They show a slight increase in city-driving fuel economy but a decrease in highway fuel economy.
The three GM SUVs are powered by either a 5.3-liter or 6.2-liter V-8 engine, and a turbo-diesel inline-six is optional.
The Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon are redesigned from the ground up for the 2021 model year. They now feature an independent rear suspension which, among other things, yields more cargo space, and are available with a choice of two gasoline V-8s or a turbo-diesel inline-six, all of which are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The EPA has released fuel-economy estimates for the two V-8s, which are down in highway fuel economy and but see a slight increase in city-driving mpg. The 2021 Suburban with the 5.3-liter V-8 is down 2 mpg on the highway but up 1 mpg in city driving compared to the 2020 model. Its combined EPA fuel economy is 18 mpg for rear-wheel-drive models and 17 mpg with all-wheel drive. That's a drop of 2 mpg on the highway compared to the 2020 models with the same engine.
Suburbans powered by the 6.2-liter V-8 get a combined 17 mpg for the rear-drive model and 16 mpg with all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive model loses 1 mpg on the highway compared with last year, while the rear-wheel-drive Suburban loses 3 mpg in highway driving compared with the 2020 model but gets a 1-mpg increase in city-driving fuel economy.
The 2021 Yukon with the 5.3-liter V-8 gets 18 mpg combined, 16 mpg city, and 20 mpg on the highway in both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions. The AWD model with the 6.2-liter drops 1 mpg in combined fuel economy, at 16 mpg. Both 6.2-liter models are down 3 mpg in highway driving compared with the 2020.
The longer-wheelbase Yukon XL equipped with the 5.3-liter V-8 received a combined EPA-estimated rating of 18 mpg for the rear-drive model and 17 mpg for the all-wheel-drive model. Compared to the 2020 models, each model gets an increase of 1 mpg in the city and loses 2 mpg on the highway. Both 6.2-liter–equipped Yukon XLs have a combined EPA-estimated rating of 16 mpg and 14 mpg in the city and are slightly less efficient on the highway.
When asked why the highway fuel-economy numbers fluctuated, a GMC spokesman told C/D, "The next-gen 2021 Yukon is larger in all ways than the previous generation." City fuel economy improved thanks to the new 10-speed automatic transmission, Dynamic Fuel Management, and the start/stop system, he noted.
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