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The Chevrolet Tahoe receives a complete redesign as it moves into 2021. Many of the previous issues people had with the vehicle, such as a bumpy ride and slightly cramped backseat, have been addressed. In fact, this truck-based SUV now seems to beautifully blend capability with comfort and practicality. Of course, no vehicle is completely perfect. There are also a handful of reasons that buyers may want to look elsewhere for their next SUV. Do these cons manage to outweigh the pros for the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe?
What's New for 2021?
Entering its fifth generation this year, the Tahoe made several key improvements as part of its complete overhaul. First, it has extended its wheelbase so that it provides more space for both passengers and cargo. Second, it now utilizes an independent rear suspension to help keep things smooth on the road. Finally, a hearty diesel engine will be available for the Tahoe in 2021, something that buyers have been looking for in years past. The Tahoe will initially be offered in four trim levels, with LS and RST models joining the list later on.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe – The Pros
1. Comfortable Third-Row Seats
There are many three-row SUVs on the market. Very few, however, offer enough space in that third-row to seat anyone but small children comfortably. With nearly 35-inches of legroom back there, along with a respectable amount of headroom, it is possible to seat seven to nine adults in the new Tahoe without any complaints.
2. Strong Towing Ability
Thanks to its truck-like roots, the Tahoe offers an impressive amount of capability. When equipped with 2WD and the standard engine, plus the Max Trailering Package, it can bring along up to 8,400 pounds. Models that have the 6.2L V8 are capable of towing up to 8,300 pounds when properly equipped. These numbers beat out many rivals, despite the fact that they are actually down a bit from the 2020 model.
3. Smooth and Capable V8 Options
There are actually two strong V8 choices to be considered for the 2021 Tahoe. Standard would be the 5.3L V8 that can generate 355-horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. This is more than adequate, even for a vehicle of this size. It works smoothly with the standard 10-speed automatic transmission. Exclusive to the High Country trim is a 6.2L V8. With this, the Tahoe makes 420-horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. It, too, gets the ten-speed automatic.
4. Independent Rear Suspension
The independent rear suspension benefits the new Tahoe in a few ways. It does a better job of keeping this large SUV rolling along smoothly, for starters. The upgraded suspension also allows the Tahoe to have a flatter as well as a lower load floor. As a result, the Tahoe becomes a more practical and sophisticated choice for families.
5. Cavernous Cargo Area
Speaking of practicality, the Tahoe has plenty of space for loading up groceries or helping a friend move. Even with all three rows of seats up, this SUV has over 25 cubic feet in the cargo area. Fold down that third row and then you will get access to over 72 cubic feet. With both back rows down, the Tahoe offers almost 123 cubic feet. The amount of space, combined with that lower load floor, makes the Tahoe ready to haul a variety of cargo.
6. Standard 10.2-inch Touchscreen
The Tahoe aims to impress drivers as soon as they sit down in the cabin with eye-catching features like a 10.2-inch touchscreen. It can be used to control both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both of which come standard in 2021. The Tahoe gets the wireless versions of both of these features, helping you to keep your cabin free of clutter. For even more tech, drivers can go with the Premier or higher and enjoy a 10-speaker premium sound system from Bose.
7. Available Diesel Engine
A diesel engine is joining the option lists for the Tahoe in 2021. The 3.0L six-cylinder has the ability to make 277-horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Although this is not as much horsepower as the V8s, it does keep up when it comes to the all-important torque. Although official numbers are not out, the diesel engine being the most fuel-efficient is a fairly safe bet. The diesel engine also gets a 10-speed automatic transmission to work with.
8. Well-Equipped Base Model
There is no question that the 2021 Tahoe costs quite a bit. On the plus side, LT comes with an impressive list of standard equipment. You get fancy features like a wireless charging pad, hands-free liftgate, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. This model even has leather upholstery along with a 9-speaker audio system. Both the driver and front passenger get 10-way power-adjustment for their seats as well. Chevrolet is expected to launch an LS trim later on, which will have fewer features but also a lower price tag.
9. Quiet and Relaxing Cabin
One of the biggest accomplishments of the Tahoe's redesign involves the lack of noise in the cabin. You will find that this SUV does an impressive job of keeping out both wind and road noise. Despite the power of the engine, the Tahoe also manages to stay nice and quiet at highway speeds. This is partially thanks to the standard acoustic laminated glass.
10. Standard Automatic Emergency Braking
All models of the 2021 Tahoe come equipped with a few driver aids. Perhaps the most important is the automatic emergency braking, which works in connection with the forward collision alert to prevent or reduce the severity of an accident. The system relies on a camera to watch out for potential incidences. It works at speeds of up to 50mph. Other standard driver aids include a following distance indicator, an HD rear vision camera, and rear park assist.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe – The Cons
1. Top Trims Get Very Expensive
All models of the Tahoe are pretty pricey. It could be argued that they earn their price tags by offering plenty of power and features. At the same time, the top trims have starting prices that are close to those of large luxury SUVs. Some buyers may feel they may as well go shop in the luxury market if they are going to shell out that kind of money.
2. Shifter Design is Complicated
The 2021 Tahoe has an electronic gear shifter located on its dashboard rather than a traditional shift knob. Fans of this design point out that this opens up space around the center console and gives the cabin a more open feel. Many drivers feel the design is too complicated, however, as well as simply unnecessary.
3. Too Large to Easily Maneuver
There are a lot of perks of having a vehicle as large as the Tahoe. Being able to whip around corners or into parking spots in not one of them. The utility and practicality of this vehicle make it worth parking near the back of the lot for most people, however. Just don't plan on easily parallel parking in this SUV.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe vs 2020 Ford Expedition
Exact details about the 2021 Expedition are not out but very few changes are expected. When compared to the 2021 Tahoe, the 2020 model of the Expedition falls short when it comes to cargo capacity, passenger space, and ride quality. The Expedition also does not offer a diesel engine, a factor that may be a deal-breaker for some drivers. If that is not enough, the towing capacity of the Expedition maxes out at 6,000 pounds.
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe vs 2021 GMC Yukon
The Tahoe and Yukon are incredibly similar vehicles. The Yukon also receives a complete redesign in 2021. Like the Tahoe, it now offers a diesel engine and comes with an independent rear suspension. The Yukon is considered to be a bit more luxurious, however, and its price tag reflects this. Buyers can get most of the same features for less money if they stick with Tahoe.
Chevrolet really knew what they were doing when they redesigned the Tahoe for 2021. It is the perfect option for families of any size who need space for their various gear. Its impressive power and towing capacity also make it a good call for those adventurous families who want to bring along their favorite toys when they hit the open road. While the shift knob may not be everyone's favorite, it is certainly something worth getting used to for this well-rounded large SUV. As far as the maneuverability concerns, it is not like there are other SUVs with this much space that do any better. The 2021 Chevrolet is proving itself as the vehicle to beat in its class.
• Why buy a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe? w/ pros vs cons