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2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel fuel economy: Large SUV leads its class in efficiency

It trumps the Ford Expedition, big time.

2021-chevrolet-tahoe-promo
I think the new Tahoe is a looker, personally.
Chevrolet

Chevrolet's advertising department likely can't wait to pump out material that shows the 2021 Chevy Tahoe is the most efficient SUV in its class, albeit with an all-important asterisk. Buyers eying the 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six engine will benefit from the accolade. On Thursday, the brand said the new Tahoe with the oil-burner returns an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon city, 28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. Keep in mind, that's for rear-wheel drive models.

The more popular four-wheel drive models see a dip in the estimates. The EPA estimates the SUV will return 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Regardless, those are pretty great numbers for a hulking, body-on-frame SUV. Compared to the Tahoe's chief rival, the Ford Expedition, it comes out on top in a big way. The government rates the Expedition at 17 mpg city, 23 highway and 19 combined for RWD models; the 4WD versions see the highway estimate fall by 1 mpg to 22 mpg highway. On a full tank, those figures start to add up in a much bigger way.

Chevy will also offer the diesel engine in the larger 2021 Suburban where it returns 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. For 4WD models, the figures come in at 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. That also beats the Ford Expedition Max, the Suburban's rival, by 4 mpg across the board.

The great thing about the diesel engine is there's really no loss in the oomph factor compared to the standard 5.3-liter V8 engine. There's considerably less power (355 horsepower from the V8 versus 277 hp for the I6) but the I6 diesel produces a whopping 460 pound-feet of torque compared to the 383 lb-ft from the V8. Chevy does offer a 6.2-liter V8 option as well, which matches the torque figure, but you'll pay a price at the pump with 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. Plus, the Tahoe will still tow 8,000 pounds with the diesel engine.

Buyers can opt for the more fuel-efficient engine for $995 atop the price of a Tahoe or Suburban LS, LT, RST or Premier trim. If you want to swap out the 6.2-liter V8 for the 3.0-liter I6, it actually shaved $1,500 off the final price. The first SUVs with the diesel engine will arrive at dealers in the next couple of weeks, if you're itching for one.

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