2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet

Redesigned 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Boasts Suburban-Like Space for $2,700 Less

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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet

Spacious Odyssey

The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV is perfect for the kind of person who wears an extra-large shirt but not an XXL one, or who picks the sundae with two scoops of ice cream but not three. Completely redesigned for 2021, the Tahoe ($51,295 base price including destination fee) is big and brawny, but not as big and brawny as its larger cousin the $53,995 Chevrolet Suburban. Chevy revamped the Suburban and Tahoe for the new model year, with the Tahoe basically representing a shorter version of the Suburban (Chevrolet's largest SUV). But even though the Tahoe has a shorter body, it still offers more than enough passenger and cargo space for most car shoppers – and costs almost $3,000 less than the Suburban does. I recently tested the Tahoe 4WD Premier trimline (base price: $67,495), which is one level down from the top-of-the-line High Country edition.


Related: Chevrolet Makes Already Large Suburban Even Larger for 2021

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet

Exterior

On the outside, my test Tahoe looked brawny enough for any big-car shopper, with a large hood sitting some 4.5 feet off of the ground atop LED lights and a large multi-slatted grille with a big Chevy logo. These swept back to large front doors with big folding mirrors atop 10-spoke wheels with big tires. My test Tahoe featured a large liftgate with tinted rear windows and rear windshield, a roof spoiler and rear wiper, as well as two sets of dual chrome exhaust pipes. My test model also came with a great panoramic sunroof (part of a $4,485 Premium package).


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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Front Seats
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Front Seats

My test Tahoe came with heated and cooled front seats finished in great-looking tan perforated and stitched leather and white trim. These seats offered excellent headroom, legroom, and hip room thanks to electric seat adjusters. The model also came with a heated steering wheel finished in black stitched leather, along with tan stitched leather on the door interiors and dashboard. The dashboard featured a large analog speedometer and tachometer, along with smaller gauges to measure oil pressure, engine temperature, battery voltage, and fuel level. Additionally, the Tahoe Premier comes standard with a great 10.2-inch touchscreen to continue its navigation, three-zone climate system and AM/FM/SiriusXM/Bluetooth 10-speaker Bose premium stereo system. The model boasts Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot and access to built-in apps such as the Weather Channel, Spotify, and news from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other media. My test Tahoe's other nice front-seat touches included a wireless phone charger, a 360-degree backup camera, and a voice-activated system to control the stereo and other features.


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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Second Row
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Second Row

My test model's second row included two captain's chairs that provided good headroom and exceptional legroom and hip room, although my lower back told me I'd be a tad uncomfortable there on long trips. SUV buyers can get some Tahoe models with a three-person second-row bench seat instead of two captain's chairs, boosting capacity to eight passengers. My test vehicle featured a separate climate zone for the back-seat passengers, along with a handy household-style electrical outlet for running electronic devices.


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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Third Row Seat Controls
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Third Row

The Tahoe's 60/40 split fold-down third-row seats offer good headroom and hip room for two adults, although legroom depends on how far back the second-row seats are set. And while the third row is theoretically designed to fit three adults, putting two adults back there would be more realistic.


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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Cargo Bay
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Cargo Bay

The Tahoe offers a decent cargo bay when all seats are in use: Its 25.5 cubic feet can accommodate five or so grocery bags, or one large suitcase and maybe two knapsacks. But there's a great control panel that can drop the second- and third-row seats down flat  automatically to expand cargo capacity. (The control panel also offers a second household-style electrical outlet.) Drop the third-row seats and the cargo bay grows to 72.6 cubic feet, or enough room for four suitcases and two knapsacks or even a bulky item such as a window air conditioner. And if that's not enough room, dropping the second-row seats flat creates a truly generous 122.9 cubic feet of space that can easily accommodate nine or more large suitcases and two knapsacks, or even a large item such as a dresser. Additionally, properly equipped Tahoes can also tow 8,100 to 8,400 pounds, depending on the trim line.


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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Driving
Chevrolet

Test Drive

My test Tahoe's 355-horsepower V-8 engine, on-demand 4WD and 10-speed automatic transmission combined to make the vehicle feel like a refined version of a pickup truck. The Tahoe offers an SUV's "high-up" road view, with large windows only adding to the good visibility. My test model's engine operated at a quiet rumble, accelerating to a modest 5,400 rpm to go from zero to 60 mph in a decent 7.6 seconds. The Tahoe also corners and brakes well, while parking and backing up are decent enough, but obviously take some care given the model's large size. That said, my test model's great backup camera helped with both.


Additionally, my test Tahoe toggled easily between two- and four-wheel drive and high and low road clearance. I found the big SUV operated a tad sluggishly and truck-like in four-wheel-drive mode, but that was no more than you'd find with any four-wheel-drive SUV or pickup truck. As for fuel efficiency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the Tahoe 4WD's fuel efficiency at 16 mpg/city, 20 mpg/highway, and 18 mpg/combined, helped in part by start/stop engine technology. I logged 13.3 mpg/combined during a weeklong test drive, although I operated the vehicle in four-wheel drive much of the time to deal with slippery road conditions (which the Tahoe handled well).


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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Screen
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Pricing

As noted, the Tahoe starts at $51,295 ($49,600 plus a $1,695 destination fee). That stacks up pretty well against competitors such as the $50,095 Nissan Armada, $51,690 Ford Expedition, and $51,995 GMC Yukon, and beats the $87,030 Toyota Land Cruiser easily. My upscale Tahoe 4WD Premier test model carried a $67,495 base price including destination fee, and options took that to $71,980. That's not cheap, but large U.S.-branded vehicles often offer plenty of incentives and negotiating room. While Chevrolet was only offering a special $579-a-month lease deal on the Tahoe as of this writing, incentives will likely grow as 2021 wears on.


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