Bewilderingly, this engine was not available for the 2021 Yukon AT4.
The GMC Yukon was redesigned for the 2021 model year, featuring fresh new styling, new engine options, and a revamped interior. For the first time, the Yukon is also available with an off-road-focused AT4 trim, which adds recovery hooks, unique styling cues, and an available Air Ride Adaptive Suspension that can raise the ride height by up to two inches for improved ground clearance.
While the new Yukon AT4 is a respectable off-roader, we were surprised when it went on sale without GM's 6.2-liter V8, which is reserved for the range-topping Denali trim. Thankfully, this is changing for the 2022 model year.
Whereas the 2021 GMC Yukon AT4 is only available with a 5.3-liter V8 rated at 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, GM Authority reports that the 2022 model will be available with the more powerful 6.2-liter V8, which produces 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. However, the 2022 Yukon AT4 still won't be available with the 3.0-liter LM2 Duramax turbodiesel inline-six available for the entry-level SLE since the unique front fascia and skid plates obstruct the intercooler required for the diesel unit.
Regardless of the trim, every powertrain is paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. While the extra muscle gives the Yukon AT4 a welcome power boost, there are a few caveats worth considering.
Firstly, the 5.3-liter V8 has a superior towing capacity of 200 pounds. As you would expect, the larger displacement also affects the fuel economy, but not as much as you would expect. For city driving, the 5.2-liter V8 is rated at 15 mpg, whereas the 6.2-liter V8 has one mpg less. Highway fuel economy is identical for both engines, however, at 20 mpg.
Then there's the price. For 2022, the 5.3-liter V8 will still be offered as the base engine, so be prepared to pay a premium for the 6.2-liter version. For 2021, the GMC Yukon AT4 starts at $65,100. In the 2021 GMC Yukon Denali, the 6.2-liter V8 costs $1,625 more than the 3.0-liter diesel, so we'll have to wait and see if the AT4 has a similar price premium.