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If you’ve ever languished in the 3rd row of an older Tahoe the latest rendition will be a revelation. Grab handles and wide access past the sliding 2nd row make it easy to climb aboard the 3rd row. Once here, you’ll find adult worth head and legroom.
Plus, you sit in a normal position instead of with your feet near your butt, unlike the previous Tahoe.
In short, there’s no bad seat among the Tahoe’s 3 rows and though ours seats 7 you can equip a Tahoe to seat up to 9, facilitated by a front bench seat that’s sadly only available on the base LS trim.
Another Tahoe strength is its ability to haul cargo…both large and small.
Luggage space behind the 3rd row has grown substantially versus the previous generation, landing at a generous 25.5 cu-ft. That’s more than the Ford Expedition. With all seats, lowered capacity swells to 122.9 cu-ft, which is a lot. And doing so from the cargo area is easy thanks to optional 2nd-row releases and powered 3rd-row seats that motor up and down with haste. For smaller items, there are countless nooks and crannies to exploit including a huge center console, tons of storage in the doors, this little spot on the dash, and a convenient cardholder to the left of the steering wheel that’ll ensure you never lose your parking slip.
Get the Tahoe moving and ride quality shines thanks to an independent rear suspension that’s new for Tahoe generation number 5.
Spring for the optional air suspension plus magnetic dampers and the Tahoe moves with near-luxury levels of refinement. While enjoying that ride, a high hood and thick C-pillars do somewhat hinder the view out.
If visibility restrictions or the Tahoe’s hefty dimensions give you pause, consider the 360-degree camera option and its array of helpful views. I’ll also say that, even though it’s a large vehicle, the Chevy Tahoe doesn’t steer like a big heavy SUV.
While the Ford Expedition uses a turbocharged V6, Chevy still believes in the power of naturally aspirated V8s. The base unit is a 5.3-liter (355hp, 383 lb-ft), while a 6.2-liter is reserved for the fanciest High Country trim (420hp, 460 lb-ft). And here are the fuel economy figures (5.3L 16/20 mpg (RWD), 5.3L 15/19 mpg (4WD) (6.2L 15/20 mpg (RWD), 14/19 mpg (4WD). You get all that? Good. And for diesel fans, Chevrolet also offers a 3-liter inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel with tons of torque and stellar fuel economy. (277hp, 460 lb-ft) (21 city/28hwy 2wd Diesel)
Our tester has the 5.3-liter V8 and it does a commendable job building speed. Conversely, I dislike how the brake pedal feels. It’s spongy and requires more effort than I’d prefer.
Regardless of engine, all Tahoes feature a smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission that’s controlled by this push-pull button arrangement that takes some getting used to. But buttons take up less space than a traditional shifter, so I reluctantly approve.
Adjacent to the shift zone in all Tahoe trims is a 10.2-inch touchscreen featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The interface is simple to navigate, though if you’re looking for the volume knob it’s down here.
A basic Tahoe LS features 3-zone climate control, 8-way power front seats, and automatic emergency braking for a tick above $50,000 Including destination charges. From the Blue Book’s perspective, the $4,800 pricier LT trim is a worthwhile upgrade thanks to its hands-free power liftgate, leather seating, and wireless phone charger. We’d also spring for the $790 Driver Alert Package, which bundles blind-spot warning, rear parking sensors, and lane-keeping assist.
Other notable options include ventilated front seats, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, and a digital rearview mirror. Indulge your wildest Tahoe dreams and the price tag soars to nearly $80,000.
Pricewise a base Tahoe stands a few thousand dollars pricier the Nissan Armada, falls in line with the Toyota Sequoia, and undercuts the Ford Expedition.
Though more expensive, the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy award-winning Expedition is a strong competitor, boasting a range of compelling features and a superior max tow rating. If you need more space than the Tahoe allows, check out the Chevrolet Suburban, which measures 15 inches longer and about $2,700 pricier than it’s Tahoe kin. I should also note that if all you need a roomy SUV with 3 rows of seats, the current crop of quote-unquote “midsize” SUVs offer plenty of space at a much lower price. (Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Kia Telluride) Looking good Telluride! Even so, if you truly need the capabilities of a full-size SUV the Chevrolet Tahoe is better than ever.
00:00 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
1:51 Trim Levels
2:20 Driving Impressions