trim’s 6.2-liter V8. Even with the higher price of diesel, the annual fuel savings range from $ 200 to $ 850.

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Diesel definitely sounds like one with the hood open, but is mostly unobtrusive. It’s a bit chuga-chuggy in stop and go traffic, but calm down on the open road until you slam the diesel pedal. It may not have spark plugs, but responsiveness and willingness to fox is electrifying when you do.

As with the Chevrolet Tahoe / Suburban and Cadillac Escalade, which are also available with diesel, the 2021 Yukon is brand new and has a completely independent suspension. The ride quality is several levels of improvement higher than the previous model, and that is before you add optional computer-controlled shocks and adjustable air suspension system.

The Yukon also gets an interior with a dashboard design that is completely unique from Tahoe’s, which helps you set it apart to justify its $ 1700 higher price. Beyond that, the two largely share a rich feature set that includes a powered center console that slides backwards to create extra storage space and reveal a secret room; a complete package of electronic driver aids with adaptive cruise control and lane assistance; head-up display; and high-resolution 360-degree camera.

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An off-road focused Yukon AT4 model is also available with a special 4×4 system, sliding plates, towing hooks and off-road tires, but it only comes with a 5.3-liter V8, so you have to plan shorter land trips than diesel could potentially provide.

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2021 GMC Yukon Diesel

Base Price: $ 52,990

As tested: $ 82,245

Type: 7-passenger, 4-door, four-wheel drive SUV

Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder diesel

Power: 277 hp, 460 lb-ft

Gearbox: 10-speed automatic

Fuel economy: 20 city / 26 hwy


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