2022 GMC Yukon AT4
– Very, very spacious
– Comfort and cabin tech
– Handles well enough
– Very, very big
– Adequate but not quick
– Few low-rent interior bits
The GMC Yukon and its platform-mate, the Chevy Tahoe, have been a staple among families from America to Saudi Arabia. With stronger rivals being offered by several brands now, the latest Yukon is a far more competitive vehicle than the model it’s replacing.
Always seen as a slightly-more-premium option to the more-mainstream Tahoe, the GMC variant was essentially the same car. But for the 2021 model, General Motors has made a far bigger effort at differentiating the two.
GMC Yukon Exterior looks
Unlike the new Tahoe’s love-it-or-hate-it styling, the Yukon has a more handsome face and looks especially mean in AT4 trim and black paint, although it still features that large rear end of its siblings, which includes the latest Cadillac Escalade.
Compared to the regular trims, our beefed-up AT4 version comes with the chrome trimmings blacked out, power side steps instead of power-folding ones, and a shorter front bumper than normal, looking suitably offroad-ready. It is, visibly, the biggest SUV in its class now (at least until the even-bigger Jeep Wagoneer arrives on Middle East shores). For those who want to have the biggest SUV on the block, there are the extended-wheelbase Yukon XL models.
GMC Yukon Interior
Inside, the styling is more contemporary and car-like, although still conservative. Of note is the completely unique dashboard layout compared to the GMC’s cousins from Chevy and Cadillac. In our well-trimmed spec, all surfaces have generally premium materials, with soft-touch surfaces and padded leatherette on the upper door panels and along the sides of the centre console. Some ill-fitting hard plastics remain in the lower extremities of the cabin.
The old Yukon felt oddly cramped in the rear for its size and had a tight third row due to its solid-axle rear suspension. Aside from growing in size to 5352 mm, the new model now has independent rear suspension and immense space inside, including an adult-sized third row. With all seats in use, there is still far more cargo space remaining than a Nissan Patrol. Unlike the Patrol, the Yukon’s second row can slide front and back, and cargo space is cavernous with the third row folded flat. Its closest rival space-wise is the latest Ford Expedition.
Tech features are fully up-to-date, with the top trims getting LED lighting all over, a smooth and responsive 10.2-inch touchscreen, 9 or 10-speaker Bose stereo, Bluetooth audio streaming for two active devices, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, dual rear seat-mounted 12.6-inch touchscreens, two wireless headphones, two rear HDMI ports and a barrage of USB ports.
Other appreciated features include a heads-up display, wireless charging pad, 360-degree cameras, rear-view mirror camera, adaptive cruise control and a foot-operable power rear tailgate. There is a drinks cooler in the centre console, aside from extra cubby space freed up thanks to the use of a button-operated gear selector on the dash.
The auto a/c is good in a Dubai summer afternoon and comes with rear controls. Available safety features are abundant, with all sorts of airbags, active emergency braking, lane assist and all those other electronic nannies popular nowadays.
GMC Yukon Engine Specifications
Like the Tahoe, the Yukon is still powered by an updated version of GM’s 5.3-litre V8. The ageing engine is just about adequate for daily duties, but making just 355 hp at 5600 rpm and 519 Nm of torque at 4100 rpm, it’s not going to get your pulse racing. The motor powered the 2575-kilo AT4 to a 0-100 kph run of 8 seconds in our summer afternoon testing, a fair bit slower than more powerful rivals. However, a 420 hp 6.2-litre V8 is available as an option.
However, with cylinder-deactivation tech, real-world fuel economy hovers around 16 litres/100 km (6.3 km/litre), aided by a 10-speed automatic and a start/stop function at idle. That figure can easily be pushed lower with more conservative driving.
Riding high on 20-inch alloys with 275/55 all-terrain tyres, the Yukon AT4 offered up a surprisingly smooth and quiet ride thanks to the well-tuned adaptive suspension, new independent rear suspension, and generous sound-deadening. There is just a faint tyre hum at speeds approaching 140 kph.
The handling remains soft, but that’s expected given that the AT4 is an offroad-tuned version. It’s perfectly stable in daily driving though. The steering is well-weighted, erring on the soft side, but it is slightly lazy in its responses and offers no feedback. Braking distances are on the longer side, but still perfectly adequate.
As for parking in tight spaces, let’s just say it will fit, and you can make it fit with all the camera aids, but you will not particularly enjoy doing the extra back-and-forth work to make it fit every time.
The AT4 is a very good offroader, with great approach and departure angles thanks to the good ground clearance and unique front bumper, although you have to watch its size and avoid tall protruding rocks. Basic dunes are handled with ease thanks to V8 torque, short gearing, and height-adjustable air suspension raised to the max, gaining 2 inches extra over the standard 8 inches.
The Yukon AT4 is the biggest family offroader you can get straight out of the showroom, and choosing the GMC over the Chevy Z71 variant is just a matter of personal taste in terms of style. And while you have to be completely comfortable with piloting one of these in daily-driving situations, you do get the maximum amount of metal for your money.
Dh 185,000 – 265,000
Current Model Introduced in:
Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
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