It’s hard not to make fun of this SUV. The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe looks truncated from the side view. But Chevrolet has held up its name of being the most dependable makers of large SUV’s and let’s see why looks shouldn’t be our basis for judging a good vehicle.
It’d be shallow to just focus on the general outline of this SUV. If one were to look closer, the way the panels meet at join lines are quite nice. The high beltline isn’t too much and makes it just the right amount of sporty while still remaining classy. Billet grilles moving horizontally give the impression for a wider base. (Who could’ve known truck-to-estate crossovers were possible?) The front and rear splash guards also bear the bowtie emblem, adding a brand signature to protection from splash and road debris. Wheel arch gap cultists may include the Tahoe on their taboo lists – that space is generous!
Kidding aside, the chrome wheels pull your attention away from the imposing fascia and the surrounding wheel arch. The lower partition of the doors curve inward which makes it looks thinner. It’s a handsome jawline for sure. Moving to the rear end of the car, the A-line fades into a window deflector. A few nice distractions break the monotonous width of the rear window: the tail lights leveled with the belt line are situated on either side of the door and dual twin polished stainless-steel tip exhausts protrude below. There’s even a subtle character line along the car body as a statement of a driver-centric SUV. The deep-tinted glass makes sure the driver’s vision isn’t affected by glare when looking through the rear side windows and rear lift gate windows.
Truck-based SUV’s aren’t really the best when it comes to comfortable rides but the Tahoe changes that. A change to the suspension makes driving less bumpy with the standard Magnetic Ride Control. This is basically the equivalent of AWD’s function but in terms of vertical suspension. Instead of traditional valves, it’s replaced with electroconductive damper fluid that changes density to support the weight shift on every corner. Another alternative to this is their Adaptive Air Ride suspension that helps minimize lateral swaying by electronically controlling the air springs. When inflated, it also modifies ride height to improve ground clearance and provide convenience for passenger entry/exit. The suspensions support the Chevy Tahoe’s curb weight of 5647 pounds with the 6.2L engine.
Unlike the Ford F150, Hill Descent Control is not available, at least for the High Country trim.
The 10-speed automatic transmission is electronically controlled and traction is modulated by software for tow/haul modes. The 2021 Tahoe is strong and quiet – the 3.0L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine provides a 277 horsepower output and a torque force of 460 lb-ft. This can increase towing capacity up to 8400 pounds. The standard on the High Country 2WD is even better. The 6.2L V8 engine provides 420hp and 460 lb-ft torque with direct injection and variable valve timing. A 5.3L V8 engine is not available for this trim. Maintaining peak driving performance is going to result in unnecessary heat spikes so an external auxiliary transmission oil cooler and external engine oil cooler are available. The engine oil cooler is going to ease the burden during redline attempts or max load towing scenarios, assisted by automatic shutters located in the front fascia.
Trailer brakes apply automatically when the driver accidentally applies the wrong steering input so there’s less worry of losing cargo. Trailering equipment include an 2′ trailering receiver and a 7-wire electrical harness and the 7-pin connector to link the lights and the breaks to the vehicle.
Situated inside the cabin is an “automatic” heated steering wheel that turns on based on the ambient interior temperature. This can also be manually turned on or off. If the line of sight is too awkward, the seat settings are configurable to rest your back comfortably on. A large 15″ HUD shows vehicle information onto the windshield but does not interfere with the driver’s line of sight to help focus on the road. It can be modified to show preferred vehicle information. To keep things entertaining, Bose 9-speaker audio systems are installed.
The interior is spacious and can accommodate a max passenger capacity of 8. Nobody will have a concussion with the ample amount of head room measured at 42.30 inches at the front, 38.90 inches for the second row, and 38.20 inches for the third row.
Remember those times you had to fumble for your key fob in your pockets while holding two full bags of grocery? The Tahoe automates opening the liftgate by sensing if your foot is directly below it. The height at which the liftgate opens also is customizable and you can set this to any allowable amount. There’s a cute little bonus inside: a collapsible cargo area organizer to put your vegetables or nuts and bolts in.
There’s simply a lot to love with the 2021 Chevy Tahoe so go past the looks and enjoy its return. Trucks based SUV’s are a rare find these days so don’t let them go when you have a chance to get a hold of one.
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