2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban: All-New Behemoths Now Get Diesel Power
And they’re ready to take your money.
During an otherwise quiet month for the automotive industry, Chevrolet came out of the blue on Tuesday night to reveal the all-new, twelfth-generation 2021 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs. Held at a surprise event at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, America’s golden bowtie ushered in the latest and greatest versions of its best-selling SUVs, and with them, a huge list of significant changes.
Everything. The major highlights include a completely new fully independent rear suspension and the availability of an all-new light-duty Duramax diesel engine. The new SUVs arrive on the same GMT T1 platform that originally debuted with the latest Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, which further reinforces the fact that they're nearly mechanically identical underneath. All the underpinnings including the engines and transmissions are shared with the General's pickup trucks, including the front suspension components, steering gear, and base gasoline engine.
Styling also resembles its pickup truck siblings up front, but that's where the similarities end. The interior styling is perhaps the biggest change of all, which finally ditches the old, boxy style reproduced by Chevrolet for decades, and gets with the times in terms of design and ergonomics.
Engine and Transmission
The standard 5.3-liter Ecotec3 LT-based V8 engine produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque while the larger 6.2-liter Ecotec3 V8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft carry over from the outgoing eleventh-generation GMT K2 trucks.
The most important news under the hood, however, is the inclusion of the 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six boasting 277 hp and 460 lb-ft that was recently launched in the new Silverado. Available on all trims of both SUV except for the Tahoe and Suburban Z71, that makes the Tahoe and the Suburban the only SUVs in their class to offer diesel power.
All the mills send power to the axles via GM’s latest Hydra-Matic 10L80 10-speed automatic transmission with a 3.23 final-drive ratio across the board. Towing figures weren't revealed, but we expect these to come in somewhere between the 8,500 and 9,500-pound range.
The next biggest highlight is the truck’s new fully independent rear suspension, which promises not just significantly improved handling and ride quality, but more space in the rear as well—up to a 66 percent increase in rear cargo space for the Tahoe, or 25 percent more than the equivalent 2020 Ford Expedition, claims GM. Combined with a traditional independent coil-over-shock-absorber independent setup up front and the option for Air Ride Adaptive Suspension and Magnetic Ride Control at both ends, GM doesn’t just brag about it as the most advanced suspension setup in its class, but claims the new Tahoe and Suburban boast the potential to be the best-handling and best-riding GM SUVs ever.
The new independent rear does apparently add some weight to the already beefy brutes, but the extra weight gain is mostly attributed to their increase in size. The Tahoe’s overall wheelbase grows by nearly five inches, adding nearly seven inches to the overall length, three inches to the second row, and a whopping 10 inches to the third row. The result is an additional 10 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear-most seats and an increase in rear total max rear cargo volume by 28.2 cubic feet.
The numbers are similar for the Suburban, with the wheelbase growing by four inches, overall length by 1.3, and legroom for both rear rows by more than two inches with a hike in total max rear cargo space by 23 cubic feet over its predecessor.
Like the outgoing trucks, the new Tahoe and Suburban will launch with six trims in total, base LS, the upper-tier LT, followed by specialized RST, Z71, Premiere, and High Country variants.
Pricing hasn’t been revealed just yet, but the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban arrive just in time to take on the new and current generation Ford Expedition with the impending arrival of a new full-sizer from Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in the possible form of a Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
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