2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban: Pros and Cons Review

Benefits

  • Progressive style
  • Spacious third row
  • 10 speed automatic

The inconvenients

  • Interior design flops
  • Still rolls like a truck
  • Poor ergonomics

It’s been a long time coming. After years of patiently waiting for the fifth-generation Chevrolet Tahoe and 12th-generation Chevrolet Suburban, the new three-row family SUVs are finally on the streets. Sharing their platform with the Chevrolet Silverado, Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon, the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban offer bold styling, more passenger and cargo room, and an upgraded interior.

The Tahoe and the Suburban are virtually the same. The Tahoe rolls on the “short” version of the platform; the Suburban adds about 13 inches of wheelbase and 15 inches in overall length. If you have a large family, the Suburban’s massive third row doesn’t sacrifice any cargo space, but with the third row, the Tahoe’s cargo space is limited to small bags. Still, we were impressed with the space each SUV has.

“The Suburban finally has a practical reason to exist for families who don’t want a Chevy Traverse,” said Zach Gale, director of The Buyer’s Guide. “The access and space in the third row is spectacular. The floor goes up a bit, but it’s not that bad. Really impressive.” Gale, it’s worth noting, is 6ft 4in.

Getting in and out to and from the third row is as easy as starting the engine – just press a button on the C-pillar and the seat in front of you will fold forward. The two third rows are comfortable for long journeys on the road, and the USB ports and air vents make the ride more enjoyable for those who travel there.

Front occupants, however, will have a dry taste in their mouths. While the new interior is a step up from the previous generation (and the disappointing interior of the Silverado), the new models fail to impress. With a new infotainment system and push-button gear selector, both look updated, but the old gear and poor ergonomics still stand out. “Why put 1 million buttons to the left of the steering wheel where you can’t see them?” asked feature editor Scott Evans. “Why is the tailgate control on the ceiling?”

Our Tahoe LT tester came over the new coil spring suspension; the Suburban Z71, however, had magnetic shocks and air suspension. Their rides were quite different. The Suburban’s taller sidewall tires, combined with pneumatic and magnetic shocks, seemed to provide a stable ride compared to its smaller sibling. “Lots of chills, head movements and bowel movements,” editor Christian Seabaugh said of the Tahoe. “Obviously, it should ride as well as the Suburban, given that it has off-road tires, but it just doesn’t.”

Both body-on-frame SUVs were equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Although the engine carries over from the previous generation (now with Dynamic Fuel Management), the 10-speed gearbox is new to both models and is properly tuned to deliver quick acceleration and strong passing power. His gear changes are quick and smooth, and he never hesitates to downshift. This is one of the best drivetrain applications – jointly developed by GM and Ford – that we’ve seen.

We had mixed opinions on the value these two Chevy SUVs bring to the table. Some of us thought $ 55,095 was a lot of money for a Tahoe LT. Others, however, consider it to be great value for your money. But the price goes up quickly when you add options.

While we’re happy that the new Tahoe and Suburban are here – and that they represent a step forward for Chevy – the two haven’t really advanced their cause as segment leaders.

Chevrolet Tahoe LT 2021
Base price / as tested$ 55,095 / $ 63,945
Power (SAE network)355 hp at 5,600 rpm
Torque (SAE thread)383 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Accel, 0-60 mph7.5 seconds
Quarter mile15.7 seconds at 145.1 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph134 ft
Lateral acceleration0.68 g (average)
MT figure eight29.4 s at 0.54 g (average)
EPA City / Hwy / Comb16/20/18 mpg
Vehicle layout4-door SUV, 4-wheel drive, 7 passengers, front engine
Engine / transmission5.3L OHV 16-valve V-8/10-speed automatic
Empty weight (Dist F / R)5,760 lbs (51/49%)
Wheelbase120.9 in
Length x Width x Height210.7 x 81.0 x 75.9 inches
Energy consumption, city / highway211/169 kW-h / 100 miles
CO2 emissions, comb1.10 lbs / mile

Chevrolet Suburban Z71 2021
Base price / as tested$ 63,195 / $ 78,875
Power (SAE network)355 hp at 5,600 rpm
Torque (SAE thread)383 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Accel, 0-60 mph7.6 seconds
Quarter mile15.7 seconds at 89.6 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph127 ft
Lateral acceleration0.67g (average)
MT figure eight30.9 s at 0.50 g (average)
EPA City / Hwy / Comb15/19/17 mpg
Vehicle layout4-door SUV, 4-wheel drive, 7 passengers, front engine
Engine / transmission5.3L OHV 16-valve V-8/10-speed automatic
Empty weight (Dist F / R)5,991 lbs (52/48%)
Wheelbase134.1 in
Length x Width x Height225.7 x 81.1 x 75.7 inches
Energy consumption, city / highway225/177 kW-h / 100 miles
CO2 emissions, comb1.17 lbs / mile

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