2021 GMC Yukon AT4 Review - Odd, Yet Familiar

The GMC Yukon formula is familiar. Big and comfortable with a powerful engine getting things motivated. It’s a winning formula, too – the Yukon is quite popular, as you know.

Underneath, the formula remains the same. Stylistically, though, chances were taken. And that roll of the dice doesn’t pay off quite as well.

GMC had the sense not to mess with the powertrain, but the attempt to keep the styling current is a bit of a messy miss in this application.

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The Cost of Comfort: GM's Full-size SUVs Gain Thrift in City Driving, Lose It on the Open Road

The revamped, full-size Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and their GMC Yukon/Yukon XL twins gain significant length, interior volume, and creature comforts for 2021, but extra MPGs seem to be in short supply.

The vehicles are now even larger than their predecessors, are still heavy, and carry identical V8 engine displacements, so no one should have expected Prius fighters. Still, the changes in fuel economy are worthy of note.

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2021 GMC Yukon Pricing Revealed; More Space Needn't Come at a Premium

General Motors is offering plenty of opportunity to drop mountains of cash on a next-generation GMC Yukon, but if frills are something you don’t need, easing into a 2021 Yukon can be a fairly painless process.

The longer and more spacious full-sizer carries a base price just $100 higher than 2020’s entry-level trim, though moving up the ladder will obviously see GM take home extra. There’s now an extra rung on that ladder, too.

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Envoy to the Horde: GMC Trademarks a Name From Its Past

Someone at General Motors has been studying the company history books again. Fresh news earlier this year taught us the company is bringing back the storied Blazer nameplate, appending it to a FWD-based crossover in a move that disappointed some fans but will surely delight GM beancounters as they’ll probably sell every one they can make to a crossover-thirsty public, the majority of whom care not one whit about the old body-on-frame machine.

A trademark application uncovered by a GM Inside News forum poster suggests GM could be poised to bring back another well-known badge. This time, it is GMC’s turn to plumb their collective memory for a popular name. The lead image above gives you all the clues you need as to which one it may be.

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GM Recalls a Million Pickups and SUVs Amid Flurry of Accident Reports

More than a million, actually. A recall of 1,015,918 Silverado and Sierra pickups, plus their full-size SUV cousins, was issued yesterday by folks at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This recall affects machines from the 2015 model year. They are being summoned to repair centers thanks to electrical and software issues that could play havoc with the power steering system.

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Denali Won't Do: GMC Crafts a Fancier Yukon

Yesterday, GMC unveiled the 2018 Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition, billed as an “exciting new package” featuring the very best in premium GMC styling and attributes.

That’s excellent marketing-speak, but we all know why there is suddenly an uber-Denali: the regular one just isn’t good enough for the school drop-off line anymore.

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No Fixed Abode: Filling Every Hole In That SLT (Lineup)

Stop the presses! There’s a new GMC Yukon in town!

Until this morning, humanity was only familiar with three trim levels of GMC’s Suburban clone. There was the SLE, which does not have push-button start and is therefore beneath contempt. There is the SLT, which is the Yukon your neighbors got when they couldn’t swing the lease payments on the Denali. Finally, there is the Denali, with which you are no doubt familiar from the line of “cars” waiting to pick up kids at your local private school. With the exception of devoted George Strait fans, everybody who imagines a Yukon in their head imagines a Denali.

I’m not aware of anybody ever questioning the density of the Yukon lineup, but it’s obviously been done quite a bit because now there’s an SLT Premium. It slots between the SLT and the Denali on price. Unless they’re holding something back in the GMC press release of which we aren’t aware, the SLT Premium package is strictly an appearance package, featuring a new shinier grille, “exclusive” 22-inch wheels, and a few extra chrome trim pieces thrown in to sweeten the deal.

Do you have the next five or so minutes free? Would you like to talk for a moment about what this all means — this new Premium trim level and the associated discontents which led to its production? If so, you’re in luck, my friend, because that is precisely the thing about which I would like to talk this fine morning.

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Sensible Shoes: Buy the Yukon Denali That Doesn't Look Like a Yukon Denali

Strange as it seems to those of us who clearly remember 16-inch wheels as the sporting option on midsize sedans, 20-inch rims on a 2016 GMC Yukon Denali appear downright tiny.

Indeed, the 20-inchers pictured above are the poverty-spec wheels on the Yukon Denali, a simple way of avoiding a set of $2,495-2,995 22-inch wheels that will — and here’s the kicker — make your Yukon Denali distinctly less comfortable.

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2016 GMC Yukon Rental Review - In The Big City

“My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests.”

