AT4 trim expands 4WD of GMC Yukon

The AT4 trim adds snow-busting capability to the 2021 GMC Yukon. (Bud Wells photos)

As far back as I can remember, GMC has offered the most comfortable ride among the auto industry’s full-sized SUVs.

Following a week with the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 four-wheel drive, I’d say it continues to hold that distinction.  It offers a smooth ride, good acceleration, easy in-and-out and roomy interior.

The Yukon competes against its sister sibling the Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia.

New to the Yukon for ’21 is the AT4 trim level, just below Denali in price and equipment. It adds a  two-speed transfer case and limited-slip differential for offroading and a long list of amenities.

The ’21 Yukon is 210 inches in overall length.

Bill and Kathy Allen joined Jan and me in the Yukon for a post-Christmas drive to Sterling to visit Dave and Norma Wagner (my sister).

Norma and Dave were traveling partners with Jan and me for 20 years or more.

We did the Alaska cruise, preceded by a land tour to Denali, and among other Far North highlights, as far as I was concerned, was finding a Starbucks at Skagway.

We later flew to Mexico, enjoyed the Mayan Ruins in addition to all the water-and-sun fun. We visited Orlando, where we drove a Kia Sorento; traveled to Branson in an Acura, came home from Seattle in an Oldsmobile Silhouette, toured the Santa Fe and Taos areas in a Lincoln LS.

We enjoyed Phoenix and Houston and numerous other shorter destinations.

Driving to Sterling and visiting with them stirs memories of those bygone days. Jana Lock stopped by while we were there.

The Yukon, like the Expedition, Armada and Sequoia, isn’t known for relatively high fuel mileage, though aided by the 200-mile roundtrip, averaged 18 miles per gallon overall for a week. The run down there and back posted a 19.6 reading.

While GMC offers a 6.2-liter V-8 for the Yukon, the AT4 trim uses the 5.3 V-8 with 355 horsepower, 383 lb.-ft. of torque, and tied to a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. An air suspension lowers the vehicle when parked for easier departure, then raises to ride height when placed in gear.

The AT4 Premium Plus package, at an additional cost of $9,145, includes dual-pane sunroof, power-retractable assist steps, air-ride adaptive suspension, trailering system with brake controller and hitch view, surround vision, head-up display, 10.2-inch color touchscreen with navigation/Bluetooth/wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear-seat media system.

The well-equipped Yukon offers standard items, such as magnetic ride control, automatic stop/start engine, 20-inch aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires, perforated leather seating with heated and ventilated front buckets and heated steering wheel.

Safety standards include lane-keep assist with departure warning, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park assist and automatic high beams.

Pricing of 4WD Yukons begins around $55,000; sticker price on the AT4 review model reached $75,455. It is built in Arlington, Texas. An extended-length Yukon XL is available also.