The GMC Yukon XL and 2021 Chevy Suburban are similar in many ways. The Yukon XL is an enlarged version of the GMC Yukon and is completely redesigned for 2021; and the 2021 Suburban also introduces an all-new generation, and is Chevrolet’s biggest SUV. Let's take a look at both.
This next generation Yukon XL offers premium quality, a distinctive design, and a unique AT4 exterior styling with rugged capability. The redesigned Yukon XL has one of the most upscale interiors in the large SUV class, with more metal accents and a different dashboard layout in its Denali trim level. It seats up to nine people or seven with optional second-row bucket seats in its three rows, and it provides plenty of head- and legroom to ride comfortably. The Yukon XL provides 41.5 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, expands to 93.8 cubic feet with the third-row seats folded down and 144.7 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down. Cloth upholstery and power-adjustable front seats come standard. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. LED headlamps and taillamps with GMC signature C-shape design, featuring daytime running lamps and LED fog lamps are standard on all trims. The Denali and AT4 trim come standard with outside heated, power-folding adjustable mirrors, and it is available on the SLT. The Yukon XL trims start at $50,700 for the SLE trim, $57,800 for the SLT trim, $64,800 for the AT4 trim, and $68,400 for the Denali. Optional packages are available for additional pricing.
The 2021 Suburban is notably larger, with more cargo and passenger space. It seats up to nine in this three-row large SUV; and a front-row bench seat is optional on the LS trim. Second-row bucket seats in the Premier trim drops capacity to seven passengers. Its second and third rows have a couple more inches of legroom, and the cargo area expands by 23 cubic feet, having 145 total cubic feet. Its new independent rear suspension and design make the load floor flatter and lower. The Suburban also gets sliding second-row seats for the first time and an optional power-folding functionality for the rear seats that can be controlled from multiple places inside the SUV. Its Z71 trim is paired exclusively with four-wheel drive and its features are capable for your off-road adventures. It comes with cloth upholstery, power adjustable front seats, and manually adjustable second- and third-row bench seats. Leather upholstery is available, as well as heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Suburban is offered in six trim levels: LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier, and High Country. Pricing starts at $51,700 for the LS trim and ranges to a starting price of $72,300 for the High Country trim.
Safety and Technology
The 2021 GMC Yukon XL offers standard advanced safety features, plus additional add-on packages for more advanced features. Standard features include forward collision mitigation, rearview camera, rear seat reminder, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, front and rear parking sensors, and keyless entry and ignition. An available Technology package that includes rear cross-traffic alert system, surround-view camera system, and a head-up display is an option on the AT4 and Denali trims. The AT4 also adds hill descent control. All Yukon XL models come with a large infotainment display and GMC’s latest IntelliLink interface. It is standard with a 10.2-inch touch screen, wireless Android and Apple CarPlay, six speakers, satellite radio, HD radio, Wi-Fi hotspot, six USB ports, and Bluetooth.
The Suburban offers similar standard advanced safety features to feel secure on the road. Standard advanced safety features include a rearview camera with hitch guidance, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, Teen Driver, and rear-seat alert. Lane departure warning with lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, front parking sensors, surround-view parking camera system, and safety alert seat are available. The Premier and High Country trims feature adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, and a rearview mirror with an integrated camera display. It features a large touch-screen infotainment system and a user-friendly control layout. Its standard with Apple CarPlay and Android auto compatibility, a 10.2-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, eight USB ports, HD Radio, satellite radio, six speakers, Wi-Fi hotspot, and a 120-volt household-style power outlet.
The Yukon XL has a powerful performance for just about every driving situation in its base engine, but can deliver even more acceleration with its available larger engine. Both engines are now paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Yukon SLE, SLT, and AT4 feature a 5.3-liter engine with 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The Yukon Denali features a 6.2-liter V8 engine with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. A new 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 277-horsepower will join this lineup later in this model year. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional on all trims except on the AT4, where it is standard. It delivers a cushioned ride over any road surface and is composed on winding roads, but for off-roading, look to the AT4 trim, which comes with a two-speed transfer case and skid plates. The Yukon can tow up to 8,400 pounds, and has an estimated 16/20 mpg in the city and on the highway.
The Suburban features the same power as the Yukon XL. It comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 engine with 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is available on all trim levels and standard on the Z71. The High Country trim gets a 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. An optional turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine with 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque is available on every Suburban trim except the Z71. The Suburban has a maximum towing capacity of 7,300 pounds. The Max Trailering package will give you a towing capacity of 8,300 pounds. Its 5.3-liter V8 engine will give you 16/20 mpg in the city and on the highway and the 6.2-liter V8 will give you 15/20 mpg city/highway.
The main differences between the Yukon XL and Suburban are styling and price. Both deliver a strong performance, a comfortable cabin with lots of room, the same overall dimensions and seating capacity, and pack plenty of features to keep you safe and entertained. The GMC Yukon XL features more luxury in its cabin and the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban has a higher price tag for its top trims.