The 2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel Is the King of Its Class

Diesel engines haven’t been big favorites in the United States. Car and Driver explains that they haven’t always been the most reliable engine option. In 2001, GM and Isuzu developed a powerful diesel V8 for use in heavy-duty trucks, and more recently they introduced a light-duty inline-six diesel in GM trucks. That engine is now available in the Chevy Tahoe, and CNET found it to be a great option.

The 2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel

The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe has three engine options, one of which is a diesel. The 2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel has a 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six turbocharged diesel engine, producing 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. It might not be the most powerful engine out there, but the Tahoe’s diesel engine is a modern one that CNET calls “a smooth and nearly silent operator.” The “traditional diesel vibe” can be heard only up close to the hood, and there’s very little vibration in the seats. The engine does produce a bass sound, but it isn’t that loud.

The 2021 Tahoe Diesel can tow up to 8,200 pounds in the two-wheel-drive version or up to 8,000 pounds in the four-wheel-drive version. That’s just 200 pounds less than the Tahoe’s max with a different engine.

The 2021 Tahoe is about seven inches larger than before, providing plenty of extra legroom for third-row passengers. Cargo room behind the third row has increased as well, now making space for 25.5 cubic feet of cargo.

The infotainment system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touchscreen is a large 10.2 inches. An entertainment upgrade is optional, adding two 12.6-inch touchscreens for the middle row. There is also a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot as well as wireless charging for all except the base trim.

Despite its size, the 2021 Tahoe only comes standard with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. An optional package adds blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, parking sensors, and a surround-view camera system. Adaptive cruise control is only available on the Premier and High Country trims.

How fuel-efficient is this model>?

CNET says the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Diesel is “huge.” The current generation is even bigger than the previous generation. The three-row body-on-frame Tahoe seems like it should have terrible fuel efficiency, and full-size SUVs don’t offer an electric option. However, a diesel engine comes to the rescue.

The EPA rated the two-wheel-drive Tahoe Diesel at 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. It rated the four-wheel-drive version at 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. CNET’s tests were able to get 30 MPG to 32 MPG at highway speed limits and 27 MPG to 28 MPG when going faster. That gets 400 to 500 miles per tank. With current gas prices, Car and Driver estimates that the Tahoe’s diesel engine would pay for itself in about 80,000 miles.

Competitors to the 2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel

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CNET points out that there aren’t too many body-on-frame SUVs to pick from these days. It likes the Chevy Tahoe better than the Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia, saying they “feel older and less well-equipped.”

It likes the Ford Expedition a bit better than the Armada or Sequoia. The Ford Expedition has a twin-turbo gas V6 engine, which produces 375 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. However, the Expedition doesn’t have a diesel option and it is “a little less polished than the Tahoe,” according to CNET.

CNET’s summary is that the 2021 Chevy Tahoe Diesel is great for long drives, with its large fuel tank and “surprising economy.” With a starting price of $49,000, the 2021 Tahoe can easily get expensive. With packages and the top trim, the price can jump to above $80,000. The diesel engine, though, is just an extra $995. Thank goodness the diesel engine will help save on fuel costs while still powering a great SUV.