The phrase latest and greatest may be a cliché, but it actually applies to the all-new Chevy Tahoe. With a fresh face and contemporary content, the three-row SUV is the shorter version of the equally new Chevy Suburban. The 2021 Tahoe is not only bigger on the outside, its third row and cargo area have grown, too. This is partly due to the debut of its independent rear suspension, which fixes the issues that plagued the previous generation. Along with a roomier cabin, it offers two dutiful V-8 engines as well as an efficient and torquey diesel. There’s also a host of driver-assistance options and popular infotainment features that should delight full-size families. Look for the 2021 Tahoe to go on sale in the middle of 2020.
What’s New for 2021?
The 2021 Tahoe is all new and considerably improved. Along with a completely redesigned exterior and interior design, the three-row SUV has been stretched to provide more cargo and passenger space. Its cabin also benefits from the Tahoe’s first independent rear suspension, which has already been adopted by direct rivals such as the Ford Expedition and the Nissan Armada. The Chevy receives a host of new technology as well as the addition of a diesel engine option.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
- LS: $50,295
- LT: $55,095
- RST: $58,395
- Z71: $60,495
- Premier: $63,895
- High Country: $70,895
We think the mid-level RST and Z71 models hold the best value, with the former being flashier and the latter being geared toward adventurous folk. We prefer the Z71’s standard four-wheel drive, rugged appearance, and exclusive off-road equipment. While it can’t be paired with the diesel engine like the RST, it can be had with the optional adaptive dampers and air suspension—unlike the RST.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Tahoe has been powered by a V-8 for its entire life, and that continues for the latest generation. However, its standard 355-hp 5.3-liter and available 420-hp 6.2-liter blocks are now joined by a diesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. While it has the least horsepower of the three, its 460 lb-ft of torque matches that of the bigger V-8. Every 2021 Tahoe is equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or all-wheel drive. The off-road-oriented Z71 model gets a two-speed transfer case that provides traditional four-wheel drive, 20-inch wheels wrapped with all-terrain tires, and underbody protection. It’s also available with adaptive dampers that are standard on the upper-echelon Premier and High Country. The latter and the RST model both ride on glitzy 22-inch rims for added curb appeal. An adjustable air suspension is another option that allows the Tahoe’s ride height to be automatically and manually lowered or raised. This enables improved passenger accessibility, aerodynamics, and ground clearance.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn’t released fuel-economy ratings for the 2021 Tahoe. For now, we expect the diesel engine to be the most efficient and the bigger V-8 to be the least thrifty. Both the standard 5.3-liter V-8 and its larger counterpart benefit from auto stop/start technology and cylinder deactivation that are meant to improve fuel economy. Once we’re able to test the all-new Tahoe models on our 200-mile highway route, we can evaluate their real-world mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The all-new 2021 Tahoe boasts its biggest interior yet, with what should feel like acres of space compared with the outgoing model. Its previously cramped third row adds about 10 inches of legroom, and the second-row seats now slide fore and aft to provide much needed flexibility. The Tahoe’s improved interior packaging also provides a lower and flatter load floor thanks to its new architecture and independent rear suspension; the cargo area with the second and third rows folded balloons to 123 cubic feet (28 more than before). Of course, there’s no shortage of desirable options. These include a huge head-up display, a larger digital gauge-cluster display, heated and ventilated seats, wireless phone charging, and more.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Placated passengers translates into relaxing road trips, and the 2021 Tahoe’s robust infotainment and connectivity features help ensure that translation. Every model is outfitted with a 10-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. In addition to its myriad interior charging ports, the three-row Chevy offers a powerful Bose audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system with two 12.6-inch displays mounted behind the front seats.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2021 Tahoe hasn’t been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, the Chevy does offer several high-tech towing assists in addition to its loaded roster of driver-assistance technology. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Although Toyota offers better complimentary maintenance, Chevy’s limited and powertrain warranty are identical to every other full-size SUV in its class.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit