The New 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 and the Denali Are Very Different – Here Is a Full Comparison

2021 gmc yukon at4 denali ultimate

We compare the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 vs. the Yukon Denali with a detailed tour

Comparing the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 vs. the Yukon Denali isn’t as cut-and-dry as some of you might think. Both are higher end SUVs to start, but the all-new 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 brings a lot of off-road swagger to the equation. Meanwhile, the all-new 2021 GMC Yukon Denali is remarkably luxurious. Both appeal to two different customers, and both SUVs showcase the latest from GM-tech.

You can look at the 2021 GMC Yukon pricing for all the details.

There are a bunch of competitors in this segment. Just a few years back, many thought that the large SUV-class (proper body-on-frame truck-based SUV) would go away, but it hasn’t. These two Yukons face stiff competition from the Lexus LX, Lincoln Navigator, Ford Expedition, Infiniti QX80, Toyota Land Cruiser, and others. If anything, this segment has grown. There are rumblings of the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer entering the segment as well.

2021 GMC Yukon AT4


We joke in the video to spot the different engine at one point. The 5.3-liter V8 and 6.2-liter V8 sit in each Yukon. If you’re knowledgeable about GMCs, this is an easy question; however, just looking at these engines – it’s very difficult to tell them apart. Both engines are hooked up to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and both vehicles have four-wheel drive.

Just like the old models, the 5.3-liter makes 355 horsepower and 383 lbs-feet of torque. The larger displacement 6.2-liter V8 makes 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. GMC opted to give the 6.2-liter V8 a snazzy looking quad exhaust, while the 5.3-liter’s exhaust is hidden underneath the rear end.

This is the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71. It is related to the GMC Yukon AT4, but they are actually quite a bit different. (Image: Chevy)

For some reason, GM simply refuses to give any of their large trucks or SUVs a driver-selectable, electronically locking rear differential. These all-new Yukons use optional automatically locking limited slip differentials (or eLSD). We will test the eLSD system and the 4×4 system very soon. Stay tuned for these videos.


You might expect both of these – the AT4 and the Denali – to have a very similar interior. It’s not the case.

The all-new 2021 Chevy Tahoe / Suburban and the new 2021 Yukons share the same dash interior layout, but the Denali stands apart. The Yukon Denali lineup has been very successful for GMC. It is the most luxurious, premium, and pricy GMC. This is why GMC gave the Denali a unique dash design.

Here are the window sticker for both of these! Check out all the options, price, and EPA mpg ratings.

This is a “first look” video, not a driving review. There is an embargo that prevents us from doing a full review with driving impressions for a couple more weeks. Fortunately, we have this video where we give you a detailed tour of both vehicles. They ARE remarkably different.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.