2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban double down on tech, space, options

Consumers who want more, Chevrolet’s heard you. The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban offer more of everything except the kitchen sink. America’s beloved mammoth people movers are finally new for the first time since the late 1990s.

On Tuesday, General Motors took the wraps off the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban in Detroit. With more tech, more space, more capability, more powertrains, and more options, the big SUVs seem to finally have the goods to take on the modern competition when they go on sale in the middle of next year.

The big news for 2021 is the switch to an independent rear suspension and the availability of a turbodiesel engine, both firsts for these big beasts. 

All 2021 Tahoe and Suburban models except the off-road-oriented Z71 will be available with the 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel from the Silverado 1500. Here, it will produce 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe

Most Tahoes and Suburbans will be powered by the carry-over 5.3-liter V-8 with 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Top-shelf High Country models will have the familiar-well-known 6.2-liter V-8 with 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, though it’s unclear at this point which other trims might offer this engine. Both engines improve their fuel economy with cylinder deactivation that can shut down any number of cylinders (including all of them), automatic stop-start, direct injection, and variable valve timing.

Every Tahoe and Suburban will use a 10-speed automatic transmission, and both will continue with rear- and four-wheel drive configurations.

The independent rear suspension, which will improve the ride quality and handling, also helped with the interior packaging for the third row, according to Chevrolet. With the IRS, the Tahoe and Suburban now match the more-advanced setup in the Ford Expedition. Chevrolet goes even further by offering both magnetic dampers to further improve ride and handling and a self-leveling air suspension for enhanced towing capability.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

The four-corner air suspension can adjust the SUV’s ride height up to four inches in total. At highway speeds, it will lower these SUVs 0.75 inch to improve fuel economy and aerodynamics. The driver can lower the vehicle 2 inches to make ingress and egress easier while parked. To increase ground clearance, the suspension can be raised 1 inch in four-wheel-drive High at low speeds, and it can raise another inch in four-wheel-drive Low.

Like the Silverado pickups, the Tahoe and Suburban will offer a Max Trailering package that adds a high-capacity radiator and cooling fan, an integrated brake controller, hitch guidance, a hitch view feature, and a trailering app, plus up to nine camera views via the surround-view camera system.The exterior design of the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban is nearly as blunt and bold as their Silverado 1500 sibling, but the sheetmetal down the sides is far less fussy without the weird dip down on each  door. An upright front end with Silverado-like headlights gives way to a strong character line down the sides. LED headlights and taillights are standard. 

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

2021 Chevrolet Suburban

The lineup mirrors that of the Silverado pickup with LS, LT, Z71, RST, Premier, and High Country models. Each offers its own distinct look with various grilles, bumpers, trim, and wheels that range from 18 to 22-inches in diameter. High-end Premier and High Country models can be picked out of the crowd thanks to dual exhaust (only on gas models).

Inside the large SUV makes leap toward the luxury segment with a standard push-button gear selector (goodbye stalk-mounted gear selector), a standard infotainment system with a tablet-like 10.0-inch touchscreen, an available 8.0-inch gauge cluster display, an available 15-inch color head-up display, and optional dual 12.6-inch second-row infotainment screens. This tech all runs on GM’s latest digital architecture that is found in the 2020 Corvette Stingray and 2020 Cadillac CT5. With five times more processing power than the previous digital architecture, the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban will offer over-the-air software updates and remote vehicle health monitoring.

To go with more tech comes more space. The wheelbase of the Tahoe is now 4.9 inches longer than before with 120.9 inches between the wheels, while the Suburban’s wheelbase grows 4.1 inches to 134.1 inches. The extra length, combined with the new frame and independent rear suspension, increases third-row leg room by 10.1 inches (!) in the Tahoe and 2.2 inches in the Suburban, and second-row leg room by 3.0-inches in the Tahoe and 2.3 inches in the Suburban. Space for all the things increases as well, with the Tahoe’s max cargo space up 28.2 cubic feet to 122.9 cubes and the Suburban’s up 23 cubic feet to 144.7 cubic feet.

Every Tahoe and Suburban will come standard with forward-collision alerts, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a following distance indicator, and rear park assist. Active safety tech options will include rear pedestrian alerts, lane-change alerts, blind-spot monitors integrated into the trailer tow system, lane-departure warning with active lane control, and front park assist. A head-up display and a surround-view camera system will also be offered

Details such as fuel economy, tow ratings, payload, and price will be announced closer to when the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban go on sale in the middle of 2020.

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