— Walter Kirn

I quote Mr. Kirn to begin this review not only because his novel, Up In The Air, may as well be an unauthorized Bark M. biography, but because he’s right. Writers need to go to New York. More specifically, autowriters need to go to the New York International Auto Show. Detroit is the biggest. Geneva gets all the supercars. But to see and be seen? To network with fellow writers? To get your finger on the pulse of what’s shaking in the car biz?

There’s only one show that matters, and that’s New York.

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Bombay Peggy's and the Sourtoe Cocktail

Things didn’t sound quite right at the Pelly Crossing filling station in the middle of the Yukon Territory. The gurgle of the fuel I was pumping down the filler neck had a frothy note, reminiscent of the sound of filling up one of the diesel pick-ups I’ve owned over the years.

I smelled the nozzle before I hung it up and, at precisely the instant my nose processed the “Diesel-you-idiot” warning, my eyes focused on the word DIESEL on the side of the fuel pump.

To say I felt stupid was an understatement. The gasoline-powered Chevy Blazer I’d rented from National Car Rental in Whitehorse obviously would have to have its tank drained and the delay would cut the heart out of the six hours of daylight that mid-December offered at this latitude. It might even disrupt overnight plans at Bombay Peggy’s, a renovated former brothel in Dawson City, where Lisa had reserved the Lipstick Room.

“There’s a silver lining though,” I tried to be upbeat, as I confessed the fueling blunder to Lisa. “It’s Friday the 13th and this should be enough of a screw-up for clear sailing at Bombay Peggy’s along with my quest to be ordained into Captain Dick’s Sourtoe Cocktail Club.”

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Cylinder Deactivation Could Drop a Corvette Down to 2 Cylinders

General Motors may use an advanced cylinder deactivation technology, co-developed with Delphi and Silicon Valley startup Tula Technologies, in its SUVs and V-8 cars to shut down up to six cylinders to maximize fuel economy, Automotive News reported.

According to the automaker, GM in 2012 invested in Tula, which specializes in automotive engineering. The automaker announced in January that it would pursue the advanced cylinder deactivation technology for some of its SUVs, which could improve fuel economy by 15 percent in cars with engines with more than four cylinders.

The system, dubbed Dynamic Skip Fire, keeps the throttle open during operation and controls cylinder firing through a special valve that cuts off oil to the deactivated cylinders’ valve lifters. According to the company, the engine computer changes the deactivated cylinders to avoid vibration or noise.

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Piston Slap: 6L80E…eeeeeek?

Leather is better. (photo courtesy: image.automotive.com)

Nathaniel writes:

Sajeev,

Long time listener, first-time caller. I’m responding to your plea for new Piston Slap questions. I purchased a gently-used 2008 GMC Yukon Denali AWD a couple of months ago. Other than its appetite for fuel, the only negative is that it has 141,000 miles. I believe the previous owner changed the transmission fluid at 100,000 miles (Carfax shows that the transfer case fluid was changed at this point, and I can’t imagine doing that and not doing the transmission). The fluid was relatively clean but I changed out several quarts via the dipstick tube using a fluid extractor after I purchased the vehicle, replacing them with the specified Dexron-VI. I believe the fluid level is correct but it’s difficult to read.

On a recent road trip, the 6-speed automatic (6L80E) transmission stumbled during the 2-3 shift while driving through the mountains and went into a failsafe mode. The check engine light came on. I pulled over, turned the ignition off and on again, and the truck operated normally. The CEL remained on for the next several ignition cycles. When I called OnStar to obtain the fault code, they could not retrieve it because the CEL was no longer on.

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General Motors Investing $1.4B Into Texas SUV Plant

General Motors announced Wednesday it would invest $1.4 billion into its Arlington Assembly Plant, which produces SUVs.

The investment will create a new paint shop, body shop and “general assembly area upgrades” for the plant that produces Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans, GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs and Cadillac Escalades.

Construction will take three years and plant operations won’t be impacted, GM said.

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GM Replacing Keys In 2014-15 Trucks, SUVs Due To Ignition Issues

Own a new Chevrolet or GMC truck? You might be getting a new set of keys.

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Review: 2015 GMC Yukon SLT

Until a decade or so, if you wanted a three-row SUV your choices were pretty much limited to body-on-frame offerings, most of which were related to a pickup truck. But now, even GM’s own GMT960s (Enclave, Acadia), provide similar amount of interior space to this Yukon. Furthermore, they are less expensive, more efficient, and easier to drive. It’s possible to argue that the biggest, if not the only, advantage of these body-on-frame V8-powered SUVs is their towing ability.

So why do GM, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota still bother with these dinosaurs?

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