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5 things to know about the 2021 Chevy Tahoe

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2021 Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country (Image courtesy of General Motors)

When Chevrolet introduced the new 2021 Tahoe at the tail end of 2019, the automaker made a big deal about new technology and increased legroom – which this full-size SUV sorely needed.

Now as the new Tahoe is starting to make its way to dealerships, we have a few more details and wanted to break down the most important things to know about this all-new vehicle.

Base price for 2021 Tahoe is $50,295

We’ll admit that Chevy did a decent job with holding the line on price for the 2021 Tahoe. We think. 

Though we couldn’t find an official press release on pricing, other news outlets report the base price for the rear-wheel-drive LS starts at just more than $50K, including the destination fee. Currently, on the consumer site configurator, the base trim to configure (as of publishing this article) is the LT, which starts at $55,095. 

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe RST (Image courtesy of General Motors)

Curiously, if you look at the configurator and pop between 2020 and 2021 models, the 2020 LS and LT models without incentives appear to be the same price as the 2021 models – even though it has been reported that the 2021 LS model is actually about $1K more than the 2020 model.

We don’t quite understand the discrepancies, but the good news is: Pricing shouldn’t induce sticker shock, like some other recently announced all-new 2021 models.

Per the configurator, pricing for available trims (2WD/4WD) is as follows:

  • LT: $55,095/$58,095
  • Z71: $60,495 (4WD only)
  • Premier: $63,895/$66,895
  • High Country: $70,895/$73,895

Diesel will be available – but not yet

Perhaps the biggest news about Tahoe (and subsequently the new Suburban) is it will get a diesel, which makes it the only full-size SUV to get one. (Insert happy clap.) It’ll be available on every trim, except the off-road-oriented Z71. (Insert outraged boos.)

While we understand the front fascia design on the Z71 is the reason for the omission, the off-road set are kind of ticked because the diesel would have made for a perfect rock-crawl scenario with all that low-end torque. A missed opportunity for sure.

3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine

3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine (Image courtesy of General Motors)

The other thing to know: It’ll have late availability. Due to Covid-19, we’re not exactly sure what that means, but GM Authority postulates it’ll roll off the line three months after the gasoline models, which are rolling off now.

This diesel will be the 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six that will deliver 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This is also the same engine that will require you to drop the transmission to check the timing belt at 150K miles. But that’s another story. 

While we don’t have any official word on pricing for the engine, it’s worth noting this same engine in the Silverado is a $5K premium over the 5.3-liter V-8.

All-new independent rear suspension on the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe. (Image courtesy of General Motors)

Interior volume grows. A lot

As an all-new, next-gen SUV, it should be no surprise the Tahoe is built on a new architecture. It’ll get an independent rear suspension as well as longer wheelbase. This translates into downright cavernous interior space.

Passengers in the second and third rows will notice this in the area of legroom. The second row will get an extra 3 inches, and the third row will get a whopping 10 extra inches.  

All this without sacrificing cargo volume. The maximum cargo volume in the 2021 Tahoe will be 122.9 inches – 28.2 inches more than the 2021 model. 

Lest you think the legroom cuts into the cargo space behind the third row, note the cargo volume behind the third row in the 2020 model is 15.3 cubic feet, and it’s 25.5 cubic feet in the 2021 Tahoe.

2021 Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country (Image courtesy of General Motors)

Trailering should be easier

The 2021 Tahoe will have an available Max Trailering Package ($495) available across all trims. This package will include a high-capacity radiator and cooling fan as well as an integrated trailer brake controller and Hitch Guidance with Hitch View, which basically uses camera guidelines to make hitching easier.

Furthermore, on High Country and Premier trims, this package will also include trailer side blind spot monitoring.

In terms of numbers, conventional trailering tops out at 7,900 pounds, and that will increase to 8,400 pounds with the Max Trailering Package. With that number in mind, it’s worth noting Dodge recently announced the 2021 Durango will have a max tow rating of 8,900 pounds.

2021 Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country (Image courtesy of General Motors)

Safety still isn’t standard

Let us clarify, some safety is standard – such as automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking and forward collision alert. But some of the standard safety tech we see on Toyotas costing less than $20K are still only available as a part of the Driver Assist Package – which is not standard.

The good news is you can get this package included in the Luxury Package starting on the LT trim for $2,820. Previously, GM had a habit of only including high-tech safety on top-tier models for a top-tier price. So, this is a small win.

The safety features in the Driver Assist Package include lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and front/rear park assist. Then the Luxury Package also includes an around-view monitor and pedestrian alert – so probably well worth the cost. 

The weird thing on the configurator is that it looks like the Driver Assist Package is a $0 cost option, but as soon as you add it, the configurator also adds the Luxury Package. So, at least at the LT trim, you can’t get one without the other.

We think the Driver Assist Package should be standard. Period.

The bottom line on the 2021 Tahoe

We like the bold new Silverado-like exterior styling we see on the 2021 Chevy Tahoe. We love the new interior volume specs. 

But there are a couple questionable choices – like not making the diesel available in the Z71 and making up-level safety features optional.  So, we’ll definitely be curious to see this all-new full-size SUV in real life.

Even though there are some test cars floating around, we don’t have any drive impressions to offer just yet, so stay tuned for more information soon.

Related posts:

Does the Chevy 3.0L Duramax diesel have a design flaw?

2021 GMC Yukon diesel finally has drop date

Getting beyond the Hellcat haze, 2021 Dodge Durango can tow more than Tahoe


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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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