By Larry Lark, contributor
In the overcrowded SUV market niche, if you’re not getting better, you’re falling behind.
And that’s true even for America’s best-selling full-size SUV, the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, which accounts for more than 25 percent of the segment’s sales.
Completely redesigned, the fifth-generation Tahoe is the ultimate SUV – offering the most interior space of any SUV, exclusive technologies and features, and the best driving dynamics in the full-size segment.
“With an increasing number of SUVs on the market, we knew the all-new Tahoe and Suburban needed to reach higher than ever,” said Tim Herrick, vice president, global product programs. “We transformed Tahoe and Suburban to offer all-new technologies and features and deliver a better driving experience, while staying true to the versatility and capability that have earned people’s trust for generations.”
This was achieved through a complete transformation of Chevrolet’s full-size SUVs, combining the strongest aspects of its new full-size truck architecture with entirely new systems tailored to the needs of today’s SUV drivers and passengers.
My tester, the top-of-the-line High Country, is powered by an all-new 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, delivering an unprecedented combination of refinement, performance and efficiency. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, Tahoe seats up to seven people with a range well over 500 miles.
The optional Duramax 3.0L inline-six turbo-diesel is available on all models except Z71. It is a clean-sheet engine design developed for full-size truck and SUV applications, where torque means everything for confident, on-demand power and trailering capability. The Duramax is rated at 277 horsepower and a strong 460 lb-ft of torque. No full-size SUV competitor offers a diesel engine. In a week’s worth of mostly highway driving, Tahoe delivered a super impressive 25 miles per gallon fuel economy.
Tahoe features substantially more usable space. With a 4.9-inch longer wheelbase and a 6.7-inch increase in overall length compared to the previous model, Tahoe offers 40 percent more third-row legroom and 66 percent greater cargo volume behind the third row. The space gain is achieved efficiently; while maximum cargo room increases 30 percent, Tahoe’s overall length increased less than 4 percent.
Also new for Tahoe is Chevy Truck’s top-level model, High Country. Customized with premium features, the design is highlighted by a unique grille with bronze accents and High Country badging. The interior includes High Country sill plates, seat embroidery, and expanded color and trim choices.
In addition, the trim level delivers adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking, sunroof with power sunshade, air ride adaptive suspension, trailer blind side zone alert, rear seat media system with seat-mounted 12.5-inch LCD high-def screens, and an “Iridescent Pearl” coat of enamel.
Inside, passengers are treated to heated and ventilated front seats, and heated second-row seats. A tri-zone climate control HVAC system allows everyone to dial up their desired air temperature. Other goodies include a Bose audio system with 10 speakers, navigation system, head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, wireless charging 4G LTE Wi-Fi, multi-view rear camera, satellite radio, and more.
In addition to previously mentioned safety features, Tahoe High Country adds forward collision alert, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, front and rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, front pedestrian braking, rear pedestrian alert, following distance indicator and a theft deterrent system.
Base Price: $73,895
Price As Driven: $80,790
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.