Diesel engines are often some of the most fuel-efficient options on vehicles. And that’s the case with the 2021 Chevy Tahoe. In fact, the Tahoe‘s newest diesel engine is more fuel-efficient than significantly smaller cars. Here’s a look at the 2021 Chevy Tahoe diesel and why it’s a great SUV.
GM’s new line of diesel-powered SUVs
According to MotorTrend, for the 2021 model year, GM is introducing diesel options on some of its large SUVs, including the Chevy Tahoe. These engines — all 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-sixes — generate about 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Because GM will offer this turbo-diesel engine on many of its large SUVs, their fuel economy will vary slightly.
That said, with this turbo-diesel engine, the 2021 Chevy Tahoe will get about an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on highways, and 24 mpg combined, MotorTrend reported. This is a significant improvement over its base gas-powered model, which got about 18 mpg combined. This EPA estimate came from a Tahoe that had rear-wheel drive, but an all-wheel-drive version should reduce its fuel economy only by 1 or 2 mpg, according to MotorTrend.
How the 2021 Chevy Tahoe diesel compares with the competition
GM’s turbo-diesel engine option makes the latest Tahoe significantly more fuel-efficient than many of its rivals, MotorTrend reported. However, it’s not necessarily a fair comparison because many of the Chevy Tahoe’s competitors don’t offer a diesel option. Regardless, MotorTrend said the latest Dodge Durango got only 21 mpg combined, while the Ford Expedition got about 19 mpg combined.
Those were the Chevy Tahoe’s closest competitors. Other automakers fared far worse. For example, MotorTrend said the Nissan Armada got only 16 mpg combined, while the Toyota Sequoia got only 15 mpg combined. That means the Tahoe has an estimated 9-mpg advantage over the Sequoia, and the difference can mean substantial savings in the long run.
But the Chevy Tahoe diesel is even more impressive when compared with far smaller vehicles. According to MotorTrend, the 2021 Infiniti Q60 coupe has a V6 engine that gets about 22 mpg combined. That means the Tahoe diesel has an estimated 2-mpg advantage over a coupe. However, the Q60 is a sports car, so fuel economy probably wasn’t an important consideration for its designers.
The growing value of SUVs
SUVs have become increasingly common, and there are many reasons for their growing popularity. The best SUVs combine almost everything a customer could want in a car. They’re large enough to accommodate several passengers and their gear yet generally aren’t boring to drive. They’re also usually safe, and most SUVs are relatively inexpensive when compared with other options.
Automakers are aware of those benefits, which is why they offer options that’ll appeal to a diverse range of customers. Though fuel economy might not be something everyone thinks about when shopping for an SUV, many eco-conscious customers care about their carbon footprint. That’s why there’s an array of fuel-efficient SUVs, and they can be a good option for shoppers who consider a car’s fuel economy.
Plus, fuel economy has a beneficial side effect: It adds more value to an SUV in the long run. Because car owners have to pay for their vehicles’ gas, they’ll save money over time by purchasing a fuel-efficient SUV even if they aren’t paying attention to that aspect of their car.