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Why the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension on the 2021 GMC Yukon Is a Big Deal

The 2021 Yukon is GMC’s latest iteration of its flagship full-sized SUV. It offers best in class technology, an elevated level of luxury and a lot of room.
2021 GMC Yukon 7 photos
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A highlight of its new additions is the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension system available on AT4 and Denali trimlines.

It works using an air pump that fills or empties each shock absorber, to raise or lower the vehicle and it can automatically adjust ride-height up to four inches (100 mm) due to the system’s self-leveling capabilities.

When driving on highways at higher speeds, it automatically lowers the ride height by three quarters of an inch (20 mm) to improve fuel efficiency and aerodynamics.

Also, the self-leveling feature helps improve comfort and control, especially when the vehicle is trailering or loaded up. A selectable setting can drop the large SUV by two inches (50 mm) to help passengers get in or out when it is parked.

The Magnetic Ride Control pioneered on high-performance cars, offers both precise body control and improved handling.

The damping system on the 2021 Yukon is one of the fastest-reacting damping systems in the automotive industry, using sensors to read the road and alter the damping rate of the with tremendous speed.

The reaction time is greatly improved over traditional shock absorbers to reduce bouncing, body roll and vibrations. An electronic Limited Slip Differential is also available, and it manages torque laterally across the vehicle for increased stability on the road.

The eLSD can manage axle torque and vehicle behavior, analyzing the vehicle’s multiple inputs. If wheel slip is detected on either side, it reacts quickly to shift power to the wheel that has better traction.

The Air Ride Adaptive Suspension is not available on the SLE and SLT trims and for the other two, AT4 and Denali, additional packages are needed.

To get the air suspension on the AT4 models, you will require three additional packages: Premium Capability, Technology and Max Trailering, all worth almost $3,500.

For the Denali 2WD trim, the Max Trailering Package is needed along with a 22-inch wheel upgrade but that still means almost $3,800 over the base price. It can also be added to the car by buying the Ultimate Package for a little less under $10,000.

Its 4WD counterpart is almost twice as expensive to fit with the new suspension system, requiring the same wheel upgrade as the 2WD model and three optional packages: Premium Capability, Max Trailering and Advanced Technology.

As opposed to the 2WD Denali, the Ultimate Package that costs north to $10,000 does not include the suspension. The Max Trailering and Advanced Technology packages still need to be added.

Yet, because of the capabilities of the suspension system and eLSD, the new Yukon offers incredible handling capabilities, with an improved level of performance not seen before in such a large SUV.

It uses technologies borrowed from performance car engineering to reinvent the way a premium full-size SUV handles and feels. It offers a wide array of all-terrain capabilities and increased performance ion the road, regardless of the weather conditions.

This vehicle addresses customers that want and can afford a premium, luxurious, and imposing SUV. Having to pay extra for the innovative system and the host of extra features that come bundled with the extra packages, is more than a fair deal.


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