2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban Get New IRS Suspension, Duramax Diesel Engine, and Advanced Technology
First Look at the All-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban
After much waiting and anticipation, Chevrolet has finally pulled back the curtain on the company's all-new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUVs. New from tip-to-tail this refresh was not taken lightly by anyone involved. At 85 years, Suburban lays claim to the title of longest running vehicle nameplate in history. Tahoe is also now celebrating 19 years as the best-selling full-size SUV in America. When paired with their GMC and Cadillac cousins these beasts of burden account for nearly three-quarters of all full-size SUVs sold. Yea, they are kind of a big deal.
Knowing that any wrong move could give up market share to the competition in Dearborn, Chevrolet made a series of intelligent revisions that setup both Tahoe and Suburban for many more decades of dominance. Most dramatic of these changes is the move from a link/coil-suspended solid rear axle to an independent suspension setup. This move was made for several reasons, most obvious among these was the improvement in ride and handling that an independent suspension provides over a traditional live-axle. Chevrolet paired this new suspension system with three new spring and damper options: dual-rate steel coil springs with passive dampers, dual-rate steel coil springs with Magnetic Ride Control active dampers, and an all-new (and segment exclusive) four-corner adjustable air suspension with the Magnetic Ride Control dampers.
Younger siblings and unlucky friends will appreciate the other benefit of converting to IRS, loads more third-seat legroom. The 2021 Tahoe gains a massive 10.1 inches of additional leg room for those relegated to the cheap seats, while also adding 3 inches for the second row. Suburban gains 2.2 additional inches for the third row and 2.3 inches for the second.
Wheelbase was increased on Tahoe by 4.9 inches and overall length grew by 6.7 inches. This increased cargo capacity behind the third row by 10.2 cubic feet, now having enough to actually fit full-size suitcases with the third row in use. Suburban's dimensional changes were less, gaining just 4.1 inches in wheelbase and 1.3 inches overall.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban come with the choice of three engines, all paired with the company's fabulous 10-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is Chevy's stalwart 5.3L V-8, now equipped with Dynamic Fuel Management. This engine produces 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The 5.3L V-8 is standard on all trims except High Country. Standard on High Country is the 6.2L V-8, also equipped with Dynamic Fuel Management. This engine churns out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. These V-8s are nice, but the engine that we're most excited for is the 3.0L Duramax I-6 diesel. With 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, we've thoroughly enjoyed this drivetrain in the Silverado 1500. Rated at up to 33mph highway in the Silverado, we're cautiously optimistic for a 30mpgh rating in Tahoe. Fingers crossed.
Naturally the interior has seen a big improvement as well. Outward visibility is improved thanks to a slight increase in seat height and the lowering of the truck's beltline. Second and third row seats fold completely flat, allowing for easy transport of a 4x8 sheet of plywood, naturally. Technology has been a big focal point with this redesign, and the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban now have the option of up to five full-color digital displays. Standard is a 10-inch center touch screen, which is best-in-class. Also available are an 8-inch driver information display, 15-inch head-up display, and a pair of 12.6-inch screens for the second row. The truck features loads of trailering tech with up to 9 camera views. And has nearly 30 standard and optional safety features to choose from.
Overall, we love what Chevrolet has done with the new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban. The interior and exterior have been thoughtfully redesigned, while not straying too far into the weeds. The IRS rear suspension provides a world of improvement all around, and the engine choices should keep everyone happy. There's enough tech to stay relevant far into the future, and plenty of safety features to protect those you love. We'll say this if the new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban drive as good as they look, they will be an even harder act to follow. Stay tuned