Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Chevy Tahoe Z71 Messes Up Its Interior With Button Placement

Chevrolet dominates the full-size SUV market with two very similar models, the Chevy Tahoe and the Chevy Suburban. Both vehicles share the same platform, engines, and transmissions. They also have the same interior and exterior design, and both models offer the Z71 and High Country trim.

The Z71 trim leans toward off-road driving, while the High Country is the most luxurious package offered. Although both SUVs share many of the same features, there are some subtle differences found in the interior details worth noting. One major design flaw in the 2021 Chevy Tahoe Z71 can prove to be annoying for drivers.

A look at the interiors of the Chevy Tahoe Z71 and Chevy Suburban High Country

The Chevy Tahoe Z71 has an aggressive look with dark gray interior colors and a metallic silver finish. The Suburban High Country went for a more elegant feel with the traditional gold Chevrolet bowtie badge on the steering wheel and dark bronze metallic trim throughout the interior. These small details help to differentiate between the two trim levels.

A few of the High Country’s key features help the SUV stand out from the rest of the product line. A brown contrasting fabric accents the leather seating for eye-catching appeal. Faux wood is used on the dashboard and door panels, and the High Country logo is imprinted on the headrest and doors to complete the look.

The Chevy Suburban is 15-inches longer than the Chevy Tahoe Z71, allowing for more interior space. The first two rows share the same dimensions, but there are almost two more legroom inches in the third row. Adults will find the Suburban’s back seat much more comfortable than the Tahoe, especially on longer road trips.

When it comes to cargo space, the Suburban beats out the Tahoe hands down. The expansive space behind the third row in the Suburban provides plenty of room for larger items. The Suburban has a cargo-carrying capacity of 144.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down, compared to the 122.9 cubic feet that the Tahoe can handle. 

Where the 2021 Chevy Tahoe Z71 excels is in its best in class rear-seat media system. Two 12.6-inch screens positioned behind the front seats and a 10-inch touchscreen located on the center stack provide ample viewing options for everyone. There are plenty of charging ports and even a Wi-Fi hotspot to keep passengers entertained.

An upgrade over last year’s model

Both vehicles received a full redesign for 2021. Motor Trend noted that “Both interiors take a step up in quality and overall execution from that of the mechanically similar Silverado pickup truck, a welcome change for sure.”

The lower floor created by the upgraded independent rear suspension allows for more interior space. Adjustments to the second-row seating make it easier to move the bench forwards and backward, providing better access to the third row. Both SUVs still have ventilated seats, wireless charging, and other popular features found in last year’s models, but the new larger head-up display is an impressive addition. A sliding center console cover that reveals a hidden compartment is also a unique feature of the redesign.

An annoying problem that could bug drivers 

Despite the many positive changes made to the interior, there is one function in the Chevy Tahoe Z71 that proves to be very annoying. According to Motor Trend, designers created an “ergonomic disaster and potential safety hazard” with the placement of 16 various buttons and two knobs in a small 6-inch space located to the left of the steering wheel.

The driver’s attention is averted while trying to find the right control. Most of the buttons are blocked by the steering wheel, making it very hard to access the features without taking your eyes off the road. This poorly designed system is made worse by an improperly positioned push-button gear selector that is hard for the driver to reach.

This simple design flaw is both cumbersome and frustrating for drivers of the popular SUV.

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