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2021 GMC Yukon Denali. Photo: GM

This week I'm driving the GMC Yukon Denali, which was redesigned for the 2021 model year.

The big picture: The Yukon, along with GM's other full-size SUVs (the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban), are the company's moneymakers, hauling in about $10,000 profit per vehicle, analysts estimate.

  • Without them, GM wouldn't have the capital to invest in future technologies like electric, self-driving cars.

Why it matters: The Denali is something of an automotive icon, debuting in 1998 almost as a brand unto itself, and now accounts for more than half of all Yukon sales. And it remains popular with luxury buyers who want lots of space and truck-like utility.

Details: Like the other full-size SUVs, the Yukon Denali has a new independent rear suspension that provides a better ride and, importantly, a lot more rear space for passengers and cargo.

  • Two V-8 engines are offered, plus a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel that's great for towing heavy trailers.
  • I really liked the large multicolor head-up display which is easy to read, even in sunlight, and helps minimize distractions.

The bottom line: The Denali sells for $71,400, but my test vehicle had an $11,255 "Denali Ultimate Package" that included a rear-seat entertainment system, retractable steps, a panoramic sunroof and much more.

  • The final sticker price was $83,495, a big price for a huge vehicle.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

GM plans to end sales of gasoline powered cars by 2035

GM CEO Mary Barra at the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles in Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors is setting a worldwide target to end sales of gasoline and diesel powered cars, pickups and SUVs by 2035, the automaker said Thursday.

Why it matters: GM's plan marks one of the auto industry's most aggressive steps to transform their portfolio to electric models that currently represent a tiny fraction of overall sales.

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Dems fear supply-chain blame

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As supply-chain kinks drive up prices and disrupt holiday shopping, Democrats are scrambling to show action and deflect blame.

Why it matters: With their party controlling both the White House and Capitol, vulnerable Democrats worry supply-chain snafus will hurt them in next year's midterms.