I’ve always thought of the Chevy Tahoe alongside that of the church van. It always seemed like an SUV that filled out fleets meant to shuttle people from convention centers or government convoys. It never really felt like something people drove to the grocery store. For an SUV that never seemed quite to fit the role of luxury chauffeur car nor the simplicity of an Ecoline, it seemed Chevrolet needed to figure out what to do with the Tahoe – until now. The 2021 Chevy Tahoe has finally evolved to its final luxurious form.
The 2021 Chevy Tahoe is no longer quite so indiscreet
First of all, the Chevy Tahoe is no longer a hammy down for your high schooler who wants to put a 3-inch lift and 34-inch super swampers on it (oh, was that only an Alabama thing?). No, the 2021 Chevy Tahoe, as tested at Road & Track, was a whopping $81,845. That is a big number for an American SUV previously mostly used to drive around middling government employees. This new price tag seems to be warranted. Chevy loaded the new Tahoe down, according to Road & Track.
The 2021 Chevy Tahoe swamped the old solid rear axle for a fresh independent rear axle, which is not only a more comfortable change but creates more storage room in the back. The sully-loaded Tahoe High Country model that Road & Track tested sports air suspension and something called magnetorheological dampers made any road imperfections melt away. This new suspension system is very adjustable, offering 4 inches of travel to raise or lower the ride height. The dampers can also be adjusted through the various drive modes.
The beefy Tahoe still rocks a beefy engine
The Tahoe hasn’t gotten any smaller on its journey to luxury. The result of its still beefy stature is a dinosaur of an engine, a 6.2-liter V8 making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. The lower trims come with a 5.3-liter engine. Although there is a lot of power within the walls of the V8, it is not a fast truck. The power is all used in the low trucky places of the torque curve.
The 2021 Chevy Tahoe Can’t be fancy without a fancy interior
Mack Hogan at Road & Track calls the Tahoe’s interior “far ahead of its platform-mate, the Silverado, and among the best Chevy has ever done.” It may be fancy, but it’s still a Chevy (that’s a theme). There’s wood trim throughout the cabin, buuuuuut it’s fake. Some other signs of “new money fancy” are present throughout the cabin, like missing auto-up windows in the back and large blank spaces of gray plastic that seem a little cheap.
We are here to talk about how nice the new Tahoe is. It does have all the necessary fancy features you’d want to see on an $80k truck. The Tahoe has rear-seat entertainment displays, heated and cooled seats, and USB-A, USB-C, wireless Qi, or household outlets throughout the cabin.
The Tahoe may be getting dressed up but it’s still a Chevy
The 2021 Chevy Tahoe grew nearly 7 inches from the last model and about 5 inches wider. This newfound size and the switch to independent rear suspension really makes for a cavernous SUV. With all of these impressive updates, the Tahoe is still built with body-on-frame toughness.
In case you were wondering, yes, Chevy still offers the massive SUV in a Z71 off-road package. That verison gets a limited-slip differential and raked front and rear bumpers to help with approach and departure angles. The Z71 also has a skid plate and four-wheel drive. If you play your cards right, the Tahoe can pull up 8,400 pounds and carry around 1,800 pounds inside. No matter how nice a Chevy gets, it’s still a Chevy.