Only 1 Large SUV Model Still Gains Popularity in 2022

Two large SUV models from Chevrolet lead the race in sales against all other non-General Motors competitors. Over the years, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Suburban climbed to the top of the hill, becoming two of America’s most popular models. However, in first quarter 2022, the Chevrolet Tahoe pulled past the Suburban, nearly doubling its larger stablemate’s sales figures. So what makes the Chevrolet Tahoe so popular?

The Chevrolet Tahoe vs. the Chevrolet Suburban

When comparing these two models, remember that Chevrolet designed them to fill different needs of different families, not compete for the same buyers.

The Tahoe and the Suburban feature the same engine and drivetrain options; choices are between a 355-hp 5.3-liter V8 with 383 lb-ft of torque or a 277-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine with 460 lb-ft of torque in each model’s lowest LS trim level.

Moving up a few trim levels to the rear-wheel-drive RST or the four-wheel-drive Z71 adds the larger, more powerful 6.2-liter V8 option with 420-hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet mates each engine choice with a 10-speed automatic and a choice between two-wheel or four-wheel drivetrains. 

The price difference isn’t likely the reason for the Suburban’s loss of traction against the Tahoe; only $2,700 separates the $53,696 LS-trimmed Tahoe from the Suburban with the same LS trim starting at $56,395. Moreover, even in High Country trim with the 6.2-liter V8, the Tahoe costs $74,295 compared to the Suburban’s $76,995, maintaining the same $2,700 difference. 

The large SUV model 2022 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 and Suburban High Country
2022 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 and Suburban High Country | Chevrolet

The metaphorical elephant in the room in this comparison is the size difference between the two large SUV models. The Chevrolet Suburban is 18 feet and 10 inches in total length which compared to the Tahoe’s 17 feet, 7 inches is only a 15-inch difference. Nearly all of the difference translates into Tahoe’s 13.2-inch shorter wheelbase, resulting in a two-foot tighter turning radius.

What does a tighter turning radius mean in real-world driving? It means it’s easier to navigate tight parking spaces, fast food drive-through lanes, and parking garage ramps. 

The Chevrolet Tahoe vs. other large SUV models

GoodCarBadCar released sales data from the first quarter of 2022 that shows the Chevrolet Tahoe leading the large SUV segment by a large margin. The nearest non-GM competitor is the Ford Expedition, with 9,718 sales compared to Tahoe’s 23,978. Toyota Sequoia lags even farther behind with only 422 sales compared to 2,037 in the same quarter of 2021. 

The GMC Yukon is Tahoe’s closest competitor with 21,297 2022 Q1 sales, surpassing Suburban’s 12,425 sales mark as well. Similar in size to the Tahoe, the Yukon’s popularity provides further evidence that maneuverability plays a significant role in people’s buying decisions. 

Should you buy a Chevrolet Suburban or a Tahoe?

The answer is nearly always; it depends. In short, both provide numerous trim and engine options, seating for up to eight, and loads of cargo space. The Tahoe is more agile and easier to maneuver in tight spaces, but the Suburban offers more cargo space. 

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