- New looks
- Standard 10.0-inch touchscreen
- Automatic emergency braking
- Turbodiesel efficiency
- 10-speed automatic
- Does it need to be bigger?
- Towing is unknown
- 22-inch wheels are flashy
The 2021 Chevy Tahoe is new with better looks and a cushier ride for families.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is one of America’s most popular family haulers, an upright boxy SUV with plenty of character and even more space.
With the Tahoe, Chevrolet has a truck-like full-size SUV in a sea of crossover sameness. The redesigned Silverado pickup truck forecasted the first full redesign of the Tahoe in more than a decade. Like the Silverado, the 2021 Tahoe is loaded with tech including a standard 10-inch touchscreen and available 12.6-inch touchscreens for rear-seat entertainment.
Like the Chevy pickups, the Tahoe will be available in LS, LT, Z71, RST, High Country, and Premier trims. Other trims may be available, although Chevy hasn’t yet announced those. The Tahoe and Suburban are mechanically related, the ‘Burban is just stretched even longer for more space. We cover it separately.
Style and performance
The new Tahoe draws heavily from the Chevrolet Silverado that it’s based on.
The tall, upright grille is bookended by boomerang running lights that pinch in on the grille. Along the body sides, a crease runs the length of the windows, with an upkick toward the roof behind the rear doors. A wide chrome bar emblazoned with “Tahoe” splits the tailgate.
The Tahoe wears up to 22-inch wheels on RST versions, filling out tall arches.
Inside, the Tahoe follows the Silverado with knobs and buttons—including a pushbutton gear selector—with a 10.0-inch touchscreen perched atop the climate vents.
Under the hood, the Tahoe uses one of two V-8 engines or an optional 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel, which will be the most efficient engine.
The 5.3-liter V-8 will be standard in most Tahoes and makes 355 horsepower. The optional 6.2-liter V-8 makes 420 hp and is standard on High Country models. The optional 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel makes 277 hp and will be the most fuel-efficient.
Every engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive is standard although four-wheel drive will be a popular upgrade.
For the first time, the Tahoe gets a four-wheel independent suspension that likely will coddle passengers better on the road. Magnetic dampers promise even more comfort, while an optional air suspension can raise or lower by up to four inches for better off-road ability or efficiency. The air suspension can level the rear end when towing, if equipped.
Comfort, safety, and features
The biggest story of the Tahoe this year may be the interior space, which is more than 168 cubic feet. Second-row passengers get 42 inches of leg room, which is three inches longer than last year. Third-row passengers get 34.9 inches of leg room, which is more than 10 inches over last year’s version.
The Tahoe rides atop a wheelbase that’s 120.9 inches from hub to hub, and 210.7 inches from bumper to bumper—a tight squeeze for even the longest garages. Cargo space is up from last year too, with more than 25 cubic feet behind the third row with nearly 123 cubic feet behind the first row with the seats folded.
Chevy hasn’t yet detailed what goes into each trim level, but cloth upholstery is likely on base models while leather upholstery is standard on High Country models.
Every Tahoe is equipped with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera system are optional extras.
Chevy hasn’t yet said how much the Tahoe will cost when it goes on sale next year, but it’s likely to be more than the $50,000 starting price of the current model.
Tahoe LS, LT, Z71, RST, High Country and Premier trims get increasing creature comforts, but a 10.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is standard on all models. Top trims get an 8.0-inch configurable instrument cluster and an available 15.0-inch head-up display. RST versions wear 22-inch wheels, while Premier and High Country models get Bose premium audio, heated and cooled seats, and a heated steering wheel.
The 2021 Tahoe goes on sale in mid-2020.