Chevrolet's brand-new and long-awaited full-size SUVs were just revealed today. The 2021 Tahoe and its larger sibling, the Suburban, bring a raft of thoughtful features to a segment not typically known for groundbreaking innovation.
Riding atop a new vehicle architecture, both vehicles have grown significantly for the latest model year, but specifically, the Tahoe is nearly 7 inches longer overall than today's version, with a wheelbase that's been stretched just short of 5 inches. For reference, the 2021 model's overall length is 210.7 inches and its hub-to-hub span now clocks in at 120.9.
Inside this new Tahoe, there's significantly more room in important places. This is an area where the current model isn't terribly competitive. There's 66 percent more cargo space behind the third-row seat, which now offers a whopping 10 additional inches of legroom, a boon for passengers traveling in steerage. Adults should now fit comfortably in the way back, something you can't necessarily say about the current version. Additionally, the second-row seats now slide fore and aft by about 10 inches, providing greater cabin flexibility.
The Tahoe's maximum capaciousness has increased 30 percent, topping out at just shy of 130 cubic feet. The load floor has also been lowered by around 5 inches. It, and the Suburban, should provide more cabin space than any rival model. These interior volume increases were made possible by one major underbody change.
The 2021 versions of these full-size SUVs finally feature an independent rear suspension. A four-link design, this arrangement helps provide vastly more interior space while increasing vehicle weight less than 50 pounds compared to the live-axle assembly it replaces.
Three different suspension designs are offered on the new Tahoe. A coil-spring setup is standard, but beyond that, you can also get Magnetic Ride Control shock absorbers. Further improving this vehicle's handling and over-the-road comfort, an air suspension system is offered with those adjustable dampers. This system offers about four inches of travel between its lowest to highest settings.
When equipped with these chassis airbags, the Tahoe can raise its body when, for instance, you're going off road. It can also drop down at highway speeds for greater efficiency or easier entry and exit when parked.
Coddling passengers, this redesigned Chevrolet SUV features a brand-new interior. The cabin is different from what's found in the Silverado pickup, which has largely been panned for being rather lackluster compared to rival trucks.
Catering to today's screen-obsessed motorists, the new Tahoe can be fitted with up to five displays, including a 10-inch central touchscreen, which should be the segment's largest. In-vehicle Wi-Fi is provided by 4G LTE connectivity. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also offered. A wireless charging pad is standard on all versions of the Tahoe except the base model. Providing a broad range of choice to drivers, the 2021 will be offered in six different trim levels: LS, LT, Z71, RST, Premiere and High Country.
Highfalutin' Premier and High Country models come with a standard 8-inch instrument-cluster screen. Lesser versions feature a 4.2-incher. A 15-inch head-up display is on the menu as well, as are two 12.6-inch screens for rear-seat passengers. Each one of these has independent connections so two different things can run on each display. Letting the light shine in, a panoramic sunroof is available.
Lighting the way are standard LED headlamps and taillights. Active grille shutters are also included on every model. Wheels spanning up to 22 inches are available as well.
Three different engines will be offered in this new Tahoe. A familiar, 5.3-liter V8 serves base duty and should deliver 355 horsepower with 383 pound-feet of torque. This unit is standard on LS, LT, Z71, RST and Premiere models.
For more giddy-up, a 6.2-liter engine is standard on High Country variants. It's rated at a segment-leading 420 hp with 460 lb-ft of twist. Both this V8 and its smaller sibling are fitted with automatic stop-start, direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and GM's fancy Dynamic Fuel Management cylinder-deactivation system.
Arguably, the most intriguing powertrain offering is a 3.0-liter diesel, which will be available in all models except the Z71. This oil-burning inline-six is rated at an impressive 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. It will be the only diesel available in the full-size SUV segment and should provide best-in-class efficiency.
All engines in the new Tahoe are matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission, which should aid both performance and efficiency.
Proving the durability of this vehicle, it endured some 4 million miles of on-road evaluation during development. This figure is in addition to other simulation work and testing that was done. As in the past, this new Tahoe is based on the Chevy Silverado pickup truck. Many key components are shared between these two vehicles, things like the cooling and steering systems, the front suspension and powertrains. As for bodywork, things are completely different. Only the windshield is common between the two nameplates.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe will be assembled at GM's factory in Arlington, Texas, the sole plant the current model is screwed together at. The automaker has invested some $1.4 billion in this facility since 2015 to get ready for production of this new SUV and the larger Suburban. About 4,800 people are employed there.
Things like pricing and fuel-economy numbers, payload and towing capability are, naturally, not available at this time, however, in North America, the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban are slated to go on sale in the middle of next year. Look for examples at dealerships in the summer.