2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
by John Davis
Back when the first full-size Chevrolet Tahoe sport-utility appeared for the 1995 model year, American SUVs were mostly bare bones carryalls hastily assembled on truck ladder-style frames. At that time, creature comforts way down the list of priorities. Much has changed since, and in the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe has as well.
We first tested a Tahoe when it replaced the K5 Blazer in their lineup. Just as now, it was a shortened version of Chevrolet’s Suburban. We praised its great ride, and noted it was then the only player in its market.
Well, that’s no longer the case, though truck-based SUVs are becoming rarer. Still, it continues to have a great ride, ever smoother and more compliant over rough pavement than before. That’s largely due to a new independent rear suspension with Magnetic Ride Control.
Overall length is up 6.7-inches. There’s also no denying Tahoe looks more imposing and sleeker than ever. While still based on a Silverado pickup frame, Tahoe benefits from nearly 5-inches added wheelbase over last year. That, along with the new irs, enabled Chevy to really boost interior space.
You have to look to minivans if you want more cargo room. There is 25.5 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row is 66% more than before; 72.6 behind the second row, and a max capacity of 122.9 cubic-ft with a nice flat load floor. Of course, there’s still the Suburban if you need more.
Chevrolet wanted to boost passenger space too, and there is indeed more for both rows; 3-more inches of legroom for the 2nd row, and a whopping 10-additional inches for 3rd row users.
Nothing pleases buyers more these days than lots of easy to use tech; here, a 10-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard, and an 8-inch digital instrument cluster is available, as is a Head-Up display. Now, some may find the multitude of big physical controls in the center stack a step backwards, but we appreciate their familiarity and ease of use.
Chevy went untraditional for the transmission shifter; a push/pull gear selector by the center stack. Not a bad approach; and certainly, well located. All Tahoes come with a 10-speed automatic.
Engine choices are the Silverado’s 355-horsepower 5.3-liter and 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8s, and even the delightful 277-horsepower 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel. Max towing is actually with the lighter 5.3-liter at 8,400-lbs.
Automatic Emergency Braking is standard with a wide range of advance safety features available. The top High Country trim sports HD Surround Vision with a host of cameras with up to 9-different views.
For our complete road test of the all-new Chevrolet Tahoe, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #4002 that begins airing September 18, 2020. For a listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to motorweek.org and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons on the MotorTrend cable channel. The show can also be streamed on PBS Living through Amazon’s Prime Video.
Full-size, truck-based SUVs are not for everyone, which explains the explosion in popularity of car-based crossover utilities. But, if you need a truly useful brute, this 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is one you should be sure to check out!