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2021 Chevrolet Tahoe: 6 Pros and 3 Cons

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country front grille and headlight 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe had to be better — a lot better — to stand any chance of taking the fight to its primary rival, the Ford Expedition. Among full-size SUVs, the Expedition has raised the bar in terms of comfort, cabin quality and driving dynamics. With the 2021 Tahoe, Chevy’s engineering team went about fixing the previous model’s flaws (cramped third-row seating, a tall cargo floor) and accentuated positives (a strong range of engines).

Related: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Review: A Different-Flavored Ford Expedition Fighter 

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New
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe LS
$57,590 MSRP $58,780

The 2021 Tahoe High Country model we recently drove certainly eclipses aging competitors like the Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia. Its new independent rear suspension, longer wheelbase, expanded cabin room, handsome dashboard design and more potent lineup of powertrains have given this SUV’s resume an enormous boost. But has Chevrolet leapfrogged the Expedition in the battle for full-size SUV supremacy?

To read reviewer Aaron Bragman’s take on the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, click on the link above. For a rapid recap of the Tahoe’s best attributes, plus some items that could still use attention, keep reading below. 

Things We Like

1. V-8 Engine Power

The Tahoe comes standard with a 5.3-liter V-8 that delivers 355 horsepower and 383 pounds-feet of torque. Our Tahoe in the range-topping High Country trim and fitted with four-wheel drive came with the more powerful 6.2-liter V-8, which offers 420 hp and 460 pounds-feet of torque. During our time behind the wheel, we praised the performance of this engine and how it works in perfect cooperation with the 10-speed automatic transmission. While the twin-turbo V-6 used in the Expedition is a fine engine, we admitted the “rumble” of a V-8 suited the Tahoe’s personality.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country dashboard 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

2. Optional Diesel Six-Cylinder

Later this year, a turbo-diesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine will be added to the Tahoe lineup. We liked this engine during a recent drive in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500. With 277 hp and 460 pounds-feet of torque, the diesel option could be an ideal choice for anyone who needs added grunt for towing along with the bonus of improved fuel economy for long-distance drives.     

3. New Rear Suspension

The solid rear axle of the outgoing Tahoe is officially a thing of the past. Dry your eyes, because the new independent rear suspension is a game changer for Chevy’s full-size SUV: The ride is smoother and more controlled than before (though we still give the Expedition the nod when it comes to overall agility). Better still, the suspension allowed Chevy to significantly boost storage room and improve the positioning of the third-row seating.

4. Vastly Improved Third Row

Did someone mention getting into the third row? In the previous Tahoe, you’d have been well advised to hone up your skills with the rock-paper-scissors game because being relegated back there was one unpleasant adventure. Thanks to being 6.7 inches longer and riding on a wheelbase stretched by 4.9 inches, the 2021 Tahoe is a much more comfortable place to spend your time no matter where you’re seated.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country third row 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

5. Top-Quality Cabin 

This is one area you’d expect the Expedition to maintain a significant advantage over the Tahoe. But during our time in the High Country edition, the quality of the plastic, leather and even the piping on the seats showed Chevy was serious about crafting a no-excuses cabin. When an interior looks this good and works so well, a luxury badge seems superfluous. Special mention should go to the power-retractable center armrest, which slides backward to provide handy cupholders to those seated in the second row, plus a hidden storage area for front-seat occupants.

6. Intuitive Infotainment System

Chevy offers easy-to-use infotainment systems, and the one fitted to the Tahoe is no exception. The 10-inch touchscreen atop the dash is intuitive and has user-friendly menus. It’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and includes a Wi-Fi hot spot.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country center stack display screen 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

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Things We Don’t

1. Big SUV, Big Thirst for Fuel

The 2021 Tahoe is a spacious and serene SUV for long road trips, but make sure you budget for refueling. The 6.2-liter V-8 engine in our 4×4 tester returns an EPA-estimated 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined. That’s thirstier than the 2020 Tahoe, but Chevy says the truck’s larger dimensions are the culprit. Thankfully, the upcoming turbo-diesel will offer a more fuel-efficient engine option.

Rear angle view of a black 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe | Cars.com photo by Aaron Bragman

2. Still Not as Agile as the Expedition

The Ford Expedition does a great job at feeling much smaller than its actual size. While the 2021 Tahoe has a smoother ride and improved handling, the Expedition maintains an edge in terms of ride and handling dynamics. But the gap here is far closer than it was before.

3. This Much SUV Doesn’t Come Cheap

There’s no getting around the fact that putting a Tahoe in your garage is going to cost a sizable chunk of change. The base Tahoe LS starts at $50,295 (including destination fee). The base price of our test vehicle  was $73,895; with many of the optional bells and whistles, it came to more than $80,000. While that’s not cheap, Chevy likes to point out that the Tahoe is cheaper than an Expedition trim for trim.

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