The 2021 Chevy Tahoe is completely restyled this year and includes new technology, bigger quarters and some luxury appointments that change its target demographic to more urban buyers. New price tags are included too.
We were impressed with its stately presence on the road. If you are a long-time fan of Suburban spaciousness, you will like Tahoe’s new specs. The large SUV has grown seven inches in length, five inches of wheelbase and more than 10 inches in its power operated third row made possible by the addition of independent rear suspension.
Pros: Quiet performer, restyled inside and out, off road chops
Cons: Pricey, fuel economy, sport mode lacks thrust
Tahoe is available in six trim levels: LS, LT, RST, Z71, Premier and High Country. Base price is in the $50k range which is comparable with rivals’ GMC Yukon, Nissan Armada, Suburban and Ford Expedition Max. With option packages the Tahoe reaches into the $70s.
Standard engine on the Tahoe is a mildly spirited 5.3-liter V8, developing 355 horsepower mated with a 10-speed transmission. A larger 6.2-liter V8 ups the ponies to 420. Later in the year, a new 3.0-liter inline six turbo diesel is planned with a 40 percent increase in fuel economy.
Our trail rated Z71 with base engine reached the 60 miles-per-hour mark in a class average 7.2 seconds. Braking from 60 mph was accomplished in a class leading 126 feet.
Technology is a big part of Tahoe’s heritage and a Z71 off-road package brings normal, sport, tow/haul, and off-road settings to life with each setting adjusting pedal pressure, traction control systems and gear shifts.
An air-ride adaptive suspension automatically raises or lowers the Tahoe to improve ground clearance as well as aid in entry/exit along with tubular assist steps on each side. Rear suspension can be mated with Magnetic Ride Control that chooses one of four suspension grids to smooth the ride, limit body roll in turns and counteract shaking inherent with body-on-frame vehicles.
For pavement dwellers with young families, we recommend the LT dressed up with navigation and rear media package for $2,490. It includes a large color touch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable Bluetooth audio streaming, twin mounted 12.6-inch rear seat color touch screens. Add second row bucket seats, power lowered third row seats and floor console with power sliding center for under $1,000 and save a bundle.
With third row seats upright there is a generous 25.5 cubic feet of cargo. Power adult-sized third row seats to their flat positions and there is easily enough room for eight golf bags and accessories. Maximum cargo with second row seats folded grows to an enormous 122.9 cubes.
Tahoe’s towing capacity is up to 8,400 pounds with the base engine, slightly more than the Suburban. Payload is 1,830 pounds in the Tahoe compared with 1,760 pounds for Suburban.
There are up to nine views available through camera apps on the touchscreen to aid in parking in tight spaces and hitching a trailer.