Auto review: 2021 GMC Yukon Denali SUV scales new heights of luxury

By Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

DETROIT - The new Cadillac Escalade better be good. That was my first thought after a day driving the 2021 GMC Yukon Denali large SUV, which takes GMC's premium sub-brand to new levels of luxury. The '21 Escalade, GM's ultimate luxury flagship, will have to improve its interior design and materials significantly to top Yukon Denali.

General Motors executives hate it when auto writers think like that. They remind us Cadillac and GMC brands have very different images and customers. The brands rarely compete for the same buyer.

Well, I hate it that GM still makes blind spot alert an extra cost option on most of its vehicles. We all learn to live with our disappointments.

We'll dissect the new Escalade when it's available later this year. It better be mostly prime cuts, because the Yukon Denali's interior design, materials and comfort are outstanding - and competitively priced.

Don't buy a three-row luxury SUV without sitting in one.

The Yukon Denali competes with three-row SUVs like the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80 and Lexus LX 570.


This column refers to the 2021 Yukon Denali, not the larger Yukon Denali XL, which also gets a new model for 2021.

Safety and driver assist features:

- Automatic emergency braking

- Front pedestrian braking


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